The first congregational meeting was held December 26, 1864.
Dec – 1864 – “At the First business meeting of the congregation of the First Presbyterian Church of South Amboy … held in the Public School House December 26th, 1864. A.H. Vanblene was appointed Chairman and Matthew R Dey (as) Secretary.”
Sept 14, 1865 – The Congregation met in the Public School House to choose and elect a Pastor. The Reverend W.E. Westervelt was unanimously elected.
First Minister: W.E. Westervelt 9/1865 – 4/1870
Sunday January 29, 1865 the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was administered for the first time to 15 members.
Land was donated by the Camden and Amboy Railroad on January 17, 1865. The cornerstone of the church was laid Thursday August 16, 1866.
1866 – The Ladies Aid Society was created.
February 1868 the church building was finished.
1871 – The Board passed a motion to raise the Pastor’s salary to now be $800 a year.
1872 – Reverend R J Burtt became the pastor for the church.
1874 – It was decided that there should now be three Elders elected.
1880 – The total expenses for the entire year came to $650.12.
1886 – Reverend B. S. Foster became the new Pastor.
1894 – It was stated in the October Session that “.. arrangements made by (the) Presbytery for the installation of Rev M Franklin on November 13th.. “
In the spring of 1896 it was decided that a frame building would be erected for a Manse (cost $2,186.79). The Manse was completed in 1897 and rented for $15.00 a month.
1898 – The average attendance to the Sabbath School was 58.
1900 – Rev. Ernest F Hall submitted his resignation, “ his reason was the fact that he received a call to become Assistant Pastor of the 5th Ave Presbyterian Church of New York City.”
1902 – The church welcomed Reverend Robert J. Dick as the new Pastor.
1904 – A motion was made to purchase a ‘square piano as an upright will be more expensive’
1906 – A motion was passed that ‘ $7 be paid to the Ladies Aid to help purchase new dishes.’
1908 – Reverend George Kane Jr was the new Pastor.
1913 – According to records – electric lights were installed in the church at a cost of $273.10 and new pews at a cost of $751.66.
1914 – Reverend Harry C White is now the Pastor.
1916 – Reverend D. Ernest Mc Curry began his time as Pastor of the church.
On October 4 & 5, 1918 a series of explosions took place at the T.A. Gillespie Loading Co in Morgan. Windows in the church were broken and the ceiling of the main room was cracked.
1919 – Installation of the new Pastor Rev Herbert Justin Allsup took place. The Moderator of the Session was granted permission to purchase from the Sessional Fund some new type for our printing press. The church was used as an emergency hospital for the American Red Cross due to an influenza & pneumonia epidemic.
1920 – Frederick Robert Dieker, born 1919 – Son of Frederick and Josephine Dieker – baptized. Elder Bergen was paid one dollar “ .. for gasoline consumed during the recent trip to Presbytery at Englishtown.”
November 1920 a Seth Thomas clock was installed in the Church tower. It had 3 dials facing North, East and South. It was so prominant that it was used as the ‘Town Clock’.
1922 – There were two marriages this year: Milton Earl Fox & Florence Katherine Leonard, Howard V. King & Elinor Margaret Roberts.
1923 – A “ … Two Manual Möller Organ was contracted for”. Dr Sehlbroede was elected Pastor with an annual salary of $1,800.
1924 – Total Communicants reported to the Session – 181
1927 – The bill for JCP & L was $2 for the month.
1930 – Board of Trustees awarded a contract to Mr. Deats to erect a front porch & set of steps.
1932 – The church welcomes Reverend Charles Van Horn.
1935 – Pastor’s monthly salary was $166.
1936 – The 70th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone was celebrated – it started with a turkey dinner on November 17, and ended with an Anniversary Communion and Membership Roll Call on Sunday, November 22.
1938 – It was decided that some of the congregation and the Choir go Christmas Caroling. The original church mortgages were burned at a special service held on Christmas Day at 6 pm. The president of the Ladies Aid Society touched the match which started the burning of each mortgage. It was noted at this service that it was mainly through the efforts of the Ladies Aid that most of the debts were paid.
1942 – Regarding the Annual Turkey Supper – “..under the food rationing … it is considered unadvisable to either solicit from the wholesaler nor from our own members …”.
Sunday June 21, 1942 – A Service Flag was dedicated. Also a Roll of Honor was framed and hung in the rear of the church. On it were inscribed the names of the 44 members serving in the Armed Forces. Two of our members died in service.
1944 – JCP & L monthly bill was now $5.50. Hand rails for the steps were installed.
1945 – This year was very special for newborns, as a total of 24 baptisms were done.
1948 – Pastor’s salary was raised to $193 / month
On Friday May 19, 1950 at 7 pm, a barge and several freight cars loaded with dynamite and other ordanances exploded at the Pennsylvania Railroad docks, located at the mouth of the Raritan River. The church building, the stained glass windows, and also the manse were all badly damaged. This explosion even was reported in Life Magazine that month.
1951 – On the 1951 Birthday Calendar there were 36 names listed for October. Pastors salary now up to $225 per month.
1952 – The Adopted Budget for 1952 had, among other items, the Per Capita Tax (166 members @ 31¢ each)
1953 – $54.67 was sent to Swan Hill Ice & Coal Co for the month of June. (not sure if this was for coal or ice)
1954 – From a weekly bulletin “..We are pleased to announce that Mr. David Muyskens has agreed to accept a call to this church upon his graduation..”
1956 – Among the bills paid by the Trustees in January was a NJ Bell Telephone bill for a total of $7.64. The Ladies Aid held a picnic at the Hercules Pool.
1958 – The Building Committee was asked “ …to get at least three bids on a new roof.”
1959 – The Board of Deacons elected Mrs. Sadye Roberts as acting Secretary.
1961 – The Board of Deacons shipped 585 pounds of clothing in the Congregational Christian Service Committee’s Spring Clothing Drive .
1962 – The United Presbyterian Women Association celebrates its Fifth Anniversary. 207 people received communion on World Wide Communion Day. The installation service for Reverend Wilbur E Newton was held.
1964 – The Ladies Aid rented a bus to go to the New York World’s Fair. This year was the church’s 100th Anniversary.
Westminster Hall was erected on the site of the Manse and was dedicated May 16, 1965.
Sunday July 3, 1966, the ordination of Robert Criswell took place at our church. Rev. Criswell is the first member of the church to be ordained.
1967 – The National U.P.W. dues had an increase of $2. Also a Birth Congratulation card was sent to Eileen Daily.
1968 – A motion was made and carried that the Board of Deacons supply candles for the church services at a cost of $12.50.
1969 – The United Presbyterian Women requested permission to hold the Monmouth Fall Presbyterial Workshop at our church. Ladies Aid Society dues were $1.20 per year.
1970 – It was stated that “.. in 1972 nine denominations will unite. It was suggested at the Board Meeting, that the January 1971 meeting be open to all church members …. and discuss the coming changes”
1971 – It was decided that the Deacons will now meet on the 1st Monday of each month.
1972 – The Deacons agreed to provide coffee, cake and sandwiches at the December 10th Christmas Program, as requested by the Christian Education Committee. Monmouth Presbytery’s Centennial Anniversary.
1973 – Mrs. Mary Mercer was elected President of the Ladies Aid Society, also dues were increased to $1.50 per year.
1974 – We were told at the Presbyterial meeting that the church “.. must resign from the Synod of N.J. and join Synod North East..”
1975 – Each member of the Ladies Aid Society donated a gift that was given to the disabled at the Menlo Park Veterans Hospital. A total of 1,800 pounds of clothing was donated to The World Church Service.
1976 – “In keeping with the theme of the Bicentennial, the Deacons distributed 5 grains of corn to each Church member … as was the custom in the Colonial Church”
1977 – The United Presbyterian Women celebrate their 20th Anniversary with a dinner. Treasurer Mike Troutman resigned from the Board of Deacons because he was moving to South Jersey. Hazel Frank was appointed to that position.
1978 – The Ladies Aid “.. supplied and served refreshments to 30 relatives & friends attending the funeral of Alice Dix.”
1979 – The mortgage for Westminster Hall was burned during the Sunday morning worship on January 14, 1979.
1980 – A check for $165 was donated to the P.B.A. towards the purchase of a bullet-proof vest.
1982 – At the annual Meeting a future goal was put forward: to brick coat the church building, and repair the front steps.
1983 – Session approved “ … an annual $1,500 pay increase (for the Pastor) … including necessary increase in pension fund”
1984 – The first edition of the monthly publication ‘Open Door’ is published.
1986 – A member of our church was promoted to Chief of Police in South Amboy.
1988- The Per Capita Tax is now $11.72 per member.
1989 – The Church celebrated its 125th Anniversary. The Ladies Aid Society had a total of 35 members. Reverend Joseph Gray was installed as the minister on June 4th.
1990 – Deacon’s Meeting is now the 3rd Monday of each month.
1992 – On the occasion of the Open Door’s 50th edition, the committee members thanked every one for the encouragement. Open Door Members were: Alice Schwankert, Jean Bunting, Elaine Lopez, Sue McPherson and Roberta Bossong.
1994 – Reverend Brian P. Croak was welcomed as pastor.
2008 – An average of 43 families were served through the Food Pantry.
2010- Reverend Jeffrey Heath Carney was installed as the pastor here at the church.
2011 – A total of 193 families signed up for the food pantry
2012 – Superstorm Sandy hit a large portion of NJ. Thankfully the church sustained only minor dammage.
2013 – September Food Pantry reached a high for the year – 112 families served. 200th Edition of Open Door published.
2014 – The Church celebrates our 150th Anniversary.