The First Presbyterian Church

Founded in 1883 when Washington was still a territory, the First Presbyterian Church has grown up with the City of Spokane.

Reverend Thomas G. Watson came to Spokane from Wisconsin in 1883 by request of local inhabitants to lead a Presbyterian congregation. The church initially had no permanent home, so Watson would hold services in various locations around town including the Cannon Building, Glover's Hall, and the Van Dorn Opera house. By 1886 the band of wandering Presbyterians was able to raise funds to build a home. The first church was located on the corner of Monroe and Riverside, where the Spokesman Review building currently stands. After just three short years the church was offered a sum of money too high to pass up, and sold their lot to the newspaper.

In 1889, the Great Spokane Fire destroyed all of their possessions when their temporary home, the Falls City Opera house, burned. Joining in on the post-fire building boom, the First Presbyterian Church opened their doors a second time on the corner of Second and Jefferson in 1890. In 1892 the Church hosted the funeral of Spokane Chief Garry, the first Native American on the Columbia Plateau to attend school at the Hudson Bay Company settlement at Red River. Whites and Natives alike joined together to honor this leader who had been a (sometimes) devout Presbyterian.

The church made one final move in 1910 to the current location of Fourth and Cedar. Designed by architect Loren Leighton Rand, the grand building in the Gothic Revival style is still a sight to see. With beautiful stained glass windows based on the Sainte Chapelle in Paris, and one of the largest pipe organs in town, the builders spared no expense. By 1952 the growing church needed additional space and built additions to the main church including a gym, classroom space for children, and a commercial kitchen.

The First Presbyterian Church has stood the test of time in Spokane. The Church is very proud of its history and most recently celebrated their 130th anniversary.