The Second Story

(185 years summarized in less than 185 words)

In 1832 seventy-seven members of First Presbyterian Church in Carlisle’s central square began a movement that lead to the formation of Second Presbyterian Church.  Our first building was at the corner of East Pomfret St. and South Hanover. Worship began in the fall of 1832; we were chartered in 1833; in 1870 a new worship building of slightly larger size was erected. Why are we called Second?  Because we are the second Presbyterian congregation in Carlisle.

After the Civil War and through the early 20th Century, Second remained committed to serving local people in need, sharing the gospel, including through the Carlisle Indian School, and extending God’s love abroad. Our commitment to caring for neighbors continued in the 20th and 21st centuries with the resettling of Cuban, Vietnamese, Afghan and Bosnian refugees, supporting mission co-workers abroad, and mission work-study trips, especially to Honduras. This same missional spirit caused the congregation to move to a larger location on the edge of the Carlisle borough.

In the fall of 1971, Second began worshiping at its current location.  Today we are deeply committed to building partnerships across lines of race, class, and religion.  We regularly partner for worship and fellowship with Bethel AME, an historically African-American congregation in Carlisle, the B & H Islamic Center, a Bosnian mosque in Mechanicsburg, and other local faith communities (Amish, Jewish, Roman Catholic, and more).  We are well known for sending members out to serve the community.

Want to learn more?  Click here for links to excellent histories of the congregation and to Cumberland County Oral History Project archived interviews with Second Family members.

We are a proud member congregation of the Presbyterian Church(USA).