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Presented at the 75th Anniversary of First Presbyterian Church of Ruidoso on August 20, 2023. 

In the summer of 1947, members of the Midland church who were regular summer visitors in Ruidoso, began discussing the formation of a Presbyterian church in Ruidoso. They were joined by permanent residents who were also of the same denomination, and by the summer of 1948 the interest was more general among the community. They found that there was a retired Presbyterian minister living in Ruidoso and approached him about helping to establish a congregation. He accepted, and helped them work their way through the process of getting the church off the ground. His name was Claude D. Peake.

Early in the process of the church’s formation, a local developer, Mr. Joe C. Palmer offered a free building site if the church could be formed. That site is the current location of the church. The first organizational meeting was held at the caddy house at the golf course, but was poorly attended. The organizers held another public meeting was held on August 1, 1948 at Community Methodist church and had much better attendance.

On August 29th the first official worship service was held at the Grade School Gymnasium. Dr. William Foster drew up a covenant statement to be presented to the Presbytery in El Paso in consideration of forming a church in Ruidoso. Thirty people signed the covenant and it was forwarded to El Paso.

The petition was presented on the floor of the Presbytery of El Paso’s stated meeting in Big Spring, Texas on September 21-23, 1948. The Presbytery voted unanimously to form a commission to organize the church under the authority of that Presbytery. Said commission met at the First Baptist Church in Ruidoso at 7:00pm on October 12, 1948. They read the petition to organize the church at the meeting and the following individuals signed as charter members:
Mr. and Mrs. Ernest McDaniel
Mrs. M.D. Pior
Miss Belle Norton
Mr. and Mrs. Joe C. Palmer
Mrs. C.D. Broome
Mrs. Claude Peake
Mr. and Mrs. W.S. Campbell
Mr. and Mrs. Ray Jarnagin
Mrs. A.J. Gates
Mrs. Ethel Britton
Mrs. Lillian Medler
Mrs. H.M. Reddy
Mrs. Ray Wardlow
Mr. Robert Pior

Mr. and Mrs. A.P. Furry
Mrs. Sarah Winkle

The Commission likewise moderated the election of officers. Elected as the first Ruling Elders of the church were Mr. Ernest McDaniel and Mr. W.S. Campbell. Mr. A.P. Furry was elected the first deacon. Rev. Peake was authorized to serve as Stated Supply until the next meeting of the Presbytery.


Beginning on the third Sunday of September, 1948, regular worship services were held at the American Legion Hall.


The rest is history.

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