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Our Story

Pennington Presbyterian Church began not with a building but with a community of people who worshipped together wherever they could, whether in homes or barns, or even a schoolhouse.

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Our roots in this corner of Hopewell Valley go deep. Pennington Presbyterian Church has been a presence in the community at least since the spring of 1709 when the people of present-day Lawrenceville, Trenton, Ewing, Pennington, and Hopewell expressed their interest in calling a minister.

The congregation during those early days were farming families who had come from many places: East and West Jersey, Long Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and even Scotland and England. They were devoted to daily family worship, Bible-reading, praying, and psalm-singing. Their greatest treasure was the Bible—read, preached, sung, studied memorized, and emphasized in confessions, worship, sacraments, and daily living.

Although the form and methods have changed over the years, from its very beginning, Pennington Presbyterian Church’s central ministry has been about inspiring and equipping followers of Jesus to share the transforming love of Jesus. Through the years, the church’s pastors and members have fostered an emphasis on growing our love for God and our neighbors – an emphasis that continues to this day and with new energy to also lift up advocacy and social change along with long-standing ministries of compassion.

The church has a rich heritage of ministry and mission locally, in and with the surrounding community, as well as with partners around the world. In 2021, the Pennington Presbyterian Nursery School, our in-house ministry, celebrated its 60th anniversary of impacting the lives of children and families in our community.

Like our own stories, the church has seen all kinds of changes and transitions through its many years. There have been building expansions, a host of new mission and ministry endeavors, different gifts brought by each of our installed ministers, and the joy of generations of families who have been in the church, along with the excitement and vitality that always comes when the community grows with new folks enriching the ministry. Over the years we have grown bolder in our commitment to being open and affirming, inclusive of all, and working to dismantle systemic racism. Yet through every transition, the heart and mission of Pennington Presbyterian Church remains centered on learning to love and be loved unconditionally and to turn that love outwards to compassionate and life-giving work in the world.  

Read about the history of the building and community.