Continuing to change lives



Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, First Presbyterian Church Hilton Head Island has never lost sight of its mission, "Changing Lives … Making Disciples." 

“Especially in this pandemic, changing lives has mattered so much,” the Rev. Dr. Will Robinson said. “So, I think of our local outreach ministries and our global outreach ministries, and just how much more those have been needed because of the pandemic.”

The church continues to live out its mission through its values of ministry, which include joyful worship, prayerful study and sacrificial service. 

During the pandemic, the church held just one blended service, but in September it expanded to two services, a 9 a.m. in-person nontraditional “CrossRoads” service in the fellowship hall and an 11 a.m. in-person traditional service held in the sanctuary. The second service is live-streamed, recorded and available on the church’s website and YouTube channel so worshippers can watch at any time. In between the two services is a 10 a.m. fellowship and Christian education hour. 

Robinson said the church is preparing intergenerational Advent services, including some special surprises that children will especially enjoy. 

“We know people are really wanting to celebrate Christmas,” Robinson said. “It’s something that people have been excited about having — like wanting a very good home-cooked meal.”

The church will also celebrate the season of Advent with Christmas Music Sundays at the 11 a.m. traditional service on Dec. 5 and at the 9 a.m. "CrossRoads" service on Dec. 12. 

On Christmas Eve, the church will host a live nativity at 4 p.m., followed by a 45-minute child-friendly worship service with Christmas carols and candlelight at 5 p.m. Worshippers are invited to enjoy 30 minutes of Christmas music at 7:30 p.m. before a “Carols and Candlelight” worship service at 8 p.m. 

The final Christmas Eve service will be a “Carols, Candlelight and Communion” worship service at 10:30 p.m. The late service, of course, is open to all, but it is geared especially for essential workers who work later in the evenings.

“Prayerful study is one of our values at First Presbyterian Church on Hilton Head Island,” Robinson said. “We obviously really value people connecting to God by fellowship and study of the Bible.”

The church recently added six small groups and one Sunday morning class. Some of those groups and classes are offered in person and via Zoom. 

First Presbyterian continues to live out its value of sacrificial service by extending its local and global outreach. The church’s People In Need ministry, which helps community members with utility bills, rent and food, has expanded its hours to 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The church continues to donate to Backpack Buddies of Hilton Head, Bluffton Community Soup Kitchen, Sandalwood Community Food Pantry, Born to Read, Hilton Head Island Deep Well Project, Neighborhood Outreach Connection and Hopeful Horizons.

“What we’ve emphasized to the community — especially in this pandemic — is that we are here for you,” Robinson said. “And I think of Mr. Rogers’ quote, ‘Look for the helpers.’ We’ve tried to be good helpers in this pandemic whenever possible.”

For more information on First Presbyterian Church, call 843-681-3696 or visit