Mount Vernon– First Presbyterian Church on Lincoln and Columbus Avenues is under threat of closure after 135 years of service to Mount Vernon. FPC was the original woman’s battered shelter and soup kitchen and brought a school for African-American children in the 1980’s and 90’s. Supporters are trying to save the historic church by hosting a fundraising church restoration concert, Sunday, July 29th.
First Presbyterian Church a Brief History 1887 – 2018
by Annette Lewis and Ed Johnson.
The FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH of Mount Vernon, New York was organized by the Presbytery of Westchester on June 23rd, 1887. This historic Church has served and ministered to the Westchester Community at large for over 131 years! The original location of the Church was South Sixth Avenue and it was the largest church sanctuary in the City of Mount Vernon at that time. This location is now the present home of the Grace Baptist Church. The Church moved to its present location of East Lincoln and North Columbus Avenue in 1933. However worship services were held in the Parish Hall for nineteen years, and the current sanctuary was dedicated on May 18th, 1952.
As a multi-cultural congregation, the church has opened its doors for Tenant & Neighborhood meetings; Meals on Wheels program; Naomi House (a women’s shelter); Boys & Girls Scout Troop meetings; and Youth Summer Camps; and is also an election polling location. Currently the Four Square, Brazilian Congregation shares our space; and AA Sobriety group meetings are held weekly. Over the years the congregation has supported many organizations that addressed social issues: These included the Boys Club; Missionaries in Asia and in Leeds, Maine; the sponsorship of a displaced European Family; and elected representation on the Mount Vernon School Board. Currently Mission needs in Mount Vernon are supported by food donations to the daily food program located at the Mount Vernon Armory. In addition members of our congregation provide and serve a dinner meal once a month.
Music has always been an important part of the worship services and community outreach. The Mount Vernon Music Academy was founded in this church and provided affordable music lessons to the Westchester community for many years. Presently, and for the past 50 years, the PJS, Presbyterian Jazz Society, has provided entertaining and outstanding Jazz Artists performances in the Parish Hall.