First Presbyterian Church began when a group of folks met in a home for Bible Study in Sylva. Like the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts, God was on the move drawing people together. This group spread into other homes and buildings before formally organizing on June 4, 1941. Over 75 years later, we’re still meeting together. Much has happened in the meantime: folks have come and gone, our sanctuary has expanded, our town has grown. But one thing has stayed as constant as the Plott Balsam mountains: our commitment to love one another, to love our community, and to love Jesus Christ, who first loved us.
We believe that God is Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God is the sovereign Lord over all creation, and he alone is worthy of our complete trust, praise, and obedience.
We believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is fully human and fully divine, and that human beings find eternal life and a right relationship with God and one another through Jesus' life, death, resurrection, and ascension.
We believe that the Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit and is authoritative in all areas of life and faith. We seek to know, understand, and live under the authority of God’s Word believing Scripture is to be lived out as the source of truth for our maturing walk with God.
As a part of the Presbyterian family, we believe in the biblical foundation of the Reformed faith as found in the Book of Confessions of the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Our mission is to make disciples who love Jesus Christ, love the church, and love their neighbors as themselves. Here's what we mean:
Love Jesus Christ
Jesus is at the center of all church life at First Presbyterian Church. Worship, teaching, fellowship, service, and evangelism grow out of our joyful response to what God the Father has done in sending his Son to be our Savior and Lord.
Love the Church
Loving Jesus is an adventure that's shared through a community called "church." We desire to be a church where people of all ages and backgrounds can come as they are and feel welcomed, develop deep and lasting friendships, grow spiritually, and find ways to serve.
Love Our Neighbors as Ourselves
Loving Jesus in the church community means we are also sent out to demonstrate God’s love in our community and around the world. Led by Jesus in the power of his Spirit, we give our time, talents, and resources to care for others and support local and global ministries as they serve the hurting and needy in Jesus' name.
This mission statement finds its roots in Scripture. Luke 10, for example, tells the story of a conversation between a teacher of the law and Jesus: