History

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A BRIEF HISTORY OF OUR CHURCH

[This history includes a few brief excerpts from a much longer history that will be published either electronically or in hard copy or both later this year or next year.]

First Presbyterian Church of Haddon Heights can trace its origins back to 1900 when two Haddon Heights families, the Gosserts and the Wallaces, met  to discuss the formation of a Presbyterian Mission in Haddon Heights. By November 1901, enough people had become interested in forming a church that it was officially incorporated.

The following year, the first church building, a small, wood-framed, gabled roof chapel was constructed and was dedicated in May. As the congregation grew, the chapel became too small, and in 1908, a Shingle style church design by Philadelphia architect Richard Conover Loos was selected for the permanent church. This church dedicated in January 1909 included stained glass windows designed and fabricated by German-born stained glass artist William Rieth.

The first pastor of the church, installed in 1902, was an English-native who grew up in the Buffalo, New York area, J.S. Rusbridge. He remained for less than two years and was succeeded by Harold Rambo and Charles Mitchell.

In the 1950s, the church and manse underwent major changes. The manse porch and Victorian tower, both being structurally unsound, were removed, and the Shingle style sanctuary was altered both on the exterior and interior to a brick-clad, Georgian Revival design. In 1960, ground was broken for the current Christian Education building.

After nearly 120 years, First Presbyterian Church of Haddon Heights remains a vital part of its community and its denomination. We look forward to serving God and Haddon Heights for many generations to come.