Our Vision

To be a community that wholeheartedly loves, serves and shares Jesus Christ with each other and the world.

Our Core Values

We are committed to sharing the unchanging Gospel in fresh and up-to-date ways to an ever-changing culture.

We are convinced that change happens in the heart of an individual as a result of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

We believe in the centrality of the Bible in our daily life.

We believe that worship is an integral part of the Christian life.

We joyfully fulfill Christ’s call to share the Gospel message to a hurting world in need of God.

We believe that prayer is the essential ingredient in shaping personal and communal relationships with God.

Mission (local and international) as commanded by Jesus is an integral part of our purpose as a church.

Spiritual Development
We are committed to helping people develop their faith at all stages in life.

We strongly believe that our Christian faith is best shared and nurtured in community.

Worship Life

First Presbyterian Church is a member congregation of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. First Presbyterian has existed for 188 years, and our ministry staff has stepped into a long tradition of witnessing for Christ in our community. Yet…times change. These new times provide us with a great opportunity to do things in new ways to reach people for Jesus Christ. The message of salvation never changes, but the way we communicate it has to make sense to people in our society today.

Our atmosphere on Sundays is relaxed, and dress is casual. If you like to dress up for church, great! If you don’t, also great! We’re glad to share our worship service with you.

Our worship style is a blend of the traditional and the contemporary. Adam Shaw, our Music Director and organist, leads a talented team of singers and musicians who are members of the Choir and Praise Team. We praise God with hymns, and with contemporary worship music.

Our style is to preach a down-to-earth manner on Biblical topics, and they way they challenge and impact our daily life. At FPC we believe that Jesus Matters, and that he changes the world one person at a time.

Christian Education

Spiritual growth and maturity are the goals for young and old at FPC. Jesus transforms the lives of his followers, so we believe we can never stand still when it comes to learning to walk with Jesus and sharing his love with others. Minister, seminary professor and author Terry Wardle observes: “Too many Christians are over-informed, yet are under-transformed.” With that in mind, our aim is to promote the transformation that Jesus brings about in the lives of his followers.

At the moment, FPC is working on rebuilding its Sunday School following three years in which we practice fairly strict Covid precautions.  Most of our interactions with our church youth have been online, or with visits at home.  Now that we’ve set aside our Covid restrictions, we are able to have Sunday School in the church building.  Should you come to FPC, your child will be lovingly looked after, and will be taught about the love and grace of Jesus Christ.  Our Sunday School is based on the family ministry models developed by churches which recognize the importance of taking into account the cultural and family reality in our society today. Jesus still matters no matter what the century, but the way we teach our students changes to meet the challenges of life today.

As mentioned above, learning takes place at all ages, and thus, Bible studies run continuously throughout the year. Our motto in Christian Education for young and old is simple: Application, not just information! Bible Studies include:

Men’s Bible Study. We meet on Tuesday mornings, starting at 9:30 a.m. for coffee and fellowship, then a study from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.

A Zoom Bible study runs on Wednesday evenings 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. Everyone is welcome – come and enjoy an in-depth look at specific books in the Bible, and how their message applies to us today.  Should you wish to join this group, please call the office at 519-352-2313 to give us your email address so that we can send you the weekly link to the study.

Pastoral Care is one of the important ministries in any church. Jesus teaches us to love one another, and so we firmly believe that one of the greatest benefits of being part of a Christian community is the love and care we give to one another.

Our Pastoral Care Team is made up of members of our congregation whose gifts of mercy enable them to care for people in need of support. This growing team is responsible for helping our minister with hospital visitation and follow-up, as well as visiting our shut-ins in their homes and nursing homes, and providing more long-term pastoral care to members of our congregation.

Pastoral concerns can be phoned into the office (352-2313) and the pastoral team will be contacted immediately.

First Church engages in many ministries on a regular basis. If you have a heart for mission, there is certainly a place at FPC to use your God-given gifts. Please refer to the links on our home page to see more information on the different areas we minister in at the congregational and denominational level.

Finished in 1893, First Presbyterian Church is a stately brick structure located in the heart of downtown Chatham. Its stained glass windows and impressive architecture add to the beauty of the downtown core. First Presbyterian Church is one of the oldest buildings in the city.

The large sanctuary is an impressive place of worship. Beautiful stained glass windows, solid oak pews, and three balconies enhance the worshipful quality of the sanctuary. The acoustics in the sanctuary are first rate, and the sound of organ, instruments and voices carries clearly.

Behind the main sanctuary is the Christian Education area, which includes classrooms, recreation/meeting area, office, lounges and choir room. The Christian Education area includes the renovated “Children’s Garden” where our grades JK to 5 meet.

The lower hall holds 150-200 people and is used frequently for anniversary dinners, The Breakfast Club Sunday breakfasts, pancake suppers as well as our weekly free Saturday Breakfast. Also located in the lower hall is the nursery and the Toddler’s Room.

In preparation for our 100-Year Anniversary, a major restoration project was undertaken. This project included replacing the original slate roof with new slate, copper eaves, exterior paint window repair and pigeon control.

In 1998, the congregation gave its approval for the installation of an elevator, upgrading of washrooms, parking lot, doors, addition of ramps and other work necessary to make the church fully accessible.

In 2005 work began to repair the brick exterior of the building which had suffered the ravages of over 100 years of weather and an extensive and very loyal pigeon population! This renovation project is not merely a facelift; it is undertaken with the understanding that we are not just maintaining our building, but are equally committed to rethinking how we do church today and in the future.

In 2009 we undertook a major project to redesign the front of the sanctuary. The pulpit and choir loft were replaced with a semicircular hardwood platform. A new sound system and audiovisual screens completed the project. In 2013, more audiovisual equipment was installed, including a video camera which can send a live feed to the screens. The final result of all this work is a sanctuary that is both aesthetically beautiful and user friendly. Now Mike can preach closer to the congregation, and the Choir and Praise Bands have ample room to praise God in song. As well, our up-to-date audiovisual capability allows us to use a variety of media during our worship services.

Opportunities to Serve

  • Sunday Worship Service (10:30 a.m.)
  • Coffee Hour Fellowship after the service
  • Choir and Praise Team
  • Soundboard/audiovisual
  • Livestreaming
  • Christian Education:
    • Nursery
    • Toddlers
    • Sunday School
    • Bible Studies
  • Saturday Outreach Breakfast
  • Pastoral Care Team
  • Mission Team
  • Backyard Mission Project (Runs 2 days in summer)
  • NeighbourLink
  • Property and Finance
  • Ushers/Greeters
  • HR Team
  • Prayer Force
  • Transportation Team
  • Eldership (Requires formal membership at FPC)