The First Presbyterian Church, Alvin, Texas had its beginning in the year 1890 when a small group of Presbyterian families who had recently moved into the area, held services in the Methodist Church, a small frame building on the corner of Sidnor and Johnson Streets, The Winston family formed the nucleus of this group. Rebecca Winston, three daughters, Kate, Susie, and Maud, four sons, Jack, Lafayette, Ed, and Will, and the wives and children of the three older sons. Mr. and Mrs. Roudebush and the McMillan family also belonged to this early Presbyterian group who worshiped in the Methodist Church.
The Methodist minister, Rev. W.R. Campbell and later Rev. T.B. Graves, served as circuit riders in the western part of the county two Sundays each month. At such times when the Methodist pulpit was vacant, the Rev. Hamilton Byers, Home Mission Secretary of Brazos Presbyter, came from Houston to hold services for the Presbyterians. The two churches held joint Sunday School, and each congregation joined the other in worship services. Presbyterian families continued to move to Alvin and as the group enlarged, Mrs. Rebecca Winston and her daughter, “Miss Kate” worked for the organization of a Presbyterian Church. On June 14, 1892, under the direction of Rev. Byers, the Church was organized with sixteen charter members. The Church continued to worship with the Methodist congregation for another two years.
In 1894 Mr. W.L. Spears promoted the building of the sanctuary on the northeast corner of Lang and Beauregard Streets. A Mr. Wright from Houston was employed as contractor for the frame building. For some reason he failed to pay his workmen and the work on the building was delayed for some time.
Now the funds were raised in various ways to pay off the debts and a new church. A Mrs. Simpson and her daughter were some of the newcomers to the church and her daughter, “Miss Sallie” a zealous and vivacious young woman, had interesting ideas for raising money for the “building fund.” China egg banks were given to the children to fill, while adults drew small wooden barrels. As the church neared completion an ice-cream supper was held, and it was on this occasion some ceremony was made over the breaking of the eggs and emptying of the barrels of coins. All were enthusiastic as they spilled out the many coins for the new church building.
The hurricane of 1900 ripped the steeple off the church, but otherwise little damage was done to the structure. The steeple was never replaced so the church never had a bell until June of 1992 when a bell was purchased and placed in the church yard by the sanctuary.
After the storm it was possible for the church to build a manse, using some of the millions of feet of lumber that was washed to the mainland from Galveston Island during the storm. Member of the congregation used their wagons and teams to haul the drift lumber to the church property where they constructed the manse next to the church. The manse was first occupied by the Rev. E.E. Shive and family from 1901 – 1903. Eleven succeeding ministers lived there until 1960 when a new manse was built on Booth Lane. In 2006 the “old manse” was sold and will be restored to become a historical piece of Alvin.
Since there were no stock laws in Alvin, cattle roamed through the vicinity. Cows often sought shade at the north end of the church during church services. Much disturbances was sometimes caused by the knocking of horns and switching of tails against the building as the cattle milled around the church grounds. For protection, a fence was built around the church grounds. By way of further improvement, hitching posts were place outside of the fence.