Who we are
First Presbyterian Church of Napa cares about one thing more than anything else, loving and serving Jesus Christ. We are a community of individuals who have found the love, hope, and joy in knowing Jesus, and simply want as many people as possible to experience the same.
Growing in Faith since 1853...
First Presbyterian Church dates back to 1853. A small group of worshipers, who met weekly in the Napa County Courthouse, organized a "Society." By 1857, the Society had completed a comfortable house of worship on a 60 x 120 foot lot on Randolph Street; the lot was donated to the Society by Nathan Coombs.
Worship in the Randolph Street structure was a vast improvement over the environment of the Courthouse. Sparsely furnished, the congregation observed Communion by using a silver-plate set (two bread plates and two goblets) donated by Mr. W. S. Jacks. Mr. Jacks later donated a matching tankard and a baptismal font. There were no pews, but the congregation voted in 1858 to purchase a melodian to accompany the hymns. Hard, wooden benches might suffice, but music was an early priority.
In 1868, when the original site became too small for the growing church, the sanctuary was remodeled, making it longer and wider. At that time, the Rev. James Wylie and his son, Richard, donated a bell to the church. It cost $600 and carried a one-year warranty. In April of 1986, the original bell was rung 118 times, calling attention to its years of service. It still rings today!
Hardly a day goes by without a query regarding the history of the striking Gothic-style structure. Early records credit Napa architects Daley and Eisen with the design. The construction in 1874 was completed by J. W. Batchelor; exterior and interior painting was done by E. Schltis.
The cornerstone of the original building (1854) was re-laid as the cornerstone of the second building on August 20, 1874. This second structure is the present-day sanctuary and was designated a historical landmark by the State of California in 1975.
In 2014, the sanctuary and offices sustained damage from the Napa earthquake that occurred in the early morning hours of August of 2014. Over $1.6 M was raised and countless hours of a community of volunteers was committed to the campaign to help rebuild. Among the building improvements were an earthquake retrofit of the foundation, the entire facility repainted inside and out, the addition of air conditioning, and a large Welcome Center as you enter the Sanctuary. Throughout the reconstruction, the skills of numerous individuals contributed not only to the physical structure, but also to building us in a closer relationship to God and one another. On Sunday, July 10, 2016, a Rededication Celebration took place as we once again returned to worshipping in the historic sanctuary.
Self-guided tours are available! Stop by the church office for a visit.
Why we exist
What's the bottom line? First Presbyterian Church of Napa exists to help people:
Connect..... to God and each other
Be Transformed..... into followers of Christ
Serve..... God and one another.
And as we move forward as a community of faith, inclusion and belonging remain at the center of who we are as followers of Christ.
In 2020 we began the Mission Study process in order to understand our congregation's needs, the needs of our community, and to get valuable input on the health and vitality of our church. The Mission Study and it's findings are in the downloadable document below.
Here are the 7 goals that came out of the mission study:
1. Active Deacons for our aging and isolated congregation, consistently but particularly at holidays and during the pandemic. Dave Crawford is leader of the Deacons 2021-4.
2. Robust and constant small groups/classes for our congregation to appeal throughout the adult lifespan. Aron Quinlan leads Adult Ministry.
3. A Wednesday Evening event every week – e.g. dinner and bible study, to have a consistent mid-week church family (and community?) prayerful/worship/fun event. Jay Gardner has stepped up to lead this when the pandemic ends.
Coordinate with Christian Life (who might create other fun, church family events).
4. Focus on Youth activities and bringing Families with young Children to the church. Mason Gizard and Youth Committee, as well as Jane Roscoe this effort w/focused support.
5. Appeal and be thoughtful to engage and serve Napa community and the Hispanic community. This includes a recommitment to evangelism through modeling love and service. We do not have a leader here. The activity is spread out over several committees and leaders.
6. Retain the beauty and poignancy of our traditional worship service, sermons, music, and sanctuary. Worship Committee and the Pastor lead. And, Improve our contemporary / experiential / change-it-up! worship options.
7. A coordinated Spiritual Gifts program (maybe w/a focus on helping w/#2, 3, 4, 5 above) administered by either a new “Spiritual Gifts” program lead by Church Life/Connection Committee – Paul Gray, Bruce McCall and Julie Worthington, for the congregation and new members ongoing and robustly-see below for more detail. We would like this to be the door for a clear path of discipleship and engagement for congregation members.
What this means for you
What does this mean for you? Most importantly, you're always welcome at First Presbyterian Church of Napa. We're saving a seat for you. Wherever you're at in your faith journey, you'll always be accepted as part of the FPC Napa community.
Beyond that, if you're ready to plan your first visit, click here. If you'd simply like to get in touch with us to find out more, click the button below.