Historic First Presbyterian Church - Our History
HISTORIC FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (HFPC) began as FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF PHOENIX in 1879. It was the first church of any denomination to be incorporated in Arizona.
We are located at 402 West Monroe. Until the 1960’s Monroe between 2nd and 4th Avenues was known as “Church Row.” In addition to our church, three other churches, the First Church of the Nazarene, the First Baptist Church and the First Methodist Church were all located on Monroe. Today, HFPC is the only “Church Row” congregation to remain in downtown Phoenix. Our purpose is, “Loving and Sharing Christ from the heart of Phoenix.”
Historic First Presbyterian Church was erected in 1927 and is listed on the national and city registers of historic buildings. The building – over 60,000 square feet – cost approximately $400,000 to build and furnish. One of its unusual features is a full gymnasium on the third floor!
The building itself is Spanish Renaissance style. The sanctuary contains its original furnishings - a hand-carved wood chancel screen, pulpit furniture and wooden pews along with some of the original stained glass windows. The pipe organ which we still enjoy today is original and consists of 2,188 pipes ranging in size from 16 feet to six inches. Our chimes ring out to the city daily every half hour. The metal “discs” on the floor of the Sanctuary were part of the original steam heat and evaporative cooling system. Air conditioning was installed in 1951.
Today, HFPC has approximately 280 members. A 15 minute prelude on the pipe organ precedes our Sunday worship service. Worship is a blend of contemporary and traditional styles. It is held in the sanctuary and combines praise music with well known hymns. We often include drama to convey God's message. Our praise team is accompanied by piano, guitar and organ. Sunday worship attendance is around 130.