Welcome to First Presbyterian Church. Part of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC), First Presbyterian Church is a community of Christian believers meeting in Waukegan, Illinois. We are imperfect people both seeking to know God through His Son, Jesus, and to make Jesus known to others.
We receive the Bible as God's trustworthy message, a message that demands our attention and addresses our deepest needs. We seek to glorify God and to grow as followers of Jesus Christ. Our worship services are Bible-based. We gather to sing God's Word, to preach God's Word, and to pray God's Word.
Come join us!
Who We Are
First Presbyterian Church of Waukegan was founded in 1857. It is now part of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC). Our worship service can be described as mostly traditional with a blend of hymns and choruses. Both the choir and praise band contribute to a comfortable and thoughtful experience with the Lord and one another.
The EPC consists of over 600 EPC churches with approximately 145,000 members. First Presbyterian is part of the Rivers and Lakes Presbytery. The EPC is both evangelical and Presbyterian. We are evangelical in our zeal for the Gospel, evangelism, missions, and living obediently as followers of Jesus. We are also rooted in the Protestant Reformation and theological works of John Calvin. Our motto, "In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity" speaks of our determination to love each other while staying true to the Word of God.
The basic teachings of our Christian faith, as understood at First Presbyterian, are summarized in The Essentials of Our Faith. In addition, the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms represent a specifically Presbyterian (Reformed) perspective on theology and practice. This includes such matters as our form of church government, the Lord's Supper, baptism, the authority of Scripture, and the sovereignty of God.
Our mission is to glorify God, to grow in Christ, to spread the gospel, and to serve the Lord in Spirit-gifted ministry.
In grateful dependence on God’s grace, we glorify Christ through worship that is mostly formal, yet distinctly evangelical.
We emphasize God's Word, which transforms hearts and minds. We treasure the great hymns of the faith and Christian music from all ages.
We grow in Christ through small groups and other relationships that encourage practical faith.
We give ourselves to pray and work for the spread of the gospel, both in our community and throughout the world.
And we seek to equip every believer for personal ministries that build the church and reach out to others.
In 2013, First Presbyterian Church of Waukegan became part of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC), a Christian denomination committed to the truth and authority of the Bible. A distinctive element of the EPC is its emphasis on the need for Christians to be unified in the essential teachings of the Christian faith, despite their differences on other matters.
The Reverend Dr. David Eikenberry (Pastor Dave) became just the 17th pastor in the church's long history when he accepted our call in 1992. He received his Master of Divinity Degree from the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and his Doctor of Ministry Degree at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. The hallmarks of his ministry are adherence to the truths of Scripture, Bible teaching, and personal spiritual growth, as well as outreach into the community. Pastor Dave leads the Wednesday Evening Bible Study and a men's group the first Saturday of each month.
In addition, Dave was instrumental in collaborating with Beth Naegele to establish the First Presbyterian Philharmonic Orchestra and shares his considerable trumpet skills with the group.
His greatest ministerial challenge came in 2011 when the "mainline" Presbyterian Church USA continued to rapidly move away from its historical foundations. After leading the congregation in much prayer and discussion, they voted to become a member of the EPC (Evangelical Presbyterian Church).
Dave and his wife, Kathleen, reside in the manse. They have three adult children and three grandchildren.
Dr. Beth Naegele is the organist and Director of Music. A child of missionaries, Beth grew up in the Congo, Africa. It is there she learned to play a pump organ. Later, she studied classical organ at Moody Bible Institute. After receiving her doctorate at Northwestern University in 1989, she became Professor and Chair of Organ Instruction and Ethnomusicology at Moody. Beth also traveled around the world with the Moody Chorale. She has recently retired from her position at Moody.
Beth joined our staff in 1990. She and Pastor Dave established the First Presbyterian Philharmonic Orchestra. They craft a nice blend of all levels of musical talent. In addition to playing the organ for worship services, Beth also directs the Impromptu Bell Choir, the Philharmonic, and the Westminster Choir.
Beth and her husband, Mike, have two grown children and enjoy traveling.
Dr. Elizabeth Naegele
Director of Music
Carole is the pleasant voice you hear when you call First Presbyterian Church and the friendly face you see when you stop by the church office on a weekday morning. The multitude of tasks she performs include publishing the weekly church bulletin and monthly newsletter, bulletin preparation for special services, organization and compilation of the Annual Report, ordering supplies, and generally keeping the office functioning smoothly.
Carole has been a mainstay at the church for 18 years. She attended college at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Washington, Seattle. Carole was the Vice President of the Waukegan Garden Club, a member of Clara Cummings Book Club, and served for 27 years as a volunteer coordinator for PADS.
She and her husband, Ken, have two grown sons who live nearby.
Oversight of First Presbyterian Church is provided by those ordained as elders, in keeping with the Biblical pattern of church leadership. Our congregation elects elders to a three-year term of active service. ("Session" refers to the current board of active elders.) In addition to providing general oversight, session members serve in administrative roles and as leaders of ministry committees.
Our board of Deacons provides a ministry of mercy, serving those in need and encouraging the congregation. Like the position of elder, the position of deacon is a Biblical, ordained office. Our congregation elects deacons to a three-year term of active service.
Rather than filling an ordained office specified in the Bible, our trustees represent First Presbyterian Church as a legal entity and also manage the care of our building and grounds. Trustees are elected to a three-year term.