Covenant-First Presbyterian Church


Organized in 1790, Covenant-First Presbyterian has been a vital part of downtown Cincinnati from the city's founding.


Our historic sanctuary, built in 1875, captures the wonder, beauty, and awe we feel as we go before our Creator. Join us for a tour Wednesdays at 11:00 am to learn more of our illustrious heritage and beautiful structure.

The sanctuary arrangement is patterned after medieval English tithe barns. The priceless black walnut pulpit furniture was hand-carved by Henry and William Fry.

Numerous plaques tell of famous people connected with the church including Dr. Lyman Beecher, father of Harriet Beecher Stowe. Pioneer preacher James Kemper and British theologian G. Campbell Morgan were also part of our history.

Our spectacular stained-glass windows were crafted in the Munich tradition.

Gothic Chapel

This addition was dedicated as the Education Building in 1922. This new space provided seating for 625 and an additional 175 in the balcony. The space was regularly filled for Bible classes, programs and pageants. Primary children used the basement classrooms. In recent years the building faced deterioration. However, God gave the then small congregation a vision of growth. After extensive planning and work by the Property Committee and Building Superintendent, renovation is now complete! The sounds of children again fill the building. Improvements have surpassed the original beauty of the building.

The original chapel window facing Elm Street has been replaced by a stunning stained-glass window, providentially salvaged from West Virginia. Other recent improvements at Covenant-First include direct entry from the adjacent System Parking Garage into the church (free on Sunday), kitchen upgrade, and roof repair. Plans for further work proceed to accommodate our growing congregation.

Our Church Organ

The organ, made by the Austin Organ Co., was installed in 1915. It was given by Mrs. W.W. Seely in memory of her husband, Dr. William Wallace Seely (photo). After a major fire in April, 1960, the organ was completely restored by Charles D. Hildreth, assisted by his son, James Hildreth. Since that time, there has been updating and rebuilding including such in 1974, 1999, and 2000. The most recent upgrades include a new solid-state combination pre-set system and switching system for couplers, which was accomplished by Schaedle Pipe Organ Services located in Cincinnati.

Our organ is listed as Opus 601 in the Austin Opus list as "Church of the Covenant" and as an entry in the Organ Historical Society's database.

The Paul Revere Tower Bell

The church belfry remains as originally constructed and contains a massive bell. The bell is forty-four inches in diameter, weighs approximately seventeen hundred pounds, and was cast by American silversmith and patriot, Paul Revere. It bears the original inscription in bold relief: "Revere, Boston."