A year before the formation of the City of Vancouver, the Presbyterian Church in Canada established a congregation near the harbor and called it First Presbyterian Church. They later built a fine church on Cordova Street, which was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1886 and rebuilt soon after. The church moved to Hastings and Gore in 1892.


As part of the establishment of the United Church of Canada, First Presbyterian became First United Church. During the Great Depression, it served as the major support hub for the city. In 1931 and ‘32, more than 1200 people were fed a nourishing meal each day.


In response to the ever-changing needs of the community, First United’s community workers became advocates for those seeking housing, health or social services. These vital outreach efforts continue to this day.


After years of declining congregation numbers, and rapid growth in the need for community programs, the decision was made to fold our congregation and focus efforts on outreach services. One year later, First United established its low-barrier shelter.


130 years after its birth, First United continues to provide a ministry of transformation and hope.