INTRODUCTION

 


Writing at the turn of the twentieth century, the Rev. Frank R. Symmes began his History of the Old Tennent Church with the following paragraphs - words made even more meaningful today by the passage of time:

Near the center of the rich agricultural county of Monmouth in New Jersey stands an old church building of colonial style and imposing appearance, attracting the attention of passengers in trains on the nearby Pennsylvania railroad, and the interest of constant visitors who enter its doors and enroll their names in the register on the church desk, and who usually come by carriage on the Freehold-Englishtown road crossing the Manalapan and Patton's Corner road.

This sanctuary, now widely known as Old Tennent, is a relic and a witness, a land-mark and a monument.  It is a treasured heritage from stern and sturdy servants of God transmitted to their descendants through a number of generations, testifying to the history of a rugged faith in the eternal word of the Lord and of a noble and steadfast adherence to principle.  This house is the proof positive of the sacred past spreading to the observing present.  That splendid profound document, the Declaration of Independence, a parchment carefully preserved under glass is fading in its ink, and possibly will soon need to be deposited in a dark case to preserve the clear strong chirography of its precious page; but Old Tennent edifice was standing twenty-five years before the Declaration was written, and through all the years since has stood exposed to the weather of storm and sun and wind, straight and strong to-day, and good for many years more if with God's providence her children will love her with faithful care.

 

Rev. Frank R. Symmes, History of the Old Tennent Church (second edition), Cranbury, NJ:  George W. Burroughs, Printer, 1904, Page 7

 

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