Our History

A Brief History of Our Congregation

FirstPresbyterianHistory.jpgFew churches get their start in a rail car, but that is exactly where our congregation began.  In 1884 Edwin Orlando Nichols, a man of earnest faith decided churchless Itasca needed a Sunday school. Knowing the Itasca Accommodation train stood unused every weekend, Mr. Nichols organized a Sunday school in the train car. In 1885, 26 Christian workers petitioned the Chicago Presbytery to turn the railcar Sunday school into a church. On October 25, 1885 Reverend E.R. Davis preached the initial sermon just south of the church’s present location at 207 East Center Street. By the time the first resident pastor was installed in February 1921, the church membership was up to 60.

In 1950 the congregation had grown to 265 and ground was broken for the current structure. In May 1952 the new house of worship was dedicated. Ten years later, the education wing was dedicated. The vision of Mr. Nichols, 75 years earlier, had come a long way from those initial meetings in a rail car.

Today, some members still remember the building of the church in the 1950’s; others in our congregation were not even a twinkle in their parent’s eyes so long ago. We are diverse in many ways, including in our thoughts and opinions. We are still a small congregation and our church continues in its history of ministry to its members, its community and the world.

Part of the rich heritage of First Presbyterian Church of Itasca is community involvement. Learn more about how we serve our community.