The story of First Presbyterian Church begins in the mid ’80s…1785 to be exact. In fact, the beginning of our story is shared with the Ramapough Reformed Church in Mahwah, NJ. In the 1820’s a theological division occurred within the church and a dissident group of 37 men and women, including the pastor, broke away and founded The True Dutch Church of Ramapough on a small plot of land donated by James and Maria Ramsey.
The church grew with the surrounding community and in 1908, the congregation of 75 members was received into the Presbytery of New Jersey, and became the First Presbyterian Church of Ramsey. Rev. Herbert H. Brown was installed as the pastor.
In 1945, a new era dawned with the coming of Rev. John Highberger. The tiny hamlet of Ramsey had blossomed into a thriving municipality with over 1000 homes. In his 29 years of faithful service to the congregation and the community. Rev. Highberger oversaw a period of unprecedented growth which led to new buildings, expanded programs, and additional worship services. The congregation reached its highest membership in 1965 with 1,189 members. Due to changing demographics that number dropped to just 789 by 1972.
Today the church has 385 members (give or take a few) and has just finished a year long process to evaluate its future. The process resulted in a desire to “look out” and engage our community with the good news of Jesus Christ. Connecting with the needs of our community, equipping our members to meet those needs, and then sending them out to share God’s love has become the focus of our ministry in 2015 and beyond.