Behind the man — William Tennent, Sr. — who founded the Log College in 1727, America’s first Presbyterian seminary, stood a woman: “Catharine Kennedy — the real founder of the Log College” (Thomas Murphy, The Presbytery of the Log College; or, The Cradle of the Presbyterian Church in America (1889), p. 118). Today, if one follows the William Tennent Trail of History Tour — which includes stops at the Neshaminy-Warwick Presbyterian Church and cemetery in Warminster, Pennsylvania, along with the William Tennent House and the Log College Monument — your tour guide is likely to be the woman who so ably portrays Catherine Kennedy Tennent. Her name is Wendy Wirsch, and she is the church historian at Neshaminy-Warwick and President of the William Tennent House Association.
She represents an effort to raise awareness, preserve and restore the William Tennent House, and indeed the legacy of the Log College and its founder. The WTHA’s mission is fueled by her passion and the passion of all those who support its aims to honor this legacy by teaching others about the history of the Tennents, the Log College and the far-reaching ministry of early American Presbyterians in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
The church founded by William Tennent, Sr. still stands and has a very active congregation. The memory of its founder and succeeding ministers is cherished by its members. The nearby cemetery where some of those men were laid to rest remains a place of sober reflection and appreciation. The WHTA also tries to uphold their memory in the ways that it can, but it does need your support.
The William Tennent House Association is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to the mission of restoring and preserving the William Tennent House located at 880 York Road in Warminster, Pennsylvania.
Our goal is to eventually open the house to all ages and offer educational tours, presentations, special events and to establish a museum and library with relics, documents, books, collectibles and art for education and research about William Tennent and related historical persons and sites on a local, state and national level. We would like to give the public the opportunity to participate in every phase of the restoration and preservation process. This includes inviting community members to assist in the ongoing maintenance of the house and surrounding 1+ acre of land.
Please join us in our efforts to offer this most historic and unique home to our local community. Learn more about the impact William Tennent had on that period of time in our history known as The Great Awakening, as well as the profound impact his Log College had on the beginning of higher education in the American middle colonies – the roots of which extend to the present day. The William Tennent House will serve as a place of interest in history, preservation, and education, and will become a valuable resource for future generations.
As is evident from pictures above and below, the house where the remarkable Tennent family lived is a special place in need of restoration. Such work is ongoing, and much more work is yet needed. If you support the goal of preserving and restoring this chapter of history, the home of William Tennent, Sr., and the associated heritage of the original Log College, you can contribute to or become of a member of the William Tennent House Association and help to realize this dream shared by Wendy Wirsch and others. Your contribution is tax deductible, and will go a long way towards helping future generations to be able to walk through this house and learn about the legacy of its famous residents, and their contribution to the kingdom of Christ in America.
So many landmarks of American Presbyterian history have deteriorated or faded from memory. Recently, we highlighted the sad condition of the birthplace of Samuel Davies here. The work of the William Tennent House Association provides an opportunity to ensure that this bit of history will not be lost, but rather preserved and cherished. Pray for its success, and consider what you can do to support the work. Future generations will be blessed by these labors, as we cherish the labors of William and Catherine Tennent, and many others.