The people of First Presbyterian of Billings, Montana are part of Christ's great mission
to the world. In the time and place where we live, we too, are among those called by grace to show
forth God's compassion. Obeying Jesus, the head of the church, we seek to worship and glorify
God: Declaring the Good News, singing God's praises, praying for help and guidance, studying
God's Word and helping people at home and abroad.
In a dark room at the head of a shadowy stairyway on the second floor of the Labor Union
Hall in Yegan Block on Minnesota Avenue, the First Presbyterian Church of Billings, Montana,
came into being. The date was December 22, 1903. Today in the year 2003, it is gratifying to
reflect over the first century.
Along the way in 1904 the Reverend B.Z. McCullough arrived as the church's first
installed pastor, and services were held in the eagles' Hall, again on the second floor.
Soon in 1905, with special credit to Mrs. Catherin Hutton, referred to as the "Mother of
the Church," who started a "Five dollar per Brick Fund," the congregation was able to buy the
Episcopal Church property at First Avenue South and 29th Street for $3,250. With good long-range
planning and serious commitment, the membership outgrew its building, and in 1916 construction
was started on the new church at 34th Street east of Division. Built for a membership of 250, it
grew to 1000. One of the special events of that period was the Wedding Dress Parade held in 1937.
the Persian Tea featured ladies of the congregation modeling vintage wedding dresses. The earliest
dated from 1820.
Once again a larger facility was envisioned. This time, far out west on Poly Drive and Meridian
(now 13th Street West). Following the purchase of the current site from Rocky Mountain College in
1950, the first phase in the construction of our present center of worship was undertaken. Then finally in
1962 a long awaited dream was realized with the dedication of the sanctuary.
The stained glass windows, English and German in origin, saved from the previous
building, are now in the gallery. Of particular interest is the Celtic Cross suspended in the
Chancel. Of Scottish tradition, the cross is made of hammered Swedish wrought iron. The design
dates back to Columbus bringing the Gospel to Scotland in the 6th century. The circle super
imposed upon the cross speaks of unity and sacrifice, harmony and service.
Now at the opening of the 21st century, it is tempting to take for granted all the efforts of
those dedicated of the past.