We are evolving: We are a former big church learning how to be a small church.
We welcome all: No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome in our church. We will strive to love you, as God does, just the way you are.
We are mission focused: We support our community through efforts such as providing clothing, school supplies, and library volunteers to a local school, supporting Love INC, First Sunday Foods, the Jackson Interfaith Shelter, the Community Action Agency, and more.
We share our space with the community: We have ten recovery groups that meet regularly in the building, we host the largest Red Cross Blood drives in Jackson, and we are a city election site.
We care for one another: We provide meals, transportation, and visitation to members in need.
We love music: Our adult choir, handbell choir, music activities for children, and regular visiting musicians are a priority to us.
Discovering our true selves through loving and serving God, our brothers and sisters.
Using all our resources - facilities, finances, gifts and talents, and partnerships -
We intentionally serve one another and our community.
We create intergenerational opportunities
reflecting our values,
encouraging worship and spiritual growth, and
cultivating genuine relationships.
JFPC is guided by the words of the prophet Jeremiah: "...to seek the welfare of the city…and pray to the Lord on its behalf" (Jeremiah 29:7) as we live out our vision through the actions of our church community.
What We Believe
What do you believe at Jackson First Presbyterian?
We are a Christian church holding to the great traditions of the faith.
What if I am not sure what I believe – am I welcome?
Yes. Jesus said ‘come.’ So do we. People come seeking to have a deeper, more meaningful relationship with God.
Does that mean that you have differences of opinion?
Yes. We believe that people of good will can and do disagree on things. St. Augustine once said, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, freedom; in all things, love.”
What are the essentials?
To love God and one another and to follow the teachings and example of Jesus.
What about Jesus being our personal Lord and Savior – do you also believe that?
Yes, but because it is personal it will be expressed and experienced by each of us in unique ways. Again, one size does not fit all because God made each to be different. We value and treasure that each one of us is on a journey. Jesus is ‘the way’ – we are seeking to find that way.
What is a Presbyterian?
The word Presbyterian means ‘elder’ – we use democratic principles to elect elders who make decisions for the church based upon their own personal conscience after praying and reading Scripture. We are a Christian church formed around the principles of a representative democracy.
How are you different from other churches?
Recently we celebrated the 500th birthday of John Calvin. Calvin had a unique understanding of the church – he believed there should be checks and balances (not a hierarchy), that each person was a priest/minister, and that salvation was a gift from God (not something we earn). His followers called themselves ‘reformers’ or ‘protestants’. Today more than 70 denominations around the world, including Presbyterians, apply these principles.
If I attend Jackson First Presbyterian, what should I expect?
Expect to be challenged. We are not here to play nice or to be a social group. We gather because Christ has called us to gather and to become his disciples. We gather to grow as Christians and human beings. We gather to receive spiritual nourishment so that we go out as Christ's 21st Century disciples.
It’s not our job to save you.
We couldn’t even if we wanted.
What we can do is tell you the good news of the gospel – 2,000 years ago
Jesus died on a cross for the salvation of the world.
He saves, not us.
We worship him – more importantly, we try to follow him.
The First Presbyterian Church of Jackson was fully organized on December 18, 1883. The original 44 members wanted to worship in a church of their traditional denomination.
Jackson was a thriving railroad and manufacturing center and most of the new members were railroad employees or small businessmen. The church grew rapidly and the building at the corner of Cortland and Blackstone (seen at left), built in 1886, became inadequate and a new church was erected on the same site in 1924. God's blessings were evident as the congregation grew and flourished doing God's work.
By 1958 the congregation needed a larger building which was constructed at 743 W. Michigan Avenue. Again, the congregation looked to the future to erect a structure with adequate space for future needs and growth. This church houses a sanctuary, chapel, classrooms, fellowship hall, choir room, offices and a kitchen.
A preschool with an outside playground meets five days a week. In the summer, Church-in-the-Park provides members and the community an opportunity to worship in the beauty of nature. The many activities of this church provide spiritual development, worship, and activities for all ages and interests. We are working to fulfill our mission of "Serving God, Serving Others!".