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First Presbyterian Church

is a Community called to love God through Worship and Prayer, receiving and serving our neighbors with the compassion of Christ, open to new beginnings and the spiritual growth of children, youth and adults. 

First Presbyterian Church
214 E. Thayer Ave. Bismarck, ND
Phone: (701) 223-6091 



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First Presbyterian Childcare Center - (701)-258-7490 OR

Here and now

We welcome you all to come worship

You can visit us at 214 E Thayer Ave. or

​tune in at 10:00am Sunday to our Live Feed on Facebook​​

First Presbyterian Church of Bismarck


​ The Scholarship Committee of First Presbyterian Church is pleased to announce the availability of a limited number of scholarships for our church community. To be eligible for consideration to receive a scholarship, a student must be an active member of First Presbyterian Church of Bismarck or must have been an active participant in the life of First Presbyterian Church of Bismarck for at least three years. The awards are given for students at any level of study beyond high school. Four years is the maximum for receiving scholarships: these need not be consecutive years. Graduate students may apply for scholarships, providing they are within the four year maximum.

The deadline to apply is May 17, 2024

​​​​​Pastor Leanne's Message for the month of July 2024

“Idolatry and Superstition”

       We are a Reformed Church, meaning that our theology went under its foundational development during the Reformation. The Reformers, (and particularly our founder, John Calvin) wanted to form a church community  that was based on faith in the grace of God. They were concerned that, over  the centuries, the church had picked up a lot of baggage that did not serve the gospel of Christ. Instead, they asserted that the added burdens of church life and belief buried the believer’s spirit under burdens of guilt and served to  make the average church goer “pliable” to the manipulative and controlling  impulses of leadership.

       Beyond the basic doctrine that we are saved by grace,           not works, two things bothered the Reformers intensely: one   was idolatry, an age-old biblical complaint – and the other        was superstition.

       Idolatry has always been understood as the worship of another (fabricated) god  other than the one true God. To this end, the Reformers stripped their churches of paintings and icons, fearing that people were becoming fixed with praying to the portraits rather than to God. Calvin expanded the notion of    idolatry so that it did not only refer to items shaped like “gods” but to anything that became a prized object of human reverence. He asserted that we make idols of a lot of things and people, valuing material things, leaders, wealth, and reputation - even church edifices - more than we do the worship of the                  one true God. 

       Superstition was an even more insidious threat, as it could easily disguise itself in the trappings of faith. It is why Calvin was so adamant that, at communion, the bread and cup do not magically become real flesh and blood. Instead, he taught that   the blessing of communion was accomplished through the Spirit. The last thing he wanted to encourage was people becoming          superstitious about the table of the Lord by perceiving the elements as “supernatural.” Every time I perform a baptism, I tell our children that the water is not magic water – that I get it from the tap. What matters in our actions is that they are an outward symbol of the spiritual reality that is occurring within us by the Spirit. I have come to believe that the Reformers were very wise to identify idolatry and superstition as dangers to the church and to our faith. It must be part of our human nature, because even today we find the simplicity and beauty of grace hard to accept, and add foreign elements to our faith. All too easily, we blend our faith rituals with self-actualization: we mistake church status with mission, we recite our good actions as qualifiers to our spiritual value; we become overly attached to the forms and styles of worship and overlook the content.

       We attach ourselves to celebrity leaders in media, church,  and state - we follow trends, not doctrine – we fail to do the three things the reformers challenged us to do: “read the scripture, pray, and think for yourself.”

       “Only God is Lord of the conscience,” this was the reformers mantra - and they left us as Presbyterians with a heritage of examining everything to be sure that our faith aligns with the simple truth of the gospel: “We are saved by grace, through     faith in Christ alone.” Nothing else comes close. 

Leanne  ​



​We encourage you to continue to love your neighbor well at this time. Hebrews 13:16 challenges us to“dowhat is good and to share, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”Thank you for being the Church. 

Are you in need of assistance that you can not get help?  Email firstpresbyterian@fpcbismarck or call      701-223-6091 and let us know how we can help.


For those who are unable to worship with us in church, here are a few ways that you can continue to give:

1.  Online bill pay with your banking institution.

2.  Click on the "Give Now" button above to             donate today. 

3.  Mail checks to First Presbyterian Church,             214 E Thayer Ave, Bismarck, ND 58501.