Don's Home Liberty Corner Presbyterian Church History Contact
Timeline | Membership | People | Sources
Timeline 
1837 Organized with 22 members
1838 1st building  (land $4, bricks $197) *
1839 89 members
1845 116 members
1854 A survey and map divided lot into plots for family burying grounds. 
1868 The church outgrew the old church and it was torn down and replaced with the
    Present sanctuary in 1869 built on the foundation of old building adding 30'
      in length - capacity 300 (350 max.)- cost $8,000 - 100 members
1872 135 members
1930 202 members
1957 Land to rear of cemetery purchased for $8,000
1958 Christian Ed. Building/Douglas Hall - 290 members
1965 Frances Acken became the first woman to serve on the Board of Trustees
    and Jean Denton was the first to serve as a Deacon.
1967 Dwight A White becomes Senior Pastor
1969 30' addition to front of church for the choir loft - $259,000
1974 560 members
1990 Steve McConnell becomes the senior pastor
1990 Originally shown as 523 members.
      revised down to 303 members in 1999.
1993 Christian Ed. expansion - $1.1M - 737 members
1996  804 members
2000 1066 members
2001 1073 members **
2002 1023 members
2003 Spring Phase I building complete est.  $6.3M †
     (10 classrooms, 21,700 sf. multipurpose room [seating for 400],
      11 offices, parking)
2005 1192 members
2007 1269 members
2008 Steve McConnell, Senior Pastor, leaves
2009 1096 members
  Phase II of building plan - 600 person sanctuary $5.2M on hold
* From some church records it states "The land was bought for $4 from the Ayers family, and Wm. Annin made and sold them the bricks for $197." Alice Lare's church history states "William Annin gave the ground". The Generation to Generation literature states the land was bought by the Basking Ridge Presbyterian church. 21 of the 22 original members came from the Basking Ridge church.

** Total congregation includes about 1,700 which counts additional family members (non-confirmed youth and non-member spouses). In addition there are about 300 people we minister to on a regular basis who are not members.

† Phase I includes $400,000 for other projects; organ, manse, missions ...)

            Membership

LCPC membership growth
Note: Short term growth rates vary depending on how recently inactive members were perged from the rolls. For example 2001 to 2003 showed a 3.2% decline and 2003 to 2005 showed a 7.9% gain. The numbers above have been averaged over 4-6 year timeframes.
In the 1999 annual report, new membership numbers were published which showed lower membership in the years 1990 - 1995 than previous records. The 1990 membership was revised down from 523 to 303; resulting in no growth from 1960 to 1990 and 18% growth from 1990 - 1995.
The above chart shows the original data.
There were several factors contributing to the growth in the 90's. The arrival of a new pastor, Steve McConnell, with extraordinary preaching abilities and discontent in some neighboring churches.

Other statistics at PCUSA.org:
Membership Data (Link to Presbyterian Church (USA) website)
Membership, Attendance, Christian Education Enrollment and Gains/Losses
Contributions per attendee

The story is that Liberty Corner Church was part of the Underground Railroad, but there is no documentation of this other than a colored section of the cemetery.
See Underground Railroad.

People

James T. (Dominie) English - First pastor 1837-1872
William D. Amos - pastor 1924-1947
Donald Douglas -  In 1962 the upper floor of the christian education building was named
     Douglas Hall in honor of his 55 years of service including 35 years as treasurer.
Alice Lare - Wrote "Liberty Corner and it's Church", 1969
  Bicentennial Quilt dedicated in memory of Alice Lare in 1976
Samuel Lare - Served as elder and trustee in the 50's.
    He supervised the construction of the new christian education building in 1958
Samuel Sutphin 1746-1841 - A former slave who bought his freedom.
   After being refused a pension for his Revolutionary War service by the Federal Gov.
   The New Jersey Legislature passed a special act to award Sutphin a pension.

Sources:
  • "Liberty Corner PAST AND PRESENT", 1929, Rev. W. D. Amos
    On the occasion of the ninety-second anniversary of the Liberty Corner Church
  • "Liberty Corner and it's Church - A History of the Community and the United Presbyterian Church", 1969, Alice Lare
    Written for the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Sanctuary
  • "The Presbyterian Church of Liberty Corner", 1987, Katherine S. Allen and Carl H. Allen
  • "Annual Reports"
  • Membership Data (Link to Presbyterian Church (USA) website)
  • LCPC History at LibertyCorner.org.

last updated 1 Oct 2010