HISTORY OF FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, NEW HYDE PARK
During 1890 services were held in New Hyde Park in Miller’s Hall by Rev. John Schweitzer, pastor of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church of Elmont. In December 1901 ground was broken for our church and on February 2, 1902 the cornerstone was laid. On October 27, 1903 the then Presbytery of Nassau constituted the church as the First German Presbyterian Church of New Hyde Park. There was twenty-seven charter members.
Students from Bloomfield Seminary supplied the pulpit until October 1904 when Rev. William Mager was installed. Since then we have had eleven ministers including Rev. Ken Brown, who was here for 34 years, Rev. Donald DeRolf, our supply minister for 11 years and of course our current Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. Joshua Jong.
In 1927 an addition was built to the church for use as a Sunday school and social hall.
In 1940 the north wing was added to the building and in 1945 the men of the Church finished a small room in the basement to use as an additional Sunday School room.
In 1950, the name of the church was officially changed to the First Presbyterian Church of New Hyde Park.
In February 1951 major renovations were begun on the Sanctuary. The two buildings were made into one by removing the wall that divided them. During this time, we worshiped in the Park Theater (on Jericho Turnpike, now occupied by law offices of Gutman, Mintz) and the New Hyde Park Jewish Center (now the Vaishnav Temple) on Lakeville Road. Our Wednesday Lenten Services were joined with those of the Community Congregational Church in their building
In 1956 a new Manse was purchased for the minister at 1625 Highland Ave., the old manse, at 16 South Ninth Street, was converted into a Church School and office and the adjoining property at 20 South Ninth Street was purchased.
On December 10, 1961 ground was broken for the Christian Education Building, with Church School sessions Pastor Brown announced his retirement, at the annual Congregational meeting held on January 21, 1979 the members voted to make him Pastor Emeritus, with Presbytery approval, and renamed the CE building The Rev. Kenneth V. Brown Christian Education Building.
On August 5, 1981 a fire devastated the Church. The celling was raised to its current height, the chancel was redesigned and enlarged which included new white columns, stained glass windows and the new computerized organ which replaced the pipe organ, which was destroyed in the fire.. At the same time members of the Church replaced the oil burner with a new gas furnace. During this period, we held Sunday services with Rev. Dan Fritz, in the Christian Education building.
After the resignation Rev. Daniel Fritz, in 1982 we called Rev. Kevin Bowers, who served us for 16 years. Rev Bowers resigned in 1999 to accept a new call and since that time we had two part-time Pastors. Rev. Dr. Laurie Tiberi called in 1999; Rev Donald DeRolf called in 2004.
During the tenure of Pastor DeRolf the handicapped ramp was built on the south side of the Church which was dedicated Sept. 24, 2006. On July 18, 2007 the steeple was struck by lighting and incurred damage that required extensive repair, which included a lighting arrester.
Rev Donald DeRolf died suddenly on October 19, 2015 After a number of Sunday’s with pulpit supply preaching we were able to call on August 1, 2016 the Rev. Dr. Joshua Jong.
-Contributed & Provided by Elder, Edgar J. Teepe III, Clerk of Session