The First Presbyterian Church complex, including the parsonage, at 89-60 164th Street just north of Jamaica Avenue is another in Jamaica’s collection of very old church buildings that includes First Reformed (1859; now the Jamaica Performing Arts Center), Grace Church (1865) and the remnant of the Roman Catholic St. Monica (1856). Jamaica’s Presbyterian congregation, founded in 1663, may be the oldest continuous one in the United States. The church is housed in three buildings on 164th, two of them very old, including one of the oldest church buildings in Queens.
The original congregation’s stone church stood from 1699 to 1813 at what is now Jamaica Avenue and Union Hall Street; during the Revolutionary War, the British commandeered it and imprisoned patriots there. In 1813, it was replaced with what is now the church sanctuary in a location at Jamaica Avenue and 163rd Street: it was placed on logs and pulled by mule to its present location in 1920. The First Presbyterian’s manse, or staff living quarters, was erected on Jamaica Avenue in 1834 and it was moved to a location just to the north of the sanctuary, well back from the street, that same year.
President Donald J. Trump attended services at this church as a youth in Jamaica Hills.
In 1925, the columned Magill Memorial Building, a combined church, auditorium and library that also included a gym and bowling alleys, was built just north of the manse.