Third Presbyterian Church had its beginnings when First Presbyterian Church purchased a lot on Park Avenue in 1879 for the purpose of establishing a mission. A chapel was erected and a Sabbath was formed.
In 1884, the mission was organized as Park Avenue Presbyterian Church with 40 charter members. Within 12 years, the church formed 2 missions—the Patterson N.J. Mission and the Walton Chapel in the East Brambleton area of Norfolk. By 1927, the church established 3 more missions – the Baxter Avenue Mission, the Glen Rock Mission (later to become Calvary Presbyterian Church), and the Ingleside Mission (later to become the Squires Memorial Presbyterian Church).
In 1953, the church moved from its location near downtown Norfolk to its present location on Carlton Street in the suburbs. The congregation held worship services at Crossroads Elementary School until the church building was completed. In 1954, Norfolk Presbytery (now Presbytery of Eastern Virginia) approved the church’s name change to “Third Presbyterian Church.”
In 1964, member Grace Humphreys was the first woman elected to the position of Ruling Elder in Norfolk Presbytery.
In the mid 1980’s, a bell tower was constructed to house the Park Avenue Church bell. In 1984, the church celebrated its centennial anniversary; and in 2004, the church celebrated its 50th year anniversary as Third Presbyterian Church.