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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Newark in Essex County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

“Old First”

American Presbyterian and Reformed Historical Site

 
 
"Old First" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, October 25, 2008
1. "Old First" Marker
Inscription. Click to hear the inscription.  
First Presbyterian Church
organized in 1666,
Abraham Pierson, minister.
Two edifices preceeded
this one, begun in 1787

 
Erected 1964 by State of New Jersey. (Marker Number 29.)
 
Location. 40° 44.058′ N, 74° 10.358′ W. Marker is in Newark, New Jersey, in Essex County. Marker is at the intersection of Broad Street and Branford Place, on the right when traveling north on Broad Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 820 Broad Street, Newark NJ 07104, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First Settlers of Newark (a few steps from this marker); Newark Covenant (a few steps from this marker); Revolutionary War Soldiers and Patriots Memorial (a few steps from this marker); Newark Female Charitable Society (approx. ¼ mile away); This Liberty Pole (approx. ¼ mile away); Elisha Boudinot and General Lafayette
Marker on Broad Street image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, October 25, 2008
2. Marker on Broad Street
(approx. ¼ mile away); First School Safety Patrol in America (approx. ¼ mile away); Historic Site-Grace Church (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Newark.
 
Regarding “Old First”. Old First Presbyterian Church was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. This church is also one of 445 American Presbyterian and Reformed Historical Sites registered between 1973 and 2003 by the Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS), headquartered in Philadelphia. Approved sites received a metal plaque featuring John Calvin’s seal and the site’s registry number (PHS marker location unknown).

The following text is taken from the Presbyterian Historical Society website:

Organized in 1644 in Branford, CT, the congregation moved to Newark in 1666. The College of New Jersey (later Princeton University) met here under Rev. Aaron Burr for eight years, prior to moving to Princeton in 1756. George Whitefield preached here during the Great Awakening. David Brainerd was ordained at First Church (1744), to become missionary to the Lenni Lenape Indians. His brother, John, was First Church pastor (1755-59), before also becoming missionary to the Lenni Lenapes upon
First Presbyterian Church - "Old First" image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, October 25, 2008
3. First Presbyterian Church - "Old First"
During the Revolutionary War, this church was very pro-Patriot. The minister, Rev. Alexander Macwhortwer, fled the city when Washington retreated across New Jersey in November of 1776, but returned later after the British quit the city.
David's death. Alexander Macwhorter, pastor from 1759-1807, was friend and confidant of George Washington and chaplain to General Henry Knox's brigade. The present building (the third), erected 1791, has been in continual use since that time.

 
Also see . . .
1. First Presbyterian Church. The New Jersey Churchscape. (Submitted on October 26, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

2. National Register of Historic Places datasheet. Statement of significance for this church (Submitted on August 22, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon.) 
 
Categories. Churches & ReligionColonial EraNotable BuildingsWar, US Revolutionary
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 28, 2018. This page originally submitted on October 26, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 970 times since then and 37 times this year. Last updated on August 22, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 26, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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