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First Presbyterian Church of Santa Fe - National Fund For Sacred Places
2017 Cohort

First Presbyterian Church of Santa Fe

Santa Fe, New Mexico

First Presbyterian Church of Santa Fe is the oldest continuously operating Protestant congregation in New Mexico.

First Presbyterian Church of Santa Fe by Krista Peterson

First Presbyterian Church of Santa Fe by Krista Peterson

2017 Cohort

First Presbyterian Church of Santa Fe

Santa Fe, New Mexico

First Presbyterian Church of Santa Fe is the oldest continuously operating Protestant congregation in New Mexico.

The church was established in 1867 to serve the military as well as business and government personnel arriving in Santa Fe after the Civil War. The congregation has occupied three churches on the same triangular site, where it launched some of the first schools and clinics in the New Mexico Territory. The current Pueblo Revival sanctuary was designed by renowned Santa Fe architect John Gaw Meem and constructed by notable local builder Fred Grill in 1939. Meem was an early advocate of “an architecture of place.” He designed his buildings in the rich stucco traditions of the Southwest that were developed by Native Americans, extended by the Spanish, and continue to influence new construction today.

First Presbyterian Church has numerous outreach programs that have a broad reach in the community. The church hosts a child development center that enrolls 60 children daily, and it offers space to community groups, facilitates topic-based forums, and delivers musical programming, including free weekly recitals. The congregation is particularly responsive to the needs of people facing food and shelter insecurity. Church members volunteer at local shelters, helped resettle Chinese refugees from Vietnam, and aided Central American refugees.

A National Fund grant of $230,000 with over $520,000 in matching funds raised by the congregation allowed First Presbyterian Church to complete critical repairs to the exterior and interior of the historic sanctuary building. Repairs to stucco and wooden features restored the exterior to its original appearance, and accessibility improvements were made to the entrance doors. On the interior, First Presbyterian Church repaired the HVAC system, replaced the obsolete lighting control and fire detection systems, and installed LED lights. According to the congregation, the improved aesthetics and functionality of the building “enhance the desirability of [the] Sanctuary’s use as a venue for hosting congregation and community spiritual, social, and other gatherings.”

Iconic Architectural Styles at Sacred Places

The architectural style of a sacred place represents the people, the denomination, and the culture that resides within. From an Indigenous-designed iconostasis, to an innovative Pueblo Revival-style sanctuary, to the largest copper dome in the world, the following churches are emblematic of unique regional and denominational architectural styles across the country, and demonstrate the breadth of architectural wonders represented within and preserved through the National Fund for Sacred Places.

First Presbyterian Church of Santa Fe by Judith Haines

Stories and Media Coverage

Read more about how the National Fund for Sacred Places is helping congregations around the country rehabilitate their sacred places.

Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church by Luis P. Gutierrez