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 wwap1000687_1_250In 2008, we celebrated our centennial, 100 years in the service of our Lord. The history and spirit of our church is probably best described by Rev. Ed Loew (Pastor Emeritus, who pastored the church for 35 years, from 1965-2000) in the preface to the book published for our centennial. Ed wrote:

First Presbyterian Church of Globe was incorporated in the Territory of Arizona. It had been organized by the Presbytery of Southern Arizona, Synod of New Mexico on May 24, 1908 (our birthday), four years prior
to statehood. Globe itself was a young city, celebrating its centennial only a year ahead of the church. The history of the church, found in the Session records attests to her life and spirit of determination which brought her safely through the perils of the Great Depression, two world wars, and the flu epidemic of 1918. In some respects the church tide rose, and fell, in concert with the copper industry. Yet we were always amazed in the era of triennial labor strikes how little effect we saw either in the finances or the membership of the church.

The perception was that our ministry was essentially to the larger community and while the mines were an important part of life, the congregation, to use an old but common expression, did not wear a copper collar.

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The mission of every Christian church is to glorify God, honor Christ, and serve her neighbors and community to that end. The early years and post World War II were times of strong growth. The depression era was a time of great leader- ship by the lay people and elders. The last third of the century, having paid back all the grants, interest free mortgages, and other obligations, First Church committed a sizeable percentage of income to local, Synod and world missions with special emphasis on new church development in the Presbytery,reflecting gratitude for the assistance received in her early years.

Because of the mix of business people, ranchers, craftsmen, laborers, and mine executives, the church from its earliest days was a source of leadership in the community. Members held offices in the lodges, fraternal organizations as well as serving the political entities of City Council, Gila County Board of Super-visors and the Globe and Miami School Boards. As a congregation the church spearheaded many community programs like preschool (Globe Nursery School), ecumenical relations (Gila County Ministerial Association), an aged ministry (Ministry to the Aged and FISH), and the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity. Its hospitality was expressed in offering the use of facilities to various community groups: Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Campfire Girls and Boys, Globe Women’s Club (after their Old Dominion Library building was destroyed by fire), Homemakers, Community Concert Association, American Field Service, Up With People; a rather endless list.
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Some of the programs moved on over time. Some were replaced by government funded programs (Head Start and MTA), or outgrew the means of a single congregation. However, the congregation has always found new challenges and opportunities to express the love and concern of God for the wider community in which He planted His church. The Reform tradition which began in Geneva, Switzerland and started the concept of public education as part of its ministry to the community (if the people could not read, they would be unable to read the scriptures), has been well reflected in the life of First Presbyterian Church of Globe. For a hundred years the church has generously used its resources (be it buildings, finances, or members) to do mission beyond its four walls. At the same time it has sought to be the family of faith for God`s people in the church and witness of Christ`s love for all people. Worship and nurture are the hallmarks of her life.
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We are inheritors of a proud Presbyterian/Reform faith. We have been supplied resources collected over the past hundred years. We have been shown what a small but willing and determined group can contribute to a community and its ministry among believers. We have enjoyed a legacy of faith and service. We are now faced with the task of passing to the next generation the best of what we have so that they too may contribute to God`s kingdom, not only to enjoy the blessing but to be a blessing in the place where God has planted us. The best way to thank God for what has been is to be faithful to His vision of what shall be. The work of Christ`s kingdom in Globe is not done, and neither is ours.

 

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