Over 160 years ago, the Sabbath Day Association was founded and built at the intersection of Kinderkamack Road and River Edge Road. Sessions were held at that site for many years but then interest began to dwindle. In 1890, a small group of women cleaned the old chapel and reopened it with an attendance of 8. In 1897, the River Edge Chapel Association built a church on land donated by Mr. and Mrs. William Williams. This is the site of the present day First Congregational Church of River Edge. The Williams family gave $1000 for the erection of a church. While there had been a building on the land since 1719, for most of those years, the building was a tavern.
Stones from the original building were incorporated into the church building. Some of these stones can be seen in the courtyard and the interior wall near the Pastor's office.
When the Chapel Association began, it was non-denominational but was viewed as a child of a Dutch Reformed church. In 1899, the Association became affiliated with the Congregationalists. One story says that the chief financial benefactor, Mr. Williams had a denominational preference. But the choice was also seen as a compromise. At the time one half of the church members were Dutch Reformed, one quarter Presbyterian, and one quarter Baptist. If one of those denominations had been chosen, the others would have been unhappy. Thus, Congregational was chosen.

At the cornerstone ceremonies, clergymen from Baptist, Presbyterian, Congregational, Dutch Reformed and Episcopal denominations were present and participating. The First Congregational Church of River Edge was practicing religious tolerance long before it was fashionable. The first part of the 20th century saw the addition of a Parish house, and the church school building. The old chapel was torn down and the present church structure built and dedicated in 1954.

Our church holds true to our ecumenical beginnings, remaining a church open to people from many different denominations. We welcome all who pass through our doors.
There is a more detailed history of the church from 1846 to 1990
available in pdf form at:

  A History of the First Congregational Church of River Edge