Rev. Peter Wilkinson, Our Pastor

Pete has been pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Rutherford since 2007. His dream for our church is that it be a vibrant, spiritual hub; that we provide a place for people to be drawn into the presence of Jesus Christ and sent into the community to serve and care for others.


With a living-out-faith focus, Pete’s hope for care begins at home. Married to Jan Burgess, and raising two great kids, Madeleine and Evan, his dedication doesn’t stop there. Their household includes Kaitlin and Emma Knight who have been living with the family for the past two years. Being a spouse and parent allows Pete to appreciate the time constraints that families experience.


Along the way in his journey, Pete received his Master of Divinity from San Francisco Theological Seminary and a B.S. in Management at Purdue University. Following school, he pastored in both Indiana and Illinois. For fun, Pete likes to listen to jazz, read, eat desserts, walk the dog, talk with friends, cheer on the Chicago Cubs, Bulls and Bears, and enjoy God's sense of humor. "We all need to lighten up sometimes." First Presbyterian Church of Rutherford is lucky to have this man of faith on board.


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Rutherford World War I Centennial Committee

Honoring Veteran Richard Earle Locke

1st Lieutenant, Chaplain’s Corps American Expeditionary Forces, Services of Supply, Base Section #3

Dr. Reverend Locke was called as our Minister from 1909 to 1922. During World War I, Dr. Reverend Locke was granted leave by the Session to serve as chaplain with the Army in France. He and Mrs. Locke were the first family to occupy our present manse at 80 Ridge Road. The floor plan of the house was completely designed and drawn by him. In 1922 Dr. Locke was called to a church in Albany, New York. His years were also memorable because it was he who founded and led the first Boy Scout Troop, Troop 1 in Rutherford, which was one of the first in America.


Reverend Locke’s picture hangs in the lounge and also view the Memorial and Service plaque in the narthex vestibule listing those in our church membership that served our country.


The Centennial Committee has designated Dr. Reverend Locke “Veteran of the Month” for January 2018. His biography and picture will be on display in the main lobby of the Borough Hall for the month. Every month from April 2017 through November 2018 the committee features a man or woman from Rutherford who served our country. This time period represents the 20 months in which the United States fought in WWI 100 years ago.