First Presbyterian Church
​of Beatrice

 First Presbyterian Church of Beatrice was organized March 17, 1869 with five charter members, Mrs. Sara Ann Blodgett, Mrs. Mary Griggs, Miss Anna Griggs, and Mr. and Mrs. Robert H. Weeden.
We are most grateful today for the vision of those early pioneers.  Our heritage is a result of their continued efforts.
In 1867 the Rev. Benjamin F. McNeil was sent to Beatrice by the Board of Home Missions of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. in response to an appeal by Mr. Reuben Blodgett who saw the need for religious work in Beatrice.
The Church was organized under the direction of the Missouri River Presbytery.  The first meetings were held in a school house south of the present Junior High School.  After many trying experiences, the Rev. McNeil and the trustees purchased some lots on the outer edge of town, the location we all know so well as Fifth and High.
Aid was solicited from the East and at home, and the Board of Home Missions gave $1,600, a large sum then, toward the erection of a church building.
This building was erected in 1871, but only the basement could be used because of the lack of money.  In 1879 it was completed.

Presbyterian 101

A general guide to facts about the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Presbyterians trace their history to the 16th century and the Protestant Reformation. Our heritage, and much of what we believe, began with the French lawyer John Calvin (1509-1564), whose writings crystallized much of the Reformed thinking that came before him.

Calvin did much of his writing from Geneva, Switzerland. From there, the Reformed movement spread to other parts of Europe and the British Isles. Many of the early Presbyterians in America came from England, Scotland and Ireland. The first American Presbytery was organized at Philadelphia in 1706. The first General Assembly was held in the same city in 1789. The first Assembly was convened by the Rev. John Witherspoon, the only minister to sign the Declaration of Independence.
Presbyterian theological beliefs...
Some of the principles articulated by John Calvin remain at the core of Presbyterian beliefs. Among these are the sovereignty of God, the authority of the scripture, justification by grace through faith and the priesthood of all believers. What they mean is that God is the supreme authority throughout the universe. Our knowledge of God and God's purpose for humanity comes from the Bible, particularly what is revealed in the New Testament through the life of Jesus Christ. Our salvation (justification) through Jesus is God's generous gift to us and not the result of our own accomplishments. It is everyone's job — ministers and lay people alike — to share this Good News with the whole world. That is also why the Presbyterian church is governed at all levels by a combination of clergy and laity, men and women alike.
What is distinctive about Presbyterian Church?
Presbyterians are distinctive in two major ways: they adhere to a pattern of religious thought known as Reformed theology and a form of government that stresses the active, representational leadership of both ministers and church members.