The mission of the First Presbyterian Church of Philipstown is to act as Godís hands to bring healing to the broken places in our community and world. To do so means that we must be a community of faith that actively seeks nurture from the Spirit, as individuals and collectively as the body of Christ.
God calls the First Presbyterian Church of Philipstown to be disciples of Christ to one another in the church by (1) providing inspiring worship through reflective preaching, music, and arts; (2) developing a strong Christian education program; (3) promoting spiritual growth; (4) providing pastoral care in its broadest sense; and (5) building a sound financial foundation to support the ministry of the church.
God calls the First Presbyterian Church of Philipstown to be disciples of Christ to the community and world, showing compassion and sensitivity by (1) providing outreach programs that meet the changing needs of the community; and (2) better utilizing the resources of the Presbytery, Synod, General Assembly.
In seeking to fulfill its mission, the congregation of the First Presbyterian Church of Philipstown will "…honor our past,…look joyfully to our future; and…embrace what ought to be, instead of clinging to what is." [from the Preface to the History of the First Presbyterian Church of Philipstown: the First One Hundred and Fifty Years 1828-1978, by William F. Wirz, 1978]
The First Presbyterian Church of Philipstown was organized on December 10, 1828. At that time, services of worship were held in the Pattern Room of the West Point Foundry. The Union Church on Market Street was built soon after the organization of the church. For many years, the different religious denominations of the village held their services there.
Shortly after the Civil War, about 1867, the West Point Foundry made available the present property on Academy Street. It had earlier been the site of the Foundry Stables. The present church was built then, after Presbyterians had held services for 40 years in the Union Church on Market Street. They first occupied their new church on November 8, 1868. Records indicate that the Sunday School raised $12.75 to purchase the first 1500 bricks to assist in the building of the church. (Bricks cost $8.50 per thousand, then.) For some time, the church was referred to as "The Chapel on Academy Street". An addition was built next to the chapel in 1888. The Sunday School held their classes in that space for the next 80 years.
The actual transfer of ownership of the land to the Presbyterians appears not to have occurred until 1890, when the Executors' Deed was recorded by Peter Parrott, Governeur Paulding, and James Paulding, who were executors of the last will and testament of Robert P. Parrot.
In 1968, one hundred years after moving to their new church on Academy Street, Presbyterians concluded Phase 1 of a building program, renovating the "chapel" and original "Sunday School" addition. On May 11 & 12, 1968, in conjunction with observing the 140th anniversary of First Presbyterian Church, the new Social Hall was dedicated with office, kitchen, and toilet facilities. Phase 2 of the building program in 1969 allowed completion of a Pastorís Study, underwritten by Gordon and Elizabeth Todd, and the George W. Perkins Memorial Library. Refurbishments and repairs have been made as needed in the years since the major building program was completed.