Who We Are
The United Presbyterian Church of Millstone of Millstone dates back to approximately 1777, when a mission statement was established under the auspices of the Tennent Presbyterian Church. This makes it the fourth oldest church in the Presbytery. The Rev. Joseph (some references use “John”) Clark, pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Allentown, was employed to conduct regular religious services in 1786. In 1796 land was purchased for a church in Perrineville, Monmouth County, New Jersey and that same year an enclosed, but unfinished church building was established with the Rev. John D. Woodhull preaching on a monthly basis. The Presbyterian congregation was originally known as the Second Presbyterian Church of Upper Freehold, as that area was then part of Upper Freehold Township.
A congregation was organized in 1826, with 13 charter members with Rev. William Henry Woodhull as the first settled pastor. In the same year the church was remodeled, enlarged and finished. In 1847 the church was incorporated as the First Presbyterian Church of Millstone (Perrineville became part of Millstone Township which was incorporated in 1844). The church was again remodeled in 1857. On January 6, 1884, a fire destroyed the original edifice; but by December 18th, of the same year, the congregation had erected another building at the same location and dedicated it debt-free. This is the church that stands today in Perrineville. David Clark Perrine of Freehold donated a hand-carved pulpit of walnut wood (it’s not known if that is the same pulpit in use at present); and Thomas Perrine’s sons of Philadelphia contributed the hymnals, the bell, and pulpit Bible.
Adjacent to the church is a cemetery with graves dating back to the late 1700’s. The Perrineville Cemetery Company Inc. is a separate corporation from our church.
By 1929, one minister served both the Perrineville and Manalapan Presbyterian churches. The Manalapan church was located at the corner of Route 33 and Conover Road, next to the cemetery. The Perrineville church was used for winter services because it had heat; and in the summer the Manalapan church was used. This arrangement continued until 1953, when the two congregations united to form the United Presbyterian Church of Millstone. After the merger, the Manalapan church became an African-American congregation and closed in 1954. The Manalapan church was demolished in the late 1960’s.
A manse was built adjacent to the Perrineville church in the 1950’s. Prior to that, a manse at the Manalapan Church was used.
The bell tower was restored in the late 1980’s, and the original one floor area in the rear of the church was expanded to provide two floors for the Sunday School/Preschool rooms.
In 2002 the congregation agreed to purchase a 10-acre lot adjoining the Perrineville church property from Mr. Elmer Vigh. The mortgage for the lot was paid off in early 2012. This lot is currently the site of our Community Garden and will also be used for future church improvements.