Many years ago in 1960, the Presbytery Extension Board made a study of northwest Phoenix and determined that it was a growing area with potential for a Presbyterian church. However, there were no meeting facilities available in the area. The board determined that there was a need to purchase land and build a church facility there. By the spring of 1962, land was purchased just south of Greenway Road and a small building was erected at the cost of slightly less than $12,000.
The Presbytery then called the Reverend Paul Moser from Ketchikan, Alaska to serve as the organizing minister of this church. Reverend Moser moved his family to Phoenix in the summer of 1962 and began calling on people in the area and forming a congregation. On September 23, 1962 the first worship service was held in the new building. During the next eight months, the church was given a name of St James United Presbyterian Church, and began Sunday school classes, membership classes and a Vacation Bible School under the leadership of the Steering Committee and the Reverend Paul Moser. The Steering committee consisted of four people who served in place of elders, since the church was not yet formally organized by the Presbytery.
St. James continued to grow in numbers and programs. As time passed and the community continued to grow, construction of the Black Canyon Highway took place. St. James was located just west of the highway and the construction provided no exit at Greenway Road, thus cutting off access to the church. New people were unable to find a way to the church and others found it inconvenient. It soon became apparent that something had to change. Discussions with the State Highway Department gave no promise of any change for many years. Therefore, the only solution the Presbytery had was that it was best for the church to move to a new location. However, there was a financial obligation on the small St. James congregation, for the church and land which made the move impossible. Resolution to the problem came for the Presbytery. They called for St. James United Presbyterian Church to dissolve, thus relieving them of the financial obligation. They then ordered a new church be organized at a new location and a new identity.
In 1966 St. James was offically dissolved and on March 27, 1966 Northminster United Presbyterian Church was organized with the Reverend Paul Moser as pastor. There were 94 charter members who began meeting at Cholla Elementary School. The Reverend Robert F. Clark was installed as pastor of the congregation on February 2, 1969. Northminster continued to meet at Cholla School; occasionally holding special worship services at St. Andrews Luthern Church across the street, until funds were raised to purchase land and erect a new building at the present site.
The congregation entered the unfinished multipurpose building on May 23, 1971 for the first Sunday Worship Service. The chancel furniture was donated by Westminster United Presbyterian Church from pieces originally used in their first worship unit. Over the next thirteen years, the upper level of that multipurpose building was the sanctuary for worship, weddings, funerals, dining, fellowship/recreation, Sunday school, Bible school, and classrooms. The lower level was divided into office and classroom space. The educational unit and fellowship hall were completed in December of 1976.
Out of desire to grow and a need to improve the facilities, on October of 1984, the upper level and patio areas were demolished and the present sanctuary, narthex, and offices were constructed and ready for worship on July 7, 1985. Our old chancel furniture that had been donated was given to a newly organized Christian church. Memorial funds and donations were used to provide new furnishings and stained glass windows for the newly remodeled building.
On June 8, 1986 the Reverend Robert Clark left to accept a new pastorate in California. Dr. James Van Dyke served as interim pastor from August 1, 1986 to August 30, 1987, when the Reverend Don Waite was installed as pastor of the congregation. Since Reverend Waite left, our pastors have been Reverend Bob Furer, Reverend David Choate, and Reverend Dave Huskko.
In May of 2011, the congregation of Northminster Presbyterian Church was indeed blessed when the Reverend Wayne D. Kirk accepted the call to be our pastor and lead our congregation.