History of Central Presbyterian Church (1870 - Present)
Central Presbyterian Church is now well into its second century. Shortly after his installation as Senior Pastor, Reverend Richard Kannwischer suggested that I write a brief history of Central Presbyterian Church. I soon found that "brief" had much more to do with the length of the product than with the time involved.
A brief history. Caesar set the standard - "I came, I saw, I conquered" - that few have since equaled (or would care to). What follows goes beyond a time-line listing of pastors called and buildings built, but is certainly not detailed. In particular, few of the thousands of members who have been the life blood of Central Church over her 130-plus years are named: any other course would mean an end to brevity or would require judgments that I am neither prepared nor qualified to make.
My main sources were the excellent centennial history, Legacy of the Upper Room by Mrs. H. F. Whitney and Robert J. Wolfenbarger, published in 1970; Edward S. Olcott's Twentieth Century Summit (1998); and the comprehensive Summit, New Jersey, (1996) by Edmund B. Raftis; plus a review of the annual reports and the Session minutes for the past forty years. While I have been an active member of Central Church since 1967, the narrative of recent years is objective and drawn from contemporary accounts, and (I believe) is little colored by personal recollection.
I hope my effort is helpful to the reader and to Central Church. I appreciate Reverend Kannwischer's asking me to undertake the task, and his patience in awaiting its completion. I would welcome comments, suggestions and corrections, preferably written, which would be helpful in improving any possible future edition.
Garner R. Morgan
Elder, Presbyterian Church USA