OUR history

In July 1882, Don José Gurulé, a descendant of early Placitas settlers, took his ox team to Bernalillo to haul freight. There he met José Ynés Perea, the first Presbyterian Spanish minister ordained by the Santa Fe Presbytery in New Mexico. Rev. Perea accepted Gurulé's invitation to hold services in Placitas, then left the work to be continued by John Menaul. He organized an 80 member church which eventually dissolved.

The church was officially established February 24, 1894. After compelling sermons by J.Y. Perea and James Menaul, 95 people voted to found Las Placitas Presbyterian Church with 39 charter members. Menaul immediately ordained newly elected elders Francisco Trujillo and Juan Baros, and Perea administered the Lord's Supper.

The new congregation met in the Mission School until 1930, when a new building was finished, which we now know as the Upper Room. In 1984 the current Sanctuary and most of the Fellowship Hall were added. The newest addition, including the Educational Wing was dedicated on May 15, 2005. (Photo to the left shows Nicolás Gurulé and then pastor George Simmonds laying adobes in the 1930 church walls.)

Today . . .

Placitas is located 20 miles northeast of Albuquerque at an altitude of 6,000 feet. The village sits at the base of the Sandia mountains and has many vineyards, gardens and small orchards which are watered from mountain springs through acequias madres (mother ditches — see photo, left) built long ago. It is suspected that the village is built on Anasazi ruins.

Our Spanish Heritage:

In honor of our congregation's Spanish heritage, we include Spanish in every service, including Spanish hymns, Spanish scripture, and often the Lord's prayer and Communion. An English translation of the scripture being read in Spanish is printed in the bulletin.

LPPC'S OWN Award-winning history BOOK


By Suzanne Sims Forrest

First published in 1995 to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the 1894 founding of Las Placitas Presbyterian Church (LPPC), this award-winning history book has been significantly revamped to include:

  • Additional historical information and many more photos throughout the book.
  • An afterword written by The Reverend Drew Henry to cover the years after 1994.

CENTURY OF FAITH is available at LPPC for $15. (It is also available through Amazon.com for $22.95.)

Our LPPC Cross


Our cross was designed by member Bunny Bowen, and constructed by members David Southwick and Leland Bowen.

The original was installed at the dedication of the  new wing in 2005. Unfortunately, over the next 15 years, the wood deteriorated, requiring an overhaul.

On 06/27/2020, Las Placitas Presbyterian Church held a social distance-friendly event to celebrate the completion and instillation of our new street-facing cross, built by Art Flynn, metalwork and design by Bunny and Leland Bowen, with help from so many others!
Video edited by Elliot Smith, Choir Director of LPPC.


JUNE 26, 2020 (The Cross)