First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica

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First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica
First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica is located in New York City
First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica
First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica
40°42′20″N 73°47′47″W / 40.70556°N 73.79639°W / 40.70556; -73.79639
Location Jamaica, Queens, New York City, New York
Country United States
Denomination Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Website http://www.firstchurchjamaica.org/
History
Founded 1662 (1662)
Architecture
Status Church
Completed 1813
Administration
Presbytery New York City
Clergy
Pastor(s) Patrick H. O'Connor

The First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica is a church in Jamaica, Queens. Organized in 1662, it is the oldest continuously serving Presbyterian church in the United States.[1]

History[edit]

The church was first organized in 1662. Most of the original members came from Halifax, West Yorkshire, England.[2] Though there are older churches on Long Island, this congregation has not stopped service ever. In 1699, a stone church was built on what is now Jamaica Avenue, paid for by tax dollars.[2] In 1702, the congregations of Grace Episcopal and First Reformed split off.[3] A new church was constructed in 1813[4] near what is now 163rd Street. It was moved, along with a manse built in 1824, in 1920 to the present location at 89-60 164th Street. 2 years later, a bronze tablet was erected to mark the 260th anniversary.[4] In 1925, a church house, now known as the Magill Memorial Building, was erected to accommodate the growing church's need for office and classroom space.[3] In April 2008, the church celebrated its 345th anniversary.[1] Later that year, the church turned down landmark recognition by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.[5]

Pastor Patrick H. O'Connor, along with several other pastors, recently pressed the state of New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to press banks on their high credit rates,[6] and recently called for Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit to reveal his stance on a proposed 10% cap on credit card interest.[7]

Ministries and community outreach[edit]

Internal ministries include communications within the church (e.g. newsletter, bulletin, etc.);[8] drama within the church (e.g. Christmas pageants);[9] small group ministries centering around personal interests;[10] Brothers on the Move, the men's ministry;[11] Presbyterian Women;[12] and the Alice Horn Gift Shop,[13] including the Pastor's Book of the Month Club.[14]

The church has many community outreach programs, including blood drives, prostate cancer screenings, sponsoring Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts, and running the Bread of Life Food Pantry, which serves the nearly 39% of homes in Queens afflicted by hunger.[15] It also partners with many organizations, including Alcoholics Anonymous, Blood Services of New York City, the Cornell University Extension Program, and the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development.[13]

The church also partners with YouthWorks,[16] which allows young people from all over the world to experience the wonderful diversity of culture and worship styles found in Jamaica.

Tree of Life Center[edit]

The Tree of Life Center is an outreach program to economically empower Jamaica, and make individuals in the community self-sufficient. Programs at the Center include GED, ESL, and SAT preparation, financial literacy and job readiness classes, and hunger relief. The Center also complements existing social service providers.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Cox, Allison (2008). "Nation’s oldest Presbyterian church reaching into community with PD principles". PurposeDriven News. Retrieved 2010-12-05. 
  2. ^ a b Hazelton, Henry Isham (1924). "FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, JAMAICA*". Nassau County History Rootsweb. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  3. ^ a b First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica (2008). "First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica - History". Retrieved 2010-12-05. 
  4. ^ a b "BRONZE TABLET MARKS 260TH YEAR OF CHURCH - Jamaica Observes Founding of Oldest Presbyterian Body in the Country." (PDF). New York Times. New York Times. 1922-10-13. Retrieved 2010-12-05. 
  5. ^ Hirshon, Nicholas (2008-06-02). "Two Jamaica churches say thanks, but no thanks, to landmarking". New York Daily News. New York Daily News. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  6. ^ Dwyer, Jim (2010-04-16). "About New York - An Interfaith Push to Tame Credit Card Rates - NYTimes.com". New York Times. New York Times. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  7. ^ Lewis, Al (2010-10-27). "Lewis: Citigroup CEO won't confess stance on interest - The Denver Post". Denver Post. Denver Post. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  8. ^ First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica (2008). "First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica - Communications". Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  9. ^ First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica (2008). "First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica - Drama Ministry". Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  10. ^ First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica (2008). "First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica". Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  11. ^ First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica (2008). "First Presbyterian Church - Mens Ministry". Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  12. ^ First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica (2008). "First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica - Presbyterian Women". Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  13. ^ a b First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica (2008). "First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica - Programs and Partnerships". Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  14. ^ First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica (2008). "First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica - Book of the Month". Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  15. ^ Anuta, Joe (2010-11-24). "YourNabe.com > Archives > Queens > Hunger in boro afflicts nearly 39% of homes". YourNabe.com. News Community Newspapers Holdings, Inc. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  16. ^ http://www.youthworks.com/
  17. ^ First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica (2008). "First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica - Presbyterian Women". Retrieved 2010-12-06. 

External links[edit]