History of First Presbyterian Church of Miami Springs
In 1935, the pastor of the Shenandoah Presbyterian Church held a mid-week prayer service with 11 Miami Springs people in a Hialeah home. In one year, this group had increased to 66 people and our church was born.
It met in the second story over Stadnik’s drugstore and the first year’s budget was $1,600.00!
The original church, now our chapel, was literally built by the members themselves, and although the building was not finished, the first service was held on October 24, 1937 with chairs borrowed from a funeral parlor! By December, there was sufficient electric lighting to hold the first evening service.
Sunday school classes met on the lawn or in chickees.
In 1941, Dr. J. Carleton Pelgrim became pastor and as membership grew, the members again went to work, this time building a Sunday school unit.
By 1950, membership had grown to 536 people and it became obvious that a new sanctuary had to be built. A $10,000 donation started the building committee working and $40,000 in cash and pledges and a 6 month mortgage for $20,000 got the work started. The new sanctuary was dedicated Easter Sunday, 1951, debt free.
By 1957, more Sunday school rooms had been added and membership was up to 691 persons.
By 1965, it was evident that our social hall and church office (in the original manse at the front of the old social hall) were too small. A $30,000 bond issue was approved and sold, and the structure remained, although remodeled into offices at the rear.
A choir room and a steeple were added to the sanctuary building; a new larger social hall/kitchen were built and a second story added to the Sunday school building. All were air-conditioned and joined together by a covered walkway. During this period, sometimes over 800 people attended church services.
The sanctuary was again renovated in 1994 to its current decor. In 1986, a pre-school was started and, under the guidance of Director, Susy Loveland, offered a solid educational experience for young children based on Christian principles. Although the pre-school is no longer operating, the church continues to reach out to local youth through the Miami Springs Youth Ministry. The church became home to this program in 1996, with Pepe Mesa serving as Director. The goal of the Youth Ministry is to stimulate the young people of Miami Springs and the surrounding areas to enter into a Christian relationship with a church.
To date, our church continues to provide both financial and moral support to this excellent outreach program.
On June 17, 2012, the Presbytery of Tropical Florida of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) dismissed our church to the Presbytery of the East of the Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians, also known as “ECO.”
The church has a history of good choirs, music and active women’s groups and also serves as the Miami-Dade collection center for Operation Christmas Child, an international Christmas Mission for children operated by Samaritan’s Purse.
May our Lord continue to guide us in the future.