Our History: Celebrating Past, Present, and What's to Come...

For over 150 years, our church has been dedicated to serving God and others. With the establishment of the church in 1863, our first 15 members began the work of First Presbyterian Church.

Soon after, in 1868, the church incorporated and our own church school was organized. The first manse was acquired on Church Street and just one year later, the first church building was dedicated on the site of the now Rutherford Public Library. In 1888, the Park Ave & Ridge Rd building began construction with a ground breaking ceremony where the church still stands today.

With the church dedicated in 1890, it would be 20 years until the Ridge Road manse (our present minister's home) would be built. In 1951, our Karen Kaiser Parish House (32 Ridge Rd) was dedicated and just five years later the restoration and dedication of the chapel would occur. In 1963 the church celebrated our one-hundredth anniversary.

The Moller organ installation occurred in 1967 and is still in use today. 1976 the chapel was dedicated as the Holloway Memorial Chapel, on Dr Holloway's fortieth anniversary as Pastor. The ringing bells in the steeple were installed in 1987 (Maas-Rowe Carillon Bell system) and one year later the one-hundredth and twenty-five anniversary celebration was held. 2002 brought about a stained glass window rededication after a six-year repair and refurbishment program.

After the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, our church adopted a Presbyterian Church there locally to assist in the rebuilding and recovery of its building. Moving along in the goal of education for our congregation and community, a long-range plan was developed, and our Christian Education program was reorganized. 2013 brought about the celebration of the 150th anniversary of our church and the Möller Pipe Organ was renovated.

May we honor those who have come before us and be dedicated to continuing their service of God and worship in this special place for a very long time to come. We are truly blessed.

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.