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Our Church

Statement of Faith

Since 1926 the First Presbyterian Church of Pampa (FPCP) has been telling the Good News of God's love for the world in Jesus Christ. We have also been living God's Love. The love which we have received from God is not something we leave at the church door. It is a gift we bring to our families, our co-workers, our neighbors, and our friends. It affects how we live seven days a week. Unfortunately, we are not perfect people and we do not claim to be. Like all other men and women we fall short of God's expectations. We do not always love as well as we should.

 

The good news is that when we fall short, God forgives us. His love is so strong and deep that, like a mother who will not abandon her child or a father who always welcomes a lost son, God is faithful and forgiving.

We invite you to come and live this love with us. Let us . . .
Meet you and know your name . . .
Welcome you into a caring family . . .
Share with you the love which gives life . . . 
God loves you and God cares. Come see how much!

Mission Statement

The mission of First Presbyterian Church in Pampa, Texas is to grow in our relationship to God, grow in our relationship to the people of God, and to grow in our ability to do God's work in the world.  Faith, fellowship, and mission done in love by a loving group of people, blessed and empowered by a loving God full of forgivness, grace, and mercy.

Our Staff & Volunteers

Pastor  
Parish Associate Nancy Ruff, Commissioned Ruling Elder (CRE)
Church Secretary Bennita Skidmore
Choir Director Lela Harris
Organist/Pianist Doris Goad
Youth Workers Amanda Daugherty and Heidi Schwope


Our Missions

Each year our church donates to the annual children’s Christmas shopping tour and several of our members help to take underprivileged children shopping for their families. This is a combined project with approximately 35 other churches and organizations in Pampa.
 

We donate church funds to the Good Samaritan Center in Pampa which helps needy people with food, clothing and utilities. Members of our church family also donate to this cause on a monthly basis.

We donate to the Helping Hand Fund which is a fund set up by our church to help those in our community with special needs in addition to church members.

Our church has been very active in the community in the past and we are hoping through new leadership, that we can develop new services for our community.

Our History

The history of our church began in October of 1926 when the Rev. W.M. Baker, a Sunday school missionary, was sent by the Presbytery to organize a local church at the request of local residents. The early services were held in a variety of places including Pampa High School Auditorium, the American Legion Hall, and the old Rex Theater.  A charter membership of 75 people was brought together on December 5, 1926.  When funds were available, the congregation purchased a lot and constructed a building at the corner of Browning and Frost streets.  After much hard work, the building was opened on July 10, 1927.  During the cold parts of the year, fellowship dinners and other congregational activities were held inside.  The church enjoyed a large green lawn and when the weather was warm we had ice cream socials and watermelon feasts outside. The front of the church looked more like a home than a church.  It had a big porch on the front.  Leaders planned this building to be the Manse when they needed a larger building for the church.  The Women’s Organization was active prior to the organization of the church.  During these early years the women held bake sales, quilt and flower shows, dinners and a three-day merchant’s carnival.  They made enough money to pay all except $300.00 of the approximately $3,500.00 cost of the manse.
 

Over the next eleven years the church was serviced by three pastors:
Rev. W.L. Evans October 1927 – June 1928
Rev. A.A. Hyde October 1928 – October 1934
Rev. L.B. Shell December 1934 – May 1937

The Rev. Robert Boshen came to be our pastor in October of 1937.     The growth experienced by the church during the oil boom made it necessary to build a larger  building.  Under the guidance of Rev. Boshen construction on the current church building began in 1940.  The old church property was sold to the Duenkel-Carmichael Funeral Home and we used the auditorium of the Pampa Junior High School for worship until the new building was ready. The Manse was moved to Gray Street as construction on the new building began.   The first event in the new building was the Christmas Party in December of 1940.  The ground floor was covered with cardboard because the floors had not been finished.  Rev. Boshen shared a story with the children of how he had been able to get Santa Claus to the new church.  The building was a few blocks from the water tower and he told the kids of his heroing climb to the top of the water tower to flag Santa Claus down!  Another happy memory was that Rev. Boshen managed to get some of the surrounding city streets roped off on Thursday evenings so the kids could roller skate on the pavement.

In 1945, Dr. Douglas E. Nelson, from Pennsylvania, was called to be pastor.  Rev. Boshen had been a large man. When the young people first saw he small physical stature of the new pastor in a cutaway coat, they said, “Is THAT what we have in place of Rev. Boshen?”  It did not take long for the youth to fall in love with “Doc" and the adults to be spellbound by his sermons.  During the years of his ministry, the church grew in numbers and an educational building was constructed.

The Rev. Ronald E. Hubbard was called to our church in 1954.  It was during his ministry that our educational building was expanded to the size it is today.  Rev. Hubbard presented a weekly children’s sermon preceding the regular adult Sunday morning sermon.  The custom was well received and early every Sunday the front pews of the church were filled with children.  We do not have that many children in our current congregation, but it remains a very important part of our Sunday worship.  It was during Rev. Hubbard’s ministry here that our first candidate for the ministry, Michael Price, presented himself to the session and was taken under care by the presbytery.

During the time between Rev. Hubbard’s leaving and the calling of a new pastor, laity and ministers through out the presbytery filled our pulpit.  Reginald Hillier, a brick mason by trade, and the only commissioned lay preacher within the (then) United Presbyterian Church in the Amarillo area became a beloved guest in our pulpit.
 

In 1962 we called our youngest Pastor, the Rev. Donald S. Hauck who served from 1962 to 1967.  If he met you once he could call you by name.  He had a wonderful appreciation of people and would give them responsibilities and trust they would get done.  It was during this time that Ruling Elders began to assist in the Sunday morning worship.  During his ministry, we had another period of unprecedented growth.  It was during this time that it became necessary to conduct two services on Sunday.  It was during the ministry of Don Hauck that we reached our highest membership.  In 1967 we had 580 communicate members and an enrollment of 367 in Sunday School. With the encouragement and expertise of Rev. Hauck, the church’s youth programs were revitalized and expanded. A high moment in the life of any church is the ordination of one of its sons or daughters to the gospel ministry.  Our first candidate for ministry, Michael Price, was ordained on July 21, 1963.  On July 29, 1966 our second candidate for the ministry, Craig Meyers, was ordained in the church with the Rev. Ronald Hubbard and the Rev. Michael Price returning to be a part of his ordination.  Rev. Hauck and his wife Marge had a four year old son when they arrived and had three more babies while they were here.

Through the years, our church has had a rich tradition of being active in the community.  During the years of Rev. Martin Hager, 1967 through 1974, the church helped organize and staff Genesis House, a Committee for Drug Abuse, a Suicide Prevention-Crisis Intervention Hotline, and a Refugee Resettlement Program.  During these years Jay Losher and Darrel Cory each received a call to ministry in the church.  The Jaycees voted Martin Hager as one of the five outstanding young men in Texas.

The Rev. Norman E. Dow, Jr. was pastor of this church from March of 1975 to October 1976.  It was during his time the original Rose Window was replaced with the faceted glass window we have today.  It was dedicated November 30, 1975.

Under the Rev. Joseph L Turner, 1977 to 1987, First Presbyterian Church instituted the Hospital Chaplaincy Program and the Satellite School for the Mentally Retarded, which was housed in the church until the Sheltered Workshop was built. During that period, Presbyterians contributed funds, housing, or volunteer staff to Good Samaritan Christian Services, Tralee Crisis Center, the Latchkey program for school children, the Samaritan Pastoral Counseling Center of Amarillo, and the Pampa Meals on Wheels program. The Rev. Joe Turner was voted “Man of the Year” by the Pampa Chamber of Commerce.

The Rev. Dr. John Judson, 1988 to 1992, used his experience in the Peace Corps to help the church extend its mission.  The Presbyterian Church joined the First Christian Church in bringing the Jews for Jesus program to Pampa.  During the Persian Gulf crisis, the church sponsored an area-wide interdenominational service to pray for peace. Under Dr. Judson’s leadership, the session decided to create more parking to accommodate members and visitors.  The manse was sold and the bricks were carefully taken off and stored to be used later on the fencing in front of the parking lots.  This was about the time of the “white oil bust" when two primary oil companies moved their offices out of Pampa, Texas.  This was a serious downturn in the econimics and population of the city which also had a significant negative impact on FPCP.

Under Dr. Judson, the church celebrated its Scottish roots with a revival of the Kirkin’ of the Tartans service on Reformation Sunday each year, complete with a bagpiper and Dr. Judson wearing the kilt of his clan.

Our longest tenured pastor, Dr. Edwin Cooley, came to Pampa in October of 1994 and served the church until February 28, 2006.  When the Macedonia Baptist Church’s roof collapsed, Dr. Cooley organized the community to help this church restore its building. Dr. Cooley and Dr. I. L. Patrick, pastor of Macedonia Baptist, joined forces to reunite the Pampa Ministerial Alliance and fostered cooperation between the different denominations in providing for the community joint vacation Bible school programs, Lenten services and meals, and sharing of the gifts of music ministry.  Under his direction, the church adopted the LOGOS ministry for youth.  This was a weekday after-school program combining Bible study, music and worship skills, a shared meal with table parents for each group.  This was all staffed by Presbyterian adult volunteers. 
           
Richard Williams, a child who grew up at FPCP, graduated from the Colorado School of Mines in 1999.  He spent 1999-2000 as a Young Adult Volunteer in the Philippines.  It was there seeing “people who lived on the trash pile” that he felt the call to ministry.  Richard was assisted during his college years by the Celebration Scholarship from Palo Duro Presbytery.   He graduated from McCormick Seminary in May of 2004 with a call from the Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago, IL as a Pastoral Resident.  Richard was ordained in our sanctuary on March 20, 2005. 

Early in the ministry of Dr. Cooley the Rev Robin Gantz, a member of Palo Duro Presbytery, became our first Parish Associate.  Rev. Gantz was involved on the Presbytery level in the training of candidates for ministry and in filling the pulpits of area churches.  

In November of 2001 our church celebrated its 75th Anniversary.  As part of that celebration four of our former pastors joined Dr. Cooley to make the celebration a very special occasion.  The picture below shows them standing in the order they served this church, Don Hauck, Marty Hager, Joe Turner, John Judson and Ed Cooley.

With many of the smaller churches across the country unable to afford a full time pastor, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) instituted a program designed to help alleviate this problem.  This is known today as the Certified Ruling Elder program.  Under guidance by Presbytery, these candidates go through an intense three year program of study.  Nancy Ruff, from our church, was in the first group from Palo Duro Presbytery.  Nancy was commissioned in June of 2003 and became Nancy Ruff, CRE.  It has been most fortunate for our church that Nancy is a CRE.  When Dr. Cooley left our church, Nancy preached, served communion and conducted five funerals.  Other pastors in the presbytery provided leadership as well.  In addition to preaching, she planned and led special services at Easter and Christmas.  With permission from our assigned Moderator, Dr. Mert Cooper, she moderated session meetings and congregational meetings.  She provided for the much needed pastoral care of our members during this time as well.

In 2008 we called the Rev. Kenny Rigoulot to serve our church.  Right out of Princeton Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Kenny served the church for three and a half years leaving in 2012.  During Rev. Rigoulot's time the church renovated parts of the education building and began to install a new organ.

Nancy Ruff, our CRE, once again provided needed leadership and pastoral care during the time of transition follow Rev. Rigoulot's departure.  The church built a new outdoor children's playground for the neighborhood.

In August of 2013, the church called the Rev. Jim Friedewald as its pastor.  Jim came to us with 31 years of experience in the PC (U.S.A.) with a reputation of helping organizations and congregations grow.