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Church History

Beginnings . . .

Carteret County's written history dates back to 1525 when the barrier islands located between Ocracoke Inlet and Bogue Inlet were described as "lush, where supplies of water, fresh meat, fish and wood could be found." Carteret was home to the Hatteras, the Core and the Neuse Indian tribes.

During the 1700s, small fishing villages and settlements grew throughout the county. Areas developed around such plantations as Shepards Point, later to be known as Morehead City.

The 1800s were a time of growth and prosperity and Morehead City, laid out in 1857, really began to develop. It is the largest municipality in the county.

Significant Dates in the Life of First Presbyterian Church

    Little White Church
  • 1926 - Wilmington Presbytery purchased the Primitive Baptist Church, a little frame house on the corner of 24th and Arendell Streets for a Presbyterian Chapel. Sunday School was held weekly. Mr. J. R. Phillips came from Pollocksville once a month to lead worship and preach.

  • 1929 May 5 - First Presbyterian Church was organized with 13 petitioners and 41 charter members.

  • 1931 The congregation approved changing the name of the church to George Webb Memorial Church.

  • 1933 "Women of the Church" was organized.

  • 1949 "Men of the Church" was organized. The present church property was purchased.

  • 1954 The church's name was changed back to First Presbyterian Church. Havelock Presbyterian Church was begun by this congregation.

  • 1955 Ground was broken for Phase I of the new church building.

  • 1956 July 15 - The original sanctuary (now the administrative wing) was consecrated.1956 - First Sanctuary in Current Building Church School continued to meet in the old "Leary House."

  • 1961 June - Final payment made on Phase I. Plans for building Phase II, the Christian Education Wing, began.

  • 1963 September 5 - The Christian Education Wing was occupied.

  • 1963 - Christian Education Wing
  • 1973 The new organ donated in honor of Anne Neal Joslyn. Radio broadcasts began.

  • 1975 Phase II was debt retired.

  • 1976 The Meals-on-Wheels Program began.

  • 1978 Participation in Student-In-Ministry (SIM) Program of Union Theological Seminary began. The church adopted two Sunday morning services.

  • 1979 May 5-6 - The 50th Anniversary was observed. Lot on the corner of 16th and Bridges Streets was purchased.

  • 1980 The church joined with three other churches to sponsor Ekklesia, a retirement community. Planning began for a new Phase III sanctuary.

  • 1981 - Construction of New Santuary
  • 1981 November 1 - Ground breaking for new sanctuary began.

  • 1982 December 12 - First service held in new sanctuary.

  • 1983 January 16 - New sanctuary dedicated. Original sanctuary converted to use as a fellowship hall. Ekklesia completed in June. SIM program discontinued and an Associate Pastor position established.

  • 1984 Pipe organ contract awarded.

  • 1986 March 2 - Pipe organ dedicated.

  • 1987 August - Preschool program established.

  • 1988 September 1 - "Women of the Church" became "Presbyterian Women." In October Grace New Church Development in Beaufort held first service.

  • 1989 Carteret County Habitat for Humanity began with Rene' Minshew as its first president. Children's Church established.

  • 1990 Stephen Ministry began. Library refurbished and dedicated as Ollie Stang Memorial. June 10 - Rev. Joel Cherry installed as Associate Minister for Grace New Church Development.

  • 1991 Memorial Columbarium constructed. May 19 - First Stephen Ministry class commissioned.

  • 1996 November - Sanctuary Choir attended AdventFest in Vienna.

  • 1997 The church joined in starting Carteret Christian Ministry.

  • 1998 March - "Marino Property", 1600 Arendell Street, purchased to complete owning entire block.

  • 1999 - 70th Anniversary observed. Church website initiated. First church partnership with Habitat for Humanity dedicated.

  • 2003 - Westminster Hall
  • 2000 - Construction of Westminister hall approved by the session, Capital Campaign initiated. Presbyterian Women establish 'Little Folks Attic.'

  • 2001 - J.C. Harvell appointed minister of Pastoral Care. Earth Care Alliance Group established. Dec.2 groundbreaking for new fellowship hall, later to be named Westminster Hall.

  • 2002 - First Presbyterian Church becomes involved in Presbyterian Coffee Project.

  • 2003 - Feb 9 dedication of Westminster Hall. Construction of final phase of church renovation approved.

  • 2004 - Completion of new office complex and youth room. 75th Anniversary observed. Session established position of Associate Pastor.

2010 - First Presbyterian Church
Register of Ministers
Timothy J. Havlicek
thavlicek@firstpresmhc.org
Jan. 1998 - Present
M. René Minshew Jan. 1986 - Oct. 1995
Arthur Ross III June 1975 - June 1984
James McKinnon Sept. 1970 - Nov. 1974
Charles Kirby Jan. 1959 - Feb. 1970
Albert Harris, Jr Feb. 1955 - Aug. 1958
Priestly Conyers July 1949 - Dec. 1954
J. V. Axtell May 1945 - Aug. 1948
Kenneth Seawright April 1938 - March 1944
B. Frank Hall May 1933 - Dec.1937
Frank Johnson June 1929 - Feb.1933


Interim Minsiters
Neil H. Bain Dec. 1997
Harold E. Hyde, Jr Dec. 1996 - Nov. 1997
Francis M. Womack, Jr Nov. 1995 - Nov. 1996
Ollie Stang May 1985 - Dec. 1985
Vance Barron Sept. 1984 - April 1985


Associate Ministers
Bart Edwards
200 - 2012
Pamela Eliason Jan. 1993 - March 1995
Joel Cherry April 1990 - July 1991
Ron Leigh Jan. 1987 - March 1989


Interim Associate Ministers
Lois Lehman Sept. 1992 - Jan. 1993


Parish Associate
Peter R. Hale May 2004 - Present