On October 28, 1664...
A small group of men signed a treaty with the Native Indians and established Elizabeth Town. They built a Meeting House in which to gather for public affairs on weekdays and worship on Sundays.
On May 26, 1668...
The first Colonial Assembly met in that building. The First Presbyterian Church was the first and only English speaking congregation for many years in what is now New Jersey.
First Presbyterian Church sponsored the Siloam Presbyterian Mission, which was formed to educate the Africans after church service on Sundays. This mission was not only an opportunity for education but also for fellowship. This Mission was incorporated as the Siloam Presbyterian Church in 1866.
The Third Presbyterian Church sponsored 32 Christians as a Mission. They regularly met at a little schoolhouse to hold service. Shortly after its inception, the Trustees purchased a building and called it the Wolverton School. The school moved to Olive Street and developed into a Chapel.
The Westminster Presbyterian Church took over the care of the Chapel. They purchased the land and built Hope Chapel. By about 1910, the congregation outgrew the chapel facilities. With their successful fundraising efforts, the cornerstone for a new church was laid on August 10, 1912.
The people of Hope Chapel felt confident enough to manage their operational affairs independently. The Presbytery authorized the Chapel to become Hope Memorial Presbyterian Church under Reverend Hamilton.
Over the years, our Presbyterian congregations went through challenges that include societal adjustments, membership changes, and fluctuating resources.
In January 1986...
Siloam Presbyterian and Hope Memorial Presbyterian merged together as Siloam Hope Presbyterian Church under Rev. Dr. William F. Hawkins, Sr.
GOD offered divine intervention for our Elizabeth Churches. The First Presbyterian Church and the Siloam Hope Presbyterian Church blended together as a new congregation. The LORD breathed new life onto our sacred campus.
We were blessed with a Spiritually-Powered Session. Together, we merged our faith, hope, love, gifts, and resources. We are the Siloam Hope First Presbyterian Church (SHFPC) under Rev. Dr. Wanda M. Lundy.
Three and a half centuries later, our church, parish house, and burial ground still exists as a New Jersey historic site; a witness to the faith and our continuing commitment in the heart of Elizabeth.
P.S. If you'd like more historical information, click below.
Our mission is to welcome, love and serve all who enter this house of worship. We are a safe haven for all of God’s people.
We're learning to pivot in our ever-changing world, because faith plays a major role in all positive outcomes. The future of SHFPC looks bright! After all The WORD says:
"Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be (Job 8:7)."
We see a prosperous future with the community, the world, and with you. We invite you to join our journey! Whether you help through . . .
+ Spreading our mission
+ Giving monetary donations
+ Volunteering your time
Thank You! We couldn't accomplish our goals without the help of the LORD and gracious supporters like you.
The Snyder Academy of Elizabethtown was originally the parish house of the Church and then it became The Academy. Currently, our mission is to serve the people of Elizabeth and New Jersey as a vibrant center for culture, education, history, and advancement from economic and social perspectives.
Our vision is that the Snyder Academy of Elizabethtown will be a historical and cultural heritage site of great regional significance that embraces the present needs of the community and enhances the economic opportunities and quality of life of Elizabeth and New Jersey.
The Old First Cemetery dates back to the original founding of the First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethtown. The cemetery contains over 2,000 headstones, but the total number of burials is unknown. It contains grave markers dating from the late-seventeenth century to 1917, including markers for some of the church's most prominent patrons including Rev. James Caldwell; American Revolution Soldiers; and 313 Freed and Enslaved Africans. Currently, our Church is fundraising to create a memorial fountain to honor the unmarked graves of our African Ancestors.