First Presbyterian Church of Tyler celebrates 150th anniversary

Local News

TYLER, Texas (KETK)- For 150 years, First Presbyterian Church has had a beautiful impact on the Tyler community.

Congregation members have even helped organize nonprofits and groups you may know, including:

  • The East Texas Crisis Center
  • Habitat for Humanity of Smith County
  • Meals on Wheels

This church has had their doors open since 1870. Now celebrating this momentous milestone, many families are proud to have been a part of this church since its establishment.

“It’s very humbling to be a part of this. Whenever you are the Pastor of a church that celebrates a major milestone, it makes you a little nervous at first because you want to get it right,” said Reverend Stuart Baskin. “But, it’s also really humbling because people have been a part of this church in an unbroken chain for 150 years.”

This is a place where many have celebrated their personal life milestones. From weddings, baptisms, and funerals. Many families have considered this church home for a long time.

“So, I lived down the road and this congregation is the first church I ever knew,” said congregation member, David Schaeffer. “It was the place I went to Sunday school first, and went on youth groups, and ski trips.”

This anniversary is a culmination of history and appreciating the relationships the community has with First Presbyterian.

“Many years ago, my mother’s church- the Church of Christian Scientists, was burned down in a situation where many churches were being burned. Dr. Stuart Baskin contacted the church and invited them to worship in the small chapel here,” said community member, Laura Griffith. “Just out of the blue, and with no strings attached, and no monetary exchange.”

Griffith shared this was one of the many reasons that brought her out to celebrate and support the congregation today.

Moving forward, First Presbyterian Church of Tyler hopes to continue their legacy of history and appreciating the harmonious relationships with the Tyler community.

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