top of page
OUR HISTORY

Empower
Growth

St. Philip Presbyterian Church
During the 1950s, Northeast Tarrant County grew rapidly when American Airlines and Bell Aircraft opened factories in Hurst and Richland Hills, and the need for a Presbyterian Church in the area was evident. Area Presbyterians, under the leadership of Reverend James F. Garvin, began meeting in the former Covenant Church in Haltom City, and on January 29, 1956, Reverend Garvin was installed as the first minister of St. Philip Presbyterian Church. Construction on a new church building began in November 1956, and St. Philip found its home at the corner of Pipeline Road and Precinct Line Road in Hurst in June 1957.

CSC_0048 2 (1).jpg
IMG_5011_edited.jpg

The first women elders were elected in 1966, and St. Philip continued to grow, add staff, and serve the community. In 1979, Reverend Jim Garvin accepted a call to another congregation, and St. Philip said goodbye to its organizing pastor. Reverend Tom Brown was installed as pastor on November 16, 1980. During Reverend Brown's tenure, the music program grew, St. Philip hired its first Director of Christian Education, and expanded its education and fellowship opportunities.​ 

St. Philip celebrated its 25th anniversary in January 1981. Reverend Garvin returned to preach, the church offered an organ recital and chili cook-off, and a time capsule was sealed for reopening at the church's 50th anniversary. In 1986, St. Philip expanded its worship space with new office space, more classrooms, and a new sanctuary complete with a set of beautiful new stained glass windows.

In April 1991, Reverend Brown accepted a call to another congregation, and Reverend Steve Jester was installed on September 19, 1993.​   During Reverend Jester's tenure, St. Philip expanded its mission outreach program, including allowing several community organizations, such as Mid-Cities Care Corps, Boy Scouts, Meals on Wheels, and Legal Aid to use church space during the week. In 2002, St. Philip again expanded its worship space with a new music room, fellowship hall, an "Oak Terrace" for gathering in small groups, and the Jim Garvin Memorial Bell Tower.

 

During these years, St. Philip introduced a rotation model church school, continued to expand its mission work, and sought innovative ways to introduce people to the good news of Jesus Christ.​   

 

St. Philip celebrated its 50th anniversary in January, 2006 with a Jubilee celebration that included special music, the return of past church figures, recognition of charter members, and the opening of the 25th anniversary time capsule. St. Philip continued in its ministry, enjoying expanded membership and programming for its members, and outreach to the community. Reverend Jester accepted a call to another congregation in November, 2008.​   

 

In March of 2011, St. Philip welcomed Reverend Dr. Greg Garis. He presided over a difficult time for St. Philip, wherein, following patterns of membership decline for mainstream churches, our membership also declined, and Youth & children’s programs languished. During his tenure, Greg revitalized the Diaconate to better address the needs of our homebound, ailing, and non-ambulatory members. For some time, there were events such as Fridays at Phil’s, which were relaxed times for music and fellowship. He presided over many projects and programs in the life of SPPC, including fostering the SPPC Community Garden, serving on the Board for the Presbyterian Night Shelter, leading a Grief Support group, and increasing our local presence and participation within Hurst, Euless, and Bedford. He joined forces with pastors at First United Methodist of Hurst to serve in projects with local schools and residents and ensured that the SPPC campus was used for community participation in events such as free flu shots, July 4th celebrations, and Fall Festivals. When the COVID19 pandemic swept through the country, he was instrumental in live-streaming services as in-person events were abandoned.

 

Rev. Dr. Garis left St. Philip in 2023 to serve as the Lead Presbyter for Transformation for the Presbytery of Susquehanna Valley in New York.  The church is now following the PC(USA)-directed process of selecting and calling a new pastor.

bottom of page