First Church of Christ

First Church of Christ is a Christian church located in Altoona, PA.

Our story begins with a man who lived in Altoona in 1892. This man was named W. L. King, and he was a part of the Restoration Movement. The Restoration Movement was a church movement which sought to reconnect the church of today with the first gathering of Christians at Pentecost. This movement was built upon two principles. The first principle was that Christians must be unified even across denominational lines. The second principle was that Christians must hold the Scriptures as the sole foundation of their faith.

W. L. King desired for such a church to exist here in Altoona, so he had an advertisement written up in the local newspaper. This advertisement was an invitation for anyone else who shared these principles to gather together to form a local congregation. The advertisement stated that whoever wished to form such a church could join W. L. King and his wife at their home the following Sunday. So on July 31st, 1892, Mr. and Mrs. King eagerly awaited to see who would respond to the invitation. Thankfully, the invitation did not go out in vain, for six other individuals arrived and joined the Kings in worship that Sunday morning.

The Kings continued to open up their home every Sunday for worship, but as the weeks went on, the group began to grow. Eventually, this small congregation had to move out of the Kings’ home and into a much more suitable space. The gathering was relocated to a hall on twelfth street on October 16th, 1892, and the church was officially chartered on May 13th, 1895.

Now over a century later, First Church of Christ continues to gather together every Sunday for worship. We continue to hold fast to those two core principles of Christian unity and faith. Though we may be in a new building, wear different clothes, and sing modern songs, we are still the same church. We are all part of the same faith that the Kings believed in, and we are all part of the same faith that the first Christians held at Pentecost.