John Goldsmith (1818-1854)
John Goldsmith was the son of the Rev. Benjamin Goldsmith, the 46-year pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Riverhead, Long Island. A graduate of Princeton College (1815, D.D. 1848), he was installed pastor of FPCN in 1819. Goldsmith was president of the Long Island Bible Society from 1843 to 1853. He was also one of the leading members of the Presbytery of New York.
During Goldsmith's ministry, 215 persons joined the church. He helped create the Astoria Presbyterian Church in the 1840s. The Corner House, associated with the Newtown church since 1670, was sold, and another parsonage was built in 1821. The relation of John Goldsmith Payntar (who left money to build FPCN's current sanctuary) to John Goldsmith is unknown.
Goldsmith's death in 1854 was felt not only by members of the congregation, but also by members of other denominations. On the day of his funeral, all other churches in Newtown were closed.