His steadfast love endures forever, and His faithfulness is to all generations. — Psalm 100:5
Church history and legacy
First Presbyterian Society of Waunakee was established July 16, 1877. In February of 1878, the church was formally organized in Gussman’s Hall (Koltes Building on Main St.). Rev. B.G. Riley of Lodi is first moderator. A $500 mortgage loan was secured to build a church on May 6, 1878. The congregation met for more than 100 years in the building on Fish Street.
First full-time pastor hired
In early 1975 the congregation decided to study the possibility of hiring a full-time pastor. A mission study was formed under the Madison Presbytery which ultimately recommended the church pursue a full-time pastor. Rev. Stephen Minnema became First United Presbyterian Church’s first full-time pastor on December 1, 1977. That month church membership reached 144.
Another name change
In June of 1983 the long-divided Presbyterian denomination reunited, and we dropped the word “United” from our name to become First Presbyterian Church of Waunakee (FPC). Linda Kuhn succeeded Rev. Minnema to become the first female pastor of FPC.
The small sanctuary of the Fish Street church served our needs for many years. But as Waunakee grew, so did the congregation and a new church building was needed.
Rev. Kirk Morledge, a Madison native, was hired as new pastor at FPC in October 1990. The following year, the congregation voted to purchase land for a new church building. The site for the new church building was dedicated in August of 1992.
Building project began in 1993
The ground-breaking for the new church building featured both the youngest and the oldest members of our congregation, and was held on August 10, 1993. The first worship service was held in the new building on March 6, 1994.
In December 1995, the first “Live Nativity” was conducted outside the new church.
A congregational meeting on September 8, 1996 resulted in the appointing of Deacons, who were ordained in January of 1997.
New wing built in 2005
FPC celebrated its 125th anniversary in February of 2003. Later that year the congregation voted unanimously to proceed with an additional building phase to expand the church. A ground-breaking ceremony was held on December 5, 2004. The new wing was dedicated on March 12, 2006 and church membership surpassed 600.
Today, the First Presbyterian Church of Waunakee is a thriving congregation with two Sunday worship services and a full array of educational opportunities for children, youth, and adults. Church members serve the Waunakee community and minister in nearby Madison and abroad.