Our History 2016-10-16T14:08:43-04:00

Our History

Windsor Chapel, of Princeton Junction, New Jersey, was founded by Westerly Road Church, located in Princeton. In 1975, Westerly Road Church was faced with capacity attendance at both Sunday morning services and had no opportunity for physical expansion. In response to this situation, the Elders of Westerly Road Church were led by the Lord to start a new church with members from East and West Windsor Townships.

The search for a pastor of the soon-to-be created Windsor Chapel began in March, 1976. On September 7, 1976,·Rev. David Morgan accepted the call of the new congregation. A graduate of Taylor University and Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, he had served as Youth Director at Park Street Church, in Boston, and as Assistant Minister at East Glenville Community Church in Scotia, New York, prior to his call to Windsor Chapel.

The first worship service of Windsor Chapel was held at the Maurice Hawk School in Princeton Junction on October 3, 1976, with Pastor Morgan preaching. On that first Sunday morning, there were 37 charter members, a newly formed choir, a staffed nursery and Sunday School classes for all ages.

Old BarnIn the fall of 1977, while looking at local barns for a youth function, a member of the church family became acquainted with Mr. and Mrs. David Kaplan, who owned property on Village Road in West Windsor. When the Kaplans decided to move to a retirement community in mid-1978, Windsor Chapel purchased their farmstead of 1.6 acres, a barn, a house and several out buildings. The adjoining 5.5 acres were purchased a short time later. Dutch Neck Elementary School, located directly across the street from this property, became the new interim location for church services and Sunday School. Church services were held there for two years and Sunday School for a total of twelve years. The farmhouse on the Kaplan property served as the church manse for a number of years.

Restoration of the barn to become the sanctuary for worship began in September of 1979. Much time was devoted to prayer, planning and decision-making. Members and friends of the congregation spent more than 1000 hours in painting, refinishing, gardening, carpentry, and plumbing. The first service in the new chapel was held on January 20, 1980, with the formal dedication service on March 16, 1980, about three and one half years after the first Sunday at Maurice Hawk School.

By 1982, the congregation had grown to a point that exceeded the seating capacity of the Chapel, and it became necessary to hold two worship services on Sunday mornings. A Planning Commission was formally organized in 1984 to assess the congregation’s goals for the future and to make recommendations for the expansion of the facilities. Detailed designs for a multi-phased expansion that would encompass a larger sanctuary and Christian Education complex consisting of five buildings were presented to the congregation on May 28, 1986, at an “Evening of Celebration” dinner at the Hyatt Regency. The congregation approved those plans, and a Building Fund was started that yielded pledges of $415,000 to be given over the next three years. The initial phase of the building program costing $1.2 million dollars was for the construction of the expanded sanctuary and basement classrooms.

In October of that year, Windsor Chapel celebrated its 10th anniversary. Attendance had grown to its peak, averaging 217 at Sunday morning worship services and nearly 150 in various Sunday School classes. At the end of the same year, Rev. David Morgan resigned and moved to New Hampshire to establish a retreat center for ministers and missionaries. Rev. David Faris, who had served previously at churches in New York and Indiana, was named Pastor in July of 1987, but resigned in March of the following year. Rev. Daniel Stewart began his ministry at Windsor Chapel on June 4, 1989, and was formally installed on December 3. His previous ministry was Associate Pastor and Minister of Education at Knox Presbyterian Church, in Minneapolis.

The Old BarnOn the spring morning of May 20, 1990, fourteen years after the first service, the congregation gathered with great joy to witness the ground breaking for the building expansion and to announce its decision to dedicate the new sanctuary to Rev. Edward Morgan, who had been the pastor of Westerly Road Church when it founded Windsor Chapel and who had served as interim pastor of Windsor Chapel in 1986-87 and again in 1988. Sunday morning services were held in Beth Chaim Synagogue and the Dutch Neck School for the next 16 months as work on the chapel proceeded.  After completion of the construction, the congregation again devoted many hours to painting, staining, cleaning, moving furniture and landscaping.

The first worship service in the new chapel, with Sunday School now also under the same roof, was held on Sunday September 8, 1991. Two hundred seventy gathered to worship the Lord that day.

Sunday, October 6, 1991, marked the  15th anniversary  of the congregation.

Rev. Daniel Stewart continued as the Senior Pastor of Windsor Chapel until he resigned in December of 1995. In May of 1997, Dr. DennisL. Gill was installed as Senior Pastor. A graduate of Boston University, he received his Masters of Divinity and Doctorate in Ministry from Gordon-Conwell Seminary and had previously served at Community Bible Church, in High Point, North Carolina. Dr. Gill finished his ministry in May, 2007, ten years after he started.

In Aµgust, 2008, Rev. Gregory Larsh became the fifth Senior Pastor of Windsor Chapel until his resignation in the summer of 2009 to return to ministry in Pennsylvania. In April, 2010, Windsor Chapel joyfully welcomed Rev. Andrew Straubel as its sixth Senior Pastor. Pastor Straubel is a graduate of Calvary Baptist Seminary, M. Div., and Dallas Theological  Seminary, S.T.M., D. Min.

Following God’s leading for the Chapel to be more connected with other churches of like convictions and to have the benefit of their experience and guidance, Windsor Chapel became a part of the Evangelical Free Church of America on October 17, 2007. The Evangelical Free Church of America is an evangelical denomination comprised of approximately 1,500 churches united by a commitment to serve the Lord Jesus Christ under the guidance of the Holy Spirit in obedience to the Word of God.

Windsor Chapel remains committed to the values on which it was founded. It continues to emphasize support for missions, both foreign and domestic, and to encourage participation in short term missions. Most importantly, Windsor Chapel continues to seek to call men, women and children to become fully devoted disciples of Jesus Christ, to know Him and to make Him known. To God be the glory for ever and ever!