Historically this church finds its roots in the American Revolution when in 1773 a Presbyterian mission was established by the Bethlehem Church to witness to the “needy” and “sinful” inner-city of Newburgh. Being a mission outreach of Bethlehem Church, aligned with the church of New Windsor and the “Marlborough Society,” they became a Presbyterian Society on July 12, 1784. The group met in the former Army Clothing Warehouse at First and Montgomery Streets and became First Presbyterian. In 1793 a colonial wooden church was built on the burned-down warehouse site. The Pastor preached standing on a bench and members brought stools, crates and benches. In 1817 the 100 members installed pews “for rent.”
Fifty-five members withdrew in 1855 to organize Calvary (1856). The original group kept “First Presbyterian” for their name. Calvary built a red brick church on Liberty Street, next to where First Methodist is today. The First Presbyterians engaged architect, Frederick.C. Withers to design our present building (see the building). On Thanksgiving Day, 1858, the (debt-free) $45,000 structure was dedicated. The edifice immediately drew international architectural praise.
1945 brought reunion of our split Churches. We kept the “Calvary” name and this place of worship, meeting, study and service.
Through many changes our worshipping family has known and shown God’s love “in many and various ways.”