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Our History

The First Presbyterian Church of Portage, Indiana, was started via word of mouth, door-to-door canvass, and articles in the local paper. The first organizational meeting was held on March 9, 1962, at the home of Bill and Virginia Skinner. Present were Rev. J. Valenga, Rev. Simcox, Bert Wiseman and his wife, and Leonard and Louise Stokes. The Steering Committee was comprised of: Leonard Stokes, Chairman; Bert Wiseman; Everett Truitt; Virginia Skinner and Faye Andrews.

With 64 people in attendance, Rev. Russell Bisnett led our first church service on September 9, 1962, at the new Olson-Reiser Chapel on Route 20. In 1963 Rev. George Hinshaw became our first minister. A petition to the Presbytery of Logansport to organize the then-named Portage United Presbyterian Church was signed by 104 people on September 29, 1963.

A groundbreaking ceremony at the property on Lute Road was held October 15, 1964. During the time the church was being built, services were held at the Izaak Walton Club at the intersection of North Crisman Road and Burns Ditch. The club served liquor on Saturday nights, so Rev. Hinshaw would come early Sunday morning to spray the room with air-freshener. The church had 250 members when it moved into its new church building in August 1965.

Over the years we have held, and continue to hold, many memorable events, including:

  • Advent Festivals
  • Bazaars
  • Beatty Hospital Picnics & Christmas Parties
  • Chili Suppers & Auctions
  • Come-as-You-Are Breakfasts
  • Congregational Dinners
  • Corn Roasts
  • Crop Walks
  • Drama Group Productions
  • Easter Sunrise Breakfasts
  • Farewell Dinners
  • Father/Son Dinners
  • Fundraiser for Education Wing (“Wingding")
  • Helping Hands
  • Ice Cream Socials
  • Mother/Daughter Banquets
  • Pancake Breakfasts
  • Parent Appreciation Events
  • Potluck Dinners
  • Prayer Groups
  • Progressive & Regressive Dinners
  • Rally Day Picnics
  • Rockathons
  • Salad Bars
  • Scouts Blue & Gold Dinners
  • Smorgasbords
  • Spaghetti Dinners
  • Spring Luncheons
  • Sunday School Picnics
  • Sweetheart Dinners
  • Vacation Bible School (VBS)
  • Welcome Teas
Pastors
Tim Reyna, 2007-17
Michael Becker, 2000-07
Sue Burton, 1998-2000
Sally Newhall, 1993-98
Roger Fisk, 1991-93
Randy Ross, 1988-91
Autumn Hall, 1988
Helen & Gaither Bailey,
1985-87
Max Ecke, 1982-85
Orus Rupe, 1981
John Wintringham, 1977-81
Charles Bruce, 1976-77
Paul Chalfant, 1976
Kenneth Blair, 1971-76
Charles Kriner, 1967-70
George Hinshaw, 1963-67

Please pray for our troops.
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