First Congregational Church of Chester Records Finding Aid

First Congregational Church of Chester Records


Collection Number:


Finding Aid Publication Date:

Published in 2015. ©Copyright Chester Public Library

Descriptive Summary


First Congregational Church of Chester Records


First Congregational Church of Chester


1900-2005, bulk 1997-2005


1 linear foot (2 document cases)


The First Congregational Church of Chester Records collection documents the exterior and interior of the church around 1900, as well as two community efforts by Pastor Scott Hoffman. Hoffman’s files describe his work with the Community Crisis Task Force from 1997-2002, and his efforts to commemorate the life and military service of Chester native Larry W. Maysey.




Local History Department
Chester Public Library
250 W. Main Street
Chester, NJ 07930
Phone: (908) 879-7612
Fax:  (908) 879-8695

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Use:

The collection is open for research. However, the glass plate negatives are too fragile to be used by patrons.

Physical Access:

Due to the fragile condition of the glass plates, these items are not available for public viewing. After they have been digitized and printed, the digital and printed versions will become available to the public.

Technical Access:

No special equipment is required.

Conditions Governing Reproduction:

Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Preferred Citation:

[Identification of item], First Congregational Church Records of Chester Public Library, Chester, New Jersey.

Collection Processed By:

Debra Schiff, Local History Librarian in 2015

Finding Aid Author:

Debra Schiff, Local History Librarian

Description Control:

Description based on DACS.

Table of Contents


The First Congregational Church of Chester was first organized in 1740, making it the oldest Congregational Church West of the Hudson River. In its second building, built in 1803, the church displays a restored 1935 trompe l’oeil painting on the wall of the church next to the organ. The organ was installed in 1873, and remains in use). The glass plate negatives in the collection document the organ and painting, as well as the exterior of the second church. For an extensive history of the First Congregational Church, see The History of the First Congregational Church, by Joan Case.

In November 1992, the church called Scott Hoffman, former leader of the Christian Education program, to become its pastor. By 1997, Hoffman became actively involved in the Community Crisis Task Force of the Mendhams/Chester. The group dealt with traumatic events and loss, as well as issues affecting LGBTQ students and community members. The group began after there were two suicides six months apart during the 1996-1997 school year.  Hoffman’s files from 1997-2002 document his work on the Community Crisis Task Force.

Larry W. Maysey (1946-1967) was a sergeant in the U.S. Air Force at the 37th Aerospace Rescue & Recovery Squadron, stationed in DaNang, Republic of Vietnam. More specifically, he was a rescue specialist involved in the extraction of Vietnamese and U.S. Special Forces personnel. During one such mission, Maysey’s helicopter crashed, and he was later declared Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered. The efforts to commemorate Maysey’s service and memorialize him with a statue in the center of Chester Borough are documented in Hoffman’s files on the Larry Maysey Memorial.

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Scope and Content

The First Congregational Church of Chester Records were created to document the appearance of the interior and exterior of the church, and to document the work of Pastor Scott Hoffman. The types of materials in the collection include large format glass plate negatives, receipts, and working files of the Community Crisis Task Force and the Larry Maysey Memorial. While the large-format glass plate negatives are undated, photograph conservators estimate that they date from circa 1900. The Receipts range from 1945-1961. Hoffman’s files are from 1997-2005. The collection is limited to the immediate Chester Borough and Township area. The collection’s value to researchers can be found in the documentation of the church’s exterior and interior, as well as the biographical information about U.S. Air Force Sargent Larry W. Maysey, and why his dedication is commemorated with a statue in the center of Chester Borough.

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Organization and Arrangement

These records are organized into three series: Series 1 Minutes (1993-2006), Series 2 Plans (1996, 2001), and Series 3 Policies (1979-2002). The materials are arranged in chronological order. Series 1 comprises 6 oversized document cases, and the remaining series are housed in 1 shared oversized document case.

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Index Terms

Corporate Names/Organizations Subject:

Apgar and White Coal
Apgar’s Hardware
Barker & Gordon
Chester Insurance Co.
Chester Market
Chester Press
Chester Welding
Christy-Halsey Oil Co.
Conover Press, The
Cut-Let Appliances, The
First Congregational Church of Chester
Globe Fuel Co.
Hickory Farm Market
Leck’s Confectionary and Luncheonette
Pickering Lumber and Supply Co.
Red Cross.
Rademacher’s Plumbing and Heating
Tredway Agency, Real Estate
West Morris Central High School
West Morris Mendham High School
Windy Crest Dairy


Apgar, Chester P.
Apgar, Chester P., Jr.
Apgar, Leslie
Biebigheiser, Lewis W.
Call, Robert
Conover, Herbert T.
Crum, N.R.
Furrer, William
Hoffman, J. Cecil
Hoffman, Scott, Rev.
Hollenbeck, Clarence
Leck, Henry W.
Maysey, Larry
Rademacher, H.A.
Steen, D.
Sutton, Paul
Tredway, William L.
Wenger, Otto R.
Wyckoff, John T.


Air Force Cross (Medal)
Crisis counseling
Crisis counselor
Special forces (Military science)–United States.
Vietnam War, 1961-1975.
War memorials.
World War II


Chester (N.J.)
Chester Township (N.J.)
Morris County (N.J.)
New Jersey.

Genre Terms:

Administrative records
Black-and-white photographs
Color photographs
Negatives (photographic)
Souvenir programs
Visual resources

Table of Contents

Container List

Box 1, Church Photographs, c. 1880-1910

Note: Due to the very fragile and damaged condition of the items in this box, they are not available for public use at this time.


Box Folder Description Dates
1 1, 2 Glass plate negative, Church interior c. 1880-1910
3 Glass plate negative, Church interior c. 1880-1910
4 Glass plate negative, Church interior c. 1880-1910
5 Glass plate negative, Church exterior c. 1880-1910


Box 2, Pastor Scott Hoffman’s Files: Community Crisis Task Force, Larry Maysey Memorial, and Receipts, 1961-2005, with gaps


Box Folder Description Dates
2 1 Community Crisis Task Force of the Mendhams/Chesters 1997-2002
2 Larry Maysey Memorial 2002-2005
3 Larry Maysey Memorial dedication speech 2005
4 Larry Maysey Memorial dedication photographs 2005
5 Receipts 1945-1961