First Presbyterian Church of New Orleans celebrates 200 years

First Presbyterian Church

First Presbyterian Church buildings (via First Presbyterian Church)

The First Presbyterian Church of New Orleans—second oldest Protestant church in New Orleans—turns 200 this year. The church will celebrate both its own history and the history of the Presbyterian Church in the city with a festive weekend of events on Nov. 10 and 11.

via First Presbyterian Church

Festivities will begin on Saturday, Nov. 10, with a Birthday Bash for all ages at the church, located at 5401 S. Claiborne Ave. Activities will include a scavenger hunt and a bounce house, along with food and beverages hosted in the churchyard. The bash will be held from 2 to 5 p.m.

On Sunday, Nov. 11, the church will hold a Celebration Worship Service in the sanctuary, led by Rev. Dr. William Mackintosh (former minister of the congregation), Rev. Kathy Crighton, and Elder Tracy René Helms-Capasso. The service will be followed by cake and refreshments. Worship begins at 11 a.m.

A Brief History

The church that would become First Presbyterian was launched at a public meeting on February 9, 1818, when a “donation list” was opened to purchase a lot and build a church. That first building was erected by January 1819. In 1938, the church moved to its current location at 5401 S. Claiborne Ave.

According to First Presbyterian, it is the oldest Presbyterian congregation in Louisiana and the oldest reformed congregation in the entire Mississippi Basin. It is also the second oldest protestant church in New Orleans, with Christ Church Episcopal being the oldest non-Roman Catholic church.

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