Charles L. Sorg (1965-1992)
Charles Sorg was born in 1928 in Newark, New Jersey. At the age of four, he told his parents that he wanted to become a minister. He attended elementary schools in Hanover, New Jersey, and graduated from Madison High School in 1945. He received a B.A. in history and political science from Drew University in 1949 and a B.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary three years later.
After Princeton, he served as pastor of the Woodside Presbyterian Church in Troy, New York. At Woodside, he married Lois French, the church organist and choir director and a faculty member at the Troy Conservatory of Music. They had one son, Ronald. In 1957, Sorg became the pastor at First United Presbyterian Church in Hoosick Falls, New York. While at Hoosick Falls, he interned in three hospitals to study the relationship between religion and health. In 1961, the Fanwood Presbyterian Church hired Sorg as an associate pastor. He focused on pastoral counseling and outreach at Fanwood.
In 1965, Sorg became the pastor at FPCN. During Sorg's pastorate, a large influx of immigrants from Asia, Africa, and Latin America moved into Elmhurst. Despite some opposition, Sorg successfully opened up the church to these people. He believed that keeping the church's services in English would help immigrants assimilate quickly in American society. By 1990, a large number of FPCN's members came from Asian, African, Latin American, and European countries. FPCN's International Night dinner, which started during Sorg's pastorate, embodied his philosophy of bringing people of diverse ethnic backgrounds together. At this annual event, FPCN members from over forty countries wore native dress and brought native foods in a celebration of the church's international culture.
Sorg celebrated his 25th anniversary as pastor of FPCN in 1990. He retired in 1992 and moved to New Jersey. Assistant Pastor Patricia Davies served as interim pastor.