A complete history of our past two hundred years The History of First Presbyterian Church, 1804-2004 by Dorothy A. Boyd-Rush and Katharine L Brown is available in the church library.

First Presbyterian Church was organized in 1804. We are a historic church nestled in
beautiful, historic Staunton, Virginia

First Presbyterian Church helped to organize and establish other Presbyterian churches in our community, including Second Presbyterian,
Third Presbyterian, Olivet, Covenant, and Bethany. 

First Presbyterian Church is part of the Presbytery of Shenandoah.

The building that served as the church's manse is now a part of the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library.

In 1856, during the Reverend Joseph Ruggles Wilson's ministry, a son, Thomas Woodrow, was born.   He became the 28th president of the United States.   President Wilson presented a plaque to the church honoring his father during one of his visits to Staunton.  It hangs in the narthex of the church's sanctuary.

Between 1916-1918, the church erected the Sunday School building to meet the expanding needs of a
growing congregation. 

In 1972, the Sunday School building was appropriately renamed the Fraser Building in honor of the
Rev. Abel McIver Fraser, D.D., who served as pastor from 1893-1929. For 36 ½ years, Rev. Fraser’s
spiritual and secular leadership earned him the respect and admiration of a congregation he successfully
led into the 20th century.

Today, the Fraser Building holds classrooms, offices, a library, fellowship hall, and a lovely chapel.

The congregation built the Potter Building in 1960, in part to alleviate crowded classroom conditions and anticipated growth into
the 1960s and beyond.  Originally called the Education Building, it was later renamed the Potter Building in recognition of the
Rev. Richard Randall Potter, D.D. who served from 1953-1960 during a dynamic period in the church’s history.

The Potter Building continues to hold classrooms, a nursery, Session room, and music rehearsal space.

The congregation built

We enjoy a close relationship with Mary Baldwin College, across the street from our sanctuary.  In the early part of the 20th century, several of our ministers served the college as its president.  Members of First Presbyterian have been and are members of the student body, the faculty, the administration, and staff of Mary Baldwin College.