Collegiate Presbyterian Church was founded on February 21, 1911, when thirty some members met at the home of Thomas Sloss. By the end of February, the new church closed its charter-membership period with a total of 40.
The Synod of Iowa envisioned a church that would minister to both Iowa State and the greater Ames community. The idea of serving "town and gown" in a single congregation was innovative at the time.
The growth of the congregation was rapid. By 1914 a second pastor was added to the staff. The Rev. J.W. Innes, CPC’s founding pastor, became the college pastor, and the Rev. H.W. Johnston was installed as the community pastor. The original church building, the present sanctuary, was dedicated in 1917. Total membership was 400.
In the 1950's a great deal happened and the building was expanded:
A second worship service was initiated
West wing addition for Christian education, library and choir room
New south wing for church and Chapel, with the second floor housing the Westgate Center's campus ministry facilities
Membership grew to 1600; a second Presbyterian Church, Northminister Presbyterian was established in 1961 at the initiative of Collegiate Presbyterian partnership with the Presbytery of North Central Iowa.
Throughout its history, Collegiate Presbyterian has emerged as a “mainline” Protestant church. It has grown and adapted with its times. As the nation struggled with issues of racial equality, poverty, and international conflict, its mission activities emphasized direct action on behalf of social justice and support for refugee victims of conflict.
Collegiate Presbyterian has followed the denomination’s policies of inclusion on the ordination of women and LGBT persons. It has updated its facilities to make the church “accessible” to the disabled. Its adult education programs included “social issues” such as climate change, a candidates’ forum, and international issues. In 2001, a contemporary service was added.
Great music has been a long and much-valued feature of CPC life. The church has formed numerous choirs, an orchestra, small ensembles, hand bells, and praise band.
Collegiate Presbyterian maintains wide-ranging educational programs for youth, adults, and university students.
All these things occur within the Reformed tradition of Christian faith and worship: Sunday worship services, fellowship time, Bible study and prayer groups. All nurture a faith centered on God and God’s Word, radiated throughout the church community, the larger church community, and to the world at large. Our mission to university students puts us perennially on the frontier of faith, reaching out in the tradition of the frontier evangelists.