On January 23, 2011, the congregations of First Presbyterian Church and Grace Presbyterian Church voted to merge. On January 30th, the new congregation voted to choose the name United Presbyterian Church. Both congregations co-existed in the same city for over 100 years, usually a short distance from one another. Each church’s history dates back to when the Presbyterian Church was divided by northern and southern denominations. When those denominations voted to unite, First and Grace became part of the same PC(USA) denomination.
The idea of merge came up several times throughout the history of the churches, but for various reasons, it never happened. In 2011, the congregations made a bold move after a very thoughtful time of discernment and study. The churches merged not out of a sense of desperation or fear that one or both churches would have to close their doors anytime soon. The choice to merge was made out of relative strength instead of weakness. We believe that UPC will be more faithful to ministry and stewardship together rather than separately.