History

First Presbyterian Church of Champaign is the oldest church in Champaign County. Our members have included three Presidents of the University of Illinois, a U.S. Senator, an Olympic decathlon champion, Professor George Morrow, founder of the oldest continuous agricultural field in the world, an official in the 1989 Super Bowl, and the first President of Parkland College, as well as over five thousand other, more ordinary, but no less important, Christians.

First Presbyterian has helped to found eight daughter or sister congregations, has ordained thirteen ministers, and has supported mission on six continents. The late Jim Gittings describes the ethos of early Presbyterians in North America,

         The Presbyterian witness in American was and is a people’s movement
         The thing in us that longs for patterns was disposed
         To build a courthouse concurrent with each church,
         And a barn a mite faster than a house. We were big
        On schools, workshops, free trade, road-building . . .
        When people wanted to know God’s will for a town,
        City, country, state, nation, world,
        We usually had an answer ready, had found a pattern,
        Right or wrong . . .
        Oh, no, we were not always right,
         But we always had an opinion and the courage to express it.

A Timeline:

1850: Eight settlers form First Presbyterian Church of Champaign

1854: First church building erected at the current site of FPCC

1867: 137 members construct an “Upper Room” brick church

1907: Additions to the church facility

1933: Basement added to the church

1951: Mae Chapin elected as first woman to serve as an elder

1960: Christian Education Building built next to the church

1962: Youth mission trips begin

2000: FPCC celebrates their first 150 years

2007: FPCC launches its southwest campus

2012: FPCC launches Copper Creek Church as a new church development