The Park Presbyterian Church/ the Fifth Presbyterian Church

The Park Presbyterian Church was organized on April 2, 1848 at the Library Hall located at 115 Market Street. The church was an “offspring” of Old First Church. The Reverend Ansel D. Eddy who had resigned/ been dismissed from “Old First”,(depending on which conflicting view you embrace ), was installed on June 1st, 1848 as minister of the new congregation.

The document, in this blog, is a receipt dated April 2, 1849, for the purchase of a lot situated on what came to be called West Park Street. The receipt is signed by Joseph C. Hornblower, who according to the 1836-37 Pierson’s City Directory, was Chief Justice, 6 Park Place.

In 1850, the congregation moved to its new home at 14-16 West Park Street. It was at that time that the ruling body of the church, the Presbytery, consented to the use of the name the Park Presbyterian church. That name was used by the congregation for the rest of its existence. They were never again the Fifth Presbyterian church.

In 1872, they sold the building on West Park Street. After remodeling it became the Park Theater and then in 1887 by the Newark Public Library Association for a library. The library occupied the building from 1889 until 1901 when the “new” library opened on Washington Street. The building later became the home of the New Jersey Historical Society which remained in that location until it relocated to Broadway in North Newark. The Historical Society is once again downtown in the remodeled Essex Club building.

In 1872, the church purchased a lot in North Newark, at 208 Belleville Avenue (now known as Broadway) and Kearny Avenue. They purchased this lot from the New York Life Insurance Company. They relocated to 347 Broad Street until a chapel was constructed on the new site. The chapel soon proved too small so a new church was built and dedicated on October 6th, 1874. The congregation outgrew that church as well, so they erected the church that currently stands on that site. This building was dedicated on April 20, 1885. The building now houses the Mt. Zion Baptist church.


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