Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church
New Providence, New Jersey
Mission and History
St. Andrew's is a welcoming church with a big heart, making God's love known to the world by building community through the ministries of Christian hospitality and Christian service, with a special focus on education, spiritual development, and care for all ages.
1959 - A group of parishioners mostly out of Calvary Church in Summit, NJ had a vision of planting a new church in the town next door. Bell Labs thought it would be a good place to build a plant to do groundbreaking research. Scientists and engineers brought their families as new housing developments were built along the ridge called Murray Hill. This visionary group appealed to the Diocese of New Jersey to help purchase the old d’Angelis estate on South Street. The Diocese agreed it was a great place to plant a new church and fronted the money. As the decision to build this new mission church fell closest to St. Andrew's Day in 1959 it was decided to call the church “St. Andrew's.” Next, the right vicar had to be called. A man with a broad vision himself, a gregarious personality, and an affinity for music and the arts, The Rev. Canon Charles Alexander Shreve was chosen.
1960 – St. Andrew’s celebrates its first service on Easter Day. Three-hundred-and-thirty-three persons attended the outdoor service. The sanctuary was ready in time for Christmas Eve services. Canon Shreve and the vestry determined that they would not be in debt for long, and indeed they went from mission church to parish status in just a few years.
1965 – A spacious parish hall was built, which was used not only for church meetings, but for dinners, plays and concerts; for an AA group that has been meeting there ever since; for Scout Troop #1, and now a Brownie Troop.
Canon Shreve then asked young mothers to start a child care program. Dubbed the “Kiddy Koop”, it grew so fast it became a pre-school and kindergarten, the first in the area. Under director Joan Mongioi, it was described in the newspaper as the “Harvard of nursery schools,” and selected as a teacher-training center.
1966 - A young Spanish painter named Fernando Calderon came to stay with his old friend Canon Shreve while he waited for a shipment of paintings to arrive by boat from Spain, for an exhibition in California. The paintings arrived too late for the show, but the Canon convinced him to linger and paint the unique murals of the four Gospel writers and the twelve disciples that grace our sanctuary, and the Nativity mural in the parish hall. All for a dollar a day, plus room and board.
1985 - The second rector is installed at St. Andrew's, The Rev. Alan French. Alan's legacy was to build up the nursery school and kindergarten to accommodate more families. Some of those families made the crossover to the church community. St. Andrew's moved beyond being a local school and attracted students from a four-town radius under his wife, the school director Molly Parkman.
2005 - The Rev. Margaret Hodgkins (Peggy) begins her ministry as the third rector of St. Andrew. Highlights of her ministry include a welcoming and inclusive language liturgy at the main Sunday service; the first interfaith Thanksgiving service offered in Berkeley Heights or New Providence and the restoration of the Calderon murals in 2009.
2010 – St. Andrew’s celebrates its 50th Anniversary.
2013 – The Rev. Dr. Thomas Haverly is appointed as St. Andrew’s Priest-in-Charge, our fourth rector.
2017 - The Rev. Dr. Daniel C. Gunn is appointed as St. Andrew's Priest-in-Charge, our fifth rector.