Our Roots

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In 1746, the Reverend Mr. Jacob Green became pastor of the Whippany church.  One location after another decided to form its own church.  The original  building continued to fall into disrepair.  It was finally abandoned in 1755.  Two new churches were built: one in Hanover and the other in Parsippany, both using materials from the original church.

After trying to minister to both the Hanover and the Parsippany church, Reverend Green, by order of Presbytery, devoted all his time to the Hanover church.  Most Whippany residents who had attended the Whippany church worshiped in  Hanover and decided to do so  until there was a group large enough to form another church in Whippany. They would worship in the Hanover church  for 78 years! Finally, in 1833, the time seemed right to form another church in Whippany. The Reverend J. A. Ferguson, pastor of the Hanover Presbyterian Church, in his A Historical Sketch of the Presbyterian Church of Hanover, delivered on July 2, 1876, described the situation this way: “the Whippany people withdrew from the Hanover congregation.  Forty or more members were dismissed…” The group who left the Hanover church had neither pastor nor church.  Until a church building could be acquired, these Whippany people met in the Academy—a school located on Route 10 about 1/2 mile from where the mother church had been.

Their first order of business was to identify themselves.  On April  2nd. 1833, they met to discuss the expediency of organizing a religious society and employing a Presbyterian clergyman as preacher. That course of action was agreed on and a committee was appointed to select the preacher.  The first candidate was the Reverend Mr. William Cochrane. Only half the members of the committee voted in his favor. It was decided to continue the search. The second candidate was the Reverend Mr. William W. Newell of South Boston  “who gave such general satisfaction that he was invited to become a pastor…of this then churchless, religious society.  He agreed to fill the post for 14 months.