Sign your name to the petition (here) and forward it to your friends, calling for preservation of the historic 1st Presbyterian Church of Ewing. The time is now! Listed in PNJ’s 10 Most Endangered Historic Sites in NJ.
This is a wonderful building that ought to be saved!
This is a beautiful historic piece of Ewing Township and should be saved!
This little piece of history deserves better and should be saved!
My family has been a residence in Ewing going back
to early 1900’s, all including grand parents,parents,
and children attended this church.
It is a place in our past history that should remain
for those who follow.
The structure known as First Presbyterian Church of Ewing has so many things going for it: its history as part of the community; the beauty of its architecture; the grace it lends to its neighborhood; and its ability to generate enthusiasm, interest and support from people who may not ever set foot in it! Certainly more time should be taken to review all the options, especially since this historic building is eligible for grants to help restore it.
I attended Sunday School at Ewing Presbyterian Church from 1951 thru my teenage years while at Ewing High School (1965). I was awarded perfect attendance recognition at Sunday School for over 8 years and have the pins with clusters to prove it. I was in the church choir for several years and the church sponsored Boy Scout troop. Althought I left NJ in 1968 to pursue an education and a career. I frequently attended church there during visits with my mother (Frances) and father (Jack). My mother was active in church sewing and mission efforts. My wife (Patricia) and I were married by Rev. Prince in the church in November 1989. Our son Geoff often attended service on withs to my parents. Both my mother and father are buried in the church cemetary. The church community and the actual physical building are permanently etched into my life — a church plate and needpoint of the church prominently grace my home’s wall in Springfield, VA.
This is one beautiful landmark that should be preserved for generations. When we destroy our history we have nothing to look back on and enjoy.
Don’t be foolish for a few bucks. Save this building!
My husband’s family has roots in Ewing going back several centuries. He is buried with his ancestors in the Ewing cemetery. He considered the church a vital part of New Jersey, or rather of national history.
HISTORY MUST BE PRESERVED LOOK AT EWING WHAT IS LEFT HISTORICALLY IF WE DON’T EVER USE IT AS A CHURCH AT LEAST PRESERVE THE BUILDING FOR SOMETHING ELSE AS A COMMUNITY WE CAN DO THIS
GOD DOESN’T MAKE JUNK, HE HAD HIS PEOPLE BUILD A BEAUTIFUL CHURCH!
GOD BLESS THIS ESTABLISHMENT!
Kudos to Helen and Bob Kull and others from the congregation who are still trying their best to save the beautiful historic sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church in Ewing! Although we are not members of this church, we live in Hopewell Twp nearby and very often ride Scotch Rd towards Parkway Avenue… We just cannot imagine the “corner” on Scotch Rd without this building! If the money raised so far for its restoration is not enough, by all means continue the fundraising efforts! We strongly hope that the Presbytery of New Brunswick will be able to reverse the decision made by a handful of people behind closed doors! For the record, I do not think that the Holy Spirit had something to do with this decision. For me, this statement is close to blasphemy! The Holy Spirit does not belong to a few “chosen” people!
This is such a beautiful church building that holds so many precious memories for so many. It would be a shame to destroy it!
As a descendant of Daniel Howell, one of the founders of the Ewing
Presbyterian church three hundred years ago , I hope that the 1867 sanctuary will be preserved.
I believe that the repair would be less than two million and I cannot imagine that that grants or loans cannot be found. The Howell Family Association reunion will visit the area inOctober and we hope the sanctuary will survive.
Although I no longer reside in New Jersey, I was raised in the area and most of my family are buried in the Ewing Cemetery. The church has always been the anchor, physically and emotionally. I have returned to help with Live From the Cemetery and my family has donated more than once for restoration. Please make more of an effort to preserve this historic monument!
So much of Americas history has been erased from the landscape in the name of progress. It would be ashame to lose yet another. The Partners have proven that there is community support to help preserve the landmark for the future.
The thought that this beautiful historic sanctuary could possibly be torn down makes me very sad. I was confirmed and married in this church many years ago. My parents and grandparents are buried in the cemetery. I hadn’t been back to the church for some 35 years until we had a memorial service there for my parents a few years ago. I was so looking forward to seeing the church again When I arrived to make the final arrangements I found that the church had been condemned that week. I didn’t realize how big a part of my life and history that church had been until the possibility of it not being there anymore hit me. With the advent of all the big box stores and malls in the area, it would be a crime to destroy this lovely piece of Ewing’s history.
I grew up in this church, and it makes me very sad to think about it getting knocked down. Please help save it!
Please save this landmark ! I have family buried there and it is a piece of Ewing history.
It would be a great loss to the community if this church were to be demolished. Its presence on Scotch Rd. and in the cemetery could never be replaced.
I WAS BAPTISED, RAISED AND MARRIED IN THIS WONDERFUL CHURCH. MY PARENTS HENRY AND ANNA SCHMIDT WERE THE BACKBONE OF THE TRUSTEES, THE CEMETERY COMMITTEE,AND THE LADIES AID FOR MANY YEARS. IT IS UPSETTING TO ME THAT THIS DEMOLITION PLAN HAS BEEN PUSHED THROUGH SO QUICKLY BY A FEW PEOPLE. THE CONSEQUENCES OF THIS ACTION WILL BE FELT FOR MANY YEARS.
I can not believe that the entire church, including its “religious” leaders are not 100% behind saving this beautiful piece of history. It seems that any spiritual person should have an appreciation and understanding of the importance this building holds to the early parishioners who made it into a church!
It is disconcerting, not to mention unbelievable, that First Presbyterian Church of Ewing cannot be protected from demolition. This church is not only a Ewing landmark, but a New Jersey one as well. It is a place of simple beauty that has meant so much to so many who were on there raod to wholeness. I do not envy the leaders who were charged with making such an unpopular decision. It would not be fair to criticize this action without having more information about the rationale as well as other options that were considered. There are some who will opine that the building does not make the church, and that decisions of this type must be made with faith. I certainly agree with the latter part of this statement; faith is important whatever course one decides to take. However, I am one, of many I am certain, who is confident that the structure in the bend of the road, on Scotch Road in Ewing, is the church. No matter how modern and structurally modern or magnificent a replacement might be, it will not replace the historic, stone structure that is First Presbyterian Church of Ewing, the .
This landmark that should be preserved for generations.
it should be decided upon by dependable,conscientious and accountable individuals.
It seems that the easy way out out was taken here, rather than
making a decision based on how much of an outreach already the church has been to the community & how much more of an impact it would be after completion.
The community has spoken as to what they wish but the Session thinks they know better.
The Session should get off of their pompous butts and start considering what the congregation, the community & all other
contributor have voiced!
Well the Session…a few individuals vs. thousands of people.
The numbers add up ….the session ‘s decision is just that a decision.
They should be circumvented & then replaced!
Then it would be a non- issue!
Easiest way for that to happen is the congregation to put the
heat on…since that hasn’t worked, the charter should be changed to a congregational government. Vote on it yourselves
and overule the Session.
Been there done that! Again… then it would be a non-issue and the crisis would be over!
Please delay the demolition plans. Let the fundraising continue – the church members and community members that joined this fundraising campaign brought an awesome spirit to this cause! And it was only the beginning! Please give us the gift of time to honor this historic church building – by repairing it and keeping it as part of this historic cemetery for future generations.
Please bring in an independent consultant to determine the appropriate work and related cost estimate so the Session can make an informed decision regarding the future of this House of Worship that is also an historic icon for this community.
Although we are not members of this church, we value its beauty, historical significance,and grandeur. To destroy this building would be criminal in nature. We ride by this beautiful structure every day and admire its glory. We do not understand the motives of those who want to destroy it. Please reconsider this horrific decision.
Please save Ewing Presbyterian Church!! Since the weaknesses in the building were first discovered, church and community members have held countless fund raising events to try to raise the money to restore and preserve this precious landmark. Their efforts are impassioned and they’ve raised quite a lot. With more time to raise funds, and backed by a local government that desires to preserve its own historical icons, there is little doubt that we can succeed. Let us take the time to save Ewing Presbyterian Church now, so that future generations can witness its graceful architecture standing as a symbol of the hopefulness and faith of early America – and of the endless perseverance of modern Americans, as well!
Our towns are the poorer for losing their architectural heritage.
Please save this historic structure for the good of all the people.
Please save this wonderful historic landmark!! It is a true gem and an important piece of Ewing history. This is a wonderful opportunity for the church to build on the interest and enthusiasm this issue has engendered to restore the church and build its congregation! Why not use this interest to raise the necessary restoration funds?
Compared to the age of houses, stores, churches and Cathedrals across the Atlantic, this church, although venerably 140-some years young, is just getting its start in terms of years of age. In AMERICA, for some un-Godly reason, there is a “tear-to-down-and-build” again mentality.
To the New Jersey church session: show a little FAITH in those who have plesged to fund the refurbishing of this beautiful building and think YOUNG, not OLD. It’s beautiful. Do not destroy it!
Compared to the age of houses, stores, churches and Cathedrals across the Atlantic, this beautiful church, although venerably 140-some years old, is just getting its start in terms of years! In AMERICA, for some un-Godly reason, there is a “tear-down-and-think-later” mentality.
And, what is to be the fate of the historic, priceless Pipe Organ within its walls? Would it, also, be part of the demolition? God forbid it.
To the New Jersey Church Session: show a little FAITH in those who have pledged (committed) to fund the repair of this historic House of God and think YOUNG, not OLD. It’s beautiful. Please, do not destroy it.
I’m just as appalled as anyone about the possibility of a 140+ year old church being torn down. I see a lot of churches too because I’m an “organman.” I service, build, rebuild and more or less spend my life working on church organs. After hearing about of the church via a historical site I wondered if there might be an old pipe organ in danger here. After seeing Dale Rider’s post I see that there is. I will offer to remove it and store it properly and wave my usual fee if the situation becomes serious enough. Anyone with information may feel free to contact me.
Alan A. Binger
Eastern Organ Service
732 751 0875
PLEASE do not let this church be torn down. I can not even fathom that people would be in favor of tearing it down. What a beautiful and historic piece of history for Ewing Twp. I also love passing by it when I am visiting NJ. It is part of my childhood and young adult hood memories. My parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other family members have all attended this church over the years and have put so much time, effort, love, and finances into keeping it a beautiful, productive, and spiritual part of the community.
I can only wonder what ulterior motives are behind such a strange and rediculous decision!
Our country has fallen far short in efforts to preserve historic buildings. Perhaps because the USA is such a relatively young nation we do not grasp the concept of historical evidence. Perhaps because so much money is available for new construction it is more profitable to destroy old buildings and put up new ones that likely will not last as long or bear the architectural tests of time. Historic buildings should be preserved not only as evidences of our history and the efforts of the people who have labored to build, but also a draw for tourism which is helpful to our economy. I know of no one who has visited the UK or Europe to see historic metal warehouse buildings.
I grew up at Ewing Presbyterian Church. I was baptized in there. My first job was as a sexton for Sunday services and weddings there. I was a member of both the youth and adult choirs there. I am who I am, because of my experiences at Ewing Presbyterian Church.
While many other churches in the area wouldn’t accept people because of various beliefs or orientations, Ewing Presbyterian Church always had arms wide open. Ewing wouldn’t be the same without it.
I got married a month ago and my only regret was not being able to be married in that building.
Please reconsider the decision to tear down the wonderful building!
I also have to ask the question…. “What church leadership would put the congregation & community in such needless turmoil?
They should also look in the mirror and & themselves
the same question?
Don’t destroy this landmark church. It would be very sad to tear down this piece of history where so many of us have memories from our pasts. Any setting surrounding the cemetary, absent this church, would certainly detract from the tranquility of the final resting places of our loved ones,including our Mother. Thank you.
As the chair of the now dissolved grassroots coalition “Partners to Restore Ewing Sanctuary,” I want to express my deep gratitude for all the voices who have spoken up on behalf of the 1867 Ewing hurch Sanctuary against its impending demolition. When I first suggested last November that I thought there might be “some support” outside of the congregation to help us to restore the building, I never in my wildest imaginings thought there would be as much support, as much passion, as much energy for this effort. I have been amazed and humbled on a daily basis at the many, many people who have supported our effort in one way or another. And now, as we approach “D-day,” and you continue to make your voices be heard, I am even more grateful for your words of support and encouragement. I don’t know what will happen in the days and weeks ahead – whether we will gather in thanksgiving and earnest to continue with the preservation effort, or whether we will gather in mourning as yet another building falls to the lack of vision and historic appreciation. But I do know that without the support of individuals, AND without the support of organizations such as Preservation NJ and Partners for Sacred Places and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, we could not have done what we have done thus far. These groups NEED your ongoing support! There are other buildings out there that need their support through your contributions. And, there is a Garden State Preservation Trust that needs your vote of approval in November! PLEASE support historic preservation by supporting these organizations which can guide and assist others going through the difficult and painful process we have gone through. These organizations and their staff have literally been a God-send to us, and the “community” needs to show its appreciation by helping to fund their on-going efforts. Thank you to all.
MUCH LOVE AND PRAYERS YOU AND BOB ARE ANGELS
LOVE AND PEACE
I think it’s a shame that there is not complete support for saving this beautiful building. I was raised in Ewing and miss the church now that I’ve lived away from it for years. I would like to bring my children there someday…
Why destroy such a beautiful building? What are we teaching our children by demolishing not only a beautiful symbol of faith, but an important historical site? We are certainly not teaching them a respect for faith, nor a desire to preserve the beautiful things that represent our past.
This beautiful, historic house of worship needs to be saved! Although I don’t live in Ewing, I regularly visit the Ewing Cemetery as my mother was buried there not quite 2 years ago. The Church building is an integral part of that beautiful setting, and I find solace in the serenity of that lovely and holy place. As a former member of Session in another Presbyterian church, I know that difficult decisions can be required of this body. Nonetheless, I beg the church governance to consider an alternative to demolition. Although the “Church” truly is its people, the sanctuary in which these people worship is a meaningful and important expression of their faith and a reminder of their history. This church has not only been an important part of the lives and history of many families from this area, it also is a vital historic presence for the community at large. Once again we are reminded that our cultural history is too easily discarded in this “throw away” society, and that our monuments and landmarks are vital to understanding our past and how we became who we are. In this case, there is such broad congregational, community, state and nationwide support for a sincere effort to save this building, that we must all hear the call and answer it. Adequate time needs to be provided to allow further fundraising and planning for the building’s future – whether it is once again to serve as a house of worship or for another respectful alternative use.
It is true the a building does not make a church. But through the centuries, Christians of all denominations have found that a beautiful church building can lift the heart and soul to God, and that older buildings become “sacred” because they are places where prayer has been found to be valid
This is surely true of the lovely building that is Ewing’s First Presbyterian Church. Thank God that, through the leadership of Preservation New Jersey, many thousands of dollars have already been given to its repair and restoration.
The genuine congregation of First Presbyterian must now challenge their minister and kirk session to reverse their decision. Future generations will bless those who preserve and beautify this fine building.
I’m not sure how my childhood would have turned out if it wasn’t for Ewing Pres and the youth group crew of the 90’s. It made me who I am, and I can only hope that everyone else who feels that way will speak out and do anything they can to help save it!
My grandfather worked awfully hard for this old church and it is a shame that he had to go to his grave before he could join this fight!
TO THE CONGREGATION!!!!!!!
The Congregation has to call a meeting & inept leardership challenge their decision. You cannot idly set by & let this be a final decission!
Challenge them & hold them accountable to the wrong decision.
Don’t wait a day longer.
Settle this to the satisfaction of the congregation & the community. Not to the few but the masses!
It’s a beautiful landmark. Ewing wouldn’t be the same without it.
Be careful that you are signing the petition and not just commenting here. The petition site is
I made that mistake earlier.
Growing up in this church, I will always carry fond memories. It is a landmark. It should not be torn down. Why are there funds to build a new church when it would cost less to fix this one?
This lovely church is part of the community’s history and its heritage. I encourage you to make the repairs necessary to save it!
On Thursday, August 6, 2009, the Committee on Ministry of the Presbytery of New Brunswick, charged with investigating disorder within congregations and between congregations and their leadership (pastors and ruling bodies) ruled that the decision by the Session of the First Presbyterian Church of Ewing to demolish its historic landmark 1867 sanctuary building was made properly and in order. The Committee said that demolition is to be delayed only as long as necessary to plan and conduct a memorial service to allow people to mourn the loss of the building, and that a process of grief counseling will be established following demolition. An explanation of the decision is promised by the Presbytery in writing early next week.
The Committee on Ministry invited members of Session to address their concerns to the Committee both publicly and privately over a period of over three hours. Members of the congregation that arrived at the meeting were, after some discussion, permitted to witness most of the proceedings. While it was not in dispute that the congregation was divided, many of the facts of the matter were in dispute. While the Committee had the authority to conduct an investigation into the matter, it chose to issue its final decision approaching midnight.
We are stunned, heartbroken and indeed in disbelief that a body responsible for healing can fail to be sensitive to how their action can further and irreconcilably divide the congregation, and indeed the community.
This said, we remain grateful for all of the expressions of support received through letters published in newspapers, and petitions circulated among members of the congregation, the Ewing Township community and the community of historic preservationists through the Preservation New Jersey web site (www.preservationnj.org). Having now presumably exhausted our appeals within the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., we look to each of you for your thoughts concerning future courses of action.
Save this beautiful landmark!!
How can anyone possibly demolish such a beautiful and historic structure? Isn’t Ewing a town that is proud of its history? This wanton destruction is absolutely unthinkable to anyone with any sense of their heritage, and would be yet one more violation to the preservation of New Jersey’s past. Architects, historians, genealogists, preservationists speak out! If only the people buried in the adjoining cemetery could voice their opinion…
I’ll “echo” what several have said: To tear down such a beautiful and historic structure, and a wonderful link to our past, present, AND future, need not happen. I fervently hope that Ewing 1st Presbyterian is around for the next 100 years and beyond.
I am keeping this congregation in my prayers. I am so sorry they are being torn apart by this issue. In our congregation the decision would be put to the entire membership. I hope they might do this at Ewing Pres.
Years ago, San Francisco needed a new parking lot, so they tore down the palatial Fox Theatre because no one cared then. Now, they would love to have it back, but it’s too late. It’s gone, and you can’t unring a bell.
Must we tear everything old down? Europe has buildings almost 1,000 years old. If our current rate of “progress” continues, we will have nothing left of our heaitage. If anyone wants to see an old building, they will have to go to Europe.
Let’s stop this nonsense now before it’s too late.
Douglas K. Morgan
Some of my family, friends, and my wife’s family have attended this church, most of my family is buried in the cemeteries on the grounds surrounding the church and across the street. My parent’s were married in this church, and that’s just my side of the story.
There are gravesites of soldiers from the revolutionary war that surround the church. What about those pieces of history? The people who fought for our country in the beginning lay at rest there in the immediate vicinity of the building where construction vehicles would need to be used. If the building is going to be demolished, how many of those that rest in peace will now be disturbed and have to be relocated?
Also, I don’t know who gave the estimates, but I find it hard to believe it would cost $2.5 million to reinforce and brace a masonry wall with timber, and replace slate roofing with new, lighter material to reduce the weight on the walls. I am not an engineer, but $2.5 million sounds like someone may have carried an extra zero somewhere. There’s $250k raised through fundraising, I am sure the church qualifies for grants, and the church could even put solar panels on that new lightweight roof to save even more money. In another 30 – 50 years, a portion of the costs would have been deferrred thanks to “and then he said, let there be light.” Hopefully the light will shine down on whoever sits on top and makes the final decisions in the chain of command.
Please save the church. Not just for the parish, but the community as well. I am not a church attendee, but it absolutely breaks my heart to see all of this happening. There is too much history in this building and the surrounding area to let it be destroyed over the haggling of a price tag. Human life cannot be priced, it is invaluable and incalculable . However human life is more than the beating of a heart or the activity of a brain. It is the will of a person, the essence of a soul, and you are about to break so many.
I have family buried in the cemetary adjacent to & across the street from this church. It is a lovely building, with historic significance. I would hate to see it torn down. I was unable to attend the fundraiser held back in May.
This situation is so sad. Our family had been members of this church for many years. My husband and I were married in this church. I have such fond memories of our children being baptized at Ewing Presbyterian Church. Our family truly enjoyed church life at Ewing Presbyterian when our children were very young. I have informed a current member of the congregation of a pledge I am happy to make if this church can be saved.
This church is so pretty, and it marks my family’s cemetery, the Ewing cemetery has my mother, my father, and my daughter interred there. The church enhances the beauty of the cemetery and creates a harmonious space. If the church comes down, what could replace it?
I grew up listening to my Mom and my Aunt sing in the choir. Can’t let them tear it down.
As a local Ewing resident, I am all for saving history and our sense of community, however, it is not tied to “a building”. To waste time, money and energy to fight a battle wherein NO MONEY EXISTS to save this structure is simply ludicrous. Further, the building has been deemed completely unsafe by our building department and we should be so thankful and give praise it hasn’t collapsed and hurt anyone. I personally believe that if it the money was raised and God himself were consulted on where the two million dollars were to be spent, it would be to house the homeless or feed the hungry. I also believe some of my fellow residents have become consumed with “saving a structure” and it’s associated fighting and have completely lost sight on the messages taught within the church’s walls. I for one am so ashamed to see this occur. No one wants to loose such a beautiful building, but to save it should not be at the cost of Ewing and or the Presbyterian faith’s reputation within our community. Please stop fighting and put this energy to a higher and better use! Being selfish and short-sighted never does any good. PEACE be with you all, Josie
Save the church,please…..
This is the second consecutive August that something important to me has been taken too soon. I’m heartbroken to hear the news that the session has decided to raze the Ewing Presbyterian Church’s 1867 sanctuary. That building is a connection that I have to my now departed grandfather, Jack Wyckoff. Seeing it go is taking a part of my family, my childhood, and my past. My grandfather knew a thing or two about buildings and he was in charge of all building maintenance for years, until he was moved aside for a former school teacher. That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Why would a man who dedicated his life to building/maintaing quality homes for years fight so hard to maintain a lost cause of a building? I’m sorry to see the old Ewing Presbyterian Church go, it is a landmark to not only our congregation, but also our town.
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