The first recorded church service of First Presbyterian Church of McAllen was held as part of an interdenominational service in the fall of 1908, in a lumberyard shed, lighted only by oil lanterns. Construction of the “little white church” began in 1909 and was completed in early 1910.
A master building plan, for what was to become today’s church, was developed in 1948, and the three-phase project took until 1960 when the sanctuary with its majestic stained glass window was completed. The magnificent Aeolian Skinner organ was donated in 1962 and has been a cornerstone of FPC McAllen’s worship services ever since.
The Christian Education program has operated for the entirety of the church’s existence, with Sunday school classes for adults and children, Bible study classes, and youth fellowship opportunities. The Lynn Flowers Preschool Kindergarten, created in 1953, has served the church and the local community for 65 years.
In 1981, FPC McAllen, helped start a witness and outreach program called Puentes de Cristo (Bridges of Christ), a bi-national ministry of the Presbyterian Church of Mexico and the PCUSA.
In 1983, the church helped create Su Casa de Esperanza (Your House of Hope), an early childhood development program operating in several underserved communities once called “colonias” on this side of the border. “Su Casa” is still serving the families of these communities today.
In 1989, this church was also instrumental in creating CUPS (Communidades Unidas Pro Salud), a humanitarian ministry serving several northern Mexico farm communities, which is still active to this day.
Over the years, members of this church have served as moderators of the Mission Presbytery and on denomination-wide committees. William H. Wilson, a long-time member of the congregation and ruling elder, served a one-year term as Moderator of the 197th General Assembly, the highest office in the Presbyterian Church.
First Presbyterian Church McAllen’s rich and storied past has been intertwined with the McAllen community since its beginning in 1908, to the betterment of both.
By Vinson McLeod