First Presbyterian



First Presbyterian


Local news


In August of 1856 a steamboat which came up the Missouri river carried Rev. John Hancock, who became the first pastor of the First Presbyterian church; Thomas Officer, one of the church's first elders; James B. Rue and Cinncinnatus W. Boyers.
Rev. Mr. Hancock was commissioned to work in Council Bluffs by the board of domestic missions of the Presbyterian church.
On October 12, 1856, the church came into being. Its charter members were Narcissa Beck, Malena R. Hardin, Martha E. Hugart, Mr. Boyers, Margaret A. Boyers, Sarah Ellen Pusey, Maria J. Hancock, Henry P. Warren, Hannah L. Warren, Mr. Rue, Mr. Officer, Elizabeth M. Officer and Susan Lee.
Officer, Rue and Boyers formed the first official board of the church, which had a charter membership of thirteen.
First services were held on the third floor of the Empire block. Later services were in Concert hall, Keller's hall and the Congregational church.
A frame church building was erected on Pearl street, near the present location of the Citizens Power and Light company.
Foundations of a permanent place of worship were laid in the summer of 1857 at Seventh street and Willow avenue. Because of a depression the super-structure was not completed until April 18, 1866.
In 1883, owing to increase in membership, another building, the present church, was proposed. It was completed on Jan. 20, 1889.
The church today has more than 600 members.
Its pastors have been: John Hancock, William McCandlish, James H. Clark, William Hamilton, T.H. Cleland, Alfred K. Bates, Stephen H. Phelps, W.S. Barnes, Marcus McClure, Frederick W. Evans, Alfred Van Orden, Paul Calhoun and C. Carson Bransby, present pastor.


Nonpareil photos


Daily Nonpareil July 26, 1936


Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil Archives




Black and white photograph






Council Bluffs, Iowa


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Original Format


Physical Dimensions

21 cm x 26 cm