In 1960, the Norfolk Presbytery recognized a need for a church in the Great Bridge area and purchased six and one-half acres of land on the corner of Cedar Road and Briarfield Drive (across from the current Chesapeake City Hall) in anticipation of building a church on that site. Rev. Ira B. Watson, Jr., began his work in 1962 and after two months of ministry had 35 in Sunday School and 48 in worship. The faithful met for two years in the Great Bridge Elementary School (now Great Bridge Primary School), and Great Bridge Presbyterian Church was formally organized on February 23, 1964. The dream for a dedicated place of worship was recognized with the completion of a sanctuary in 1967. Additional building projects included a preschool wing in the 1980’s and a new sanctuary completed in 1999.
In 2014, GBPC celebrated 50 years of ministry and mission, providing many opportunities for people to worship, grow and serve in our church, community, country and throughout the world. Three long-term pastorates have provided stability for this ministry and mission. Rev. Conrad Crow succeeded Rev. Watson in 1982 and served GBPC for 14 years. Rev. Ralph R. Herbert, was called in 1996 and retired in 2019. Reverends Kelly and Mike Nieto, our current co-pastors, began their ministry at GBPC in the summer of 2019.
Ministries include a vibrant preschool that has educated the children of the community since 1972. Mid-week programs, Sunday School, retreats, Vacation Bible School and dedicated staff ensure that children and youth learn about the love of God and his promise of salvation. Adults are encouraged to connect in a myriad of small group opportunities to study the word, share, pray and serve together. A dynamic music ministry encourages the use of musical gifts by providing vocal choirs for all ages, flutes, handbells, praise team, instrumental ensemble, sign language, and drama.
In 2001, a mission trip to Nicaragua ignited a passion for serving and telling others about Jesus in our community, country, and around the world. We define mission broadly, and support ministries that teach literacy, house the homeless, provide clean water, resource the disadvantaged, help the broken-hearted, visit the imprisoned and seek to touch all we encounter with the love of Christ. We send mission teams each year to support the work of Vida Joven (Young Life) in Nicaragua and install clean water systems through Living Waters for the World. We also send a team to a location in the United States in conjunction with the work of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, as well as having 1-2 annual youth mission trips to places such as Washington DC and the Eastern Shore.