History

History

For more than 130 years, First Presbyterian Church of Lakeland has been striving to make and mature disciples of Jesus Christ in this community.

First_ChurchsmallFPC was formally organized in the community schoolhouse on March 7, 1885. The organizing pastor was Rev. Caleb Jones. Two months later, the congregation built its first sanctuary—the first church building in Lakeland—on south Tennessee Avenue between Main and Lemon streets.

By 1919, the Church had outgrown its building and a new brick building was built on South Massachusetts Avenue. Overcoming a fire and internal strife, the church soon outgrew its new home and in 1955 built a new building just to the south of the old one.

As membership grew, space and parking became scarce, so the congregation built its current sanctuary on the eastern shore of Lake Hollingsworth. The first service in the current location was held on Christmas Eve, 1978.

If you are interested in learning more about FPC’s history, a commemorative 125th Anniversary book was researched and written by two long-time FPC members. The book is available in the church office, as well as the Lakeland Public Library’s Historic Lakeland collection.steeple2