A nearly 140 year history of Presbyterian witness in Prescott is coming to an end. On Sunday, August 4, First Presbyterian Church will close its doors with a final service of celebration at 5 p.m.
The final service, conducted by the Presbytery of the Pines, will be an opportunity for the community to come together to celebrate the legacy and witness of the congregation to the community and beyond.
In April, 1874, the Cumberland Presbyterian Church was founded in Prescott with 18 charter members. The first pastor, the Rev. F. M. Sanders, served only eight months. He was killed while riding with a party to apprehend some horse thieves in Lafayette County.
The first building of the church was completed in 1875 (the first church building in the town), and was used by many denominations. In 1906 this branch of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church merged with the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America.
In October, 1875, another Presbyterian congregation was formed. The new congregation was a member of the Presbyterian Church in the United States. It met in St. James Episcopal Church for about eight years. It began with nine charter members.
Read more at http://www.hopeprescott.com/prescotts-presbyterian-church-closing-its-doors/
Unfortunately, this is a harbinger of the swelling waves of church closures to come throughout the Midwest and rural areas around the country, for the PCUSA and many other mainline denominations.
Christianity Today had an article about the trend of church closings just on the horizon a couple years ago. It’s simple demographics–more are moving to urban areas, fewer are going to church–and the builders of the post-WWII mainline congregations are dying off. Of course the theological liberalism of the mainlines–and people voting-with-their-feet, by going to evangelical non-mainline church congregations, too, is a key part of the dying and closing of mainline churches.