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 of 2019, we called a new pastor to lead our flock, RJ Leek and his family.

Currently in 2020 with the onset of the Coronavirus, we continue to worship online with  vibrant and excellent music and preaching, utilizing the resources of  many willing volunteers to work in different, yet meaningful ways to bring worship into each home.  We are currently reaching over 350 households through the internet! Even with the virus, our choir still sings, our handbells still play, and our dancers still pour out their hearts for the Lord.  Our worship team is committed to bringing the message to those willing to hear the gospel.  

First Presbyterian Church is not the church it was just a few years ago. We are growing!  Average worship attendance has increased steadily from 2012.   Congregational giving has been increased to a level that supports the additional staff and program of a thriving church. 10% of congregational giving goes directly to Mission causes. Worship is marked by excellent music, outstanding preaching, and the liberal use of drama, dance and the visual arts. The spirit in the congregation is enthusiastic, committed, and loving.  We invite you to worship with us!

First Presbyterian Church of Leesburg

 

    

200 South Lone Oak Dr.
Leesburg, FL 34748

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