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Presbyterian Cathedral in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Celebrates its 150th Anniversary

The Presbyterian cathedral in Rio de Janeiro will celebrate its 150th anniversary on Thursday, January 12, when in a festive worship service the local congregation will commemorate the historical occasion with the presentation of medals and commemorative stamps, followed by a “Gospel Cocktail.”

Rio de Janeiro, Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The sermon at the worship service will be given by the President of the Supreme Council of the Presbyterian Church of Brazil (IPB), the Reverend Roberto Brasileiro Silva.  

The Presbyterian cathedral in Rio de Janeiro, the denomination’s first temple in the country, was founded on January 12, 1862, under the direction of missionary Ashbel Green Simonton, a 26 year-old pastor who had recently arrived from the United States. 

Initially, the temple functioned in other local sites before its present location on Silva Jardim Street, acquired in December of 1870 under the leadership of the Reverend Alexander Latimer Blackford, Simonton’s successor.

Offerings by Presbyterians in the United States, along with the resources collected in Rio de Janeiro, provided for the construction of a building more suitable for the celebrating of worship services. Yet, the building was still not a temple, since the laws of the Brazilian Empire did not allow that denominations different from the official religion of the State, Roman Catholicism, build places of worship having towers, in the form of a church. Later, the Presbyterian temple took on a neo-gothic style, undergoing several restorations, the last being completed in 2002. 

Photo: 150th anniversary of the Presbyterian Cathedral in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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