Church

OUR HERITAGE

New Castle Presbyterians as a congregation stem from the first services of the Dutch Reformed (Calvinist) founders of New Castle. A clergyman of that faith accompanied Peter Stuyvesant and his men in 1651 when they built Fort Casimir. The first permanent pastor of the congregation was the Rev. Evardus Welius who arrived on August 21, 1657, now celebrated by us as our founding date. The first church building was located on the Strand - site of #26 and #28 today.

In 1664 the British took possession of the colony from the Dutch, and growing numbers of French Huguenots, Scottish and English colonists settled in the town. With the arrival in 1698 of the Rev. John Wilson, a Scotsman, the church assumed its distinctive Presbyterian form.

In 1706, Rev. Francis Makemie, The Rev. Wilson and six other ministers met in Philadelphia to organize the first Presbytery in the New World.

A year later the present meeting house was built. It served as the site of worship until 1854 when a Gothic brownstone sanctuary was built. The old 1707 meeting house then served as the church school and fellowship hall.

By the 1940s the brownstone structure was deemed unsafe and had to be razed. The congregation agreed to keep the still-sound and historic meeting house which was restored to its original design in 1950, and the present Christian Education building was added in 1959.

For over three centuries the New Castle Presbyterian Church has provided an active Christian witness and presence in the community.

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Link:

nc-chap.org/church/NCPC.php - Community History and Archaeology Program