Tuesday, March 21, 2023

L. William (Bill) Stephens


L. William (Bill) Stephens, ruling elder for nearly thirty years at Emmanuel OPC in Whippany, New Jersey, died on January 9 at age 101.
An engineer by profession and an accomplished violinist, Bill taught himself New Testament Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Chinese, and Russian. In his final years, he memorized Psalm 119 backwards and was able to quote any verse if requested at random. His last words were a comment on Psalm 23. Bill was greatly loved for his gentle and quiet wisdom.

Monday, August 8, 2022

A Little History / Families that established the Presbyterian church in Whippany/Hanover?

NJ - Newark: Washington Park - The Indian and the Puritan

In 1695, settlers started living in the Whippany-Hanover area.  In 1710 a few families of New England ancestry (Puritans that left New England, seeking more God in government) living in the Newark and Elizabeth area moved to the Whippany-Hanover area and settled on the eastern side of the Passaic River.  Indians still lived in this region, and bears, wolves and panthers roamed the woods. The first iron forge, known today as the Old Iron Works, is established by these early inhabitants on the Whippanong (Whippany) River near the present intersection of Whippany Road and the State Highway No. 10.  This is the beginning of the iron industry in Morris County which, together with faming, forms it's economic base.  In 1718, a School Master John Richards (a Puritan dissident from Hartford, CT) donates 3-1/2 acres of land for "public use, improvement and benefit for a meeting house, burying yard and training field and such like uses, and no other."  The newly formed Presbyterian church drew it's congregation from a wide area, including Chatham, Madison, Parsippany and the western part of Hanover (Now called Morristown).  

Monument in Whippany "burying yard" to remember John Richards (1655 - 1718)

Friday, July 31, 2020

My Wedding at Emmanual

It's been a long time …
But recently I was asked if I had any pictures of Pastor Ivan Davis.   Pastor Davis was the minister of Emmanuel when we arrived at the church in 1991.   I was really hoping that we found our first home church, and we wanted it to be our final church.   Pastor Davis had an amazing presence, which was very Spurgeon like (a well liked English Pastor which attracted many Christians because of his preaching).  My wife and I were sad at his departure, because of his ability to connect with people.  The last I heard of him he was a professor at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, where I took a year of classes.   Here are a few pictures from our wedding … (Ivan Davis is in the black robe)

Saturday, March 30, 2019

A Prayer for a New Work

My Heavenly Father, I still remember the first sermon I heard at Emmanuel 'Come To Bethlehem', a sermon directing people where Jesus was - where salvation could be found.  The sermon was filled with scripture, and truth -  and was a blessing to my soul.   How wonderful it was to be surrounded by fellow believers, in the worshipping of God in spirit and truth.   Thank you for these wonderful memorizes.    

Father, we know that a church where there is faithful preaching is the most effective means of reaching people with the Gospel. Enable us this week to make progress on planting a church in the Whippany/Morristown area.  Please help us to remember it is only by thy power that your church is built - whereby we beseech thee that in this area they glory would shine.

Lord, what the enemy means for evil against this effort, we believe You can use for good. Remind our hearts of this. When we are being attacked and crushed from all sides, remind us of Your faithfulness to use everything for Your good and Your glory.

We pray all this in the name of the One who asks for the voiceless, who seeks out the lost, who stands at the door and knocks.  Lord Jesus. Amen.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Rev. Lawrence Blair Gilmore, Th. D (First Pastor)

One of Pastors which made a big impact at Emmanuel was the Rev. Lawrence Blair Gilmore, Th. D (1928 - 1950).  Pastor Gilmore was the very first Pastor of Emmanuel.    It was stated in an memorial service insert that "The absorbing interest in Dr. Gilmore's life was his study of the Word.... He was fearless in its defense .. To give out the Gospel he preached, labored, wrote tracts, drew pictures, gave street talks".    It also stated; "Emmanuel Church will remain unto this coming again of our Saviour, as a particular monument to our dear Brother Lawrence"  

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Evelyn Adair Busch

While I was in Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in Whippany I remember an elderly women named Evelyn Busch. Mrs. Busch was very warm and godly women  - and would often welcoming me and my wife with a smile and talk to me about her husband the former Pastor at Emmanuel (The Late Calvin A. Busch).   Here is an short article on her:


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Laying on hands, and praying over new Elders

I found this picture of me becoming a Ruling Elder at Emmanuel church, among my photos back in 1997.  This is me and my friend Eddy Rodrigues (we are still friends today) having the elders praying with their hands on us.  The men standing from left to right are  Pastor Kostas, Bill Stephens, Robert Freeman, and George Christian.