Founded In 1878...
On his way to Alaska, a pioneer Presbyterian missionary named Sheldon Jackson, preached a sermon in Boise on Sunday, July 15, 1877. Thirteen year old Boise was bustling with a population of about 1,500. Within seven months, on February 24, 1878, First Presbyterian Church was organized.
Fourteen of the eighteen charter members were women and included Boise’s pioneer black woman, Miss Vina Moulton. Miss Moulton had walked across the country until she arrived in Boise where she settled. None of the women were Elders as women were not allowed to be ordained until 1953.
The congregation worshiped at the Baptist Church until they were able to build and occupy their own church in February 1878. That one room building was located on the present site of the Idanha Hotel. The white brick church soon became too small. The valuable downtown property was sold and a new church was built at 9th and State. This new building was dedicated on May 6, 1894.
Over the years many additions and subtractions have occurred here. Education space, a new sanctuary, a new fellowship hall… all of this makes for a labyrinth-like building that is in fact 3 standalone structures that were finally turned into a single building during the 1990’s.
Our building bears the look of the community that has built it over the years – diverse and meandering (and occasionally more than a bit worn) but united by the love of God for the sake of community worship, fellowship, education, and mission. Through all these changes at our heart is a desire to be a vital presence in the downtown community. Today this is achieved through food pantry and homeless meals, partnering with local community organizations both in mission outside
our walls and also in providing space for them to meet within them, and as holy (set apart) ground for worship, spiritual growth, and service where all are welcomed. This isn’t our space; this isn’t our building. This is place for all God’s people, a reality you will see lived out throughout the week with a constant flow of people headed in all directions.