Happy 200th Birthday, FPC!

Today marks the 200th anniversary of the first church service of what would become the First Presbyterian Church of New Orleans. It also marks the arrival of our first pastor, Reverend Sylvester Larned.

At the time, there was only one non-Roman Catholic church in New Orleans which was Christ Church Cathedral, New Orleans. In 1817, the Reverend Elias Cornelius was appointed by the Connecticut Missionary Society to engage in a tour through the southwestern states and to visit New Orleans, a city reputed to be perhaps the most wicked in the country.

On January 22, 1818, his friend and fellow churchman Reverend Sylvester Larned arrived in New Orleans by boat from Kentucky. That evening, Larned preached to a “large and respectable” congregation and was soon invited to become the founding minister of the Presbyterian Church in New Orleans.

“On his first arrival in that city, a general and unprecedented interest was awakened by his preaching; and everything seemed to indicate that Providence had sent him there to produce a great revolution in the character of New Orleans. The uncommon majesty with which he exhibited the truths of the Gospel, the almost magic power by which he entranced and rivetted his hearers, drew after him a multitude composed of all classes, from the highest to the lowest in society.”


Presbyterian Fun Fact

There are about 75 million Reformed/Presbyterian Christians worldwide and about 2.5 million belong to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).


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