Ministries & Mission

On days other than Sunday, you’ll find First Presbyterian Church all over Sterling — working at various ministries and mission that we support. Our members are active in our community, and our mission support is shared with FISH food pantry, Loaves and Fishes, PADS shelter, Let’s Feed Our Children through United Way of Whiteside County, Church World Service, Good Neighbor Emergency Center, public school partnerships, Head Start, YWCA … the list goes on. We share our building with AA, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts,  and with other groups in the community who need space.


Our worship services are lively and inspiring. We have excellent musicians, a choir, a bell choir, and a great worship team. Our digital ministry team makes sure that you can access worship online, on Facebook and our YouTube channel.


Our education programs include Sunday morning children’s classes, an adult study, and confirmation classes as needed. Women’s Bible Study meets on Wednesdays. If you are interested in joining Bible Study, just contact the office.

Church Life

Our building is busy with activities every day of the week! Church groups meet and gather throughout the week. We welcome many groups into our building, including Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, MOMS group, PFLAG, Youth Outlook, Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, plus family gatherings, special parties like baby showers or birthdays, and every now and then, a birthday party for dogs! Keeping our building clean and well maintained is a high value to us, so that we can practice hospitality to so many people.


Sterling Buddy Bags inventory shelves

Throughout the pandemic, we supported our Buddy Bag families with food, cleaning supplies, summer activity baskets, and needed supplies for the shift to remote schooling. Now that all kids are back in school, the Buddy Bags program is back to providing weekly food bags for over 125 students. The bags include items for two breakfasts and two lunches, so that food is always available on weekends. We’ve made donations to disaster assistance to help with cleanup after disasters, and we’ve given direct assistance in Breathitt County, Kentucky after the floods. We’ve helped individuals and local services, including Rock River Hospice, the YWCA, Feed the Children summer lunch program, and Loaves and Fishes free breakfast. Not only do we help financially, our members also volunteer their time and talent, serving meals, packing bags, serving on boards, and supporting local events.

Sterling Buddy Bags provides food for kids to take home on Friday afternoon. The food is simple and nutritious, something children can prepare without too much effort. The program is supported by numerous churches and civic groups and is sponsored by the Illinois Coalition for Community Services, with the cooperation of Sterling Public Schools.

How you can help: Sterling Buddy Bags provides weekend food bags for kids who are food insecure. The bags contain food for weekend meals, and are provided discreetly to children at school. This community program is housed at Wesley United Methodist Church of Sterling, but it belongs to all of us. Community groups can help by:

  • Donating food items. You can find a list of needed items at the First Presbyterian Church.
  • Donating money to purchase food and support the program.
  • Packing the weekly bags.
  • Delivering the bags to the schools.

Contact our volunteer coordinator at 815-625-0452 to make a donation or to schedule a volunteer time.

Friends, we’ve had a great, busy fall and winter. We are now serving students in the High School as well as Challand Middle School and all four Sterling Elementary schools – that adds up to around 150 bags every week! The need is very great, and we welcome your donations of money, or of food. We always need individual servings of Chef Boyardee, Easy Mac, applesauce, pudding, fruit, and cereal.

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