Statement of Mission
With the grace of God, the presence of the Holy Spirit, and the transforming love of Jesus Christ, we, the congregation of East Stroudsburg Presbyterian Church, have a shared mission to serve humbly as the voice and hands of God in our church family, in our community and in our world.
With God’s amazing grace and the Holy Spirit present with us, we, the congregation of the East Stroudsburg Presbyterian Church, are becoming a transformed people by God’s love through Jesus.
We are called to bear witness to God’s love in our words and actions. We strive to welcome, recognize and seek out all as children of God. We are inspired through the Word and song. We joyfully praise God.
We commit our hearts, time and varied talents to our church’s mission. We strive to share and to give thanks for our bountiful gifts. We seek to reflect God’s love by first loving ourselves as God loves us, thus enabling us to love all others.
We strive to be humble servants of God. Through God’s presence in our lives we have a shared purpose for discipleship. Through continual service, we seek to become the voice and hands of God in our community and in our world.
With God’s amazing grace and the Holy Spirit present with us, we, the congregation of the East Stroudsburg Presbyterian Church, are joyfully striving to become that beacon set upon a hill that Christ Jesus instructed us to be and so glorify God.
As Presbyterians, we trace our spiritual roots back to the early Christians of the New Testament. During the Reformation, beginning in 1517, Martin Luther protested corruption in the church in Germany. Later, John Calvin and other church leaders sought to reform the church in Switzerland. Churches that trace their roots back to this Swiss Reformation are called “Reformed”. John Knox, a Scottish refugee, studied and served as pastor of the English speaking community in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1555, when political fortunes changed, he returned to Scotland, bringing the Reformation with him. Presbyterians trace their roots back to the Church of Scotland that John Knox formed.
Presbyterians immigrated to America from Scotland and Ireland. They were active in the American Revolution, which King George decried as “that Presbyterian War”. John Witherspoon, President of Princeton, was the only clergyman to sign the Declaration of Independence. Presbyterian thinkers, called “Federal Theologians”, rethought politics in Biblical categories and left a distinctive mark on America’s federal government.
Today, Presbyterians come from all ethnicities, nationalities and “walks of life.” We are a welcoming and inclusive church who value the rich cultural and personal experiences we bring into this “one body of Christ.”
Our history here in East Stroudsburg is also long and rich. Tradition has it that Presbyterianism came to East Stroudsburg by way of the little Sunday School held in the home of Miss Elizabeth Heller. Dr. Amzi LaBar, a Stroudsburg druggist, was the first superintendent. Some of the meetings were held at his home on Washington Street. These meetings grew into the Union Sunday School and were held on the first floor of the old public school building. Later meetings were conducted over Bossard’s Store on the corner of Washington and South Courtland Streets.
In 1872, the Methodists withdrew and formed their own organization, leaving the Presbyterians in the majority at the Union School. The construction of a wooden chapel at 25 Courtland Street was completed in 1876 and The Presbyterian Church of East Stroudsburg was incorporated on September 27, 1876. The church was officially chartered by Lehigh Presbytery, after four years of conversation and controversy, late in 1881. Construction was begun on a new, brick church at 75-78 Analomink Street. The cornerstone was laid in 1890 and the new house of worship formally dedicated August 1, 1892 .
Sadly, this building was destroyed by fire on the evening of April 3, 1967. The congregation then held services in an adjacent Sunday School building while plans were undertaken for the construction of a new church building. Thanks to the dedicated commitment of the church membership and the leadership of the church officers and the Church’s Pastor, Rev. Dr. Sam Huffard, acreage was procured from the Peters farm at the present site, 55 Smith Street, and construction was begun. Construction was completed in 1970 and the new church building was dedicated on October 14, 1970. The congregation at East Stroudsburg Presbyterian Church has been faithfully served by16 installed pastors over our 137 year history, each bringing unique gifts for the furtherance of Christ’s church.
Rev. J. B. Woodward (1882-1886)
Rev. I. M. Chambers (1888-1891)
Rev. C. A. Oakes (1891-1893)
Rev. J. H. Brown (1893-1894)
Rev. Wm. Veenschoten (1894-1908)
Rev. K. VonKrug (1908-1915)
Rev. W. K. Newton (1915-1920)
Rev. W. H. Waygood (1921-1930)
Rev. G. A. Hulbert (1930-1940)
Rev. J. F. Donald (1940-1944)
Rev. F. K. Tomlinson (1944-1947)
Rev. F. W. Wingerter (1948-1967)
Rev. S. A. Huffard (1968-1998)
Rev. W. Schram (1999-2008)
Rev. E. T. Freeborn (2010-2018)
Rev. N. J. Vogel (2019-present)
Although we have a long and storied history, there remains the dedication to worship, service and congregational friendship which has marked this congregation from its inception.