Slackwood began as a Sunday school led by Miss Ruth Stevens in 1812. She taught in two locations in the south end of Lawrence Township. In 1894 James R. Stevens donated land at the present 2020 Brunswick Avenue location; a church was built and the Slackwood Union Chapel Association was dedicated. Various “superintendents” led the association.
In 1919 the Association was incorporated as the Slackwood Union Church. Eventually the group voted to have an advisory board elected, to be made up of ministers from various denominations in Trenton.
In the early 1900s the Rev. Robert Wellslager was called, followed by the Rev. A.J. Callison, and the Rev. R.A. Dennis (under whose guidance the association was incorporated). The Rev. A. F. Broman served until 1930, followed by the Rev. Glen Harris who also served as pastor of the West Trenton Presbyterian Church.
In 1931 a “modern” kitchen was built and became a meeting room for “Sunday School Societies” and housed the local public library.
Mr. Harris saw the church through its transformation to “The Slackwood Presbyterian Church” in April of 1935. The name comes from two original property owners in the area, the Slacks and the Woods. Mrs. Della Gray was installed as an elder and became the first woman elder in the Presbytery of New Brunswick.
In 1938 Mr. Harris left and the Rev. Robert Scott came for 1938-39, followed by the Rev. Robert Allen, 1940-42, and the Rev. Charles Finch from 1945-46. Finally in 1947 the church called its first full time pastor, the Rev. John Craig, who had served as a student pastor until his ordination.
In 1948 the current fellowship hall was proposed. The design included an auditorium and kitchen on the ground floor, and a nursery, “ladies parlor” and recreation room on the upper floor. Eventually all but the kitchen was used as Sunday school space. Ground was broken on Sunday, June 6 and early in 1949 the building was in use.
Mr. Craig left in February 1951. On April 29 of that year, while members of the congregation were conducting a drive to purchase a manse, the sanctuary and kitchen burned. The two story fellowship hall survived. Later that year a manse was purchased at 2035 Brunswick Avenue across from the church.
The Rev. James A. McAllister was called in September 1951. Early in 1952 contracts were awarded to Scott Brothers for a brick church of colonial architecture with matching furnishings at the cost of $50,000. The cornerstone laying for the new sanctuary took place on Sunday, September 21, 1952. Mr. McAllister remained until 1958.
In 1959 the Rev. Alan Hagenbuch arrived. On December 4, 1960 the congregation voted to acquire a new piece of property behind the church for $12,000. The plans for that ground included the construction of a new Christian Education facility and the expansion of the existing parking lot. Two services of worship were held each Sunday morning. Also in 1960 we began the St. Andrew’s Service, still celebrated today at Slackwood. On August 26, 1962 the congregation voted to purchase a new manse at 719 President Avenue in the “Colonial Lakeland” neighborhood of Lawrence for $20,500.
Mr. Hagenbuch left in early 1968. Later that year we dedicated a stained glass window located at the front of the sanctuary. It was donated by Mrs. Ella Flock.
In 1969 the Rev. John Berges was called as pastor. During the intervening period the church experienced a growth in the area of programming. It established firmer ties with Princeton Theological Seminary through its participation in the Teaching Church Program. The church school was upgraded by adopting the Christian Faith and Action Curriculum and the level of stewardship commitment was enriched through the use of the Dimensions in Stewardship Commitment (DISC) program. At that time the congregation numbered 280 members. Mr. Berges left in 1972.
In 1974 the Rev. L. Floyd Fletcher arrived. In 1975-76 an education wing was built and dedicated. In May of 1979 Howard J. Slack left a wonderful gift to the church to be used for “Christian education.” This trust fund allowed us to pay off the new building by 1988 when we had a mortgage burning party on June 12. In the Spring of 1993 the church became handicap accessible with a newly designed bathroom and ramps. On February 17, 1999 the Grace Taiwanese church joined us on the property. On May 8, 2001 they became a new church development of the Presbytery of New Brunswick, and on December 6, 2005 they were chartered as a Presbyterian congregation.
Mr. Fletcher remained until June 2006 when he retired.
Rev. Dawn Flippin was called as pastor in September 2009 and left Slackwood in April 2014. Rev. Kiran Young Wimberly served as the Transitional Pastor along with elders and deacons leading the congregation in continued mission and ministry during a time of transition.
In September 2015, Slackwood Presbyterian Church called Ryan Irmer to serve as their new pastor. Ryan's Installation service and fellowship dinner was held on January 10, 2016. It was a wonderful event and and exciting new chapter for the church.
This congregation has lived a rich, full life in Christ. The pews are full of the spirits of loved members, past and present.