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How you can help save Ewing Presbyterian Church

July 28, 2009

First Presbyterian Church of Ewing detail

SIGN the online petition to save Ewing 1st Presbyterian Church

UPDATE: another editoriaL and more press calling for preservation!


An update today from Partners to Restore 1867 Sanctuary provides ways for concerned preservationists to weigh in with your concerns and support.  First, please post a comment on this page , and we’ll forward them to the church Session (governing body) and other appropriate persons.

Letters to the church are properly addressed to the Session, and should be addressed to:
Paul Hoffman, Clerk of Session
Ewing Presbyterian Church
100 Scotch Road
Ewing, NJ 08628
cc: Robert Kull, President, Board of Trustees

The Senior Pastor, Rev. Elizabeth Vandegrift, is also a member of Session so would receive any letter addressed to the Clerk. Letters directly to Rev. Vandegrift would go to the same address, but they would be treated as confidential and not necessarily forwarded to Session.

Ewing Pres ChurchSome are writing to the next higher level of the Presbyterian Church:
The Presbytery of New Brunswick
939 Parkside Avenue
Trenton, NJ 08618
Rev. D. Paul La Montagne, Stated Clerk
Rev. Greg F. Albert, Associate Executive Presbyter
Rev. Nancy Mikoski, Moderator,

Ewing Township Mayor Jack Ball can be emailed at:

You might also consider writing newspaper Letters to the Editor (if under 200 words; include your name, address and phone number for verification purposes):
Trenton Times:
Ewing Observer: and/or
Philadelphia Inquirer: or
Star-Ledger: or
New York Times: or

3 Comments leave one →
  1. rob permalink
    July 29, 2009 1:58 pm

    I will send letters. Turning their backs on the community that has poured out so much love and support for this church seems a very poor way to spread the Gospel!

  2. Salston permalink
    July 29, 2009 3:36 pm

    The Church members should make every effort to save the historic building. If they don’t want it, (or can’t afford it) then they should sell it (donate it?) to someone else for another purpose. Most certainly the Federal, State, County and Township historical organizations should be approached to see what alternatives exist. Even if the church is reduced to being a “ruin” (taking out the guts and reinforcing the outer structure) it would be better than tearing it down. Ewing has earned to appreciate it’s interesting and important history: too bad the church does not. To raise a quarter of a million dollars over six months in this economy is extraordinary and if the church put forth real effort to fund-raising events and embraced the help that people are trying to give, then we wouldn’t have a problem. The church may own the building, but the history of this cemetery and church building belongs to all of the township as well as the congregation. They do not exist in a vacuum!

  3. Patricia Garrison permalink
    August 15, 2009 12:22 pm

    Below is a copy of the email I sent:
    To Whom It May Concern:

    After reading the recent article regarding the New Jersey Preservation organization’s offer of preserving the church, and then, the denial of this offer by the session, I have only one question for you: What kind of deal have you made with either the demolition company or the building company that would compel you to turn down this offer? By still clinging to your position that this wonderful, warm, inviting, historic, and sanctified old building should come down, despite this generous and logical offer, you have shown yourself to have less than the congregation’s and the town’s best interests at heart.

    Quite frankly, your position stated is completely bogus and insulting. As a young Catholic girl growing up in a community which had no Catholic church, our congregation met for almost a decade in the local American Legion building, in fact in its basement, and we were happy to do so. There was no problem with us congregants feeling like we weren’t spiritual or pious due to the building not being completely ours, nor was there a problem with the Legionaires feeling like they were being slighted having to share their building with us. The situation created quite the opposite feelings, actually, in that our congregation always helped in spring and fall clean-ups at the American Legion; we held joint barbeques in the summer; and later, when a church and school were finally built, many of the members of that Legion became members of our church. The good will and communal feelings that such a situation can create are what towns and parishes should be desiring…not destroying.

    Much more importantly, let’s look at what Jesus said: “For where two or more are gathered together in My Name, I am there…” Try as we might, I do not believe that we would ever be able to find a translation that stipulated that the two or more must be in a special building ONLY used for this purpose. I do believe that Jesus meant anywhere…in a shared building, on a battlefield, in the grocery store, on a campus, in the deepest woods, on the rooftops or in the valleys…you and I both know that Jesus does not care if you share the building with the preservation society. You, the pastor and the Session of the Ewing Presbyterian Church, are the ones who do. Do not insult me, please, by taking that position that Jesus cares where we meet. Shame on you for trying that subterfuge.

    Knowing that many of your congregation and indeed the townspeople would dearly love to maintain that place in which they’ve been worshipping for many, many years should be enough for you to reach the decision that the building should be preserved. Therefore, I can only assume that someone’s pockets are about to be lined, and lined well, for choosing the other option. Again I’ll say…shame on you. (And the argument that crossing the street is dangerous also insults me, as I took my two young children there many Sundays, and I would NEVER put them in harm’s way.)

    I can only urge you to rethink your position, which turns out to be, in my opinion, a very selfish and harmful one. If you truly are people of God, you must listen to your heart, and therein will lie the answer.

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