From our beginnings as Rockwall Cumberland Presbyterian Church in 1854, we have been a constant and faithful presence in the Rockwall community.
History of First Presbyterian Church of Rockwall
First Presbyterian Church (originally Rockwall Cumberland Presbyterian Church) was founded the same year as Rockwall, 1854. The Rev. John Vance and a group of 21 Cumberland Presbyterians started out meeting in whatever buildings were available, including the town’s first schoolhouse.
In 1873, members voted to raise funds to build a church. Construction was slow starting, however, and 12 years later they were still searching for a suitable site. Finally, in 1888, they built the first church at Munson and Fannin Streets - a small, white frame building which was destroyed by a severe storm 2 months later. They immediately rebuilt it and the new church served for the next 40 years.
In 1906 the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. unified, so our church was renamed The First Presbyterian Church U.S.A. The parishioners bought a downtown lot in 1925, but construction of a new church was delayed for several years. Finally, in 1929, congregation moved their church bell to a new, brick “church on the square.” In 1930 they built a manse, but sold it a year later. That building became the childhood home of long-time U.S. Congressman Ralph Hall.
By 1974, church membership had increased to over 100 members. Later that year, the church was badly damaged when a truck hit it, so members approved the purchase of 3 acres of land on White Hills Drive and planned for a new building. In 1976, Dr. Robert Reeves III became the pastor and served this church for over 30 years, including the transition to our current church building in 1980. He played a big role in beginning Rockwall’s charitable service, known as “Helping Hands”.
Today, First Presbyterian Church is a thriving, Spirit-filled congregation of more than 150 members, with active programs for children, youth and adults, as well as mission projects that reach from Rockwall to span the globe. Our members are dedicated to being a church where all people can feel the love of God, and all people are provided with opportunities to be the love of God for others.