Our History

A Brief History of Grace Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Fair Lawn

The Lord has preserved Grace OPC Fair Lawn for nearly 70 years with faithful preaching, pastoring, ministry of the Word, and fellowship. As a session and as a congregation, we look forward to participation in that promise of Christ to continue to build His church, until He calls or comes again.  His faithfulness endures to all generations.

 

Bob Reith, Retired Elder
Written with the help of notes from Ken J. Campbell, 7th Pastor at Grace OPC

  • Mar 17, 2021

    1945 to 1947

    In the summer of 1945, the Committee on Home Missions and Church Extension of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church purchased a house at 564 Fair Lawn Parkway, Fair Lawn, New Jersey.  At that time the committee called Rev. Bruce Coie as organizing pastor.  On Sunday, October 14, 1945, the first worship service was held in the basement of that manse, then occupied by Bruce and his wife, Rebecca.

  • Mar 17, 2021

    1948 to 1951

    By God’s grace, the work prospered such that in 1948 the present property was purchased. Ground was broken for the original church building on September 18, 1949, which was dedicated on January 6, 1950. The fledgling congregation became a particular church in the Presbytery of New Jersey when it was received on May 27, 1951.

  • Mar 17, 2021

    1952 until early 1956

    Rev. Roy Oliver became the next pastor of the congregation. 

    He and his wife, Betty, served from 1952 until early 1956. 

  • Mar 17, 2021

    1956 to 1972

    Rev. Ray Commeret served the congregation as pastor from 1956 to 1972. His fruitful 16-year ministry with his wife, Rosemary, saw considerable growth in the congregation. The building was enlarged and extended, commencing November 29, 1959, and dedicated June 19, 1960. His tenure also saw the building of the present manse on the church property.

  • Mar 17, 2021

    1973 to 1976

    Rev. Dennis Johnson served the congregation as pastor from 1973 to 1976, when he and his wife, Jane, moved to California where he later became a professor at the new Westminster Theological Seminary in California.

  • Mar 17, 2021

    1977 to 1979

    In 1977, new Westminster graduate Rev. David Kiester was ordained and installed to be the congregation’s fifth pastor.  He left in 1979 to serve the congregations of Carson and Lark in North Dakota.

  • Mar 17, 2021

    1980 to 2006

    In the spring of 1980, the congregation providentially happened upon a pulpit supply visitor from New Zealand, Rev. Ken J. Campbell, who came with his wife, Heather.  The pulpit committee prevailed upon Mr. Campbell to return to candidate for the vacant pastorate, and the congregation subsequently called him to be the pastor. Pastor Campbell began ministering as pastor-elect in October, was installed on December 17, 1980, and served for 26 years.  His last worship service prior to returning to New Zealand was October 8, 2006.

  • Mar 17, 2021

    2007 to 2012

    In  2007, Rev. Dr. Mark J. Larson assumed the pastorate of Grace OPC Fair Lawn and served until April 2012.  Mark and his wife, Cynthia, had attended the congregation with their growing family on Sunday evenings some twenty years earlier when they lived in the area.

  • Mar 17, 2021

    2013 Until Now

    On October 19, 2013, Rev. John J. Keegan of Philadelphia was ordained and installed as the eighth pastor of Grace Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Fair Lawn NJ. He and his wife, HaeSung, are the newest residents in the church manse located on the church property at 151 South Broadway.