100 Years of Service to God 1908-2008
Three Presbyterian Missionaries held their first church service in the new town of Jerome on June 7, 1908 in the North Side Land and Water Company restaurant located on North Lincoln Street. The next day the community began construction of a tent church and named it “Everyman’s Church” or affectionately “The Tabernacle”. The Tabernacle served the people of Jerome until November 1909 when it was dismantled and the material was used to build the white frame Presbyterian church located where the Christian Education wing is now located. One of the highlights of that first year was a service conducted in Mary of 1909 by a Mr. Evans for the McCormick Theological Seminary.
The church was formally organized in October 1908 when six persons answered the call to membership during the worship service. Pastor-Evangelist Dr. J.H. Barton traveled from Boise to serve the congregation until October 1909 when Robert J. Koffend was called at a salary of $50 per month. The first congregational meeting was held in the new church building on February 29, 1910 and the first communion was celebrated on June 5, 1910. On September 17, 1911, the first Board of the Ruling Elders was ordained.
The membership of the Jerome Presbyterian Church embraced three country congregations that existed until May 1929 when the Augur Falls/Canyonside Presbyterian Church, the first rural church in the area, and the Arcadia Presbyterian Church was dismissed to the Jerome church. There were 169 members when the cornerstone was laid for the new brick building on December 15, 1929. The building was dedicated November 2, 1930. The present building was completed in 1964 with the addition of the Christian Education wing. The memorial organ was dedicated in 1946.
Although many Presbyterian churches objected to a women being ordained Elder, the church in Jerome had had women elders since 1933. The first Deacons were elected in 1948.
Our Pastor, Nate Dreesmann, is the 17th to serve since Reverend Koffend was called in 1909. During its 103 years, our church has always been committed to worship, missions and service.
Today, the community of First Presbyterian Church in Jerome look forward with the same dedication to be Christ’s witnesses to their neighbors and community as was demonstrated by the pioneer founders of the church.