Welcome to Our Newest Church

Newton-News-logoThis month’s Newton News introduces you to the latest church to join our presbytery. In 1818 Oak Ridge Presbyterian Church was founded, using the same architect as First Presbyterian Church of Berkshire Valley. Although it’s in Passaic County, and was a member of Palisades Presbytery, it has much more in common with the rural/suburban churches of Newton Presbytery than with the churches the lie in the territory just outside of New York City and Newark. It’s members shop in Morristown and the Rockaway Mall, and often go to Newton Medical Center or Morristown for their hospital needs.

Members of Oak Ridge initiated the process of moving from Palisades to Newton Presbytery. Both presbyteries sent COM representatives to the church to meet with their Session, and all agreed that it made sense for them to align with our presbytery. The Synod of the Northeast signed off, and the General Assembly approved, so with both Palisades and Newton presbyteries voting in favor as well, Oak Ridge officially joined us.

Bronc Radak is their interim minister. Bronc started his career as an architect, and after seven years of that had heard from enough people that he should be in the ministry that he decided to “give it a shot” by attending Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He has served in Northwest Indiana at Chesterton, in Syracuse, then a few years doing architecture again before being called to three interim positions in Philadelphia, and now Oak Ridge. Along the way he married Jeanne Radak (our Presbytery Leader), and he anticipates that Oak Ridge and Berkshire Valley will call a shared full-time pastor within the next year.
We are glad to have the good folks of Oak Ridge Presbyterian Church counted among our Newton membership, and look forward to getting to know them better over the years ahead.

~Jeff Hatch, PCT Communications Team