About Us

History

 

Welcome to the website of the oldest Presbyterian Church in America.

 

Early Years

 

In the Spring of 1640, a group of English Puritans left Lynn, Massachusetts to make a new settlement on Long Island. They had come to the New World to seek freedom from religious persecution and greater economic opportunity. The church first gathered in the Community Meeting House built in 1640. It served as a social, civic, and religious haven for twelve years. The church's first pastor also established the Christian faith among the peaceful neighboring Shinnecock Indians. In 1652, the first church structure was on Main Street, known then as Town Street, and was home to the congregation for fifty-five years. The third church was a stately 1707 structure on Main Street. According to tradition, Presbyterian revolutionaries dismantled two cannons of the occupying Bristish forces and hid them in the church bell tower.

 

Next Stage

 

The present beautiful "wood gothic" church was built in 1843. The church was enlarged in 1895, and a three story Christian Education building was constructed in 1957. In 1965, during the Civil Rights Movement, the Bethel Presbyterian Church (the first African American Presbyterian Church on Long Island) merged with First Church.

 

Recent History

 

Today our church family is an alive, active, committed congregation with more that 440 members providing extensive programs meeting the needs of all ages. Although we are in our fourth century of service to Jesus Christ, we seek to grow and continue to be an effective witness to the Christian faith on the East End of Long Island and throughout the world.