About the Church

Introduction

The First Presbyterian Church of Myrtle Beach welcomes you to our home on the Internet! We are an active, vital congregation reaching out to help one another and all of God’s children here in our community and wherever help is needed around the world!  Whether you are a long-time Grand Strand resident or a first-time visitor, we look forward to providing you with a church home and spiritual guidance. We are a church of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Synod of South Atlantic, and the Presbytery of New Harmony. The governing body is the Session, which is composed of 24 elders elected by the congregation. The Session is divided into 16 committees. Each is made up of a staff person, an elder as moderator, and appointed members of the congregation.
 

Church History

February 18, 1928, the Dr. Cecil D. Brearley of Conway presided over the first Presbyterian worship service held in the city of Myrtle Beach. By July of that same year, the members had erected a new chapel on the present site of "Mammy's Kitchen" restaurant. Aided by seminary students, Dr. Brearley continued to supply the pulpit on the first and third Sunday evenings until 1940. During the Depression, membership dwindled but the faithful persisted and membership began to grow after 1935.

In 1939, a congregation of 70 called the first full-time minister, the Rev. F.M. Kincaid, who served until 1942.

Dr. Cecil D. Brearley returned as supply pastor and then accepted the call as full time minister from 1945 until 1961. When the sanctuary was constructed at its present location between 13th and 14th Avenues North in 1948, the original frame church was relocated to the new site. By an act of the Session in 1953, the original church building was named Brearley Hall in honor of Dr. Brearley's years of service.

After the Rev. Dr. Neighbors served as an interim minister, the Rev. R. Murphy Williams became our third full-time minister, serving from 1962 until 1972. During these years, four Directors of Christian Education and several intern ministers contributed to the spiritual and educational needs of the church. The Witness Committee organized the first Ministry Campground Ministry in Myrtle Beach. It is now an ecumenical project of several area churches. In 1966, the "Lovefeast" was introduced and has become a traditional part of our Christmas celebration. In 1972, a new educational/administrative wing was added to the church facilities.

Early in 1973, the Rev. Dr. Joe E. Stowe became the fourth full-time minister. He served the church and its members faithfully until February 1983. During this period the Rev. Dr. John Goodman and the Rev. Dan Robinson served as Associate Pastors. The church celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 1978. In May 1980, this church, the City of Myrtle Beach and the Pee Dee Presbytery had the honor of hosting the 120th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA). In October 1983, The Rev. Robert C. Wilkes, Jr. became the 5th full-time minister replacing the Rev. William Millar who had served as interim minister. In July of 1989, the Rev. Merrill O. "Bo" Stalcup joined the staff as Associate Minister. In 1994, the Rev. David D'Alessio joined the staff as Associate minister. Dr. Howard Hansen joined the staff as a part-time Associate Pastor in 1998.

Since 1928, the church has grown from a membership of 19 to over 1600. The church continues its outreach to the community and the world with over one-third of its budget going to benevolences, with a goal of extending this figure to one-half. It sponsors missionaries on each continent. The church also is actively involved in the support of many local community service organizations such as Associated Charities, Habitat for Humanity, Helping Hand, Horry County Shelter Home, Mobile Meals, Myrtle Beach Haven, Street Reach, and SOS Health Care.

In 1988, a capital fund campaign entitled "Into the 21st Century" was begun in order to enable the church to build a much-needed Fellowship Hall and to enlarge the Sanctuary to a seating capacity of over 500 persons. A groundbreaking ceremony was held in November of 1988.

By an act of Session, Brearley Hall was donated to the Disabled American Veterans Association and was relocated to the site of The First Assembly Pentecostal Holiness Church, the building to be shared equally between them. In the first phase of construction, the new Fellowship Hall was completed in August 1989. On November 18, 1990, with a great deal of excitement and ceremony, the newly renovated Sanctuary was dedicated, thereby realizing that the first step into the 21st Century had been taken. The second and third phases of the renovation of the pre-school rooms, nursery and administrative offices were completed in 1993 and 1994. In 2001, the church purchased 18 acres of land on Robert Grissom Parkway between 38th and 44th Avenues North, which was dedicated on Sunday, April 8, 2001.

First Presbyterian Church’s goal of "Strong Today, Stronger Tomorrow" continues with the addition of our Grissom Campus in November 2008. Our goal is that one day soon the church will move all worship, music and activities from our Kings Campus to our Grissom location to offer even more opportunities in worship, study, and fellowship.

On December 31, 2011, Dr. Robert C. Wilkes, Jr. retired after 28 years of dedicated love, service, and care to the FPC family and our community. Dr. Wilkes and his wife Pat were honored at a reception in the Great Hall of the Grissom Campus and Dr. Wilkes was honored with a resolution passed by the session of FPC to rename the Great Hall, "Wilkes Hall." Surrounded by friends, members, family, and colleagues, Dr. Wilkes' ministry at FPC was reflected in a video, "The Love You Make," created by Stages Video with photos from members of the congregation.

On January 1, 2012, Dr. J. Lewis Johnson began serving as Interim Minister. Dr. Johnson will guide the First Presbyterian Church through the undertaking of a Mission Study, the development of a Church Information Form (CIF), and  the Search Process for calling the next minister to serve First Presbyterian Church. Dr. Johnson's service at FPC concluded on Sunday, August 11.

At a Congregational meeting on Sunday, June 23, 2013, the congregation approved the Pastor Nominating Committee's recommendation that The Reverend Doctor John Cecil Brearley be called as the next Senior Minister of First Presbyterian Church. Dr. Brearley and wife, Tammy were introduced and release to the care of the First Presbyterian congregation on August 25 and welcomed with a reception following worship. Dr. Brearley led his first worship service at Early Sabbath on Thursday, August 29.

During 2013, First Presbyterian celebrated its eighty-fifth anniversary. On Heritage Sunday, October 27, during the 11:00 AM worship service The Reverend Doctor John Cecil Brearley, grandson of FPC founding minister, Dr. Cecil D. Brearley, was installed as Senior Minister of the First Presbyterian Church of Myrtle Beach.


Our Church Mission Statement

First Presbyterian Church of Myrtle Beach is committed to make and mold disciples for Jesus Christ.
 

Our Church Vision Statement

We are a church that understands we must trade the ordinary for the extraordinary to make and mold Disciples for Jesus Christ.
 

Our Church Goals
To be a family where people encourage one another.
To grow closer to God.
To grow toward maturity in our spiritual lives.
To reach out to others in God's love
 
What You Can Expect from Your Church?

The Opportunity to Worship
The Opportunity to Learn
The Opportunity to Serve
The Opportunity for Fellowship
Pastoral Care

 

What does FPC expect from it’s members?

To Be Present on Sunday Morning
To Observe Its Sacraments
To Contribute to Its Support
To Share in Its Work
To Invite Your Friends to Come to Church with You
To Pray for Its Work, Mission, Members, and Staff