Our History

The Early Years:

  • 1850's - Leesburg, FL settled with land grants given to people who "would farm and fight the Indians"

  • 1869 - First Presbyterian Church (FPC) founded with a Session of two Ruling Elders

  • 1875 - Leesburg population is 150, 23% of whom are members of FPC

  • 1876 - First installed pastor at FPC, the Reverend John Daniel

  • 1883 - First church building on the corner of Main and Perkins streets, Leesburg

  • 1890 - FPC membership is 73; Women's Missionary Society organized

  • 1894-95 - The Big Freeze devastates the area; economy slows, church expansion halted; FPC locks the doors and worships at the Baptist church on alternate Sunday Evenings; church would not have another pastor until 1907

  • 1903 - FPC membership at 23

  • 1907 - The Reverend Charles Kingsley becomes pastor; membership increases 

  • 1916 - The outdoor "toilet room" was disposed of (presumably this means that indoor plumbing had arrived)

  • 1920's - Membership reached 200; church building remodeled and enlarged; manse built on church property; pipe organ installed; Session opposes baseball game and motion picture on a Sunday evening

  • 1930's - The Women of the Church had become the principal fund raisers for building Improvements; in 1932 the women took responsibility for raising $400 to balance the annual budget; in 1934 church organist paid $10 per month

  • 1940's - A decade of growth

  • 1950's - Membership reaches 400; church moves to S Lone Oak Drive; Fellowship Hall built in 1958

Recent Years:

The Reverend Robert D. Alexander served as pastor at FPC from 1967 to 1993. These were good years for the church with membership reaching 800 and the construction of the present sanctuary in 1970. Rev. Alexander instilled in the congregation a strong sense of Mission that continues today. In 2018 the church held its 50th Annual Mission Conference.

In the late 90's the church entered into a period of decline. Membership dropped from the high of 800 to 530 in 2003. After 2003, membership declined sharply to 290 by 2010. These losses mirrored the national trend in Christian churches during these difficult years.

In 2012, we had the arrival of Interim Pastor, Roy Sharpe.  Under his leadership, Reverend Roy Sharpe, Interim Pastor, FPC, developed a strategy to reverse the decline in membership and attendance. Vision 2016 included:

  • Adding program staff
  • Developing a vibrant, seamlessly-blended worship service
  • Making changes in organizational structure and leader functioning
  • Enlarging the mission footprint locally and globally

In the spring of 2017 the church raised $250,000 above the operating budget for renovation and upgrades of the worship center.  In the future we plan to renovate the kitchen and Fellowship Hall and add new landscaping for the campus.  We look forward to the challenges and opportunities God will set before us in the days and years to come.

In February 2019, the arrival of Pastor RJ Leek and his family marked a new chapter for our congregation, infusing it with love, care, humor, and creativity, and inspiring others to walk the path of Christ alongside them.

When the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded in 2020, our church swiftly adapted, transitioning to Live Streaming services to ensure that vibrant music and inspiring sermons continued to reach our members in innovative ways. Through the collaborative efforts of volunteers and staff, we crafted meaningful worship experiences that resonated in every home. In 2021, as we cautiously reopened for communal worship, we maintained Live Streaming services, an offering that remains available to our congregation to this day.

With a steady membership of 170 for over a decade, we stand as a medium-sized congregation renowned for our talent, ingenuity, and unwavering support for one another. Our commitment to direct contributions to Mission causes underscores our dedication to serving beyond our walls. Our worship gatherings are characterized by a fusion of music styles, the expertise of our musicians, impactful sermons, vibrant youth involvement, and the integration of visual arts. The ethos within our community exudes enthusiasm, devotion, and compassion.

Having served the Lord for over 155 years, our church continues to evolve and thrive. We extend a warm invitation for you to visit and experience firsthand the hospitality of our community. Come and see for yourself – you won't regret it!

First Presbyterian Church of Leesburg



200 South Lone Oak Dr.
Leesburg, FL 34748

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