Founded in 1852, First Presbyterian Church has deep roots in the Searcy community. As a congregation of worship, inquiry, fellowship and care, we seek to reflect the deep and abiding love of Jesus Christ through our words, lives and deeds.
INTRODUCING PEOPLE TO THE REAL JESUS
First Presbyterian Church is a welcoming congregation with members and friends from every walk of life. All are invited to “come as you are” and share in our worship, learning and service together. Whether you are a lifelong Christian or searching where God is calling you to go in your spiritual life, we welcome you to join us in our journey of faith.
As a congregation of the Presbyterian Church (USA), First Presbyterian is part of the Presbytery of Arkansas (comprised of the northern 2/3 of the state), the Synod of the Sun (Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma) and the global World Alliance of Reformed Churches. As Presbyterians, we are connected to neighbors across the street and around the world.
THE STATED SESSION
The moderator of our session is Pastor Ward Rudolph.
On behalf of the entire family of faith here at First Presbyterian Church I want to welcome you. This is the friendliest congregation I have ever had the blessing of leading. All who worship and share fellowship here will feel the warm glow of God’s love. Our members come from diverse faith backgrounds. All these unique faith experiences help to weave a colorful tapestry of faith and service.
We encourage all worshippers to use their unique gifts and talents to “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.” Some of our members make joyful noise to the Lord by singing in the choir. Others make joyful noise by teaching our children in Sunday school. And others make joyful noise as they tap hammers to repair and build things used here in God’s house. Together these noises work in harmony. We invite you to add to your voice to our faith and service.
Sharing Christ’s love through ministries of compassion is a great part of who we are as a family of faith. We serve our community by gathering and distributing food, clothing, and housewares to all in need at Good Samaritan Ministries.
I invite you to join us this Sunday for worship. Come just as you are.
Pastor Ward Rudolph
Cell Number: 479-466-9975
The word Presbyterian comes from the Greek word presbyteros which means elder. Our church, like other Presbyterian Churches is governed trough the election and ordination of Elders, both men and women, seeking to reflect the diversity within our own church. Therefore, our church is a democratic church where the majority rules, and decisions are based on “the collected wisdom and united voice of the whole Church.”
THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Trustees “have the power to receive, hold, encumber, manage, and transfer real or personal property for the church, to accept and execute deeds of title to such property, and to hold and defend property titles.”
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
At First Presbyterian, mission is a part of our worship and community life in many ways. Through special offerings, disaster relief work and local mission support, the members and friends of First Presbyterian seek to return to our communities. The truest nature of the church is to send out and to proclaim the Good News in both word and action. Our mission efforts seek to do just that; to show the generous and hopeful love of Jesus Christ to the world.
Good Samaritan Center of White County, Inc. opened its doors in February of 1990. The Board of Directors consists of representatives from 9 churches with the goal of 12 with each church providing staffing for one month per year. First Presbyterian volunteers give their time in September. The whole church gets involved by bringing needed items to church every week starting in July. We also ask everyone to bring canned goods, personal care items, and collect good gently used clothing for the center, or help support the center financially. Every year we are blessed to be able to help hundreds of individuals from numerous households during the month of September. Our own Marcia Szabo is Board President.
The Good Samaritan Center is open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 1:00 – 4:00 at 1512 W. Park in Searcy. The phone number is 279-3642.
PDA is the emergency relief arm of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Organized for rapid response as well as long term relief aid, PDA has reached thousands of lives disrupted by natural disasters. First Presbyterian supports PDA through financial gifts and material aid. Every year in response to tornadoes in Arkansas PDA takes action collecting household goods for those who lost homes, and provides funds to aid in clean up and volunteers hours to assist the aid workers. In 2008 the Presbytery of Arkansas established its own Disaster Preparedness Committee.
Snack Packs for Back Packs is a program started by our congregation in order to provide food for some of our community students. We coordinate with a local elementary school in order to send home food and goodies for some students who may otherwise go without. We are currently working with one school, but hope to expand.
Contact Church Office for information on how to donate: (501) 268-2212.
During the year special offerings are collected to support Heifer International, the Presbyterian Women’s Benevolence Fund, PC(USA) mission efforts and programs, Good Samaritan and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. Gifts designated for any of these agencies are welcomed by the church. 100% of any donation given through the church reaches the agency or organization.
GROW IN FREEDOM
At First Presbyterian Church we note the importance of education in our examination of our religion. Because of this importance, we place a high value on the necessity of our educational ministry. We provide Christian Education Classes for our youngest and our oldest, and best of all: All are invited and welcome!
First Presbyterian is committed to providing opportunities for our children to learn and grow in faith and begin an exciting and engaging life of discovery through scripture and the heritage of the Reformed tradition. Children ages 4 through those in 5th grade are invited to be a part of our Children’s fellowship during Sunday School.
We believe that faith formation is a lifelong journey. Middle and high school students are a vital part of the life of the church and its ongoing ministry and strong Christian education for youth is an essential ingredient. In preparation for becoming full members of the congregation, youth participate in Confirmation classes which culminate in the service of Confirmation on Palm Sunday.
We firmly believe what the proverb proclaims, “Teach children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray.” [Proverbs 22:6]. To prove our commitment to our children we have covenanted to meet twice per month for study, service, and fun. We serve by planning and running programs to help our family of faith and our community. We explore ways to make God’s world a better place by supporting and learning from groups like The Heifer Project. We have fun by playing games, making creative projects, and singing as a children’s choir, and performing plays in worship. It takes a village to raise good Christians; therefore, we are making this an inter-generational effort. Please, join us in this effort.
Adults meet in the Fireside room for fellowship and bible study. Using the Present Word curriculum, this class engages scripture through discussion and application in daily life.
Children have the opportunity to participate in worship at First Presbyterian in Searcy. By serving as Acolytes our children begin our worship by bringing in the Christ Candle. All children are accepted as Acolytes and trained at our annual Acolyte Academy.
Occasionally we extend out education to periods outside the typical church hour. Using several different types of books participants engage in active, informative, and spiritually nourishing discussions that interact with a broad set of topics. Past book studies have involved:
- Adam Hamilton’s Not a Silent Night
- Adam Hamilton’s The Journey
- Rena Pederson’s The Lost Apostle: Searching for the Truth about Junia