The First Presbyterian Church of Hightstown was founded in 1857 with a charter membership of 14 adults, all strongly committed to serving God and our community. In the years that have passed since our first church was erected on North Main Street, our congregation has faced many challenges, including rebuilding our Sanctuary twice after it was ravaged by fire, and answering many calls including those to support war-time efforts. Through it all, our central faith has rung through, and we have remained steadfast in our commitment to serve God and our community.
Dedication to mission and outreach activities has always been central to our faith. Across our history, we have supported missionaries in Africa, China, Korea, Venezuela, Iran, Tibet, Brazil, Chile, and Thailand. Our overseas relief efforts have also included participating in One Great Hour of Sharing since 1953, sending blankets through Church World Service since 1968 and racking up the miles in the Crop Walk since 1974.
Our mission activities have also extended to worthy causes here at home in the United States, including supporting schools like the Cook Indian Training School in Phoenix AZ and the Five Points Mission in Clarksville AK, and programs such as Habitat for Humanity, Campus Ministry, and Compassionate Friends. Our Senior High Youth Group has continued this tradition through their Mission Trip over the last several years, giving tirelessly of their time and spirit in such areas as Alaska, Mexico, Ohio, and North Carolina. Our commitment to service has extended down to a local level as well, assisting with the start-up of Better Beginnings School and Day Care in 1974, through the Stop Gap Fund, and through support provided to numerous local programs, including the Interfaith Hospitality Network and the Hightstown Community Action Service Center.
At particularly critical times, we have extended a helping hand to those in need, such as supporting the HIV+ community through a dinner program at the height of the AIDS crisis, and collecting special offerings to assist with Johnston Flood Relief and Katrina Hurricane Relief. During WWII, we helped organize local blood drives, collected needed items, and held special prayer meetings for families directly affected. Many of these types of activities continue today during our present time of global turmoil.