«HACKENSACK - HERITAGE TO HORIZONS PUBLISHED BY: THE HACKENSACK BICENTENNIAL COMMITTEE TERRY LARK, EDITOR DR. IRWIN TALBOT, PHD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR ...»
The-first church building was located at the southeast corner of Fairmount and Grand Avenues, growing in membership and church-oriented activities as the years went by. In 1957 ground was broken for a new church building and a parsonage at Summit and Spring Valley Avenues.
First Church of Christ, Scientist Early in the century several families from Hackensack and surrounding, towns formed a Christian Science Society, with its first service held on Sunday, March 6, 1904, in the Eckerson Building.
The first testimonial meeting was conducted on Wednesday, March 9, 1904. A few days later, on March 14, a Reading Room was opened in the Eckerson Building. The first lecture was given in the Armory in November of that year, with more than 200 persons attending. In accordance with the Manual of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass., by Mary Baker Eddy, the Society was organized as First Church of Christ, Scientist, Hackensack, N.J., in April 1905, "designed to commemorate the word and works of our Master, which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing". Regular services were later held in the Junior Order Hall until 1922, when work was started on construction of a church building at Hamilton Place and Prospect Avenue. The first service in'-the new structure was conducted on January 27, 1924. Services and Sunday school are still being held here on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings.
Temple Beth El The eleven Jewish families living in Hackensack in 1908 decided that without a synagogue they could not consider themselves a Jewish community. A plot of land was purchased at State and Meyer Streets, the Hackensack Hebrew Institute was formed and a building fund campaign launched. Donations were received and bricks at $1 each were sold from subscription books. The cornerstone was laid in 1919 and the building completed in 1920. The cost of the land and the building was $35,000.
The Ladies Aid Society, formed in 1921, ran projects for the synagogue and the needy. The Sisterhood, established in 1948, is still in existence working for the synagogue and the community.
Some years later the members decided to build a new synagogue property was purchased at 280 Summit Avenue and a fund drive initiated. The new Temple Beth El was dedicated in 1971.
The Eternal Light and a tablet inscribed with the Ten Commandments from the original building are part of the new Temple Beth El.
St. Joseph's R.C. Church St. Joseph's parish had its beginning in 1895 when 20 Polish families attended mass at Immaculate Conception Church. The pastor preached in English, German and Italian, but to hear their own tongue the local Poles had to travel to St. Joseph's in Passaic.
The Polish population in Hackensack increased rapidly and in 1907 a group went to the Rev.
Valentine" Chlebowskl, pastor of St. Joseph's, to organize the construction of a Hackensack church. Funds were collected, more were borrowed and the men of the parish -- after a hard day's work in the brickyards and factories -- brought their tools to the site on Hudson Street and put in many more hours of digging the foundation. The church was completed and the first mass celebrated on Christmas Day 1909 by the Rev. Ignatius Szudrowicz of St. Joseph's in Passaic.
The new St. Joseph's first resident pastor was the Rev. Stephen Nowakowski, who came here in
1910. He had no rectory but rented rooms across the street from the church while the rectory was being built. It was completed in 1911.
Over the years religious education of the young and the teaching of the Polish language were instituted.
St. Francis R.C. Church By 1917 it was apparent that a church was needed to accommodate the Italian community.
Construction began in August, 1917 and on December 9, the same year a wooden frame church building was dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi. There was, however, only one priest to minister to the ever increasing numbers of Italian immigrants. The problem was solved by the arrival of a religious order new to this area; the Capuchin Friars, followers of St.' Francis of Assisi. The church was entrusted to them in 1925, when the first Capuchin, the Rev. Gaetano Costi, became pastor.
In 1931, a new sanctuary was built and religious education was established for members of the parish by bringing in Capuchin Sisters to instruct the children. They were followed by the Religious Teachers Filippini in 1932.
In the succeeding years the Mt. Carmel Guild and the St. Ann Society were formed. In 1947 the main marble altar and the marble which lines the walls of the church, vestibule, and baptistery were acquired. St. Francis School was dedicated in September 1967, the 50th anniversary of the parish; today the school has an enrollment of 300. During the pastorate of the Rev.
Sylvester Catallo his assistant, the Rev. Henry D'Angel is was allowed to undertake the apostolate of the Spanish communicants by having a mass said in their language each Sunday.
To accommodate the spiritual needs of both Italian and Spanish families, masses are celebrated in both languages each Sunday.
Seventh-day Adventist Church
In the summer of 1925, Milton H. St. John, pastor of the Newark Seventh-day Adventist Church, conducted evangelistic meetings in a tent on the corner of Main and Ward Streets. As a result, a group of newly interested persons and members of nearby congregations began to meet in Carpenters Hall on Bergen Street.
Since the new church shares Pastor St. John with three other congregations, for his convenience services were held in the afternoon. Both-adults and children attended the Sabbath school. Prayer meetings on Wednesday nights and young people's meetings on Friday nights were conducted in private homes.
The new building at 106 Euclid Avenue was opened in June, 1937, with about 65 members. By then Sabbath school and sermon had been transferred permanently to Saturday mornings. For several years an elementary day school was conducted here until several Seventh-day Adventist congregations consolidated to operate a larger 10-grade school in Waldwick. Miss Elsie Steuer, one of the charter members in Hackensack became the first principal of the school.
Saint Cyprian's Protestant Episcopal Church Saint Cyprian's Mission, now located at 269 First Street, was organized ;' on June 18, 1926, at the home of William Francis, 268 First Street.
Present at the meeting were the Rev. A.M. Flasket, representing the Board of Missions and the Ven. Augustine Elendorf, Arch Deacon of the District. The preliminary work was done by the Rev. Maxwell J. Williams.
The first service was conducted in a hall on Berdan Place on September 13, 1925. Ground was broken on the site where the church now stands, on Sunday, May 23, 1926. The building was dedicated on September 26, 1926.
The church took its name after Saint Cyprian, Christian bishop and martyr, born in Africa around 200 A.D. He was beheaded in 258 A.D. because of his Christian beliefs and practices.
First Spanish Baptist Church The First Spanish Baptist Church was founded in April, 1969, by the Rev. and Mrs. Jose Correa.
The Correas -- with children Evelyn and Joseph -- had lived in Hackensack for a number of years, while the Rev. Correa commuted to the South Bronx where he was pasturing.
As a result of the influx of many Hispanic families in Hackensack the Rev. Correa was spiritually moved to form a Spanish-speaking church, where Hispanic families could worship within the framework of their culture and language.
Present church membership includes families from ten Spanish-speaking countries and a background of five religious denominations. The church has a social as well as spiritual impact on the Spanish-speaking residents of Hackensack.
The church, whose building is at 106 Central Avenue, is currently affiliated with the Metropolitan Baptist Association of New York, the Baptist Convention of New York and the Southern Baptist Convention.
St. Mark 's Syrian Orthodox Church A number of families organized in 1953 as the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch Society, and then purchased a brick home in Hackensack as a residence for His Eminence Archibishop Mar Athanasius Yeshue Samuel, Patriarchal Vicar of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch in the U.S. and Canada. Services were conducted in the archbishop's home for.
the next few years.
On November 15, 1957, His Holiness Patriarch Ignatius Yacoub III formally established the Archdiocese of the Church in the U.S. and Canada under the jurisdiction of Archbishop Samuel.
The following year church members began discussions on a possible site for a cathedral. Soon afterwards the group learned of the availability of the former home of the First Congregational Church at Fairmount and Grand Avenues. That structure was purchased and then remodeled.
On September 7, 1958, the cathedral, named after St. Mark's Syrian Orthodox Monastery in Jerusalem, was consecrated by Archbishop Samuel. In the intervening years many families have come to the United States from the Middle East, and St. Mark's parish has grown and currently numbers nearly two hundred families.
St. Anthony of Padua Episcopal Church
The First Ward Italian community, with its own ethnic retail shops, numbered approximately 5,000 people in 1914. They worshipped at St. Mary's (R.C. Church of the Immaculate Conception), but wanted a church in their own neighborhood. Their requests to the Diocese of Newark for a priest to help them organize a local parish went unheeded.
The Rev. Antonio Guilio Lenza, assistant pastor of the Italian R.C. Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Newark, often visited friends here. He advised the First Ward group to form their own church and then seek diocesan approbation. And so the Independent National R.C.
Church of St. Anthony of Padua was organized. For his outspoken suggestion, Father Lenza was suspended.
In 1917 St. Francis R.C. Church was established and many left St. Anthony for the new church.
In 1924 St. Anthony closed its doors as a result of many problems. Its families were again without spiritual guidance.
A delegation received help from the local Episcopal bishop, who sent Father Joseph Anatasi, S.T.B., to minister to them. The new pastor, who spoke fluent Italian, pleased them, and because of his Episcopal background he was familiar with the rituals to which they were accustomed.
Not long afterwards, the entire congregation took instruction and the church was re-established as St. Anthony of Padua Episcopal Church.
Varick Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church Though the exact date of the start of this church is unknown, its organization probably came during the middle 1800s. Initial worship was held in th Hackensack Meeting House, today's site of the Garden State National Bank on Main Street.
The church acquired its Atlantic Street property on January 5, 1854 and was incorporated as Olive Branch Colored Mission Number Three of Hackensack in 1866. Three years later the name was changed to the Union American Church of Hackensack. It became the First A.M.E. Church of Hackensack in 1883, and adopted its current name on April 18, 1917.
By 1919 the congregation had outgrown its first building, which was then moved to the northern part of the property to become Fellowship Hall, and the present sanctuary was built. Growth continued under the pastorship of the Rev. C.M. Kirkpatrick, who was followed in 1954 by the Rev. George Lincoln Blackwell. Membership stood at 370 in 1964 -- the church's 100th anniversary.
A new fellowship hall and educational building were dedicated in 1966. Later that year the Rev.
Blackwell was elected General Secretary of the Department of Christian Education of the A.M.E.
Zion Church, and was succeeded by the Rev. Mack Brandon, Jr.
Expansion moved ahead with acquisition of additional property on Atlantic Street. Late in 1973 a complete renovation and refurbishing of the church building was initiated. In the midst of this work the church was saddened by the sudden death of Rev. Brandon. However, the work continued under the direction of Presiding Elder Marcus W. Smith and former Pastor Kirkpatrick Mount Olive Baptist Church A group meeting of 29 charter members in the Irving Hall at Main and Mercer Streets organized the Mount Olive Baptist Mission on Sunday, July 2, 1899. The Rev. J.J. Porter became the first pastor.
The mission was recognized as an independent Baptist church by Calvary Baptist Church of Paterson, and formal incorporation followed on August 16, 1892. Later that year the lot on which the church is now located, on James and First Streets was purchased for $290.
The lecture room was built in 1893, and services were held there for the next four years while funds were being raised for the construction of a church edifice. The Building program was initiated on July 1, 1897 and was completed in four months at a cost of $1,500. The new building was dedicated on November 14, 1867, when membership totaled 54. The church was completely rebuilt in 1911. It was remodeled inside and out in the 1920s, during the administration of the Rev. J.P. Greene, and a new pipe organ was installed. He was succeeded in 1933 by the Rev.
In the following years membership continued to grow, property holdings increased, and the church building was upgraded and improved. The Rev. Gibson served until his death in 1956.
Early in 1957, the Rev. Jonathan Gilbert Brown was called to the pastorate of the church. The church is continuing to expand in service according to the needs of its congregation.
New Hope Baptist Church
Organized under the leadership of the Rev. James P.E. Love on July 1, 1920, the church's 68 charter members came from Hackensack's first two black churches: Varick A.M.E. Zion and New Hope Baptist Church. Services were held in Holt's -Hall on Berdan Place until the church was constructed in 1922.
The Rev. Love became pastor emeritus after nearly two decades of service, and was succeeded in 1939 by the Rev. Leonard E. Terrell, who served until June 1947. The Rev. W.H. Edwin Smith then became spiritual leader, serving until his death in 1961. The Rev. Richard H. Puryear was pastor from 1963 to January 1970 Later that year the Rev. Moses A. Knott of Hackettstown became interim minister and pastor.