First Presbyterian Church ~ PCUSA, 1319 Junction Ave, Sturgis SD 57785 --605-347-2395

History in Brief


How we got our start

1884 ~ J. Logan Sample came to Sturgis as a missionary and purchased lots where the original church stood.

1886 ~ Church organized by the Board of Home Missions with Thirteen charter members.

1887 ~ Main church building constructed and dedicated. During the next nineteen years, ten missionary ministers served our church.

1906 ~ Pastor Carroll D. Erskine came to Sturgis and served as pastor for forty-eight years.

1907 ~ The edifice was improved with stained glass windows, pews, paint and the furnace was installed.

1908 ~ Five-room brick manse was purchased and bell tower of church was elevated.

1911 ~ Voted to change from a Home Mission Church to a self-supporting church.

1915 ~ Church building was enlarged on the West which was the club room area.

1920 ~ Sanctuary enlarged twenty feet to the South.

1924 ~ Kitchen and library were build and dedicated.

1950 ~ Basement of church was excavated for Sunday School classrooms.

1957 ~ Pastor Donald L. Duly came to Sturgis and served as the pastor for seven years.

1959 ~ Primary house and three lots were purchased.

1960 ~ Pastor E. Charles Markman came to serve our church.

1963 ~ First fund drive for new building.

1965 ~ Pastor Lee James came to serve our church.

1966 ~ Second Fund drive for new building, and ground breaking on Easter Sunday for the current church building.

1967 ~ Cornerstone laying on Easter Sunday. First service in the current church was on May 28.

1970 ~ Pastor Chuck White came to serve our church

1980 ~ Pastor Jack Whetzel came to serve the church.

1986 ~ Year long Centennial Celebration, and re-opening of the Cornerstone.

1989 ~ Pastor Howard Smith came to serve this congregation

2005 ~ Pastor Jane Ireland came as an Interim pastor to First Presbyterian Church.

2007 ~ Pastor Denzel Nonhof was installed as Pastor.

2019 ~ Pastor Paul Henschen was installed as Pastor.

     Sturgis was a little frontier town in 1886 when the Rev. J. Logan Sample, a Home Missionary representing the Home Mission Board, arrived driving a 'team of blacks' to organize the First Presbyterian Church of Sturgis. This was accomplished in October of 1886. The House of Worship was built, and dedicated on January 23, 1887.

     The Rev. J. Logan Sample purchased from F. J. Washabough of Deadwood, three lots fronting on Junction Ave., and adjoining Mr. Witcher's residence property, on which he immediately proceeded to erect a Presbyterian Church building.