Mission at First Presbyterian: A History of Service

First Presbyterian Church was founded as a mission of the Presbyterian Church on June 21, 1869. The first recorded mission activity was in 1875, when the church reached out to the local Chinese community, starting an evening worship service and a Sunday School. She helped organize El Montecito Presbyterian Church in 1887. A women’s missionary society was formed during World War I, and aid was sent overseas. In the 1920’s the church was supporting four overseas missionaries. In 1958 she joined with other churches to establish a university ministry board at UCSB. In 1959 and 1960 she helped the expansion of Presbyterians  in our area, releasing members to the new St. Andrews and Goleta Presbyterian churches. In 1970 the “Fish Class” was formed, ministering to disabled individuals in its weekly gatherings. With a handful of other churches, First Pres founded Transition House in 1984. Serving lunches every Friday at Community Kitchen began in the 1990’s. The annual Santa Barbara Mission Conference began at First Pres in 2003. Participation in the Safe Parking Program began in 2010. The church joined Santa Barbara’s Unitarian Society in the launch of Freedom Warming Centers in 2011. A mission trip to Thailand in 2013 led to a sister-sister partnership with First Church Chiang Mai. Ethiopian Christians living in Santa Barbara needed a place to worship, so First Presbyterian began hosting them in 2014. She joined the meal sharing ministry at Alameda Park in 2015, partnering with Oceanhills Covenant Church.



First Pres organized El Montecito Pres

WWI 1914 a women’s missionary society (Presb Women)


First Pres is supporting four overseas missionaries


First Pres joined with other churches to found a university ministry board at UCSB


First Pres organized two new congregations: St. Andrews and Goleta


Fish Class (disabilities)


We joined with a handful of other churches to found Transition House.


We began serving lunches at Community Kitchen, a shelter of Milpas St.


SBMC founded


Safe Parking


Warming Center: we join the Unitarian Society.


Alameda Park meal sharing


Chiang Mai sister congregation


Hosting Ethiopian congregation