History

The Presbytery of New Brunswick was established in 1732 as part of the Synod of Philadelphia. The Cranbury Church, mother church of Dutch Neck, was established in 1734.

In 1797 a log structure, to be used for civic and religious purposes, was erected on the site of the present Dutch Neck Church. Pastors ministered periodically to the people of Dutch Neck, most of whom were members of the Cranbury Church.

On June 13, 1815, the “Neck Meeting House Congregation” made application to the Presbytery of New Brunswick for “the preaching by supplies.” At a meeting in Maidenhead (Lawrenceville) on April 23, 1816, the Rev. David Comfort was appointed as Stated Supply. On October 1, 1816, application was made for organization of the “Presbyterian Congregation of Dutch Neck.” The Rev. David Comfort was authorized to proceed with the organization. The first four elders were selected on October 20, and on November 10 the first twenty-five members were received by certificate from the neighboring churches –twenty-four from Cranbury and one from Kingston. The first Holy Communion was celebrated in December, 1816. The Rev. Comfort served as first pastor from 1816-1824.

In 1816 the original log building was replaced by a frame structure to which additions were made from time to time until, by 1885, the basic structure as it exists today was completed. The first organ, a reed instrument, was purchased in 1850 to be replaced by a fine Esty pipe organ in 1916. In 1942 the interior of the church was renovated and the organ was rebuilt. The present organ was built in 1975 by an organ builder in Hopewell, NJ. All of the pews in the church were originally rented. Dutch Neck was one of the last three churches in the Presbytery to abandon rental.

In 1880 a parcel of land across the road (including a tavern) was purchased. The tavern was moved further back on South Mill Road, and a chapel built. The chapel was completed and dedicated on July 4, 1882. Later a library and a kitchen were added, and in 1924 a small balcony. Two wings were added in 1938. This chapel served as a Church School until 1965, when the present Christian Education building was completed. In 1966 the chapel was sold to West Windsor Township and converted into a branch County Library and a municipal court. It now serves as the West Windsor-Plainsboro Board of Education offices.

Since the early 1970’s our church membership has increased significantly and the church has developed a much broader outreach. It also became more ecumenical. During recent years West Windsor Township has changed from a quiet rural community into a rapidly growing suburban area with a highly mobile population on one hand and a remaining segment of long-time residents on the other.