For Visitors

For Visitors

We’re glad you’re here!

Here are a few FAQs that may help as you consider joining us at any of our worship, youth, music, or other events. You can also visit our What to Expect page for more information.

How do I get there?

We are located at 2701 Rochester Avenue in Iowa City. We are less than half a mile east of the intersection of 1st Avenue and Rochester Avenue, on the south side of Rochester Avenue. Please visit our Location page for a map and directions.

Where do I go?

Our church has a main entrance on the east side of the building and a lower level entrance on the west side. Parking is available on both levels and greeters will greet you and provide any directions you need. Our Sunday School classrooms are on the lower level, adult education classrooms are on both levels, and our sanctuary and fellowship hall are on the main level.

We also provide valet parking for those needing assistance. Just pull up outside the main entrance on the upper level and someone will assist you.

What do you have for my kids?

We have many opportunities for children and youth, who are a vital part of our community of faith. Children and youth are always welcomed and valued! Visit our Children & Youth Ministry page for more information.

And check out our events calendar for upcoming activities!

Can I meet the Pastor?

Of course! Pastor Sam is available at the back of the sanctuary every Sunday morning to personally greet you. Please stop and say hello! If you would like more time with Pastor Sam, he is happy to be available to you at a time that is convenient for your schedule.

What should I wear?

You should dress in clothes that make you feel comfortable. There are a variety of clothing styles in our congregation. Some prefer to dress-up for Sunday mornings. Some are comfortable wearing casual clothes. We are more interested in you than we are your clothes.

What does the church believe?

We believe in one triune God – God the Creator, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. God loves each of us because we are God’s creation and were created in God’s image. We do nothing to earn God’s love and forgiveness. Jesus demonstrated through his life and death tremendous love, mercy, and justice. We are endowed with unique and wonderful gifts by the Holy Spirit. We are called to love each other and serve God in all that we do.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) website states it well:

God is the supreme authority throughout the universe. Our knowledge of God and God’s purpose for humanity comes from the Bible, particularly what is revealed in the New Testament through the life of Jesus Christ. Our salvation (justification) through Jesus is God’s generous gift to us and not the result of our own accomplishments. It is everyone’s job – ministers and lay people alike – to share this Good News with the whole world. That is also why the Presbyterian church is governed at all levels by a combination of clergy and laity, men and women alike.

Presbyterians confess their beliefs through statements that have been adopted over the years and are contained in the Book of Confessions. These statements reflect our understanding of God and what God expects of us at different times in history, but all are faithful to the fundamental beliefs described above. Even though we share these common beliefs, Presbyterians understand that God alone is lord of the conscience, and it is up to each individual to understand what these principles mean in his or her life.

Are you conservative or liberal?

The easiest answer is “Yes” but in light of our congregation’s history, the question begs a more extensive answer. Our congregation belongs to the Presbyterian Church (USA) which has headquarters in Louisville, KY. “Presbyterian” means “ruled by elders,” meaning that we have a form of church government in which men and women are elected by the congregation to prayerfully make faithful decisions on behalf of the congregation. Diversity of opinion is assumed and is one of the great strengths of our congregation. This requires us to recognize that our unity lies in our common confession that Jesus is Lord, and that we must practice loving humility in dialogue and disagreement. Those who make First Presbyterian Church their spiritual home recognize that we take seriously our calling to be a “ministry of reconciliation led by the Risen Christ.”

How do I become a member?

We welcome all people to become members of our church! Those who are considering membership are invited to take a six-week class from Pastor Sam. The class includes a brief overview of Presbyterianism, a history of the church’s people, and discussion on what it means to be a servant leader. Announcements are made regarding when the next set of classes will begin, or contact us for more information.