First Presbyterian Church (FPC) welcomes all who worship and explore discipleship. We honor and celebrate the diversity and unity that God gives us in Christ. We welcome individuals of every age, race, nationality, gender, ability, sexual orientation, and economic circumstance to participate fully in the life of the church.
Our ministry is a response to the gospel of Christ, who teaches us to celebrate God’s faithfulness, live in community, and serve others. Our core values, reaffirmed in 2014, are: reformed worship, diversity and inclusivity, faith exploration, pastoral care, historic placement, social mission, faithful stewardship, and community. In these values, we seek to become a reflection of God’s beloved community.
FPC combines a traditional worship service with progressive theology. We carry out our vision through thoughtful worship and music; pastoral support provided through visits to home and healthcare settings, meals for new families, and care teams; and active fellowship groups to enhance spiritual development.
As a downtown church, FPC ministers through involvement in the community with a social justice focus. FPC provides space and support for a five-star day school, host to many civic and community events, partners with other congregations in supporting ongoing mission work at the Urban Ministries Community Café, Habitat for Humanity, Iglesia Emanuel Church, Families Moving Forward, Durham Congregations & Neighborhoods, and mission trips beyond Durham.
FPC, like many historically downtown churches, finds itself surrounded by government offices, social service agencies, expanding housing, and businesses. For some time, our neighbors and immediate community have been people living in the homeless shelter next door and others receiving social services. Our neighborhood has provided, and continues to provide, an obvious focus for much of our mission and community outreach. At the same time, Durham is experiencing a period of growth and vitality, which includes the addition of hundreds of new residents within a mile of the church. This influx presents numerous opportunities to reach out to our new neighbors.
While FPC is a strong advocate for social justice and a leader in developing needed community services, we recognize we must also address the needs within our walls. Our vibrant and diverse congregation includes families, newcomers, and long-term members of all ages. In our Mission Study, the congregation indicated a desire to be nurtured and enriched through greater personal spiritual development, cultivation of lay leadership, support for families, and pastoral care for families or individuals in need. Our church family, the historic community around us, and the changing downtown landscape provide opportunities to reach out and address emerging needs.
The Associate Pastor will embrace and build on the strengths of the church.
Our Mission Study identified these assets within the congregation:
- Sunday School classes and music programs that attract and sustain membership;
- members who are active in the Durham community, often in leadership roles;
- intellectual engagement evident in book groups, seminars, study groups, and from the pulpit;
- diverse membership growth;
- dedication to service, mission projects, and social justice;
- partnerships with other faith groups; and
- a welcoming, sociable community that enjoys fun and fellowship
While we appreciate our strengths, this position could help us with these identified needs:
- support and engagement with incoming visitors and new members, with an emphasis on inclusion in an increasingly diverse congregation;
- pastoral care for congregation members with illness, new family members, or challenging caregiving roles;
- expansion and diversification of ministry in the community of Durham;
We need a leader who brings a fresh vision to help our congregation to express who we are and who we seek to be: from the pulpit, in session meetings, in pastoral visits, and in conversations with community leaders.
The new Associate Pastor will show Christ’s hospitality in working and communicating with members of our congregation and our wider community. The person will work in collaboration with the current staff at FPC, a talented and dedicated team central to our ministry. Within the church, the person will interact in the spirit of inclusivity with people of all races, ages, socioeconomic class, sexual orientation and political leanings. Our new Associate Pastor will be an emissary of the church within and outside our church walls.