The First Presbyterian Church, Glendale, held its first session meeting on the evening of 29 November, 1855. The meeting was held to organize a Presbyterian congregation in Glendale. The meeting was held in the chapel of the Glendale Female College. There were a total of nineteen men and women from Ohio and Indiana in attendance.
The Reverends John Covert and Thomas Spencer of the Presbytery of Hamilton County (New School) were the moderators. The persons in attendance all presented letters of dismissal from their churches and became the first members of the First Presbyterian Church, Glendale.
At this time, it was agreed that since the First Presbyterian Church, Glendale, had been received under the Presbytery of Hamilton County, and the members represented both Old and New School Presbyterians, at least for the present time, the church would be designated an independent Presbyterian Church.
This group of dedicated Christians chose two men from the five elders present: J. J. Packer and Henry Bishoprich to be the first ruling elders. Mr. Packer accepted being an elder of the new church and Mr. Bishoprich declined.
The original handwritten minutes as taken by J. J. Packer, and their transcription, can be viewed below.
The second session meeting was held in the same chapel of the Glendale Female College on 14 June 1856. J. J. Packer, the ruling elder elected at the first meeting, and the Rev. J. Spencer, as session moderator, opened the meeting with prayer. Ten new attendees were present and were received into the communion of the church. Subsequent to that time, on 6 April 1858, a motion by Dr. Scott, First Presbyterian Church, Glendale, was received and the delegate, John Keys, admitted to his seat in the Presbytery (Old School) session at the Fourth Church of Cincinnati. Of note, the Glendale Female College (1854 -1929) was located where today is 1045 Laurel Avenue. The First Presbyterian Church, Glendale, continued to meet in the chapel of Glendale Female College until 1860 when, what is referred to by today’s church members as the Church House was built. This chapel building sets further back from the street on the north side of the sanctuary.
The first sanctuary, now functioning as a venue for coffee hour and fellowship dinners, was built in 1860. The current sanctuary was dedicated in 1873. Its architect was James Wilson. The interior of the sanctuary experienced a significant redesign in the years following World War II. Most recently, a major sanctuary and window renovation project was completed in 2019.
The manse, where the minister and his family live, located next door to the church, was built in 1891. The word manse is derived from the Latin mansus meaning dwelling. The structure was substantially remodeled and renovated in 1933.
While First Presbyterian has a substantial and proud history, we anticipate a bright future by God’s grace as we advance the good news of God’s saving love in Jesus Christ in word and deed.