The Lamington Presbyterian Church
Worshipping at the Lamington Crossroads Since 1740
The first Presbyterian Meeting House at Lamington was built near the southwest corner of the cemetery in 1740 by Scotch-Irish settlers who held services in a nearby barn during 1739. The congregation took its name from the bordering Lamington River.
The Lamington Church was born during the "Great Awakening," a spiritual renaissance that nurtured new congregations throughout the American colonies. The Rev. James McCrea was the first pastor. 83 men from the congregation served in the American Revolution.
Gordon's Gazetteer of New Jersey described Lamington in 1843 as "...a Presbyterian church, a tavern, and three or four dwellings situated in a pleasant, fertile country." McMurty's tavern is gone now, and also Anthony's store. Lamington endures as an in ill-defined crossroads, a name with no village, a rural settlement listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
THE CHURCH--This sanctuary is the second Lamington Presbyterian Church, built in 1826 across the road facing the cemetery at a cost of $2,500. The balcony extended around three sides. The pulpit was an elevated perch from which the minister could see all—high and low. The steeple and portico were added in 1854. There were horse sheds west and north of the church.
The church was moved to its present site in 1885. The move was accomplished with a horse and capstan, oak timbers and bars of yellow soap. "Nowadays, if people can't get things done in a hurry, they don't want them done at all. But those who moved the church were content to spend weeks doing it. And when Sunday came along, we just climbed in."
THE CELTIC CROSS--The black walnut cross in the sanctuary was worked by Kenneth Vliet in 1983, with timber from a Lamington Farm. The Celtic Cross is associated with the 8th century beginnings in Scottish Christianity on the island of Iona in the Inner Hebrides. The ring, which encircles the cross, symbolizes God's unending love.
THE ORGAN--The Lamington tracker organ was built for the church in 1889 by the Hook and Hastings Organ Co. of Boston for $1600. "Tracker" connotes the mechanical action of the organ. The pipe valves are connected directly to the keys through a series of mechanical linkages. The system is long-lived and instruments hundreds of years old function well.
The organ was originally in the church balcony. About 1910 it was moved to a platform at the northwest corner of the sanctuary. It was rebuilt in 1969 and returned to its balcony location.
In 1980 the 101-year old instrument was repaired, enlarged, and revoiced. A Krummhorn rank-with the sound of a soft trumpet or clarinet-was added. A Krummhorn is an ancient instrument resembling a large cane handle with fingerholes. Within the organ, the Krummhorn rank is used like a solo instrument to carry the melody. The 569 voices of the Lamington organ lead the congregation in making a joyful noise unto the Lord.
THE LAMINGTON CEMETERY--The earliest recorded burial was in 1740. Stones in the churchyard mark the forebears of families who live near Lamington today. Four ministers of the church are here, the Rev. James McCrea, the Rev. Jeremiah Halsey, the Rev. William Boyd, and the Rev. William Blauvelt. John Honeyman, the spy who supplied the intelligence that assured Washington's victory at the Battle of Trenton, is buried here, as are 35 other soldiers of the Revolution, and veterans of the French and Indian Wars and the War of 1812.
In 1983 a new section of the cemetery was opened and a memorial garden was planted for the repose and remembrance of members of the Lamington Church family.
THE LAMINGTON SLAVE CEMETERY--Located down Cowperthwaite Road, the 19th century Lamington Slave Cemetery celebrates the lives of slaves and free blacks who were members of the congregation. The irony that they could be members of the church but not buried in the regular cemetery should not be forgotten. We are a congregation who will learn from the past working for God's future.
THE SCHOOLHOUSE--This is the second schoolhouse at Lamington. The present building was erected in 1918, closed as a school in the 1930's, purchased by the church in 1963 for use as a church school and for the church offices. Most recently, the space has been renovated to become a chapel space and yoga studio.