The first protestant service in Grand Forks, North Dakota, was held in 1872. Six years later, a committee of the St. Paul Presbytery sent Reverend Francis Iddings to the Red River area to report on the need for home mission work. As a result, Mr. Iddings was commissioned to the field for a year in September 1878 and immediately began to hold services in the Methodist Church of Grand Forks. The First Presbyterian Church was organized 5 April 1879, with twenty five charter members received the following Sunday. A year later, with land provided by Frank Viets, a church was built at Fifth Street and Gertrude Avenue in Grand Forks. This church was replaced by a new structure, designed by Joseph Bell DeRemer, in 1911. Although this building still remains, the First Presbyterian Church is presently located at 5555 South Washington Street.
The women of First Presbyterian have had active societies throughout the years. The first of these was the Ladies Aid Society, predating the organization of the congregation with its formation in 1878. Another group, The Missionary Society, was created in 1883 and co-existed with the Ladies Aid Society. The main purpose of these organizations was to promote fellowship, but they were also active in fundraising activities such as “dime socials”, annual bazaars, luncheons, and rummage sales. In 1937, The Missionary Society and Ladies Aid Society merged to form The Women’s Association of the First Presbyterian Church. The scope of their work included both foreign and domestic missions and Christian education. The Women’s Association remained active for about 30 years, when it was reorganized as the United Presbyterian Women.
First Presbyterian Church. Centennial! First Presbyterian Church of Grand Forks, North Dakota, 1879-1979. Grand Forks, ND: First Presbyterian Church, 1979.