Celebration of Our Past and Present
Matagorda County was organized in 1837, when Texas was a republic. By the turn of the century, land developers moved into south Texas and one group developed an area in west Matagorda County on Tres Palacios Bay. A town was laid out in 1902 and named Palacios.
Dr. William Stuart Red, a noted historian and organizer of many churches in Texas, was an evangelist in the Gulf Coast area. Meeting with a group of residents from Palacios in Pioneer Hall of the Methodist Church, First Presbyterian was organized with 18 people joining the congregation on June 30, 1907. William H. Clement was elected the first elder of the church and was also named Clerk of Session. Many founding fathers of Palacios were among the early members.
In 1908 the congregation planned for a church building with the acquisition of land at Third and Morton Street and in January, 1913 this building was dedicated. With continued growth plans for a new church building began in the early 1950s and the current sanctuary was dedicated in November, 1951.
First Presbyterian has a rich history of community involvement beginning with Sunday school in 1912, organizing Presbyterian Women, developing an Aid Fund, forming a Mexican Mission, establishing a soldier’s center during World War II, improving race relations and desegregation in the 1960s, and sponsoring a Vietnamese family in 1975. Additionally, in true Presbyterian fashion, First Presbyterian sponsors a multi-ethnic day school for pre-school age children.
First Presbyterian’s Aid Fund has helped many in times of disaster, hunger, sickness, and with other needs. The church has contributed leaders to the vital work of Presbytery, Synod, and General Assembly and continues to support numerous civic and missionary endeavors.