Prologue (from the 1990 mission statement, revised 12/94) We are a church who believes that God loves all people and wants them to live in the joy and peace of God’s grace. We believe, as proclaimed in the Bible, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God the Creator, the Hope of all who seek Him, the Lord of all who trust Him. Jesus the Christ is alive and through the power of the Holy Spirit can change lives. We know that saying these words is not enough. Active commitment is required if faith is to make a difference in our lives and if the church is to make a difference in our world.
Gettysburg Presbyterian Church believes that God calls us to invite people to faith in Jesus Christ, and equip them to grow as His fully devoted followers. As disciples we:
A Short Gettysburg Presbyterian Church History
The Gettysburg Presbyterian Church began its work in 1740 in a log structure situated on the Belmont Road, three miles west of town, at the present site known as Black’s Graveyard. The first Presbyterian church in the borough of Gettysburg was erected in 1813 at the corner of North Washington and Railroad Streets. The congregation moved to the present location in 1842. The original building consisted only of a sanctuary without the vestibule. During and immediately following the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863, the church, along with many other public buildings in town, was converted into a temporary hospital. Conditions in the town and the improvised hospitals were appalling.
On November 19, 1863, four months after the battle, President Abraham Lincoln came to Gettysburg to take part in the dedication of the National Cemetery. At five o’clock in the afternoon, following the morning ceremonies where he delivered his famous Gettysburg Address, President Lincoln attended a patriotic meeting in this church. He was accompanied by John Burns, a local patriot, and left shortly before the conclusion of the meeting to return to Washington. The seats of President Lincoln and John Burns are marked with a bronze plaque.
Since the time of the Civil War, a considerable number of changes have been made to the church building. The first church school building was added to the rear of the sanctuary in 1879. The present Christian education unit was erected in 1932. All of the pews except the Lincoln pew were replaced. The present church building was erected in 1963 and contains the original rafters and dimensions, and simple decor of the building that was replaced.
On February 1, 1963, President and Mrs. Dwight D. Eisenhower became members of the church. The pew President Eisenhower occupied was so marked with a plaque. The church also has a Historical Hall containing prints of paintings and memorabilia of the late President.
In 1994 a building project was completed that included construction of a new Fellowship Hall/Multipurpose Room, installation of an elevator, renovation of classrooms and creation of a music room.