New Church... New Life · Our 150 Year Journey
“The First Presbyterian Church of Red Wing is a congregation that seeks to grow in the love of Jesus Christ and to share that love with the community and the world.”
The journey of First Presbyterian church began June 17, 1849, when Joseph Hancock, his wife, Maria, and daughter, Marilla, arrived in Red Wing, Minnesota, after traveling five weeks by train, boat, horse and wagon, and steamboat from the East. Hancock was sent by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions to serve as a teacher for the native people of the area.
Hancock and his family were the first permanent inhabitants of European descent in this area. When Indian treaties opened this area to settlement, Hancock found his focus beginning to change. He attained his theology credentials and also became instrumental in establishing the town of Red Wing on the Mississippi River.
From Log Cabin To New Church
On January 13, 1855, the First Presbyterian Church of Red Wing was chartered with seven members. Pastor Hancock's congregation met in the mission house, a carpenter's shop, a summer shanty, and a one-room schoolhouse. In 1857, the congregation erected the first church building at a cost of $5,000. The structure was 38' x 66' with a bell tower and 60 pews to seat 300 people. Over the years, 23 pastors have served our members.
Many renovations helped First Presbyterian keep up with the times. But on May 24, 2002, an electrical fire consumed the building which had housed our congregation for 145 years. Drawing courage and inspiration from those who had gone before us, and finding strength in the grace of God, the membership planned and rebuilt a modern facility. It was occupied May 23, 2004, almost two years to the day from the destruction of the old church. A 23-rank Cassavant pipe organ was installed in the sanctuary and dedicated on May 22, 2005.
A Vision for the Congregation
First Presbyterian Church of Red Wing, Minnesota, will be captured by a vision of knowing, living, and sharing the love of God. We will join Jesus Christ in his ministry of compassion and care for all people. We will be energized by the Holy Spirit to discover, discern, and do ministry as God's people. We will affirm God's gift of unconditional love by responding faithfully to the invitation to corporate worship, to faith development opportunities, to generous sharing of our resources, and to reaching out to the community and world with God's love.