About First Presbyterian Church Nebraska City
Rev. Tom Osborne
Rev. Tom E. Osborne is a native of southeast Nebraska. He attended Auburn High School and then studied at Peru State College. Upon receiving a bachelor’s degree in Music Education, Tom became a music teacher and band director. He taught twenty years in schools in Southeast Nebraska, the last nine of which were at his alma mater Auburn Public Schools.
After twenty years teaching in public schools, he desired to attend seminary and become involved in pastoral ministry. He graduated from Central Seminary in Kansas City, Kansas in May of 1989. He was ordained to ministry by the Christian Church in Nebraska and served Disciples of Christ Christian churches in Nebraska for 10 years. Then in 1999 the opportunity came for him to be ordained in the Presbyterian Church USA. He has been serving Presbyterian congregations ever since.
First Presbyterian Church of Nebraska City is a Reformed Protestant congregation affiliated with the Presbyterian Church USA, which has more than 2.4 million members, 10,000 congregations, and 14,000 active and ordained ministers. Worldwide, Reformed churches exist in 100 countries and have more than 75 million members.
Presbyterians trace their history to the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. Today, the Presbyterian Church remains true to its early roots while being relevant to today’s world. We:
- Affirm the sovereignty of God.
- Believe we are created in God’s image, yet in freedom are prone to sin and rebellion.
- Trust in Jesus Christ as Lord.
- Find identity and nourishment in the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
- Place a high priority on the Holy Bible as God’s word.
- Place a high priority on the life of the mind, stressing both order and ardor.
- Are mission-minded, after the example of Jesus Christ, and feel called to be good stewards of God’s resources.
- Celebrate and affirm community.
- Are ecumenical, reaching out to other Christian faith traditions as a way of better knowing and honoring God.
- Are a connectional church that practices shared leadership.
- Are a church reformed, always reforming.
The official vision statement for First Presbyterian Church is "Planting Seeds of God’s Light". Diving further, we have set the following goal for ourselves as a community:
Striving to reflect the light of Christ, we seek to plant new seeds envisioning a harvest of God’s fruits of faith, hope, and love. Our passionate, loving, and faithful members reach out, nurturing an environment recognizing everyone’s God-given gifts and skills. We create an atmosphere of trust by valuing diversity and openness, accepting and welcoming all as beloved children of God. Illuminated by the Holy Spirit, we serve by providing for the needs of those outside our walls, supporting and ministering to those within our walls, and taking action exhibiting the kingdom of God together with our neighbors.
So what does this really mean? It means that our church believes in Jesus Christ and his teachings. We believe in loving our neighbor as we love ourselves, and we welcome any and all to experience Christ with us. Whether you come from a faith background, or are just dipping your toe into the living waters -- all are truly welcome here.
The affairs of this corporation shall be conducted by the Session. The Session shall have power to make such rules and regulations as may be necessary and expedient for its own government and the management of its fiscal and other affairs to affect its respective objects.
Board of Deacons
The Board of Deacons shall be maintained for works of compassion and charity. Our Deacons take care of the nursery, and their projects include Thanksgiving Prayer Boxes, Prayer Chain, Hospital ER Bags and gifts for graduates and others.
The Endowment committee has the power and authority to create and administer a permanent endowment fund,
subject to approval of the Session.
Presbyterian Church (USA)
The Office of the General Assembly, headed by the Stated Clerk, is the ecclesiastical arm of the Presbyterian Church USA. The Stated Clerk and staff work to ensure that the Presbyterian Church USA maintains itself as a church. The General Assembly has jurisdiction over those things that are of common concern to the whole church. To learn more about the Presbyterian Church USA and its beliefs, we invite you to visit their official website
Synod of Lakes and Prairies
The Synod of Lakes and Prairies covers a wide area of the upper Midwest. Within the synod’s boundaries are 16 presbyteries, about 790 churches and about 105,000 members engaged in worship and mission. The presbyteries and their churches reflect diversity in ethnicity, size and membership. Additionally, five Presbyterian camps, seven affiliated colleges, a Presbyterian seminary, seven Presbyterian Homes and a family services organization support the church’s mission across all ages, ethnicities and life stages. A synod oversees three or more presbyteries. To learn more about the our Regional Synod, we invite you to visit their official website
Homestead Presbytery is a council of the PC (USA), and is incorporated under the laws of the State of Nebraska. A presbytery has authority over congregations and ministers within a certain district. To learn more about our local presbytery we invite you to visit their official website
- 1854 Nebraska City was recognized as a city.
- 1855 On August 10, Rev. Henry W. Giltner began the organization of a church in Nebraska City, and on November 1, a church known as the
First Presbyterian Church of Nebraska City, Old School was established with 15 members. Four children were baptized in December 1856.
The first member to be received on Confession of Faith was Miss Lucy Bowen on June 14, 1857. The first death in the congregation was in
July 1859. The first adult baptism took place in March 1861. By 1864, 96 people had been received into membership of the church.
- 1856 The first children were baptized, and the first Elders were ordained.
- 1857 Sunday School was established, and the Presbyterians built their first church building at 11th Street and 1st Corso, just west of the current
church. It was 38 feet by 60 feet in size at a cost of $8000. The church was considered the finest religious edifice in the Nebraska
Territory at that time.
- 1861 Construction started on a new educational unit for the church.
- 1862 General Assembly recognized Nebraska City church as the only Presbyterian Church in Nebraska & part of the Des Moines Presbytery.
- 1865 Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized in Nebraska City.
- 1871 Nebraska City Presbyterian church ladies formed the Missionary Society - first in Nebraska.
- 1899 The congregation met on July 26 to consider the construction of a new church building. It was to be built as a memorial
commemorating the birthplace of the Presbyterian Church in Nebraska. Presbyterian Sabbath Schools from all over the state helped
raise funds for this memorial by purchasing brick at a cost of one cent per brick. James Welch was awarded the contract for $10,715.26.
He was also the contractor and builder of the Memorial Building and his father was the contractor & builder of the original School
for the Blind.
- 1901 Stephen Nukolls gave the church a bell that had been recovered from a sunken steamboat.
- 1902 The second church building was dedicated and featured the first pipe organ in the area.
- 1908 The congregation of Cumberland Presbyterian united with our church.
- 1938 Fire badly damaged the church. The organ was rebuilt and upgraded to electric stops. The church reopened for Easter services.
- 1951 Women were elected Deacons of the church for the first time.
- 1957 First Presbyterian Church welcomed Rev. Sam Hofer to the pulpit (he retired in 1990 after 33 years of service to our congregation).
- 1958 The first female Elders were ordained. Pledges were made for phase one of the new building project. We had outgrown our church
building and were very short on educational space.
- 1961 The cornerstone was laid for the current church building. The church was built at a cost of $258,000.
- 1962 Dedication of the current church building and first service was held. Stain glass windows from the previous church building were moved,
framed and placed in the foyer of this third and current building.
- 1964 The figure of Christ was added to the outside front of the church.
- 1968 The Steinhart family donated a home for a manse.
- 1970 West side stained glass windows were given in loving memory of Mrs. W.W. Wilson, guitars were played in church for the first time.
- 1971 East side stained glass windows were gifted by George Lathrop, drums were used with the choir anthem and First
Presbyterian Church hosted the first all-city community Palm Sunday cantata.
- 1972 100th Anniversary of Arbor Day – stained glass windows were funded by Karl and Peg Nelson.
- 1977 First Presbyterian hosted the community presentation of The Messiah.
- 1979 The Presbyterian People Mover, a 17-passenger bus was purchased to fill a community need for transportation.
- 1980 First Presbyterian Church celebrated their 125th Anniversary.
- 1984 Property south of the church was purchased for a parking lot.
- 1990 The Respite program was established to give support to family caregivers, Rev Sam Hofer retired.
- 1991 We welcomed an interim pastor, Paul Salansky, then Rev. Richard Morris served the church from 1991-1999.
- 1993 Last Sunday of each month at First Presbyterian was designated as Hunger Offering Sunday.
- 1996 Pastor Morris led a mission trip to Piedras Negras, Mexico.
- 1997 The Snodgrass family donated the Christmas Story stained glass windows.
- 1999 Peggy Cooper served as interim pastor from Nov 1999-July 2001.
- 2001 Rev. John Duling’s first service was in the Peterson Mortuary Chapel due to broken air conditioning in the church. Rev. Duling served the church from August 2001 - May 2012
- 2005 First Presbyterian Church celebrated their 150th Anniversary!
- 2011 First Presbyterian Church hosted weekly dinners for Iowa flood victims.
- 2013 Rev. Greg Bolt served the church from April 2013 - Dec 2016.
- 2014 High School graduates from First Presbyterian Church traveled to Chicago on a Mission Trip.
- 2015 Krystal Bells were purchased by the church.
- 2018 First Presbyterian Church welcomed Rev. Tom Osborne to the pulpit and hosted Homestead Presbytery.
- 2019 First Presbyterian Church hosted weekly dinners for Iowa flood victims. New sound and video systems were installed and power point
establish ground rules for our Facebook page.