About Our Church

OUR MOTTO: Enter to Worship–Depart to Serve

Our Beliefs & Mission

First Presbyterian Church of Palacios strives to worship God and demonstrate God’s love through worship, fellowship, and service.

More information on our beliefs:

Presbyterian Church USA
Our Synod–Synod of the Sun
Our Presbytery–Mission Presbytery


Sunday Worship Service 10:00 a.m. CT
Adult Bible Study 11:15 a.m. CT


The First Presbyterian Church of Palacios, Texas seeks a part-time minister to preach, administer sacrament, moderate session, and provide congregational care.  We are a small church (38 members) with a big heart, providing a strong mission outreach to the community.

Palacios is located on shores of the beautiful Tres Palacios Bay located on the Texas mid-coast in Matagorda County.

Please email: cpherlin45@gmail.com for additional information.

Our Story

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 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.

Celebrating our Past and Present

Our Sister Congregation

Casa de Dios (2nd Presbyterian)  –  9th and Morton, Palacios
Worship Services Sunday

  • Escuela Dominical 9:45 am
  • Servicio de Adoracion 11:00 am


Our Neighbor Congregation

First Presbyterian – 4th St and Ave I, Collegeport

(across from the MoPac House)

  • Sunday worship at 9 am

The Collegeport church was organized in 1909. This long-lived and vibrant church continues to serve the Collegeport area and conducts services each Sunday

Church Organization


Commissioned Lay Pastor

Colleen Claybourn

Church Secretary

Angela Diaz

Day School


Emily Fagan-Baker


Bruce Elliott
Edwin Holsworth
John Pierce

Session Members – Elders

  • Matthew Baker
  • Bruce Elliot
  • Leslie Hartman
  • Cara Herlin

Clerk of Session:  Gail Purvis

Our Session Committees

session (from the Latin word sessio, which means “to sit”, as in sitting to deliberate or talk about something; sometimes called consistory or church board) is a body of elected elders governing each local church within presbyterian polity. 

Worship & Education

This committee joins the pastor to plan worship, music and special services and seeks a pulpit supply pastor when our pastor is gone.  It selects and trains Openers, Greeters, and Liturgists.  It is also responsible for the sound system and for the signboard in front of the sanctuary.

The committee is also responsible for promoting Christian Education, including recruiting Sunday school teachers and the selection of Sunday school materials.  Additionally, the Committee balances the Flock list annually.

Nurture, Mission & Outreach

Committee duties include selecting Mission Fund recipients, overseeing program fundraising events; putting together the annual Travelers’ Party for graduating Palacios HS seniors; and coordinating all fellowship activities. The committee members are responsible for the newsletter, directory, and website.  They promote participation in outreach events and Special Outreach Offerings. The committee works with the Aid Fund and a member serves as liaison with the Day School


This committee handles monies and other assets, staff, property issues, and major purchases.  The members are also responsible for church insurance, facility use, and development of church policies and procedures.  The committee works with Trustees of the Church.

Budget & Finance and Stewardship Committees are Administrative subcommittees.

Faith is like an empty, open hand stretched out towards God, with nothing to offer and everything to receive.

– John Calvin


Frequently Asked Questions

When are worship services?

Sunday Worship Service 10:00 a.m. CT
Children’s church is held throughout the school year during worship service.
Adult Sunday School 11:15 a.m.

When is Communion celebrated?

Holy Communion is celebrated on the first Sunday of each month during regular worship service and at special services such as Maundy Thursday, Easter, and Christmas Eve. Our table is open to all.

Do you have any faith-based study groups?

In addition to Sunday School, Women’s Circle meets monthly in homes for Bible Study and fellowship on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 6:30 pm. Check with the office for the month’s location.

How do I become a church member?

Members may be received by profession of faith and baptism, by reaffirmation of faith or by transfer of letter from another church.

If you would like additional information, contact an Elder or the church office.

What types of fellowship activities do you have?

On the third Sunday of each month a potluck meal is held after the Worship Service. In December, a Dinner replaces the regular luncheon.

Men of the Presbyterian, Methodist, First Baptist, Living Word and Trinity Baptist Churches gather for breakfast the first Sunday of each month. Participating churches take turns hosting the breakfasts at their respective churches.

Women’s Circle meets monthly on the 2nd Wednesday of the month in homes at 6;30 pm.

TGIF provides a simple meal from noon to 1 pm in the Fellowship Hall.

What type of worship service do you have?

Our worship format is traditional but casual with a blend of traditional and contemporary hymns. 

Contact Us

501 3rd St, Palacios, TX 77465
(361) 972-2124

Office Hours

Mon-Thurs 8:30 a.m. – noon


Sunday Worship 10:00 a.m.

Adult Bible Study 11:15 a.m.