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Our History

Shelby Presbyterian Church continues to seek God's leadership as we shine a light for God's love in the world.

Our Past and Future

About 165 years ago, an inspired group of believers built a church community for their small town. Today, the congregation of Shelby Presbyterian Church continues to grow the vision and value of that dedicated group of Presbyterians, shining a light for all who seek a meaningful relationship with God.

In 1849 the Presbyterian services were held in the Cleveland County Courthouse. In 1858 our church was organized by the Concord Presbytery and our first building was completed in 1875.

Strategic Plan

Today, Shelby Presbyterian is a vibrant place of faith and worship that continues to transform its members, the community, and the world. By embracing the traditions of our past, we are excited about our future journey as a church, and we will faithfully follow where God leads.

SPC Through the Years

1849 - Presbyterian services held in the Cleveland County Courthouse

1858 - (Sept. 19) Shelby Presbyterian Church organized by Concord Presbytery

1875 - First building completed for $1800

1878 - (April 7) First Sunday School held

1884 - First mid-week prayer meeting

1885 - First Manse purchased on South Washington Street for $325

1893 - Church building enlarged and remodeled 1916 Church building remodeled with stucco exterior

1923 - Boy Scout Troop 1 (now Troop 100) first troop chartered in Cleveland County

1924 - Brick Sunday School building completed

1926 - A.C. Miller Jr. ordained to deaf ministry

1942 - Sunday Bulletins first used; First meeting of Shelby Group of Alcoholics Anonymous

1946 - Girl Scouts meet at Shelby Presbyterian for 44 years (until 1990)

1952 - Sanctuary torn down. Worship services in State Theater until Dec 24, 1953

1953 - (Dec.) Ellis Hall completed. Worship was held in the Fellowship hall until April 11 beginning with the Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion service

1954 - (April 11) First service in new sanctuary

1954 - (Sept 20) First family night supper

1954 - First Thanksgiving breakfast and worship service. Meal hosted by the Men of the Church to honor the Women of the Church

1956 - Sanctuary air-conditioned

1957 - John Knox Presbyterian Church organized

1958 - 100th Anniversary Celebration

1962-63 - Chapel and Sunday School wing completed

1978-79 - Brick Sunday School building torn down and rebuilt

1979 - First Montreat Congregational Retreat; Rainbow Connection Pre-School began

1980 - Life Enrichment Center established

1983 - Handbell Choir begins

1984 - Soup Kitchen (Food Ministry) established

1985 - (Dec.) Winter Night Shelter begins

1986 - 8:45 a.m. Sunday worship services begins; “2 Cents a Meal” offering (later 5 cents) begins

1988 - First Joint Worship - Shelby, Ryburn Memorial, John Knox - plus Shiloh in 2008

1997 - Covenant relationship w/ Monte los Olivos Presbyterian Church in Las Animas, Guatemala

1998 - Annual Officer Retreat Weekend at Montreat Conference Center begins

1999 - New Year’s Eve Service begins amid anxiety about Y2K

2001 - Presbyterian Samaritan Counseling Center established at Shelby Presbyterian Church

2001 - Mission and Renovation (campaign included a tithe for missions funds Habitat House, housing for nurses at Embangweni Hospital in Malawi, and a new roof for the men’s homeless shelter)

2001 - Worship at Cleveland Community College during renovations; Church website established

2005 - Prayer Shawl Ministry begins

2007 - Columbarium dedicated; Children’s Sabbath begins

2008 - Sunday morning Contemporary Service begins and College of Elders established by Session

2008 - Shelby Presbyterian Church becomes a Stephen Ministry Congregation; 150th Anniversary Celebration

2010 - Homebound Communion Teams begin; Oral History DVD; Joint Easter Sunrise Service w/ First Baptist & Central UMC; Stewardship Picnic begins

2010 - Advent Prayer Triads begin

2011 - Town-wide Water Purification System installed at Monte los Olivos in Las Animas, Guatemala

2012 - New Church Logo approved by Session;

2012 - Time Capsule dedicated - to be opened in 2058

2012 - Harrill House renovated

2012 - First Celebrate 90 birthday party

2012 - Lenten Prayer Trios began

2013 - SPC-sponsored mission trip to Malawi

2013 - Back Pack Ministry began

2014  - First Kirkin' o' the Tartan service held

2014  - Youth mission trip to Dominican Republic 

2014 - Children's Hand Chime Choir began

2015 - Girl Scout Troop 20032 began (first since 1990)

2016 - Online pictorial church directory established

2017 - Youth mission trip to Guatemala including an overnight visit and worship with our sister church in Las Animas, Monte Los Olivos

2017 - T-Coil Hearing Loop system installed. 

2017 - SPC Instagram account established 

2018 - Sanctuary organ renovated and digitized

2019 - SPC-sponsored tourist trip to the Holy Land in Israel

2019 - Steinway Grand Piano Model O built in 1907 purchased for the sanctuary 

2020 - First recorded sermons posted to YouTube channel and Facebook page during Covid-19 shutdown

2020 - Outdoor worship held at the Bobby Bell Pavilion during Covid-19 shutdown 

2021 - First live worship service streamed from the sanctuary

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