Covenant-First Presbyterian Church; 717 Elm Street at 8th Street
Covenant-First Presbyterian Church has been a part of downtown Cincinnati since its founding 225 years ago. This is a year of anniversaries for the congregation: the church was founded October 16, 1790 (225 years ago); the gothic stone building was first dedicated on April 11, 1875 (140 years ago); and, the church’s large, Austin Pipe Organ was first played in worship in November 1915 (100 years ago)! The building is known for its large, beautiful sanctuary, historic furnishings carved by Cincinnati artist Henry Fry, and for the numerous stained glass memorial windows. Neighbors will recognize the warm ring of the Paul Revere bell in the steeple. And, history buffs may even have noticed the plaque in the sidewalk on Main Street just north of Fourth Street, which marks the congregation’s original log cabin location.
The congregation is committed to downtown Cincinnati, and while celebrating these milestone anniversaries, is focused squarely on the future, looking for ways to deepen the congregation’s engagement in downtown, Over-the-Rhine, and all of the center city neighborhoods. Covenant-First draws members from all around Greater Cincinnati, and because of our central downtown location, visitors from around the world who are in Cincinnati for work and play. Covenant-First is active in both international as well as local missions, working locally with the Old St. Mary's Pregnancy Center, Hopefest (a health and education fair held annually in Washington Park, this year on July 18), City Gospel Mission, and the University of Cincinnati chapter of International Friendships.
Downtown Cincinnati Inc. members may know the church best through David Schroeder, the church’s building superintendent, who has been active for many years in the Northwest Sector meetings. Covenant-First Church joined DCI soon after the organization’s founding; the congregation and leadership appreciates the wide-ranging work of DCI, and has found the “safe and clean” work of the Northwest Sector team to be particularly helpful. The church has also often benefited from helpful insights from DCI staff, and is eager to show its support of DCI and its work by its membership.
Covenant-First Presbyterian Church offers two weekly worship services. Sunday morning worship is at 10:30 AM, followed by a time for coffee and conversation; Sunday School classes are offered at 9:15, and professional childcare for infants and toddlers is available through the morning. The worship service follows a traditional format, with choral music, congregational hymns, Bible-based preaching, and the 100-year-old Austin Pipe organ. Midweek, on Wednesdays, a 30-minute worship service is offered from 12 noon to 12:30, followed by an optional lunch available for $5.
June will be a busy month at the church, as the church celebrates Community Thursdays.
- June 11 – the Cincinnati Highland Dancers, a local Scottish dance troupe, will provide a 45-minute dance exhibition, starting at 6:30 PM. The program is free and open to all. The church building will be open from 6 PM to 8 PM for tours, and we’ll have plenty of tasty, light refreshments.
- June 18 – The church hosts a Hoxworth Blood Drive from 1:30 to 7:30 p.m. Interested donors may schedule appointments for this event at www.hoxworth.org/groups/covenantfirst, or by calling Hoxworth at (513) 541-0910.
- June 25 – Rodrigo Almeida, classical guitarist, will perform a 50-minute recital in the church sanctuary, starting at 6:30 p.m. The program is free and open to all. The church will again be open from 6 to 8 p.m. for tours, with plenty of tasty, light refreshments available.
We invite everyone to visit the church’s website and Facebook page for more information on these events and others throughout the year, including anniversary events planned for October. We invite you to join us on any Sunday, Wednesday, or for any of these events. All are welcome!
Rev. Russell B. Smith, pastor
Peggy Wolverton, Organist
Yolanda Ortiz Parker, Choir Director
David C. Schroeder, Building Superintendent
Bonnie Richardson, Administrative Assistant