History of the Kirk

The Kirk of Kildaire, Presbyterian was started by lay people living in Cary with worship services beginning in late 1977. The first service was held on December 4, 1977 at the MacGregor Downs Youth Center.  In mid-1978, the Kirk started meeting in the real estate sales office for the Kildaire Farms Planned Unit Development here at 200 High Meadow Drive.

The meeting place had to be set up and ready for the 10:30 am worship service, and then dismantled and prepared for commercial use by 12 o’clock.

Preachers for these Sunday services were recruited from the Greater Raleigh Area churches.  The first full-time Kirk minister was called and installed in mid-1979 for the purpose of organizing the church.

A meeting was held for the purpose of naming the church.  Several names were considered, but none generated much enthusiasm until the name, Kirk of Kildaire, was introduced.  It was adopted by unanimous vote. “Kirk” is the Scottish word for church.

The Kirk of Kildaire charter was granted  October 28, 1979 with 92 charter members.  In January 1980, the Kirk purchased the Kildaire Farms sales office and 5.7 acre property.  The building was renovated numerous times and expanded twice to add classrooms.  In 1986, a new building was completed that included a sanctuary, classrooms, offices, kitchen, and storage space.  The first worship service was held on Christmas Eve of that year.

The Kirk completed a major facilities expansion in the spring of 1998.  It began with the groundbreaking for a new 600-seat sanctuary, fellowship hall, kitchen, classrooms, administrative offices, choir rehearsal room, and shower facilities on Palm Sunday 1997.  The first worship service in the new sanctuary took place on Palm Sunday 1998.

In 2014, a renovation added an office, storage space, and more classrooms.

In  2015, we began Phase One of a Capital Campaign.  The campaign for building an education facility to replace aging and damaged buildings and to provide space for future mission and ministry was a success.  Over 3 million dollars was pledged to the new building.  In February 2017, the congregation voted to move forward on this building project.  Demolition began in the fall of 2017 and the new building should open by Thanksgiving of 2018.

Though our buildings are important and widely used by nonprofit and community groups as well as Kirk groups, our work and Christian witness continue well beyond this campus.

The Kirk is characterized by a wide variety of programs and activities with enthusiastic lay leadership in all areas.  These include:

  • Worship at 8:45 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
  • Music ministry: chancel choir, children’s choirs, adult, youth and children’s bell choirs, chimes for senior adults and children, orchestra for 6th graders to adults, special ensembles and vocalist and instrumentalist solo opportunities in worship
  • Workshop or modified workshop rotation Sunday school for preschool through 7th grade
  • Confirmation class during Sunday school for 8th grade and above
  • Energetic and faithful high school and adult Sunday school classes
  • Stephen Ministry providing one-on-one cary Christian relationships
  • Sunday evening youth group for middle and high school youth
  • Yearly youth participation in Montreat & Massanetta Youth Conferences and Appalachia Service Project
  • Presbyterian Women including four active monthly circles and an annual Women’s Retreat
  • Men of the Kirk monthly breakfast meetings
  • Children’s Center (preschool)
  • Boy Scout Troops
  • Vacation Bible School
  • Eat with Eight
  • Kirk Classics (formerly 50+)
  • EPIC (Enneagram Pathways in Christ)
  • Community Garden
  • Kirk Outings
  • Koinonia (K-Groups) offering fellowship & study in homes

Always reaching out to the community at large, the Kirk works with:

  • Meals on Wheels
  • KOALA – Kirk Outreach After School Learning Academy
  • Helen Wright Center in Raleigh for homeless women
  • Family Promise (formerly WIHN)
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Backpack Buddies
  • Family Ties – providing Christmas gifts for local families in need
  • Rise Against Hunger – packing thousands of meals in one day to feed the hungry around the world
  • Earth Care Congregation – helping our church and community become good stewards of the earth’s resources


Rev. Dr. Eugene Witherspoon, Jr. 1979 – 1982
Rev. Dr. Roger Jackle 1983 – 1991
Rev. Thomas Spence 1993 – 2002
Rev. Dr. Jody Welker 2004 – present

Associate Pastors

Rev. Deborah Taylor 1989 – 1993
Rev. Joan McCarthy 1995 – 2001
Rev. Sarah Diehl 2000 – 2004
Rev. Stephanie Arnold Workman 2005 – present
Rev. Cathy Church Norman 2005 – 2010
Rev. Melinda Merkley King 2010 – present
Rev. Amanda Golbek 2013 – 2017
Rev. Jordan Davis (Interim) 2017 – present

Updated 1/2018