The congregation of the First Presbyterian Church of Bonita Springs was officially chartered in April 1972, with 65 full members and three affiliate members. The original sanctuary was located in the current “Price Chapel” — so named in honor of the first pastor, Rev. Harry Price, who served until his retirement in 1979.
Rev. Joe McClure succeeded him, and guided the congregation through a growth phase leading to the construction of a 400-seat sanctuary in 1982 (currently the “Great Room” and “Learning Center”). In 1986, with an active membership of 417 members and 131 affiliates, the attendance during the peak season was surpassing the 1,000 mark! Few could have imagined that this was only the beginning...
The decades that followed brought significant growth to First Presbyterian Church — in membership and facilities — a growth that mirrored that of its community. As the population of year-round retirees increased, so did the number of young families coming into the area to build and support the infrastructure.
Rev. McClure retired in 1995, and Rev. Paul Kirbas was called as Senior Pastor in 1996. Under his leadership the Wonder Years Preschool was launched, and the current 1400-seat sanctuary was opened in November 2001. Rev. Kirbas resigned to take another call in 2003. A new chapter in the life of this congregation began in 2004, when Rev. Douglas Pratt was called as Senior Pastor. With combined active and affiliate membership exceeding 1600, the church seeks to fulfill its unique calling as a year-round congregation that joyfully welcomes and nurtures the many winter residents and visitors God brings our way!