Cumberland Presbyterian Denomination
Originally, the church was founded by Rev. A.W. Rodgers and 13 charter members as a congregation affiliated with the Cumberland Presbyterian denomination. It was known at its inception as the First Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Amarillo. One of the church’s first deacons, Mr. W. F. Heller, was the builder of the first dugout home in Randall County.
Fillmore Street Presbyterian Church
The church met in Amarillo’s first schoolhouse until 1892, when members erected a building on a corner lot at 620 Fillmore, at which time it became popularly known as Fillmore Street Presbyterian Church. (By this time, Amarillo had another “First Presbyterian Church,” which was a member of the Southern Presbyterian denomination. That church eventually was renamed Covenant Presbyterian Church and is located at 1400 Wolflin.)
Central Presbyterian Church
In 1906, the church installed the first pipe organ owned by any church in Amarillo. In 1909, upon making plans to construct a new red brick building at 10th & Taylor streets, the church renamed itself “Central Presbyterian Church.” The church moved into the new building in June of 1910 with 191 people on its education rolls.
Our Present Location
In 1927, Central Presbyterian Church secured land at 11th & Harrison streets, then began construction of a 15th century English gothic revival style building—complete with flying buttresses and antique glass sanctuary windows. The first services there were held on Easter, April 17, 1927.
First Presbyterian Church
In March of 1943, Central Presbyterian Church changed its name to First Presbyterian Church. In 1983, First Pres joined the Presbyterian Church, USA (PCUSA) denomination.
Prominent pastors over the years have included Rev. R. Thomsen (1910–1945), Rev. Robert Skinner (1954-1963), Rev. James Carroll (1964–1984), Rev. Alan John Meenan (1989–1997), Rev. Jim Bankhead (1999–2010), and Rev. Dr. Howard Griffin (2011-Present). The church has been a fixture in downtown Amarillo since first organizing on September 28, 1890.
ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians
In October of 2013, our church voted by a vote of 438:16 to join ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians. With 96% of people in attendance voting to join ECO, we are excited to see what the Lord has in store as we join this new movement of God.