First Presbyterian to celebrate 131 years

Press release

News release 

Members, families and friends of First Presbyterian Church of Newhall are celebrating the church’s 131st birthday starting around 10:30 a.m. June 5 at the church, 24317 N. Newhall Ave.  

Along with the birthday cake and ice cream and drinks, plans are for the youngsters to play on the playground and for the other celebrants to trade favorite stories about members present and past. Families and friends living in the community are invited to share in the fun and celebration. 

“We are keeping it simple. There will be cake and ice cream and coffee and punch and socializing to celebrate our birthday,” said Linda Cummings, elder for church life. “We wanted to keep it simple since we are coming out of COVID.”   

Lay Pastor Phil Aijian said First Presbyterian Church of Newhall was one of the first churches in the valley. “I believe we are the second oldest church,” Aijian said. “We were beaten out by a Catholic church.”   

Aijian said the original little white wooden church was built right on the corner of Newhall Avenue and 8th Street. “It even had a wooden tie-off for the horses,” he said, adding that the original pastor was the Rev. Frank David Seward, and since then, the church has installed a number of pastors. 

Aijian said the church is starting the process of bringing a new pastor to the pulpit, because the Rev. Dr. Bill Barnes retired in April after 17 years at First Presbyterian.  

Presently, the pastor duties are being shared: Aijian said he is carrying on as the interim pastor, and different church members and two Presbytery pastors, Doug Dason and Len Tiso, are assisting him in the preaching duties. He said a committee of elders is starting the search process for a new pastor. 

“We want the community around the church to come celebrate our birthday and new beginning,” Aijian said. “It will be a great party.”       

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