Church Office Hours
Tuesday - Friday
9:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.
First Presbyterian Church has a history as old as the commonwealth of Kentucky. In 1792, the year Kentucky broke away from Virginia, the first Presbyterian missionaries arrived in what is now Montgomery County. Over the next three years a congregation began to form, culminating in a charter in 1795 under the first pastor, the Rev. Joseph Price Howe. Being the first church in Mt. Sterling proper, the congregation built its initial house of worship on E. High Street on what is now the former high school football field.
In 1829, the congregation built a new brick building on W. Main Street, directly across from our present location. As the Civil War broke out in 1861, nation and families were torn apart, and churches were not exempt. Northern and Southern factions within the church caused a split that led to two separate worship services on Sunday; one in the morning and another in the afternoon. During this time, each congregation, North and South, had their own pastor. As is said of the commonwealth at the time, “Kentucky didn’t separate from the Union till after the war ended,” the same was true of the Southern half of the church.
In 1884, the Southern sympathizers decided it was time to have their own place, and built a handsome Gothic revival sanctuary across the street from their Northern brethren. It was during this time that the Northern body began calling themselves “The First Presbyterian Church” to distinguish their congregation from the “breakaway sect.” In turn, the new sanctuary was called “The Southern Presbyterian Church,” reflecting their regional cultural ideology and identity. The two churches worshiped separately until 1907, when they reunited in the sanctuary of the Southern church, where the congregation continues to worship to this day. The church soon sold the 1829 building across the street; but not before saving the grand rose window that now shines in our present fellowship hall.
In 1991, the former Post Office building next door to the church went up for sale. Seeing an opportunity for expanded ministry, the church bought the building, spent several years renovating the structure, and renamed it “The Presbyterian Post.” The Post now serves a number of functions. It’s a great place for evening church studies or after-church potlucks. Quarterly, the women of the church host the “Post Café” to raise money for mission projects. The front of the Post is the home of our Post Clinic, a medical treatment center that provides care for many in our area, overseen by health care professionals from our own pews. The building is used by various community organizations as a meeting place.
All in all, over 40 ministers have served First Presbyterian Church, of whom several became prominent in the national church. First Presbyterian continues as a thriving body of believers who are committed to serving as Christ’s hands in the community through acts of service,
outreach, and worship. To God be praise and glory for our history and our future.