The story of First Presbyterian Church in Sandusky began in 1819. Congregationalist and Presbyterian Missionaries were sent jointly into the Western Territory to establish churches which were represented in both denomination groups. By 1836 problems were arising in this joint arrangement of church identity. In many parts of the state populations were growing so that congregations of both denominations could be supported. In addition by this time many of the Congregationalists were strong abolitionists. The issue of slavery had become divisive in both denominational groups. The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (the national church body) took a moderate position on the question of slavery, which caused more dissension.
By 1852 twenty-six members withdrew from the Sandusky Congregational Church and formed the First Presbyterian Church. The first Organizational meeting was held in January 1853.The rear portion of our present building “the Chapel” was erected and first occupied in November of 1853. The lower level was used for worship. The upper level was used for Sunday school classes. In more contemporary times the lower level was used as a “lounge area” as it is today for fellowship gatherings and the upper level serves as our choir room.
Two years later the present church sanctuary was ready for occupancy. And while there has been some remodeling and configuring of space it remains very much as it did when first used in 1855.
Later additions of the late 20th century include the educational wing to the north of the main sanctuary which was joined to the already existing building which houses Care and Share on the lower level and the Sandusky Mission Outreach Center on the upper floor.
However the story of First Presbyterian Church is far more than physical builds and architectural features. It's story involves the people who have worshiped here and their commitment to our community, our nation and our world. This is a story which cannot be simply told in a few paragraphs. It is a story which begins when you enter to worship and depart to serve.