Not long after the 1832 Blackhawk Indian War in this area, the first meeting that led to the formation of Westminster Presbyterian Church was held. Westminster Presbyterian's roots go back to 1845 when a controversy known as Old School and New School Prebyterianism resulted in "an amicable parting of the ways" for some members of First Presbyterian Church. This difference was reflected in the name selected for this "new" church which would become Westminster - "The Old School Presbyterian Church of Galena" and later "South Presbyterian Church". Over the years, there have been several efforts for the churches to merge back together but the churches have remained as separate congregations but with many shared worship and other activities. Here is a summary of the historic timeline for Westminster Presbyterian Church.
January 5, 1846 - The steps of organization were completed and
the church was named Old School Presbyterian Church of Galena which was sometimes known as the South Church.
September 10, 1848 - The current Greek Revival style structure, at 513 South Bench Street was completed and dedicated.
1854 - A German speaking Presbyterian Church was founded and met for a year in the South Presbyterian building until they build their own church on land donated by the South Church.
July 16, 1855 - The First German Evangelical Church of Galena was incorporated.
1929 - German Language was discontinued and the name changed to Hill Presbyterian church.
1959 - Approximate date of collapse of back wall of Westminster Presbyterian Church. Walter Muchow Sr. and Walter Muchow Jr. rebuilt it.
September 18, 1960 - South Presbyterian and Hill Presbyterian churches merged and became Westminster United Presbyterian Church (WUPC). There had been periodic efforts to unite the Galena's three Presbyterian Churches which were unsuccessful until this merging. While extensive renovation and rededication of the sanctuary was completed shortly after the merger, the beautiful stained-glass windows were left intact.
1996 - WUPC refurbished lobby upstairs and downstairs, installed elevator and refurbished sanctuary including restoring the organ pipes using photos to help return the organ pipes to their original appearance.
1998-1999 - Fellowship Hall refurbished complete with new furnace room, store room,
kitchen, restrooms and fellowship hall.
2002 – A new steeple was built out of aluminum in Bowling Green, KY, replicating as closely as possible the original steeple. It was installed in August, 2002.
2007- The church has 103 active members, a Sunday School class, two Bible Study groups, Presbyterian Women’s group, CARP (Christian Association of Retired Persons), a choir and many committees.
2013 – Westminster United Presbyterian Church has 80 active members. There are nine Session members and nine sub-committees which include: Christian Education, Church Life, Church Ministry and Outreach, Deacon, Personnel, Presbytery Representative, Property and Finance, Stewardship and Interpretation, and Worship. Other groups within our congregation include; United Presbyterian Women, CARP (Christian Association of Retired Persons), a Men’s Morning Coffee, Bible Study, Sunday School and after services Coffee and Fellowship Hour. This year we celebrated three baptisms and four confirmations.
[From 2014 church directory and a church brochure]