Our History

History of Church of the Covenant OPC, Hackettstown, NJ

The Lord gave birth to Church of the Covenant in chapters. In the Spring of 1980 several families gathered together with the mutual desire to see a Bible-believing Presbyterian congregation started in Hackettstown. There was sufficient interest to form a Bible study, and this group looked to the nearest Orthodox Presbyterian church for help to lead this study.

They contacted Calvary Community Church, OPC, in Harmony. In the Lord’s providence Ron Pearce, a recent graduate from Westminster seminary, was interning that year in Harmony. When Calvary’s session (the Presbyterian word for the elders that have the spiritual care for that church) received the request for help leading the weekly Bible studies, it responded by sending Ron, in September of 1980. Along with his wife, Linda, Ron began attending the weekly Bible studies and prayer meetings with the group, a weekly study that God would grow and blossom into a relationship of ministry for the next thirty years.

The Lord blessed the work beyond expectations. Morning worship services began the joyous first Sunday of 1981, January 4, in one families living room, and 3 months later, the congregation began setting up metal folding chairs in the basement of the local Masonic Lodge.

The Lord was giving birth to a viable work and the group decided it was time to become a chapel of the OPC and to call a pastor. The Lord led the congregation to unanimously vote to extend a call to Ron Pearce who was finishing his internship at Calvary. Ron and Linda moved to Hackettstown as regular pulpit supply June 1, 1981 and Ron was ordained November 6, 1981.

Within two years God grew Church of the Covenant right out the door of the Masonic Lodge and into rented space from the local Seventh Day Adventist Church, where the congregation worshiped for many years, while ardently seeking a permanent home.

During that time, God continued to abundantly bless the congregation. We welcomed ten pastoral interns, and two of our own ruling elders left to pastor other churches. We called a Pastor of Evangelism who served for five years before moving on to his own pastorate and eventually missionary work in Uganda. Church of the Covenant was also involved in helping to establish a daughter congregation in Stroudsburg and helped oversee another work in Sparta.

In October of 1996, God provided a cornfield, four miles from the center of town, and after much prayer and hard work there was a ground breaking in March of 2000 with a service of praise on the edge of the cornfield. Construction completed, the congregation moved into their home, 319 Blau Road, July 2001.

church sign and building

We have seen so many dear brothers and sisters brought into the fellowship over the years, but then in the Lord’s wisdom, He has scattered them throughout the nation and the world. We have owned the title over the years as “the church of the coming and going.” It’s been very difficult to say the farewells to those we’ve grown to love. But the reason for the pain is because we have grown to love one another deeply. And the Lord continues to add to His flock here and our love for one another continues to grow.

There has been, and continues to be, a desire that our sovereign God be glorified in every endeavor of this congregation, for He has so richly and abundantly blessed Church of the Covenant from its small beginnings, and is continuing His work of sanctification in the members of Christ’s church. Come join us! Add to the rich history and blessing that God has given us!

The Lord blessed the work beyond expectations.