Church Overview

Our Vision & Mission

Our Vision (who we are called by God to be)

Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church is called by God and empowered by the Holy Spirit to be a Christ-like presence in the world:

A congregation
    so grounded in scripture and sustained by prayer,
    so committed to spiritual growth and faithful discipleship,
    so inviting, welcoming, and inclusive,
    so nurturing and healing,
    so mission-minded,
    so vibrant, energetic, and open to opportunities to share the Gospel,
    that lives are transformed by the love of Christ.

Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church is called by God and empowered by the Holy Spirit to live like Christ in a broken world:

A congregation
   To proclaim the Gospel.
   To glorify God in worship and in deed.
   To equip our congregation for ministry.
   To serve others in Christ’s name.

Our Mission (what we are called by God to do)

Who We Are – Where We’ve Been – Where We’re Going

Our Beginnings

In May, 1979, South Florida Presbytery in Fort Lauderdale extended a Call to The Reverend Dr. C. Edward Gammon to be the organizing pastor of a new Presbyterian Church in North Naples. There were already two Presbyterian Churches in Naples but none in the fast growing northern section of town. A storefront was rented, the sanctuary/worship space and offices were constructed and decorated and the first worship service was held in October of that year. Dr. Gammon was a successful church organizer and attendance and membership grew steadily. The church was officially organized on December 7, 1980 with 129 charter members. In 1981, the Presbytery bought the current church property on Piper Boulevard and the following year, the congregation voted to build our first permanent structure. What is now the administrative wing of the church was originally a multi-purpose facility with a sanctuary/fellowship hall, offices, classroom/meeting rooms and a small kitchen.

The community and our church continued to grow and the need to expand our facilities resulted in the dedication in 1990 of the 550 seat sanctuary, Gammon Hall (education wing) and a chapel. The massive center steeple represents the body of Christ and the smaller, side steeples, His outstretched arms.

Dr. Gammon retired in 1994 and was followed in 1996 by The Reverend Dr. Thomas P. Harp, as Senior Pastor and Head of Staff. Dr. Harp brought excellent administrative skills, powerful preaching, and new organizational ideas to Vanderbilt’s ministry. Additional focus was given to our already strong music program, expanded Christian Education programs, Bible studies, and added emphasis on mission involvement. Dr. Harp retired in 2012 as Pastor Emeritus.

The church facilities have been expanded or remodeled in three major projects over the past 25 years. The East wing, including Fellowship Hall and administrative offices, and the West wing, including Christian Education and Cochran Hall (music/rehearsal hall), were completed in 2001. In 2011, a porte cochere, Harp Hall (meeting rooms), and the Student Center (Youth) were completed. Long known for our successful music ministry under the direction, since 1990, of Dr. James B. Cochran, the congregation voted in 2014 to move forward with the Deo Gloria project – to replace our original, failing, organ with a new Lively-Fulcher organ and, at the same time, to remodel our Sanctuary and expand and update our Narthex. The dedication of the new instrument and the return to worship in our newly remodeled Sanctuary took place in the fall of 2017.