First Presbyterian Church

of Whitefish

1921 Whitefish Montana

By The Montana National Register Sign Program

First Presbyterian Church of Whitefish. Front to side view of the church building, facing west on Central Avenue.

Not long after the Great Northern Railway announced its plans for a division point in Whitefish, Presbyterian missionary E. M. Ellis and Kalispell minister Alexander Pringle traveled by bicycle and rowboat to visit the site. Soon after, Reverend Pringle canvassed logging and railroad camps for donations of cash and labor to construct a sanctuary. By December 1903, Whitefish had its first church. The First Presbyterian Church moved several times in the early years. By 1919, it had once again outgrown its building; to accommodate congregants, the church held services in the Masonic Lodge while planning a new house of worship. Under direction of physician and active church member W. W. Taylor, the building committee devised detailed drawings, which the Spokane architectural firm Rigg and Vantyne modified only slightly. The building committee chose a Romanesque Revival style design, considered less ostentatious and more appropriate for a Protestant church than the competing Gothic tradition. Romanesque Revival churches featured masonry construction, heavily arched windows, bands of stylized decoration, and towers—in this case a Norman style square tower that serves as the building’s main entrance. The one-story building featured a large daylight basement with a high ceiling, designed to provide clearance for a full-sized basketball court. Community members donated the large art glass windows ornamenting the sanctuary. Among them are two purchased by Japanese railroad workers for $700 in honor of churchwoman Elizabeth Peck, who taught the men English. A tribute to Peck, the windows also commemorate Whitefish’s once-thriving Japanese community and the church’s long history of community service.


Our church has been a part of Whitefish since the beginning. Flip through and use the arrow guides to read the history of how we originated.

Church History
Commemorating Fiftieth-Year Anniversary

1903 – 1953



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History of Presbyterian Church

Whitefish Montana 1936

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Church Historical


what to expect

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from the Archives

History Books & Articles

Mid-Week Messenger

Mid-Week Messenger

Greetings EveryoneGreetings Everyone. This week we not only participated in Halloween but we also celebrated All-Saints Day. The original title of All-Saints Day was “All Hallows Day” with ‘hallow’ meaning holy or saint. The real reason October 31 is “Hallow-e’en” is...

Mid-Week Messenger

Mid-Week Messenger

Greetings EveryoneThis Sunday we will be holding a Kirkin’ of the Tartans celebration just before the beginning of worship (9:45). In a lengthy article I wrote a few years back, I explain the history of this celebration as well as presented some challenges for us to...

Mid-Week Messenger

Mid-Week Messenger

Greetings EveryoneGreetings Everyone… What is the purpose of prayer? We have begun a 7-week series on prayer. As we began this series last week, we talked about two methods of praying that people have found helpful as tools to structure their time of prayer. The first...

301 Central Ave,
Whitefish, MT 59937

301 Central Avenue
Whitefish, MT 59937


(406) 862-2802