Our History

old-churchFirst Presbyterian Church, Columbiana, was organized on May 13, 1865, with 16 charter members, and began meeting in the town hall. In 1867 a small frame building was erected on South Elm Street on the present site of the Heartland Christian School auditorium. Having outgrown its home, the congregation dedicated a new building at the present site on Nov. 1, 1921.

As our church family continued to grow, so did the building and property. In 1959, the Harvey Harrold property was purchased. On June 2, 1963 a ground breaking ceremony celebrated the beginning of the first phase of expansion. On April 26, 1964 the congregation dedicated new classrooms, a nursery, fellowship hall, a new front entrance, new heating plant, and an expansion area for a new sanctuary. The first worship service in the new sanctuary was held on Sept. 7, 1969. In 1998 the church completed the installation of an elevator and handicapped accessible restroom.

The church is particularly proud of our stained glass windows. The Good Shepherd Window, a part of the original 1921 sanctuary, was expanded and restored in 1994 through memorial gifts and contributions by the congregation. The brightly colored windows given in memory of John and Mary Barrow by their children were placed in the choir loft when the sanctuary was remodeled in 1969. The sacrament windows in the chancel were originally given by the Barrow Family in memory of John and Mary Barrow, and were restored in 1998 in memory of W. Jo Burbick by his family and friends.

First Presbyterian Church has been served by 20 pastors over its 150 year history. In 2014 Rev. Fritz Nelson was installed as the 20th pastor. We face the future with hope and anticipation that God still has much in store for our congregation.

Identity Statement

First Presby is a small town community of faith who seek to worship and serve God together as a church family.

Who We Are

Family, faith and healing all meet at First Presby Columbiana. Some of us are new comers in the community. Others trace our presence in both community and church back generations. Most of us are older, but some of us are younger. Babies cry and kids run around while the generations sing, pray, study and engage in mission together.

What We Believe

Beyond a shared belief in the healing power of our resurrected Lord and the importance of rooting our lives in scripture, the individuals who make up the First Presby family hold a diversity of beliefs on matters theological, political, social and personal – and we like it that way. Our overall theological foundation comes from scripture and the confessions and creeds of the Presbyterian Church (USA), best summarized in the 1984 PC(USA) Brief Statement of Faith