Pacific Presbyterian Church, located at the corner of St Louis and Fourth streets, invites the community to help celebrate its 150th anniversary Sunday, July 27, from 3 to 8 p.m. with a block party including games, face painting, food and fun.
The schedule is as follows:
• 3 p.m. — Dedication service in the sanctuary.
• 4 p.m. — Potluck dinner with ham, hot dogs and ice cream provided. People may bring a side dish.
• 5 p.m. — Games and contests with prizes.
• 6 p.m. — Musical entertainment.
The history of the church is as follows:
The Presbyterian Church of Pacific was organized July 17, 1864. It was the first Protestant church in Pacific City.
The Rev. J. F. Fenton was the first pastor with organizing members Mrs. Nancy Vorhees, Mrs. May P. Robertson, Mrs. Ellen Williamson, Dr. W. A. Leffingwell, Mrs. Nancy M. West and Mrs. Lizzie Smith.
Religious meetings initially were held in homes, later in the old schoolhouse on the corner of Osage and Fourth streets and at the old Masonic Hall.
In 1867, the group acquired the old stone Union Church, its present location. A Sunday school was organized in 1880.
By 1900, the Sunday school enrollment was approximately 100 with a staff of nine teachers.
Many changes have taken place through the years. In 1926, the solid oak floor of the church was raised and a basement built under the entire church.
In 1946, a new Hammond organ was purchased and dedicated to the memory of the Rev. Richard K. Orr, pastor from 1941-1943, who served as a chaplain in New Guinea until his death.
In 1951, a service building was added, and then in 1955 the stone exterior of the church was covered with brick veneer and a narthex was added to the front of the building. The sanctuary was redecorated and stained-glass windows were installed.
A new manse was erected in 1959 for the pastors and their families.
In 1962, the Garrett home next door to the church was purchased and became the Christian education building, pastor’s study and church office now known as the White House. Following a fire in the White House in 1991, reconstruction included additional classrooms and a quilters’ room.
In 1995, a new kitchen and accessible restrooms were added to the service building.
The parking lot was enlarged in 2001, and in 2002, property gifted by Mrs. Lois Whitlock across from the church, was developed into a reflection garden.
Recently, the church sanctuary was renovated, enlarging the sacristy area and installing a monitor that can be used with a computer for visual graphics.
Pacific Presbyterian’s mission work has been a guiding force for its congregation and the community it serves.
After a disastrous flood in 1982, the church became the distribution center for emergency supplies. This activity led to the establishment of the Meramec Ministerial Alliance and the Pacific Food Pantry, which operated in the White House until it relocated as the Agape Help House.
Pacific Presbyterian is the distribution location for Meals on Wheels in the Pacific area. Its Dinner with Us program, in partnership with the United Methodist Church in Pacific, offers free dinners twice a month September through May and currently gives out about 300 meals each time.
Pacific Presbyterian Church’s Prom Attire on Us offers free dresses, suits and tuxedos for that all-important night in a teen’s life while its Business Attire on Us offers free suits and accessories to get someone dressed for an interview and career success.
The Rev. Denise Williams has been the pastor since 2012. When asked about her thoughts on the church and the Pacific community, this is how she responded:
“Since my family and I arrived in Pacific we have been welcomed and loved by a warm, caring community. Pacific Presbyterian Church is passionate about our ministries and committed to making everyone welcome.
“As we move into the future, I see great energy and excitement for our new and expanding ministries, as well as enthusiastic involvement in the larger community of Pacific. We are so happy and blessed to minister here.”
The Pacific Presbyterian Church members — where every person is a minister — is proud of its traditions and look forward to serving the Lord and the community for many years to come.
The church opens its arms and hearts to all in the community. For more information, contact the church office at 636-257-2742.
Editor’s Note: Information for this article was provided by Marianne Perez, with contributions from previous church articles written by members of Pacific Presbyterian Church.