First Presbyterian Church of Vallejo is Here for You
“First Presbyterian Church has been a Christian presence in Vallejo and the surrounding area since 1862, ever since the days when Vallejo was a village with unpaved streets, tall masted wooden ships being serviced at Mare Island, and before gas lamps had been installed to light the streets at night.”
The Reverend Dr. Hampton ‘Hamp’ Deck is a student of the Bible, theology, and spirituality. He loves to learn and share what he’s learned with others. His formal title as a Presbyterian minister is “Teaching Elder,” and he takes that very seriously.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has presented many hurdles for us all, it hasn’t stopped Pastor Hamp and the Church from carrying on, with a few twists.
Parishioners normally gather in the sanctuary for Sunday Worship at 10:30 a.m. Now, they do so via Zoom and by YouTube videos. Mondays feature Bible Study (examining the Bible passage Pastor Hamp previously preached during worship) at 1:00 p.m. On Tuesdays, anyone interested can join the Exploration of the Spiritual Journey – an exploration of what the Gospels have to say about life in the 21st century – at 12:30 p.m. Both classes meet online. The Zoom meetings can be accessed via smart phone, computer, or landline. Links can be found on the church’s website: www.FirstPresVallejo.org.
Normally First Presbyterian Church hosts social events for new members and every Sunday provides the opportunity to gather and enjoy fellowship following Sunday morning worship by sharing Coffee & Cookies and monthly Birthday Celebrations. These have been put on hold until it is safe to gather en mass again. In the meantime, the Church makes sure no one is left out. During the Christmas season, for example, poinsettias were delivered to all parishioners. For Easter this year, parishioners will receive small boxes of handmade chocolates, made by local Vallejo chocolatier Liled’s Candy Kitchen. Pastor Hamp and church leaders always try to insure that everyone is included.
Music is also a part of Sunday worship. Music Director Norman Ortiz conducts the Geneva Choir and the Chancel Bell Choir and performs on the organ and grand piano. The Geneva Choir sings anthems, the repertoire encompassing music from the great masters as well as contemporary choral works. You’re welcome to tune in for these free weekly “concerts.”
About ten years ago, Pastor Hamp began practicing a little known form of prayer known as Centering Prayer, and he now teaches it to his congregation, friends and anyone interested. He even teaches it in prisons! Very briefly, Centering Prayer is a method of meditation used by Christians placing a strong emphasis on interior silence. Pastor Hamp offers that “If you would like to know more about this ancient form of prayer, please ask me.”
First Presbyterian is a diverse congregation where all belong and become friends. Whoever you are, and wherever you may be on your journey of faith, you will find a warm welcome in this place, and in this community of faith.
If you have questions about the congregation, or want to discuss your life, please give Pastor Hamp a call. He’s looking forward to hearing from you!
About Pastor Hamp…
Pastor Hamp has been the Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Vallejo for 26 years. He obtained his college degree in engineering from Princeton University, and in 2009, received his Doctorate from San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, CA. He’s married with four grown children, whom he coached in soccer. He teaches math as a substitute in the Vallejo School District, and he loves to read, bicycle, and create marbled paper masterpieces.