The History of the First Presbvterian Church of Congers. New York In September 1890, the Presbytery of Hudson appointed Rev. John B. Gilmor, of Stony Point, chairman of a committee to organize a Presbyterian Church to serve the Congers area.
On January 3, 1891 he got an agreement from the Boston Improvement Company for lots to be used to build the church. On April 7 the land was duly conveyed to him for the church to be organized the next Sunday. The Congers Methodist church hospitably opened its doors to the committee, which met there with those interested in forging a new Presbyterian Church. On April 14th present First Presbyterian Church of Congers, NY was organized.
Six women and one man became the charter members of this congregation. Charles Kerr was the first Elder, his wife was received upon profession of faith and five other ladies were added to the new congregation. The Presbyterian Church in Congers was born. At the initial meeting of the church, it was decided that the name be First Presbyterian Church of Congers, NY. The name was incorporated and filed at the County Clerk’s office on May 6, 1891. The summer of 1891 the frame part of the present church structure was built and occupied for the first time for public worship on September 13,1891. On October 29th the church was formally dedicated.
In 1938 an addition was planned and in 1939 construction began on the social hall. Most work was done by Nils Person, a contractor, assisted by the men of the church. The church had asked the Presbytery of Hudson for a loan, but was advised against the project because of church finances. Through the efforts of the congregation the building was completed and all obligations discharged in four years.
This house was used as the manse and was occupied by clergy for the next nineteen years. Three years by Herbert Christ and family and sixteen years by Rev. J.Robert Durway. In 1981 the congregation sold the manse, realizing they probably would never be able to support a full-time pastor in the future. The night of December 17, 1967 a fire of suspicious origin broke out. The congregation rallied to support the repair and renovation of the church building. Other structure problems were also taken care of. A new organ, donated anonymously by a former Sunday school pupil, was delivered in July 1968. New carpeting, drapes and lighting was installed. A dedication took place on October 27, 1968.
The history of the church shows much struggle, courage and lots of persistence to keep moving forward and serving the congregational family and the community. Although the church is small, the congregation has been able to support each other and keep the church operating. The First Presbyterian Church of Congers is steadfast, persistent and hill of hope for the future. As the people experienced the life of the church, with its parade of student preachers and temporary ministers for over 100 years of its life, the congregation always understood that the church is far more than the person who serves as pastor. They also recognize that this church not only is still here but is looking forward because of the faithful work of mighty cloud of witnesses – small in number but great in faith. And they know too that this church will continue to serve in this place only if they take responsibility for this witness to Jesus Christ.