First Presbyterian Church (Washington, Pennsylvania)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from First Presbyterian Church 1793)
Jump to: navigation, search
First Presbyterian Church
First Church 1793.jpg
Basic information
Location Washington, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Affiliation Presbyterian

The First Presbyterian Church 1793, alternatively known as the First Presbyterian Church, is a Presbyterian church in Washington, Pennsylvania. It has been the de facto college church for Washington & Jefferson College since the early 19th century.[1] It's under the Washington Presbytery.


It was founded in 1793 under the auspices of the Presbytery of Redstone.[2] Matthew Brown, who was President of Washington Academy at the time, was the first pastor.[2] The congregation first met in the stone academy building of the Washington Academy.[2][3]

Then, the congregation worshipped at the second courthouse, where the pastor would stand in the judge's bench and preach to the congregation.[3] The congregation acquired its first building in 1806.[3] As Washington progressed beyond the pioneer stage, the townsfolk began to partake in more leisurely activities, including the playing of cards and attending dances.[3] Reverend Matthew Brown gave a rebuke to this immorality in a famous sermon known as the Serpent Sermon.[3]

A second building, in the Greek Revival Architecture style, was built in 1851.[2] It had severe structural flaws and was demolished in 1868.[2]

James I. Brownson, who also served as President Pro Tempore of Washington & Jefferson College, was pastor for over 50 years.[4]


The church operates the Matthew Brown Fellowship, a faith-based program that selects several Washington & Jefferson College students with local charitable organizations.[5] In addition to the charity work, Matthew Brown Fellows work attend monthly study groups with other Fellows.[5] The program encompasses the Matthew Brown Music Scholars program, which selects two student-musicians to practice and perform with the First Presbyterian Church's choir.[5]

Graphical timeline showing the development of Presbyterian Churches in Washington, Pennsylvania.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Coleman, Helen Turnbull Waite (1956). Banners in the Wilderness: The Early Years of Washington and Jefferson College. University of Pittsburgh Press. p. 104. OCLC 2191890. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "First Presbyterian Church - History". Retrieved 2010-06-05. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Coleman, Helen Turnbull Waite (1956). Banners in the Wilderness: The Early Years of Washington and Jefferson College. University of Pittsburgh Press. pp. 102–107. OCLC 2191890. 
  4. ^ "Fifty Years a Minister; The Reverend J.I. Brownson's Golden Jubilee to be Celebrated". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. 1891-11-25. 
  5. ^ a b c "College Ministry: Matthew Brown Fellowship". First Presbyterian Church 1793. Retrieved 2010-06-05. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°10′11″N 80°14′31″W / 40.16970°N 80.24204°W / 40.16970; -80.24204