First Presbyterian Church

Other Missions & Activities

Our three primary missions; The Learning House, the Thanksgiving Meal, and the McMinnville Rotary Club help describe how our long-term vision for ministry is lived out by loving others and serving our community. 

The Learning House Mission:

First Presbyterian's mission to the community is broad-based and includes support for many charitable endeavors.  The mainstay of the local mission is the church's preschool. The Learning House was established in 1980 and is filled to capacity with local children from the community each year. In some cases, parents are Learning House Preschool alumni. They want their children to have the same positive start to their educational careers as they did. The reputation of the Learning House has grown to be the best in our community and many parents want their children to attend this outstanding pre-school.  Each graduating class from The Learning House receives a beginner's bible from First Presbyterian Church as a graduation gift. The staff at the Learning House work closely with The Learning House Board of Directors to ensure that First Presbyterian Church and The Learning House work together in order to provide the best value-based preschool education possible for the students.  Church members also volunteer by reading with students, serving snacks at family engagement nights, and providing support for students in need. Learning House scholarships are available for children of First Presbyterian Church members.

The Thanksgiving Meal Mission:

Excitement, Enthusiasm, and Energy build for our Thanksgiving Meal and surround First Presbyterian Church as Thanksgiving approaches each year because this is the time our church offers one of its greatest gifts to the entire community of McMinnville and Warren County. The gift is a free, hot, traditional Thanksgiving meal of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, cranberry sauce, rolls, and a delicious slice of pie. The pies and turkeys are cooked and donated by our church members. Our church has been offering this free meal to the community for eleven years and the number of meals served each year has continually increased to the point where we have reached our limit of serving more than 500 people! Our church supports this mission with food donations, energy, and time on Thanksgiving Day and for many days preceding the BIG event. We receive financial support from church members, various community members and even past friends of First Presbyterian who live out of state because they want to show a continued love and support for FPC.  Many people at our church would say “this is one of the best things our church does all year” and planning begins for the following year just after the kitchen clean-up on Thanksgiving Day. God has blessed us as we bless others and that is the Miracle of it all!

The Rotary Club Mission:

In 1921, the Nashville Rotary Club decided to establish Rotary clubs in several Middle Tennessee towns. The McMinnville Rotary Club was chartered in 1922.  The club initially met at the local Sedberry Hotel. It's owner, Miss Erbie Sedberry soon asked them to find another place saying, "they eat too much, and they don't tip well".  Because of its central location and because a majority of its members were Presbyterian, the McMinnville Rotary Club moved to First Presbyterian Church, with their wives bringing covered dish lunches. As the club grew, the ladies of the church took over responsibility for the meal. Except for a brief hiatus during the pandemic, the McMinnville Rotary Club has met at this FPC church for over 100 years. According to Rotary International, this is the longest time any club in the world has met at the same place. Proceeds from the meals are used by the women's group for maintenance and improvements to the FPC church.

Other Missions and Support:

In addition to our three primary missions, we are closely involved in sponsoring or contributing to: the Girl Scouts, the Black History Museum, the Hope Center, Habitat for Humanity, the local Food Bank, Mountain T.O.P. projects, and hosting the Community Thanksgiving Service.  

The Circle:

A description of how we live out our vision would not be complete without a mention of our Presbyterian Women’s Group, fondly known as “The Circle”.  Our Circle is a group of women of all ages who gather once a month for a light lunch and creative Bible-based study presented in an interesting manner. We might have a play, a mini opera, question and answer teams, show and tell, dramatizations, a mystery story, palace politics, and of course song or two. This is a great time for everyone to get to know each other’s’ family dynamics and varied interests. We also have many other activities throughout the year depending on the Christian season. The Circle is a loving and gregarious bunch of ladies who are interested in the needs of others and always anxious to welcome new members.  We have discovered these types of meetings help us connect with God’s spirit through love and fellowship.