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What We Believe


Explore Our Church


Who Are We

Nearly as old as Portsmouth itself, First Presbyterian Church has been serving God and the community for over 200 years. Beginning with a few dedicated Presbyterians meeting informally in each others' homes from the time of the platting of Portsmouth in 1803, the group shared the first courthouse built in 1816 on Front and Market streets with early Methodists and Episcopalians for preaching services.

From hiding runaway enslaved persons on the Underground Railroad to cleaning up  after the floods to providing leadership in church and community and caring for those in need — the stories, known and unknown, of the numerous members, friends, pastors, elders, deacons, choir members, missionaries and Sunday School teachers, who have called First Presbyterian their church home echo from the past, urging us to uphold their legacy of Christian faith in our time. We are a diverse group of believers - bankers, musicians, lawyers,  teachers, social workers, public servants, and business owners - all united by our shared faith with our loving God. 

What to Expect

What are the services like?
Our heart at First Presbyterian is to reach people and build community. Our worship service is thus planned around connecting people to God and to each other. We pray, we sing, we confess our sins together and we hear God’s Word (and how to apply it today). We celebrate Holy Communion on a monthly basis. Our services are normally under 60 minutes.

What kind of music can I expect? 
Our worship services contain music from traditional hymns to contemporary songs and from various other styles as well.  We hope that you will find that you can worship God in Spirit and in Truth with us. 

How should I dress? 
Comfortably!  We are more concerned with meeting you than with what you wear. Most folks dress casually, so please come as you are.

What about my children? 
We provide childcare with Bible teaching during our worship services for our preschoolers.  We provide a time for Young Disciples in the service.

What is our sanctuary like?

The sanctuary is located on the second floor to avoid flooding. We have a chair lift accessible for those who do not wish to use the stairs or have special needs. Parking is available in front of the church making access easy. Parking is also available on the 3rd Street side of the church as well as a parking lot. 

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