Our History

1925 The church was organized, meeting in different places and using supply ministers.


1926 Rev. James H. McCormick was the first minister installed. There were 66 Charter members


1928 The church on Bronson Avenue, built in 1924 by Frank Schrader, was rented for $30 per month, starting in October. 


1929 The church was purchased from Frank Schrader, for $19,000.


1931 Rev. Willis McFadden began his pastorate with 91 members. 


1940 More property was acquired on Swinton Avenue for future use.


1941 Dr. James Robinson served as pastor from 1941-1957. Plans to build on Swinton Avenue did not materialize and more property was acquired on Bronson Avenue.


1945 Frank Schrader installed a new doorway, which included a stained glass window.


1957 Rev. Robert Morey assumed the pastorate. The property on Swinton Avenue was sold and funds were used to help build the Christian Education Building.


1962 The Christian Education Building was completed and dedicated.


1964 Rev. Byron Fruit served as Associate Pastor until 1968.


1969 Dr. Seth Morrow was called to serve as pastor. Membership increased rapidly and there was a need of a new Sanctuary. Property was obtained on Gleason Street, which became the site of the current Sanctuary.


1974 The Building Fund for the present church Sanctuary was begun.


1976 Ground was broken for the new Sanctuary. A second fund drive was needed as the building progressed as well as to renovate the old church, which became Fellowship Hall. A kitchen was added and equipped. 


1977 On Easter Sunday, the first worship services were held in the new Sanctuary, which was dedicated in May.


1978 Rev. Paul Wiermen was installed as Associate Pastor, serving through 1979.


1979 The first issue of The Spire, the monthly newsletter was published. Rev. Blanchard Romaine began serving as Pastoral Assistant through 1984.


1982 Stephen and Susan Talley assumed duties as Director of Music and Organist.


1984 Dr. Theodore A. Bush was installed as Senior Pastor, retiring on January 1, 2011. The Session authorized the purchase of a new pipe organ. Dr. Arthur Joice became Pastoral Assistant and served until 1987.


1985 The Memorial Garden was created for members of the congregation.


1986 The new organ was installed and dedicated in April.


1987 Rev. Donald Drummond served as Associate Pastor for one year.


1989 Rev. J. Michael Castronis served as Associate Pastor until 1992.


1990 Robert Greene served as Organist and Director of Music until 1992.


1992 Rev. Joan LeRoy Abell was hired as a Christian Education consultant. In 1993, she became Parish Associate and in September 1994, Associate Pastor, retiring in 2009.


1994 Donald Cannarozzi was appointed Organist and Director of Music.


1996 James Poch was named Associate Director of Music.  Rev. Paul Abell served as Parish Associate until 1999.


1997 Session gave approval to obtain architectural drawings for the restoration of Fellowship Hall and the adjoining Memorial Garden.


1998 Session voted to begin a Capital Campaign Fund drive for the renovation plans as outlined by the Strategic Planning Committee. Phase I involved the restoration of Fellowship Hall and the Courtyard.


1999 In November, Fellowship Hall and the Courtyard area were awarded a listing on the Register of Historical Places in Delray Beach.


2000 Dedication of the restored Fellowship Hall and Courtyard was held on June 25th.


2004 Rev. Linda Harper served as Parish Associate until 2006, returning to serve in the position from 2009 through January 1, 2011. The enchamade trumpet organ pipes, donated by Mrs. Marty Baker, were installed. Elizabeth Howell served as Director of Christian Education for Children until 2006.


2006 Rev. Jo Garnett was hired as Associate Minister for Senior Ministries. In August 2006, she assumed the position of Coordinator of Christian Education for Children through June 2007, resuming the position from October 2012 through December 2013. In May 2013, she became the Associate for Pastoral Care. In December 2013, she also assumed the title of Minister to Children and Families, serving through December 2014.  Rev Garnett retired on December 31, 2016. Rev. Will Mullins served as Associate Minister for young adults and families through December 2007.


2007 Deborah Wilkinson was hired as the part-time Director of Christian Education for Children for a one year period, beginning in June. A new rank of 32' Subbass pipes, donated by Mr. and Mrs. Robert (Barbara) Vanderkay, were installed on the west end of the Chancel.


2008 Rev. Happy Foster-Kinnear was hired as the Youth Leader serving until August 2009. Denise Gomez was hired as part-time Volunteer/Staff Coordinator for Children, serving until October 2010.


2009 The church property and Fellowship Hall were recognized as a State of Florida Historical Point of Interest, with the Historical Marker Dedication held on March 8th. In August, Rev. Aaron Janklow was installed as Associate Pastor, serving through August 2012.


2010 In October, Jennifer Buce was hired as the Children's Ministry Coordinator, serving until October 2012.


2012 The groundbreaking for the new Holly House was held in May and completed on November 8th. On June 15th, Dr. W. Douglas Hood, Jr., began his pastorate as Senior Pastor. 


2013 Rev. Jessi Higginbotham began as Associate Pastor in June, serving through May 2016.


2015 Grace Cameron Hood was hired as Director of Children and Family Ministry, effective January 1st.  Session voted to begin a Capital Campaign.


2016 A Capital Campaign was launched to expand the Sanctuary, renovate the Christian Education Building, demolish five auxiliary buildings, and increase parking.  In September, the Christian Education Building was renamed to the Center for Christian Studies.  Dr. Ben Sorensen was hired as the Director for Youth, College and Young Adult Ministry, serving through July 2017.


2017  The Christian Education Building was renamed the Center for Christian Studies and was dedicated on January 15th with special guest, Dr. Thomas K. Tewell.  On January 16th, Rev. Kernie Kostrub began as the Associate for Pastoral Care.   In May, construction began to renovate the church campus.

     

    First Presbyterian Church of Delray Beach

    33 Gleason Street 

    Delray Beach, Florida  33483

    561-276-6338