In 1826, the Presbyterians of the growing village of Ann Arbor, then but two years old, founded the "Presbyterian Society," the first church organization in the city. A year later, the First Presbyterian Church boasted 35 members and was planning its first building project: a small frame building at Huron and Division streets. In the decades that followed, our congregation built three church buildings at that site. Then, in the depth of the Depression, the congregation made a brave decision to sell its third building—an immense but unworkable facility built during the Civil War—and build a new church in "the woods east of town." That structure is the core of our current building at 1432 Washtenaw Ave.
Our congregation's rich mission history includes participation in the founding of the Michigan Antislavery Society in 1836, a long and vibrant tradition of campus ministry and ministry to international students, and working to heal the deep wounds of the Viet Nam era and address the challenges of the civil rights movement. First Presbyterian has responded to community needs with the love of Jesus Christ by co-founding the Interfaith Council of Congregations, supporting a wide variety of community organizations both financially and with our labor, and opening our building to house and feed the disadvantaged.