Decision to DEMOLISH First Presbyterian Church of Ewing sanctuary
Immediately after a vigil in the cemetery that included singing, commentary, and much praying, the governing entity, known
as the Session, of the First Presbyterian Church of Ewing announced yesterday evening their decision to proceed with demolition of the church’s historic sanctuary. The Session posted this notice on their website last night:
“Our faith teaches us to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we try to discern God’s will. We trust that the decision we have made to proceed with plans for demolition of the building has been so guided, and that the Holy Spirit will continue to provide support and spiritual nourishment as we move forward.”
Due to a gag rule that prevents Session member from commenting about the decision and blocked members of the Partners to Restore Ewing Sanctuary from observing last night’s deliberations, this is reportedly the sole explanation that will be provided.
The decision comes after an extraordinary community effort, led by the Partners to Restore Ewing Sactuary, a group of concerned congregation and community members, to raise funds and build awareness to restore the sanctuary building, which was closed in 2007 due to structural concerns. More than 600 people had donated more than $225,000 to the cause. Estimates to restore the building and halt deterioration have ranged between less than $250,000 and $2.5 million. The group was hoping for an extension that would have allowed more time for fundraising and new approaches, including formation of a certified non-profit and a pending application for a NJ Historic Trust grant.
PNJ continues to support the Partners to Restore Ewing Sanctuary and hope that a tragic loss of yet another one-of-a-kind historic landmark and a building truly loved by it’s community can be averted.