About the First Presbyterian Church of Liberal
The First Presbyterian Church has a long history in the little town of Liberal, KS!
The first church was organized in July 1888 - the same year that Liberal was incorporated as a town! It all started when seven Presbyterian citizens organized the first church in a local store building on what is now Third Street, between Kansas and Lincoln Avenue.
It wasn't long before they built a frame building (pictured above) at what is now the home of the County Court House and Jail at Fifth and Pennsylvania Street. The new frame building was built in 1889 and moved later that same year, to the new location of Fourth and Lincoln Street. During the early years as new churches were established, the other churches were also able to hold their services of worship in the First Presbyterian Church building.
By 1915, First Presbyterian Church had an active Sunday School, two youth groups, and two women's circles. Church was booming! We have documents and records from this time period and along with the pristine, careful handwriting, the documents also give a glimpse into life in 1915.
In 1927 the frame building at Fourth and Lincoln was replaced by a new brick building. (Pictured above.)
In 1938, the church celebrated its 50th anniversary!
Unfortunately, in May of 1965 a fire destroyed the church building located at Fourth and Lincoln. The fire damaged building was set for demolition. (Pictured below.)
In July 1965, plans were begun for a new building at a new location on North Western Avenue, which was in the middle of a wheat field at that time. It's hard to imagine because now the church isn't framed by wheat, but by businesses and blocks upon blocks of residential houses! Below is a picture of the groundbreaking ceremony.
By July 8, 1966 the congregation was able to move into their new church, located at 1551 N. Western Avenue. The photo below looks a little odd compared to what we know today - there aren't any buildings nearby and there's no sanctuary yet!
In 1978, a new sanctuary was added to the building. Below are pictures of the sanctuary in the process of being built. This sanctuary is still in use today!
In July 1988, the church celebrated its 100th anniversary!
In July 2013, the church celebrated its 125th anniversary!
In August 2013 the First Presbyterian Church Child Care Center & Preschool opened to serve our community when it was left without a child care center. A playground was added next to the building, which is pictured below.
127 years later and we're still going strong!