The history of FPCPA dates back to 1912 when the Union Sunday School began to function under the Presbyterian Mission Board of Seattle. The local people soon petitioned for the establishment of a church in the community. On March 22, 1914 FPCPA was organized.
In 1919 the church moved to the corner of Eighth and Cherry Streets, currently home to Bo Baggins Daycare and Preschool. In 1957 FPCPA bought its’ current home at Eighth and Oak Streets from Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. Numerous building projects and acquisitions have significantly enlarged and improved the facility.
From the congregation’s founding until 1947 ten pastors served. Over the last sixty years we have had four pastors. Pastor MacKenzie Murray and Pastor Bert Harlow each served for more than 17 years. Pastor Ted Mattie served thirty-four years until his retirement in September 2016. Currently Pastor Wendy Taylor is serving as our interim pastor. Pastor Murray guided our church in the post war years when membership more than doubled. We still have members who recall Pastor Murray fondly speaking of his heart for outreach and pastoral care. Many innovations and modernizations were put into place during his time with FPCPA.
Pastor Harlow served from 1964 to 1982. He was known for his young spirit. He encouraged the young families and was devoted to youth programs in the church and the community. In 1979 we called Pastor Ted Mattie to join the staff as Assistant Pastor. Eventually this led to Pastor Harlow’s retirement and Pastor Mattie’s role as lead pastor.
Pastor Ted Mattie served for such an extended period that the majority of our membership has known only him. His preaching was always faithful to the Word of God. He showed solid leadership in our church and the community. He seemed to have the right balance between his personal life and service to our church family. Pastor Mattie was key to our school volunteer program, which has continued for more than ten years in our local schools. He shepherded us through three building projects. The last one was a sizeable project, which expanded the fellowship hall and replaced much of the kitchen. Pastor Mattie’s energy and straightforward approach set the tone for our congregation for the 90th and 100th anniversary of our church.
Through the years support staff and lay staff have assisted the pastor. The United Presbyterian Women and Presbyterian Women have had a presence throughout the history of our church. Initially they raised funds for church supplies and contributed to the church budget and building fund. They provided encouragement and financial assistance during the Great Depression. The Women’s Council sponsored fundraising events, which helped to keep the church open. Currently the Naomi Circle provides Bible Study, fellowship and mission opportunities.
First Presbyterian Church of Port Angeles is over one hundred years old and has seen many changes over time. But the thing that does not change is that the people are children of God and are hungry for His Word. This church is a place for us to give thanks and worship our Lord and Savior.