The Palisades Presbyterian Church was organized, founded and built by a group of faithful Presbyterians led by Mr. Winthrop Gilman who could not tolerate the absence of religious services on the Sabbath while visiting their country homes. A meeting was held in the spring of 1863 at which time it was decided to erect a small church building and to secure the services of a young minister as soon as was practical. The first pastor, the Rev. Joseph Greenleaf was hired on May 11, 1863. He led services on Sunday afternoons in the Methodist church (located on the present Closter Road) while construction on the Presbyterian Church began.
The lot on which the church is situated was given by Mr. Charles F. Park as a portion of his donation to the new church. The lot on which the manse sits was a gift from his widow two years later. Construction began on the new church on June 1, 1863 with the first service being held on January 3, 1864. Mr. Park and Mr. Gilman rang the bell for the first time on New Year's Eve 1863.
On October 13, 1888, in celebration of the occasion of the church’s 25th Anniversary, W.S. Gilman wrote these words which still ring true today: "The multitude of precious memories of the living and the dead that crowd our minds, in taking this brief glance at the past is overwhelming! Such joys and sorrows as we have experienced within these walls! And the first in this instance, have been more than the last! We cannot enlarge upon them now, much as we are tempted to do so. Suffice it to say that we believe we shall look back from a higher plane of life and activity upon the experiences of the present life to find that among the most keenly remembered joys of earth those will stand foremost which were derived from our connection with the little band of Christ’s followers organized into a church at Palisades in the autumn of 1863.
Christian Education for Children and Youth
Programs for all ages...
Our Sunday School program offers four classes on Sunday morning in the Parish House. Children are invited to begin worship with the congregation at 10:00AM, and then, after the children's sermon, depart to the Parish House for their class.
The Toddler-PreK class is upstairs in the playroom. Children of any pre-school age are welcome. Parents may stay with their children if necessary. They are read a bible story, color, and do a small craft project according to their ability and attention span. The Kindergarten to second grade class meets in the right side of the double classroom. Children are presented with bibles from the church when they 'graduate' from this class. The third to fifth-grade class meets in the small room. The sixth and seventh day grade class is in the left side of the big room.
Our Youth Group (grades 8 to 12) meets from 5:30 to 7:00 PM two Wednesdays of the month. Please check our calendar for dates, all youth are welcome!
Our Outreach and Mission
We find ways to support our local, national and international community...
We are a Christian community welcoming all as we seek to grow in faith and serve others. Throughout the year we support various organizations through volunteer work, and donations of supplies and money, depending on current events and current needs. We share updates in the announcements during our service as well as publish upcoming service opportunities in our events calendar and our monthly church bulletin.
We are a More Light Presbyterian Church and, as such, are working toward the full participation of LGBTQIA+ people in the life, ministry and witness of the Presbyterian Church (USA) – and in society.
Joining Our Church
All are welcome!
Everyone is welcome to worship and join in any of our activities at any time. Should you wish to deepen your commitment to our community of faith and join the church, the pastor will gladly answer your questions. There are membership gatherings throughout the year to facilitate your becoming a member.
Worship is held every Sunday at 10:00 AM with the celebration of the Lord’s Supper on the first Sunday of every month. Children of all ages are welcome. Everyone is invited to receive communion.
All worship services include prayer, praise, music, confession, a message, a time of giving and a benediction. In the pews you will find a Hymn Book and as you enter you will be given a bulletin with the order of worship for the day that enables the congregation to share fully in every service. We also invite you to sign the red welcome book in our pews so we can better serve you.
Ushers will greet you and they will answer your questions about the service. Following the service, the pastor greets everyone as they leave. You are invited to our coffee hour following the service in our Parish House.
When you visit our church, you will be our respected and welcome guest. You will not be singled out, asked to stand before the congregation or to come forward. You will simply worship God with us.
A magical setting...
The beauty of our sanctuary and our location makes Palisades Presbyterian Church an ideal location for your wedding. Please visit us any time to see the church or contact us to set up a time to meet. Church facilities are primarily intended for the Church's programs, however, the church does consider requests to use the Parish House and driveway, when it's deemed a benefit to the local community. The Parish House is a 1200 square foot open space with a fully equipped kitchen and an ADA compliant rest room. Folding chairs and tables are also available. Please email us to discuss further.