Presbyterian Church of Hopewell Township
A Member of The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA)
Turn of the Century
Presbyterian Church in America (PCA)
The PCA is an Evangelical Reformed Presbyterian denomination.
We emphasize the gospel (good news of salvation) through faith in Jesus Christ, as well as affirming other orthodox Christian doctrines and holding to the inerrrancy of Scripture.
We are connected to the teachings of the historic church and the doctrinal beliefs recovered by the Reformation. These doctrinal beliefs are expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith with the Larger and Shorter Catechism. All officers of the Presbyterian Church in America must personally subscribe to and uphold the teachings of the Westminster Confession of Faith.
We describe our representative form of church government. Local churches are governed by a "Session" of "presbyters" (elders), elected by members of the congregation. Representatives of local churches within a geographical area compose a "presbytery." Representatives of presbyteries meet annually at "General Assembly."
Thus, through the combined efforts and resources of all the churches, we are enabled to advance God's Kingdom much more effectively. The Committees and Agencies of the PCA help lead this Kingdom work.
1970's & 80's
What We Believe...
The Bible is the written word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit and without error in the original manuscripts.
The Bible is the revelation of God's truth and is infallible and authoritative in all matters of faith and practice.
There is one God, Who exists eternally in three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
That all are sinners and totally unable to save themselves from God's displeasure, except by His mercy.
That salvation is by God alone, as He sovereignly chooses those He will save. His choice is based on His grace, not on any human individual merit, or foreseen faith.
That Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, Who through His perfect life and sacrificial death atoned for the sins of all who will trust in Him alone for salvation.
That God is gracious and faithful to His people not simply as individuals but as families in successive generations according to His Covenant promises.
That the Holy Spirit indwells God's people and gives them the strength and wisdom to trust Christ and follow Him.
That Jesus will return, bodily and visibly, to judge all mankind and to receive His people unto Himself.
That all aspects of our lives are to be lived to the glory of God under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
A New Life
We share a common history up to a point with Raccoon United Presbyterian Church which also continues in ministry to our community in Hopewell Twp. Raccoon Associate Reformed Church was organized in 1823. At the time of the union in 1858, the United Presbyterian Church was founded. As a result of this union, the church name became Raccoon United Presbyterian Church.
The place of meeting was, at first, in the different homes of the community. The barn of William McCune, one of the organizers of the new church, became the central meeting place until a church home was erected. It is estimated that around 1837 the new frame structure was underway on a lot on the opposite end of the cemetery from where the current church building now stands. This church building served the congregation until 1867 when a second building (the one pictured above) was constructed. This church building was on the site of the present church.
Under Rev. Richard Ferguson's leadership in 1956, a fund raising drive to increase the church's facilities was undertaken. A new 260 seat sanctuary was constructed and dedicated in 1959.
During the ministry of Rev. Robert Bradbury in the late 1970's, the church viewed with concern some of the changes being considered within the United Presbyterian denomination. Ultimately, the church voted to leave the United Presbyterian Church in April of 1981. The church then joined the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod in November of 1981. This denomination was then taken into the Presbyterian Church in America by a process of joining and receiving in June of 1982.
In 1999, we welcomed to our Pulpit the Rev. Dale Szallai. During his time as our Pastor, Rev. Szallai was a shining example of the Lord's presence. His messages and leadership demonstrated God's grace. Rev. Szallai served the Lord faithfully until he was called home in June of 2012 following an 18 month battle with pancreatic cancer. His humbleness is exemplified in a quote to the congregation regarding a benefit concert for him; "If just one person were to give their life to Christ at this fund raiser, then this sickness will have been worth it."
From June of 2012 through December of 2013, we were blessed to have several different men bring God's Word to us. In particular, the Rev. William Wolfgang took the pulpit for many of those Sundays. His leadership and guidance was critical in keeping our Church family together during a time of unknowns.
In January of 2014, we welcomed the Rev. Jared Nelson to New Life Presbyterian Church. Pastor Jared joined us from Providence Presbyterian Church in Edwardsville, IL. Pastor Jared has served The Lord as an Assistant Pastor at Providence Presbyterian Church, as a Hospital Chaplain at Methodist Medical Center and Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, TX and as a Pastoral Intern at Park Cities Presbyterian Church.
While it is good to look back and see God's blessings and provisions for His people in times past, it serves to encourage us to attempt great things for God's glory in the future. We are excited for what the Lord has in store for us as we serve Him together. We hope you will join us.