First Presbyterian Church
First Presbyterian Church
Austin Hill, Lead Pastor and Head of Staff
Sara Hill, Associate Pastor
Chris Helton, Business Administrator
1111 5th Ave North
Fort Dodge, Iowa 50501
First Presbyterian Church of Fort Dodge traces its roots to the very beginnings of the community. When the military post was abandoned in 1853 only a handful of civilians remained behind and the future was uncertain. It was only when the federal land office for North central Iowa was located in Fort Dodge that the economy of the new community began to boom. In 1855 and 1856 five churches were organized: Methodist, Congregational, Episcopal, Presbyterian and Catholic.
In the first decade of the new century, First Presbyterian began two other new ministries that continue to enrich our community today. In 2003, the church began the KidZone Christian Childcare Center. Now the program has expanded to include a three and four year old preschool, and KidZone offers care for children through elementary school. The ministry is a wonderful service to families throughout the community of Fort Dodge.
In 2004, First Presbyterian completed the Outreach Ministry Center. This facility houses our wheelchair ministry and provides a space where people come together to work on a variety of projects for others. Through the tools and machinery in the OMC, members of the church are able to refurbish wheelchairs for Hope Haven International, help repair items for community events, and help others in need.
In the most recent years, First Presbyterian has mobilized a concerted effort in mission. Senior high students have taken annual trips to inner city St. Louis and Omaha to work in homeless shelters and community centers. FPC has done mission work in Fiji, and have taken seven trips to Guatemala, with an eighth trip already scheduled. The August 2014 trip to Guatemala saw 66 people volunteer, 43 of whom were senior high students.
In addition to these short-term mission projects, multiple members have begun non-profit ministries here in Fort Dodge and beyond. Gateway for Discovery is a women’s recovery home in Fort Dodge. It opened in 2013 and three church members helped to create the ministry and serve on its board. Another church member co-founded Small Change 4 Big Change, a non-profit ministry that helps people discover sustainable sources of income in rural Guatemalan communities.
The best part of the First Presbyterian Church story is that it’s not done! We invite you to join us and make your story a part of the First Presbyterian story. Help us write the next chapters and see how God can use you!
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