A public meeting was called on 12 March 1866 to select a site for a Presbyterian Church building at Yarra Flats. A committee chaired by Reverend D. Boyd included Thomas Armstrong, William Bell, John Wilson, William Herbert, Edward Evans and John Williamson. A site of half an acre was selected before the next meeting on 26 March. In April a tender was received from Edward Young but he did not complete the building. Another contract was made with Samuel Lorimer who completed it at a cost of £95 by the end of 1866.

The building was also used as a schoolroom but by 1871 its use as a church was no longer satisfactory and steps were taken for the construction of a new building but it was not until 1887 that a new site was provided, (the same location as the current Uniting Church on Melba Highway). Mr C. H. Howe, an architect from Abbotsford, submitted plans in June 1891 and building proceeded apace once a tender from Mr Ireland was accepted in February the following year. The final cost was £656. The superseded school-cum-church was retained and intended for use as a reading room for young men. A new school had already been built in 1879.

The striking new church opened with much ceremony on Sunday 4 September 1892. The outer walls were of rabbet shelving jointed in imitation of Ashlar stone. Five windows, on either side and at the front, had Gothic arches and were glazed with blue and ruby Muranese, the centres filled in with Cathedral glass. The roof was covered with slate. There were two entrances at the front in the form of a porch either side of the building. These had pairs of doors with patented hinges that allowed the doors to open inwards or outwards and to close automatically. At the back of the building was a vestry which had a fireplace. Inside the church ventilation was provided by placing a hinged sub-cap at the top of the Kauri dado which enabled it to be opened two inches the length of the building. The ceiling (25 feet high) also had an opening of six inches, invisible to those in the church. The walls above the dado were plaster over a frame of Oregon pine. The floor had a fall from the entrance to the platform to allow the congregation a better view of the minister. The pews were of varnished Kauri. Above the pulpit hung a banner proclaiming Glory to God in the Highest, Peace and Goodwill Toward Men, skilfully painted on brown calico to appear as if carved on wood. At the front of the church was a picket fence which had red gum posts capped and moulded with red gum plinths. Stables were provided at the rear of the church for the horses and vehicles of the congregation.

The population of the town and the congregation of the church grew over the years and extra space was sought for Sunday School classes, but also with a view to community activities. A hall was built alongside the church in 1956; the builder was Henk Vandenberg. The opening and dedication of the new hall was held on 25 November 1956. Church members started a catering service to raise funds to pay back the loan from the Church Synod. They cooked and prepared food in their own homes, provided their own transport, and travelled far and wide to functions which often finished after midnight.

The community which had worked so hard for these facilities was devastated when the Yarra Glen Presbyterian Church was set on fire by an arsonist on the morning of 26 August 1976. The alarm was raised at about 4:30am. It took only about half an hour for the fire to race through the 80 year old weatherboard building. The arsonist was a 21 year old pastry cook and stable hand from Croydon. He was also charged with setting fire to the Ruskin Park Primary School and the Dorset Hall on Maroondah Highway during the same week. The judge sentenced him to six years in jail with a minimum term of four years, and instruction that he receive psychiatric counselling.

The pews and many of the other furnishings destroyed were priceless because they had been in the church since it was built. The communion table and chairs were a memorial to Mrs Janet Roberts, the funds for their purchase having been raised in the community by Miss Bath in 1935. The chalice was about the only item saved and it had to be re-plated. Fortunately the hall was saved and Services were held there until the new church was completed in 1979.

In October 1913 tenders were called for a Manse to be built at Yarra Glen. The one storey home was built on the corner of Bell Street and Petticoat Lane (now called Yarra Street). From the 1930s the Presbyterian Church appointed Home Mission students to Yarra Glen and many had young families so the Manse was well occupied for many years. The last minister of the church to live there was David Ross and his family.

In the 1970s the Yarra Glen Church joined with the Healesville Church and the minister resided at Healesville. The Yarra Glen Manse was then rented for many years. After the Church fire in 1976 the Elders decided to sell the Manse to assist with payment for the new Church building. The Manse was sold in June 1980 but eight years later, in August 1988, it was also destroyed by fire.

The third church building to be raised by the Presbyterian congregation at Yarra Glen was designed by architects Rosenfeldt and Gheradin & Associates. Max Carter won the tender to construct the building. It is a contemporary design built of brick with seating for more than a hundred people and cost $60,000. It was opened and dedicated at a service on 18 February 1979 as the Uniting Church because, in the period since the fire, the Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregational Churches of Australia had united.

Source: YG&DHS Newsletter no.15, February 2005