The story of Westminster Presbyterian Church: Piqua goes back to the year 1816 with ten founding members. At this time, there were between 10-20 individuals who lived in the area. They were said to have “organized under the oak tree below the railroad.” Worship was held out of doors or in member’s homes until construction began for worship building some time later. It’s believed that half of the population of Piqua was Presbyterian.
The land where our current building stands was originally owned by Matthew Caldwell Jr, the founder of Piqua and also a member of Westminster. In the February 1889, the site was purchased from his estate and construction of a new majestic church building, of Romanesque Revival design, was begun. The sanctuary was dedicated on September 12, 1891. This same time period saw steady growth in membership; it is reported that 148 new members were added to our rolls in the year 1891 alone. By the turn of the 20th century, over 800 people called Westminster home. Our membership stood at over 1,000 at the start of World War Two, peaking at nearly 1,200 attenders in the 1950’s. This growth coincided with Piqua being home to several notable manufacturing businesses, among them Orr Felt, French Oil, and Hartzell Propeller. Many of the upper- and middle- class families of the area made Westminster Presbyterian Church: Piqua their home.
Our outreach and mission as a rich and varied history. The 19th and early 20th century focused on support for Presbyterian missionaries serving overseas, while community needs were addressed by Ladies’ Aid Societies within the church. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, our giving shifted to support of regional Presbyterian causes, such as new church development, college support (Wooster College, a Presbyterian school, in particular), Presbyterian Homes Senior Living, and other governing bodies of our denomination, such as the Synod of the Covenant and the General Assembly. The 1990’s saw our outreach focus more locally, with support given to prison and healthcare ministry, for instance. We also began our “God’s Table” ministry during this same time. This ministry continues to serve a free nutritious meal to any neighbor who is hungry on the third Saturday each month.
Currently, we direct most of our support to Piqua Organizations. Westminster Presbyterian Church: Piqua members also sit on governing boards of several community non-profits. We sponsor community activities, and continue to offer space within our large, well, maintained, campus to outside groups, often free or at very little cost.
Throughout our history we have also valued education—and equipping--for Christian service. We have supported our local schools, as well as supporting missionary work in far-away lands. This commitment to education has led to several additions of our main facility. In the year 1921, additional Sunday school rooms were added, with space for church offices provided. An annex to our building—containing an additional nine classrooms—as dedicated in 1965. We continue to donate school supplies and have also mentored public school children.
The history of Westminster Presbyterian Church: Piqua has centered on mission and outreach. Sunday worship is surely a highlight of our week, but it is also a prelude to another six days of service in the name of Jesus Christ.
We are located just two blocks from downtown.
We are in Piqua—for good!