A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

History: First Presbyterian to Dedicate New Education Wing (Matawan, 1967)

The 20 Mar 1967 edition of The Matawan Journal announced that the new 26-room education wing of First Presbyterian Church of Matawan would be dedicated that Sunday, 2 Apr 1967. Rev Ansley VanDyke, pastor at Toms River Presbyterian Church and current moderator of the Synod of New Jersey, would be on hand to deliver the sermon that Sunday. And Rev. Albert Woodward, pastor at Red Bank Presbyterian Church, would represent the Presbytery of Monmouth as its current moderator.

The new education building would house two full Sunday school sessions (9:15 am and 11 am) through 8th grade. Various programs for adults, teens, and junior high students would be held during the week. A new Christian Nursery and Kindergarten School, day care center, and programs for seniors and young adults were also expected to be launched.

The education wing and chapel are now 45 years old. The Presbyterian Nursery School is a local icon, having taught thousands of local children over the years. Children, youth, and adult Christian education programs continue to flow through the halls of this space. And Vacation Bible School has routinely run for a week in the summer.

The article didn't mention that these spaces would also serve the community through building use, a separate mission of the church. Several young Protestant communities have met in the chapel over the years; the current chapel users are a Pentecostal group. Plus, an assortment of civic groups have always used the classrooms, such as twelve-step groups, scouts, play rehearsals, community choir tryouts, etc.


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