Hephzibah began in 1893 in New York City initially as a Bible Training School for young women. Later it also incorporated a peaceful place for weary missionaries and pastors to take rest, or be accommodated while attending meetings and trainings here in the city. We have a rich history offering English lessons, Bible training, hospitality and friendship!
MRS. VIRGINIA FIELD
Mrs. Virginia Cortlandt dePeyster Field was one of Hephzibah’s first Trustees and also the first Director of the ministry. She was a young and beautiful New York socialite who was destined to have great influence on the ministry of the House and the city. In 1893, just six days before Christmas, she organized and chaired a service of dedication in the first Hephzibah House, a four-story brownstone residence on West 56th Street. The main speaker of the service was Dr. A.B. Simpson, with Dr. George Alexander leading in prayer, after which a large number of guests were invited to view the newly furnished building.
Two weeks later, on January 2, 1894, Hephzibah House Bible Training School opened with lectures on the Bible and English lessons in the morning, and nursing, sewing, and practical work in the afternoons. Students in residence were charged $4.00 per week for tuition, board and room.
In 1895, Hephzibah House moved to larger quarters at 263 W. 25th Street, where it remained until its final relocation in 1926 to the present brownstone residence at 51 W. 75th Street. By 1897, the name had expanded into “Hephzibah House Bible Training School and Home of Rest” and this remains the official title to this day, although for simplicity’s sake, it is known as Hephzibah House.
Many missionaries, primarily young single women, were trained at the school and went on to serve all around the world. The full impact of those who traveled to all corners of the globe will only be known in heaven.
For over a century Hephzibah House has been a place of prayer, outreach, and rest. It continues to serve as an affordable guest house for those in vocational ministry to be able to visit New York City for meetings, vacation or rest. Over the decades, the House has made its beautiful building and staff available to augment and empower what God is doing in New York City.