Albany Church Pennies were struck in 1790 for the use of the parishioners at the First Presbyterian Church in Albany, New York, who seemed to be facing a lack of copper coins to add to the collection plate each week. Ironically, several of the Albany Church Pennies were struck over worn coppers or imitation British halfpennies. The elders of the church had one thousand "pennies" struck, but very few examples have survived. The purpose of the Albany Church Pennies was to "add respect to the weekly collections," but it is unclear what that really means.
Albany Church Pennies are plain affairs -- blank on one side and the words CHURCH PENNY on the other. A second variety has a script D (for denarium, the Latin word for Penny) above the word CHURCH.