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Today in OPC History

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October 12

Pole Tavern, New Jersey

On the Lord's Day morning of June 14, 1936, three days after the formation of the now Orthodox Presbyterian Church, three women convinced of the cause of the new church were present at the home of Miss Elizabeth Reading in Woodstown, New Jersey, to study a Sunday school lesson, pray, and sing hymns. The next Lord's Day there were six persons present, and the next Lord's Day after that eleven persons attended. When the Committee on Home Missions and Church Extension heard of the developments in Woodstown area, they assigned Edward Cooper, a recent graduate of Westminster Seminary to serve as pulpit supply.

Having someone now in Mr. Cooper to preach the Word of God on a regular basis, and with the leadership of Mr. Floyd Graf, the group moved from meeting in Miss Reading's home to the township hall in nearby Pole Tavern. The size of the group increased throughout the summer until over fifty persons were attending regularly.

On this date in 1936, four months after the three individuals first met together, Faith Presbyterian Church of America in Pole Tavern was organized by the Presbytery of New Jersey. Mrs. Angeline LeStourgeon and Mr. and Mrs. Wesley L. Rogers recalled, "When the first few met to study the Sunday school lesson, they never dreamed that four months from that time they would belong to a regularly organized church with a pastor and elders, and be using their own hymn books. God has blessed us and made of us a real church family for which we give him our hearty thanks."

Eighty years later, Faith Church continues under the faithful ministry of Pastor Richard Ellis and Associate Pastor Andrew Barshinger.

Home Page Picture: Edward Cooper

Picture: The signatures of those individuals in Woodstown, New Jersey petitioning the Committee on Home Missions and Church Extension to become an organized congregation in the Presbyterian Church of America.

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