Our Roots

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Youth have always had an instrumental part in the life of the Whippany church.  In 1894 the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor raised enough money to construct an alcove behind the pulpit.  The next year, the young people presented a pump organ to the church, which was installed in the alcove.  Until the early 1969’s the church organ, although changing in form and grandeur, continued to occupy the space that youth of the young people had provided.  At Christmas in 1869, the Mite Society and The Soldiers Aid Society presented the church with its first pulpit Bible.  It was not replaced for almost 100 years, until 1960. 

Women’s groups were also very attentive to church needs.  As early as 1838, church records referred to women as “the nerve and sinew of the church.” Women were often appointed to collect funds for church needs, including the reduction of debt.  In 1910, the women of the church provided electricity for the sanctuary.  In 1927, women of the church paid for the removal of horse sheds that stood at the back of the church building.  When the congregation finally decided to add a woman to the ranks of elder, the formidable Agnes Briggs Watson was chosen.  At the time of her election, Mrs. Watson had been a member of the congregation for 22 years.  As late as the 1960s, while increasing in number, women elders still did not serve communion.  That did not mean they had no role in the sacrament.  Women elders hand washed and dried the glass communion cups.  It was doubtless a woman elder who alerted the session to the availability of the disposable cups we use today.