Race against time to save landmark church

April 14, 2009 3:58:14 PM PDT
The First Presbyterian Church of Ewing, N.J. may soon fall victim to the wrecking ball.

Condemned in 2007 because of structural problems, the oldest church in the area will be torn down if parishioners can't raise the $2.5 million it will take to fix it by June 30th.

"To lose this building as a focal point would be, I think, a very significant loss," said Helen Kull. "It's not only our building, it's an important landmark for the entire area."

Helen Kull and her husband Bob are spearheading the effort to raise the money to save the church on Scotch Road. It was built in 1867 and is surrounded by graves that go back almost 300 years to when Ewing Presbyterian first started.

"It's really an historical landmark, an architectural landmark and a spiritual landmark," said Bob Kull.

Organizers are doing everything they can to attract attention. That includes planting catchy signs out front that say to passing motorists, "We're praying and wishin'. . . there be no demolition".

RELATED LINK: To donate or for more information click here.

Church members are not alone in the effort to preserve this local landmark. The community is helping out, too. One woman is organizing a 5k race to raise money. And on weekdays during May and June the owners of the Exxon station at Upper Ferry & Pennington Roads will donate a portion of their profits if customers mention the church.

"It's something we need to do," said station owner Jim Pensinger. "The church has been there for 141 years. I don't want to see it go."

So far, just over $100,000 has been raised. Fundraisers are hoping a number of upcoming events will generate more money, and that this might persuade church officials to extend the June 30th deadline.

Follow Action News on Twitter

Get Action News on your website

Follow Action News on Facebook

Click here to get the latest Philadelphia news and headlines from across the Delaware and Lehigh valleys.