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An RP Presence Near New York City

07. October 2008

Columns, Congregation of the Month,

  —Richard B. Weir

Ridgefield Park RPC

Location: Ridgefield Park, N. J.

Presbytery: Atlantic

Organized: 1797

Membership: 30 communicant; 6 baptized

Pastor: J. Bruce Martin



The Ridgefield Park congregation had its beginning in 1797 in New York City, where many Covenanters from Scotland and Ireland settled during the great migrations to the New World. The First New York Reformed Presbyterian Church was organized in the home of Mr. and Mrs. John Agnew.

This group called Alexander McLeod, from Scotland, who came to pastor this church and the congregation that had been established in Coldenham to the north. He agreed to come only after the members agreed to free all the slaves they had.

For the next century the New York City congregations moved uptown where they occupied a series of locations as the city grew. Immigrants kept coming from Northern Ireland and establishing other congregations, notably the Second Church (1830), the Third Church (1848), the Fourth Church, and one in Brooklyn.

For 181 years these five congregations ministered to the ever-changing New York City region, finally merging into one congregation by 1944. When urban decay prevented our multiethnic ministry from continuing in the Bronx, we formed a committee to move the congregation ...

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