First Presbyterian Church of Stanley is a Christ-centered, grace-based, gospel-driven congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).
We welcome you to join us as we pursue:
- God-honoring worship
- Ministry by every member
- Intentional evangelism
- Authentic membership
- Growth toward spiritual maturity
WHAT WE BELIEVE
We believe the Bible is the written word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit and without error in the original manuscripts. The Bible is the revelation of God’s truth and is infallible and authoritative in all matters of faith and practice.
We believe in the Holy Trinity. There is one God, who exists eternally in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
We believe that all people are sinners and are totally unable to save themselves from God’s displeasure, being totally dependent upon His mercy.
We believe that salvation is by God alone, as He sovereignly chooses those He will save. We believe His choice arises from His grace, and is not based on any human individual merit or foreseen faith.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, who through His perfect life and sacrifice death atoned for the sins of all who will trust in Him alone for salvation.
We believe that Jesus Christ will return, bodily and visibly, to judge all mankind and to receive His people unto Himself.
Being called by God to glorify and obey Him in all we do and say, we will seek to serve Christ by ministering to those in Stanley and throughout the world who are lost and bring them to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. To accomplish this, we will devote our time, talent, money, worship, preaching, teaching, fellowship, prayer and outreach to making disciples of Christ, and to training those disciples to make others.
CURRENT MINISTRY SUMMARY
MEMBERS AND AVERAGE ATTENDANCE
- 220 average Sunday morning worship attendance
- Membership Summary:
Age Category #
# of Adults over 65 134
# of Adults under 65 144
# of Teens 37
# of Children 34
- 8 active ruling elders
- 14 active deacons
- 7 staff members (1 open position)
MINISTRY AREAS AND STAFFING
- Senior Pastor
- Assistant Pastor: Youth & Young Adults
- Pastoral Care
- Administrative Assistant
- Music Director
- Christian Education & Children/Youth Ministries
- Director of Sports Ministry
- Director of Children’s Ministries/Christian Education
- Director of the Child Development Center
The area served by our church is predominately the town of Stanley and the surrounding areas. Stanley, North Carolina actually had its beginning in the middle to late 1700’s when pioneers first began arriving in the wilderness of the Catawba River region. Some of the early settlers made their first homes along the banks of a small creek which emptied into a larger creek before reaching the river. This small creek was named Stanley’s for a gold prospector who had ventured into the territory and then moved on farther south. The congregation of settlers quickly began being referred to as the Stanley’s Creek Community. The Stanley’s Creek Community existed over one hundred years before incorporating as a town, and this is one of the oldest settlements in today’s Gaston County. Our town has remained one of the smaller towns in the county, but does not lack for historical significance.
The SOAR ministry at First Presbyterian Church was founded in 1991, with Baseball as our first sport. Over the years we have offered Baseball/Softball, Volleyball, Basketball, and Soccer. Players ranged from 4 years old to 18 years old, and all sports have been offered to boys and girls. For the 2019 sports season, we offered Volleyball, Soccer and 3 summer 3-day mini-camps, as well as a new fall program, Lil' Flyers, for toddlers.
Man day is a quarterly event, started in July 2016, in which men in the church gather on Saturday mornings to complete projects for the community, provide assistance to members of the church, as well as maintain the church grounds. There are typically 30-40 men who participate in the event, covering between 8-10 worksites. Upon completion of work midday, the men fellowship together with a meal. Man Day is an opportunity to encourage camaraderie among the men in the church but most importantly to demonstrate God’s love in our community.
Vacation Bible School is an annual event for children ages 3-12 to help spread God’s word in our community and the children in our church. The event normally hosts around 100 children each year and typically runs from Monday night to Thursday night. Family Fun Night is historically the finale for VBS.
FAMILY FUN NIGHT
Family Fun Night is normally the last night of VBS. It was started a few years ago and has continued to prosper each year. Half of the families that attend Family Night are not church members of First Presbyterian Stanley. This is a great way to have a good time but it also presents opportunities for us to share God’s word at the end of our VBS week. This event usually draws a crowd of around 175 parents and children.
EASTER EGG HUNT
The children’s ministry department hosts’ an annual Easter Egg Hunt in the Spring. This event is open to church members and the community. Our church members are encouraged to spread the word each year with the hopes of getting families involved that do not have a church home.
FPC hosts an annual live Christmas Scenes event. Visitors walk through live scenes that reenact Jesus’ life using the Bible as a guide for each scene. We offer golf cart transporation for those unable to walk through.
Mercy Ministries is an ongoing program through our church where we provide food and financial assistance for those in need that are housed in our community. We maintain a food pantry located at the church that is supported by member donations of food and/or money. We are also supported by the Harvest Program, a local program that provides us with pizzas from local pizza restaurants. The program is also used to help struggling families in the area with financial assistance for utility bills.
CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTER
In 2006, the decision was made to close our full-time daycare and expand the part-time preschool program to include ages 1 - 5-year-old children, while continuing the afterschool and summer programs for school aged children. The new preschool program opened Sept. 1st of that year. At that time, we pulled out from state licensing regulations and became a private, church-operated Center. By having half day programs, we were not required to be licensed by the state.
YEARLY MISSIONS TRIPS
Every year First Presbyterian Stanley sends out several short-term mission teams into the world to help spread God’s message. Since the beginning of our program, we have sent out 96 short-term mission teams into the field to spread God’s word, help local churches with building maintenance, help local churches with construction efforts and to help with summer VBS programs in other parts of the world.
Although First Presbyterian Stanley may look smaller in size, we still manage to support roughly 50 missionaries per year. This ranges from missionary families to individuals. Each year during our Missions Conference we set a Faith Promise goal of giving. This Faith Promise is above our normal tithing plans and is to be used to allow God to bless our families with additional income that goes to support these missionaries.
ANNUAL MISSIONS CONFERENCE
The Missions Conference is an annual event that lasts 4 consecutive days. It normally involves a keynote speaker, missionaries from all over the world, and participation from the community. During this 4-day event there are several planned times for worshipping, preaching, teaching, and enjoying a meal together. Keeping prayer as a focus for our missionaries, we have the congregation pledge to pray regularly for a missionary of their choosing for the year. We also ask members to pledge a goal amount of Faith Promise in order to either continue our support of current missionaries or to grow our support so we can add missionaries to already supported groups.
We feel at First Presbyterian Stanley, that our Sunday School program is the “backbone” of our church education program. We currently have a program that involves children from newborn to high school seniors. After graduating high school, our program diversifies into several adult classes that change topics quarterly. Several classes are themed such as marriage topics or certain books of the Bible. We have an open Sunday School format that allows adults to change classes at will so they can attend a topic of interest to them and will encourage them to expand their knowledge of the Bible. The idea of the program is to have smaller group discussions to encourage members (and guests) to become familiar with each other all while expanding their knowledge of God.
The Women in the Church (WIC) is a group that focuses on women’s involvement in the church. We have an active group that supports several programs in the church that help focus on passing the love of God onto others. Our WIC group is involved with love loaves, bereavement meals, "treat" for our college students, gift bags for new members, just to name a few. This group of women also studies the bible together in small groups called circles. They sponsor Pastor Appreciation gifts in October, minister to shut-ins, and hold Spring and Christmas dinners.
Life Groups are small groups of 8-15 individuals who meet weekly at member’s homes to further learn about a Bible centered topic. Life Groups are held throughout the week so members can find a group which best fits their personal schedule.
Image Bearers is our Sunday evening program which runs in correlation with our public-school year. Image Bearers meets on Sunday evenings between 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM. Children between the ages 3 and 11 gather together to learn more about the Lord and His will for their lives. The children’s choir also meets during this time to learn hymns and songs of praise to share with the congregation several times a year.
At First Presbyterian Stanley, we have a rich Youth Program that involves trips throughout the year and regular worship sessions. Each Sunday night from 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM, the Youth gathers at the church to sing praises to God, learn about God, and then fellowship with each other. Youth, grades 6 - 12, both from the church and the community, participate in the Youth Ministry.
FAMILY CAMPING TRIP
Each Labor Day weekend, the church holds an annual Family Camping Trip. It is an opportunity for our members and invited guests to get away from the distractions of daily life and to have a time of rest and fellowship with each other. Several families from the church go on the trip and always return with delightful stories of laughter, bear sightings, and a growing love of Christ.