Our Story

The Christian Counseling Center of First Presbyterian Church, Inc.

In the late 1980’s, the First Presbyterian Church of Columbia, South Carolina gave birth to the vision of a christian counseling center that would serve both the church and the community. For a decade, plans were laid out, theological foundations for the Counseling Center were agreed upon, the groundwork was set, including the official establishment of a 501(c)(3), and many were praying for just the right person to fill the position of executive director.

In April 1997, the search ended and Dr. Tom Barbian began his work as the first Executive Director of The Christian Counseling Center. Over the last twenty years the Christian Counseling Center has grown to include seven full time providers, nine part time counselors, four administrative staff, and continual openings for graduate intern counselors. Each year thousands of people are helped in Columbia and the surrounding area through the services of the Christian Counseling Center.

First Presbyterian Church

Organized on June 4, 1795, First Presbyterian Church is the oldest congregation in Columbia. Today, our membership numbers some 2,500, representing around 1,000 family units. Though we live and work all over the Midlands of South Carolina, we are a community in Christ, joined together by the grace of God, worshipping and glorifying Him in fellowship and in service.

The history of the church is closely tied to that of the city of Columbia and the state of South Carolina. The church’s forefathers first met in the old State House and later in a simple wooden meeting house on our present grounds. The sanctuary, built in 1853, and the graveyard are both on The Historic Register. The 180-foot church spire, once the tallest structure in Columbia, is a spiritual beacon of faith in the city’s skyline.

In 1983, this congregation requested and received dismissal from Congaree Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in the United States and affiliated itself with Catawba Presbytery of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.

An extensive renovation and restoration project was completed in 2002. It has provided excellent accommodations for worship, education, fellowship and recreation.

To learn more about the church’s history, ministers, theology, buildings and the family of God which has gathered here, we recommend the book The Glory of the LORD Risen Upon It, written by Dr. David Calhoun on the occasion of the 1995 bicentennial celebration.