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Steepled Staple: First Presbyterian Church to celebrate 120 years

By Austin Jackson | Published Saturday, September 8, 2018
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Happy Birthday Church

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHURCH – First Presbyterian Church of Bridgeport elder Fred Meyers stands inside the renovated church building located at 1307 Newby Ave in Bridgeport. Meyers has attended the church for over 60 years and will celebrate its 120th anniversary this weekend. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Bridgeport has seen a lot of changes over the past 120 years.

It’s seen population booms and busts. It’s seen its downtown flourish, fall to the wayside and rejuvenate. It’s seen a few World Wars and the rise of a Brookshire’s Grocery Store.

One constant through it all has been the First Presbyterian Church in Bridgeport.

On Sunday, the church will celebrate its 120th anniversary in Bridgeport.

Fred Meyers has been attending the church for the past 60 years. He attended services as a child, and now, at 67 years old, serves as a church elder.

“Not much has changed,” he said. “Some churches have gone modern. We’re pretty traditional.”

The consistency of the sermons have resulted in the church being a mainstay in Bridgeport.

The church located at 1307 Newby Ave. in Bridgeport, burned down in 1974, nearly ending the church.

But within a year, the church was rebuilt with colorful stained glass windows. It’s been the home of the First Presbyterian Church ever since.

“The members took it upon themselves to rebuild,” Meyers said. “They built it back up.”

The church building received a major renovation in the ’80s. Meyers said the architect won a national award.

Like many churches, Meyers said the congregations have fluctuated over the years. But Meyers said the congregation has steadied at around 40 active members.

The congregation will have visitors from other Presbyterian churches this weekend as they celebrate the anniversary. After the service, there will be a luncheon as well.

“We’ll have a few visitors from the governing body, then we’ll have a luncheon after that,” Meyer said. “It will be a time to celebrate and exchange memories.”

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