Editor's Note: This article is sponsored to you by First Presbyterian Church.
Mount Vernon resident Carrie Haver grew up going to church and made it an integral part of her life. While she loved the church she grew up in, it didn’t stop her from embracing other churches and services.
Every Christmas, Haver’s friend would invite her to spend Christmas Eve services at First Presbyterian Church of Mount Vernon. After the first time she went, it became a ritual every year.
“First Presbyterian always had a very late Christmas Eve service. And when you got out of the service, the bells would be ringing and it was midnight and it'd be Christmas,” she said.
After meeting and marrying her husband Matt Haver, the two decided to make First Presbyterian Church their new church home.
“The church itself, the people that are there, the family that is there — they're just very welcoming and personable,” Matt said. “And that's not to say that other churches weren't, but First Presbyterian felt like home for us.”
First Presbyterian Church has been around in the Mount Vernon community for over 200 years, with a focus on sharing the hope they have in Jesus Christ with the rest of the community. Today it has 109 members with an attendance of 93 people every Sunday.
“The community needs strong, spirit building, character building, God-honoring churches. And we are that kind of church,” said Ross Slaughter, pastor of First Presbyterian Church. Slaughter became the new pastor of the church. After being in the ministry for 34 years, he decided to continue sharing his knowledge of the Bible and Lord at First Presbyterian.
Since 1808, the church remains faithful and positive toward its members, providing careful, genuine and helpful education. Their four initiatives include worship, intentional faith development and mission and outreach.
The Haver’s attend the first service every Sunday morning, attend Vacation Bible School and participate in some of First Presbyterian’s outreach programs such as Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box and the hot meals program every Monday that provides dinner to anyone looking for a meal in Knox County.
Other programs and activities First Presbyterian provides are men and women’s bible study, Boy Scouts of America, a Women’s Presbyterian Association, Tree of Sharing, Alcoholics Anonymous and more.
The educational aspect of church has helped Matt, Carrie and their 5-year-old son Fox become more open and knowledgeable of the Lord.
“Ross gets you to learn more about the Bible because it's what the message is all about—just the simple fact that if you don't read it and study it then how do you know where to start? Where do you go if you’re looking for a specific lesson, a specific answer? First Presbyterian provides that answer with Ross, from other church members, plus that actual sense of community, family, support and friendship. It's just an all-around experience,” Matt said.
For Carrie, one of the greatest things she’s found since coming to First Presbyterian is the intergenerational aspect of the church.
For as long as she’s been there, she’s been able to learn many important lessons from the older generation who attend whether it be if she’s struggling with life, her job, parenting or her faith. She hopes to pass along the knowledge she’s gained to the younger generation of church members who attend.
“There are younger people that I feel I can offer some wisdom to,” Carrie said. “Everybody learns from each other, and I think it's really great, especially for our son to be around folks of all ages who have a strong faith, and who can encourage him in his walk with God as well.”
First Presbyterian Church wants you to come and share the hope they have in Jesus. To learn more, visit https://www.mtvpres.org.