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History / The Arts

First Presbyterian Church has called three buildings home during her long history. Pictured below is the second of these; it was our worship home from 1843 to 1872. First Presbyterian Church second building | ©2016 First Presbyterian Church/ Springfield IL

This church building was located at the corner of Third and Washington Streets, facing Washington, and was the First Presbyterian Church that the Abraham Lincoln family knew well. (Sadly, this building was sold and later torn down.) In 1872 First Presbyterian Church purchased the present building from Third Presbyterian Church. 

For a sum unknown, the Lincoln's paid a fee for pew number 20 in the Washington and Third Street church sanctuary. Mrs. Lincoln's attachment to this particular pew is indicated by a letter she wrote to a Springfield friend, Mrs. Samuel Melvin, two months after reaching Washington. Part of this letter is quoted below. 

Quotation MarkI had intended requesting Mr. Melvin to have given me a promise that on our return to S— we would be able to secure our particular pew to which I was very much attached and which we occupied some ten years. May I hope he will be able to do so.

Lincoln Family Pew | ©2016 First Presbyterian Church/ Springfield IL

The pew number is visibly stamped on the left side under the armrest. This pew, pictured at left, was purchased in 1912 and placed in our current building by Mr. John W. Bunn. It holds a cherished place in our oral and written history. Read more about the Lincoln Family and First Church here . . .

First Presbyterian Church’s decision to install memorial windows in the 1890s reflected a growing religious revival and a trend of paying tribute to the ministry of church leaders through colorful windows depicting biblical themes. The first Tiffany Window, Angel of Resurrection was installed in 1895. Six more Tiffany windows followed. Later, other styles of memorial glass were added, all of which share stories of courage and of faith. Read more about First Presbyterian Church's Tiffany Windows here . . .  

The exceptional Brombaugh Opus 35 pipe organ, designed and crafted explicitly for First Presbyterian Church by premier American organ builder John Brombaugh, has attracted national and international attention since its installation in 2000. First Presbyterian Church sponsors numerous organ recitals throughout the year. Those who have performed on the Brombaugh organ include Robert Clark, Roger Sherman, Dana Robinson, and international artists Dame Gillian Weir, Olivier Latry, and Harald Vogel.