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T. S. Griffiths 




"Truth is the historian's crown, and art squares 
it to comeliness." — John Hall. 






C r -^f 

^""^ ■ 9 3<^' 

Copyright, 1904 
By Thomas S. (jkiefitus 



The author of this history of Baptists in New Jersey owes a vast 
debt of gratitude to pastors and to others familiar with olden days 
on account of their aid to secure a fitting history of the earlier and later 
times. The work was undertaken at the suggestion of Rev. O. P. 
Eaches of Hightstown. Fifty and more years ago the Rev. R. T. 
Middleditch was asked by the Board of the State Convention to Avrite 
such a history. Later, Rev. J. M. Carpenter was a substitute for Mr. 
Middleditch. The papers of these gentleman have fallen into my 
hands and other facts have come to my knowledge. The author has 
been associated with the New Jersey Baptist Convention since 1843. 
He was personally acquainted with the men who orignated H, and 
with very old men and women who were familiar with the earliest 
times and has also stored up from his youth data and facts touching 
the past. He is specially indebted to O. B. Leonard of Plainfield, 
without whose help the history would have been quite immature. To T. 
T. Price, M. D., of Tuckerton, a native of Cape May county, eminently 
familiar with the Baptist beginnings there about; to J. W. LyeU of 
Camden; to Deacon Howell of Morristown; to Pastor Fisher of Holm- 
del; to Pastor Johnson of Jersey City; to Pastor Sembower of Cedar- 
ville; to D. Dewolf of Newark; to Pastor Anschutz of Hoboken; to 
C. A. Kenney, clerk of Lafayette church; to Rev. G. W. Clark and 
Rev. O. P. Eaches both of Hightstown, in preparing the book for 
"press." Mr. Clark also furnished the sketch of the Afro-^^^merican 
churches, and prepared the brief indexes. The help of these men 
has been invaluable and they are entitled to the highest praise for 
their aid in making the book becoming to the denomination and to its 


These letters have come to me unsolicited. Each of these gentle- 
men are widely known, Hon. O. B. Leonard of Plainfield, New Jersey, 
and Dr. T. T. Price of Tuckerton, New Jersej^ as treasure stores of old 
times records. No others in New Jersey are known to be more familiar 
with our denominational history from the first. 

"From a perusal of the manuscript of New Jersey Baptist churches 
history, I can say you have done a good service in preparing so much 
valuable information. It is certainly a praiseworthy undertaking, 
well accomplished and will be a useful and instructive compendium, 
especially of the early beginnings of the Baptist churches in this com- 
monwealth. The denomination will be indebted to you all through 
this twentieth century for such comprehensive encyclopedia." 

Plainfield, New Jersey, March 4, 1904. 

"I have received your manuscript with a great deal of pleasure. 
It has been a labor of love. You have certainly condensed the materials 
wonderfully. I find nothing to alter and little to criticise. Let us 
never lower our flag, nor fail to honor our noble heroic ancestry. I 
congratulate you that vour work is so nearly complete and so well done." 

T. T. PRICE, M. D. 
Tuckerton, New Jersey, January 8th, 1904. . 


Many requests have come to me to write the History of New 
Jersey Baptists, founded upon my long acquaintance with Baptist 
interests. Acquaintance, however, with men and facts is but one 
requisite to write history, if associated with a genial, impartial and 
philosophic temper; discriminating between fact and legend, prejudice 
and truth, excepting always the "materials of Morgan Edwards," 
which are invaluable and the only record we have of the early times. 
Memorials are lost that would^have been links in our chain of history, 
distinctive of the men, of whom we know but little and yet enough to 
revere them. These memorials, did we have them, would be index 
pointers at the corners of historic travel, whereby we could better 
know the "ebb and flood" of opinions as well as the places of the 
"liight house men" by whom "courses" have been laid in the "crises" 
of our denominational life. These, whether fragments or consecutive 
records, are not appreciated in the time of their happening, but later 
are invaluable. Since Morgan Edwards wrote his "materials" there 
has not been a historical record of Baptist affairs. Since the "Acts of 
the Apostles," the history of Christianity has been an account of 
divers' teachings and of sects without number, indicating that Chris- 
tianity later as at the first looses the shackles off of mind and con- 
sciences; sets men to thinking, constituting them independent. 

We Baptists, and other names of Christendom have multiplied in 
this land of tlie free beyond all anticipations. Others have had im- 
mense source of increase by emigration. Ourselves have had but 
growth. New Jersey included a large variety of people from abroad. 
England, and her dependencies, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Germany 
and France contributed a quota, among them each were Baptists, 
including a large number of men and women and persons of wealth. 
Baptist judges were in the courts and were usually members of the 
Governor's council. The pastors of our churches were the equals of 
any other denomination. The Eatons, Stellcs, Morgans, Millers and 
Mannings have no superiors. In the central part of the colony, five 
schools of different denominations and of the highest grade. Two 
of them. Baptists, were located within a radius of twenty miles. 
Soon after, 1700, the first Baptist college went from New Jersey. 
Its churches furnished a majority of the constituents of the first 
association on the continent. Legacies exceeding thousands of dollars 
were left for education in New Jersey, and contributions and legacies 


to educate for the ministry were made long before there was an educa- 
tion society. 

The origin of Baptists has been a prolific theme. Among our- 
selves there is a wide dissent. Only a few account among us that 
antiquity is of any worth, esteeming it better to be right now, than 
to concern ourselves about those who lived a thousand years since. 
There is but one Protestant sect that maintains the dogma of 
"succession" as essential to the reality of the church. While it may 
be that Baptist churches have succeeded each other in the centuries, 
it is not proved. The only fact in worth assurance is ihat we are 
conformed to the New Testament pattern. Age matters little. Sin 
is older than time. It is the oldest sad fact of the world and is none 
the better for its antiquity, but the worse. Baptists have have been 
a distinctive people for many ages. Moshieme in his history of Chris- 
tianity, said of them: "Their origin is hid in the depths of antiquity." 
In other words, a people who have always baptized, are constantly 
cropping out in religious history. Many of the good and wise of 
other Christian names than Baptist, who have made religious 
history their study, agree with Moshieme. Not that a people 
known by our name have existed from time immemorial, but that 
sects like to ours have appeared far back in the centuries. In- 
deed thej' held as Bible teachings, some things which we reject. 
As families of children differ, some tall, some short; some frail and 
some strong, so of sects. Allied in some things, different in others. 
Some admit our antiquity and load on us the odiimi of the wrong 
doing of the fanatics of 1530, who like us claimed that immersion 
only, is baptism. 

Belief that immersion only is baptism, does not constitute a 
Baptist. Else tens of thousands of members of Pedo Baptist churches 
are Baptists, such as Mormons. Other sects, whose fellowship evan- 
gelical Christendom repells. A fundamental and primary distinction 
of Baptists is, that the Bible is the only authoritj^ for a Christian 
faith and practice; that each disciple has an inalienable right to deter- 
mine for himself, what its teaching is, irrespective of birthright, 
ruler, priest or church. A Baptist is one who is responsible to God 
only for what he does in his name. Obedience is conformity to his 
will, not in part, but in all things. "Be ye scpara^te" is as essential 
as taking the Word of God as a final rule of light and of hope. There 
is l)ut one proof of legitimacy, a New Testament birth. Our origin 
may have been in the first, the fourteenth or the twentieth century; 
it matters not which. The children of a lawful marriage are equally 
legitimate, whether born in the first or the seventh marriage. Our 


ancostry or antiquity is of no moment other than that it is of the 
Divine Word. 

Let us, however, be mindful of the men who have gone before us. 
We inherit their integrity to the truth. Those who follow us, will 
glory in our integrity, if we give to them the truth, as pure and as 
Christly as we have received it; free speech, free conscience, an open 
Bible and adherence to the scripture pattern, both of church order and 
of the ordinances. {Hebrew 13:10.) "For we have an altar, whereof 
they have no right to eat who serve the Tabernacle." Subject as 
is humanity to the changing current of human opinions, there is no 
safety in equal civil and religious rights. The few Baptists of 
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries have infused North America 
and Eastern Europe with the Baptist idea of equal rights and liberties. 

Liberty has its chief enemy in the abuse of it. Even good men 
use it, as if liberty was license. There is need to keep in mind the 
exhortation: (I Cor. 8:9) "Take heed therefore, lest by any means, 
this liberty of yours be a stumbling block." A peril to Baptists is 
that liberty is a law to itself. Civil and religious liberty safe, 
but while Baptists have refused government aid for their schools, 
not a decade has passed since protestant denominations have received 
monies for their sectarian uses. 

Only in the United States do Protestants, except Baptists, refuse 
public monies for sectarian use. Such a fact is of tremendous meaning. 
As the battle for the separation of Church and State was won by Bap- 
tists, Baptists are the only security for the permencancy of the separa- 
tion. Liberty of speech, liberty of conscience, equal civil rights, man 
his own master Godward, manward, are essentially involved in the con- 
tinuance of this order. Civil and religious liberty is not that one may 
do and think what he pleases, but that one may do and think what 
is right to think and do. "Things honest in the sight of God" is the 
Divine limitation of doing and thinking. Our view is: That the right 
of private judgement involves the necessity of respecting the opinion 
of another. 

Agreement is the Baptist conception of church fellowship and is 
Scriptural: (Amos 3 : 3) "Can two walk together except they be agreed." 
The going out of Judas Iscariot in the interval of the Passover and of the 
institution of the "Supper," illustrates the great truth that the ordi- 
nance divides to unite. At Babel human self sufficiency scattered the 
people, till at Pentecost, "men out of every nation under heaven" were 
gathered together, phophetic of the Gospel mission to gather "into one" 
in the churches of Christ. Christianity is the most potent force to 
endow men with care for the "little things, but as much for few 


things." Where the gold and clay are commingled truth and false- 
hood have fellowship. 

Certain data are significant of the Divine part, in our advanced era: 
In 1436, Gutenberg used types to print with; 1483, Luther was born; 
1492, America was discovered; in 1526, the first English Bible was print- 
ed; the first Swedish Scriptures, in 1528, 1530 the first Gennan Bible, 
the first French Scriptures in 1531; Henry VIII divorced England 
and Rome, in 1534; the Duke of Alva at the end of the Thirty Years' 
War to destroy Holland, retired in 1573; Within about one hundred 
and thirty-five years occurred these wonderful events, fraught with the 
rescue of mankind from the tyranies of civil and religious despotism. 
With but two other eras can this period be compared: That of the 
birth of the Immanuel, and that of the Declaration of Independence 
by the American colonies. The last of which was the culmination of 
the events from 1436 to 1573. 

In the meantime, God had kept North America from Piomish settle- 
ment and sent hither the Bible educated men of Europe to constitute 
a nation he had prepared for Himself. How happened this chain of 
events: Printing, Luther born, America foimd, an open Bilile, England 
wrenched from Popish rule, this continent sliut up from an alien Christi- 
anity and conditions in their native lands to drive these Bible taught 
people to a wildreness owned by savages thousands of miles over the 
sea, if God had no hand in it, if He had no purpose in the world's life? 
A miracle greater than giving life to the dead and corresponding to His 
resurrection. Civil and religious freedom came to the earth peacefully, 
elsewhere it would have cost an increditable price of human life and 
treasure. Amid the surprises of history is the ease and certainty with 
which the wise plans of the Jesuits to pre-empt this continent for them- 
selves were brushed aside. Their mission enterprises are wonderful not 
alone for their vast comprehension, but also for their faith in Jesus 
Christ, a Saviour. The recesses of Asia and Africa, the isles of the sea, 
the frozen North and the frozen South, the martyrdoms of the Roman 
missionaries, tell the story of the crucifixion which exceeds even the ro- 
mance of the life of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order. In North 
America, their stations through Canada to Detroit, Michigan, St. Paul, 
thence North and West to the Pacific and South to New Orleans, and 
all communicating with each other from Northern glaciers to Cape 
Horn. What South America is North America would have been only 
that God turned hither men who had learned of Him, of themselves, 
and who had access to Him without the intervention of a priest. An 
open Bible has been mightier than either priest or infidel. 


Neither Roman Catholics nor Protestants in Europe gave protection 
to Baptists, with the exception of Philip of Hesse. Roman Catholics 
and Protestants persecuted to death Baptists. The fundamental faith 
of Baptists, the Bible, a law for kings, priests and people alike and each 
disciple a judge for himself of what is truth; all men having an inalien- 
able right to teach his own convictions of truth and duty, a heresy in 
the times which consented to kingly and priestly right to dictate, 
which sentiment stripped king and priest of right and power. John Knox, 
Luther, Melancthon, Zwingle and even the rulers of Holland, plotted 
to exterminate the malignant sect. Phillip of Hesse at one time was 
their protector. Of the two thousand and more Ana Baptists executed 
up to 1530, not one had died or suffered harm in Hesse. In 1529, in 
reply to a remonstrance from the electors of Saxony, Philip wrote*. "We 
are still unable at the present time to find it in our conscience to have 
any one executed with the sword on account of his faith, to punish capit- 
ally those who have done nothing more than err in the faith, cannot be 
justified on Gospel grounds." When fire, or rack, and sword awaited 
our brethren in every other place, Hesse was a refuge for them. Mon- 
vovia also for .selfish and business reasons gave Baptists comparative 
seciu-ity from the stake, the dungeon and the rack, they being experts 
in certain manufactures for which Monvovia had repute from abroad. 

It is well to judge charitably of the people who lived centuries 
back. Mindful of the times in which they lived, of their education 
under Roman Catholic training. MacauUy indicates why and how it 
was that kings and rulers of the States of Europe, except England and 
Holland gained absolute rule over the estates and consciences of their 
subjects. The Parliaments of England and Holland kept control of 
the purse and thus bridled their Kings, compelling them to heed 
their subjects in order to get supplies for their maintainance. The 
purse is always a fulcrum of power, whether in the hand of the 
executive or in that of the people. With the sword in one hand and 
the purse in the other, the people had but one alternative, sub- 

Printing had made the Bible an open book, educating the people 
into a conscioasness of responsibility for what they were and what they 
ought to be. The discovery of America had awakened hopes of escape 
from the bondage of priest and king. Thus social, political, and spirit- 
ual inspirations transformed the era. 

In lf)43, the "Westminster Confession of Faith" was formulated. 
While showing some advance from the cruel policies of former times, 
"the confession retained the lever of civil authority to meddle in the 
religion of men. It affirmed that "heretics may be lawfully called to 


account and proceeded against by the civil magistrate. It asserted the 
duty of the civil magistrate to preserve the unity and peace of the 
church; to suppress heresies and reform all corruptions and abuses in 
worship and discipline." The Baptist "Confession of Faith," published 
in the year before, 1642, declared: "It is the duty of the magistrate 
to tenderly care for the liberty of men's consciences without which all other 
liberties will not be worth naming, much less enjoying. And as we can- 
not do anything contrary to conscience, so, neither can we forbear the 
doing of that which our consciences bind us to do, but in case we find not 
the magistrate to favor us herein, yet we dare not suspend our practice, 
because we believe we ought to go on in obedience to Christ." 

In 1610, thirty-three years before the adoption of the "Westminster 
Confession," Baptists issued "a confession of faith" in which they assert 
"that the magistrate is not to meddle with religion or matters of con- 
science, nor compel men to this or that form of religion, because Christ 
is the King and Law-giver of the Church and conscience." The West- 
minster Assembly might have known by these published statements 
(and by their contention against Baptist teaching) a better way than 
theirs. After one hundred and forty-four years, 1787, the "West- 
minster Confession" was altered to conform to our Constitution, which 
guaranteed civil and religious liberty to all, without respect to magis- 
terial or courtly permission. 

Among the memorable events of history was the part Baptists had 
incorporating in the Constitution of the United States the guarantees 
of religious liberty and civil rights to all who live under the constitution. 
History is silent of the means and men whereliy the fundamental prin- 
ciples of Baptists were incorporated in the Constitiuton. Writers of 
secular history are of two classes; One, having but little knowledge and 
less appreciation of Christianity and, hence, ignorant of the influences, 
which as a constituent of society and a factor of government it imbues 
with its teaching of right and of law. The other class having a denomi- 
national relation is preoccupied with their religious predilections and 
rarely see with unbiassed mind the good others exert and think it of 
indifferent moment. Neither is a competent historian ignorant as they 
are of the quiet force that lays foundations and plants "land marks," 
which determine the courses of generations. 

Only Pennsylvaina, New Jersey and Rhode Island were colonies 
that never knew a persecution. In New Jersey as in Rhode Island there 
were historic facts that distinguished the source of the nation's constitu- 
tional liberties. About 1664-5, Obadiah Holmes, Sr., a victim of 
Puritanical persecution in Massachusetts came with other Baptists and 
some "Friends" (Quakers) and took up a large tract of land in East 


Jorspy. These f!;uaranteod in their patent: "Unto any and all who 
shall plant and inhabit any of the lands aforesaid, they shall have free 
liberty of conscience without any molestation or disturbance whatsoever 
in their way of worship." In 1666, a colony of Congregationa,lists from 
Connecticut founded Newark, New Jersey. These resolved that: "None 
should be admitted freemen, or free Burgesses, save such as were members 
of one or the other of the Congregational Churches, and determined as a fun- 
damental agreement and order that any who might differ in religious 
opinion from them and who would not keep their views to themselves should 
be compelled to leave the place." These provisions show whence the 
nation's liberties came. 

Many Baptists in New Jersey and in Pennsylvania held judicial 
positions. Pastor N. Jenkins of First Baptist church of Cape May 
was a member of the Governor's Council. In 1721, a bill was intro- 
duced into the Council to punish those who denied the doctrine of the 
Trinity; the Divinity of Christ; the inspiration of the Scriptures, etc., 
Mr. Jenkins opposed it. 

The bill was quashed. Delegates from twelve colonies met at 
Philadelphia when Congress was in session in September, 1774. Rev. 
Mr. Backus of Massachusetts, an eminent Baptist, was urged by Rev. 
J. Manning, John Gano, William Van Horn and Hezekiah Smith to 
go to Philadelphia and see if something could not be done to secure 
our religious liberties." There was a meeting of the chief members 
of Congress: Thomas Gushing, Samuel and John Adams, R. T. Paine, 
James Kinsey, Stephens Hopkins, Samuel Ward, J. Galloway and 
Thomas Mifflin, the Mayor and foremost "Friends of the City" and 
Baptists, Mr. Backus, Samuel Jones, William Rogers and Morgan 
Edwards. The last three pastors, in Philadelphia of Baptist churches. 
A principal speaker was Israel Pemberton, a Quaker. John Adams 
accused him of Jesuitism. Then, says a record of the meeting: "Up 
rose Israel Pemberton:" "John, John," he said, "Dost thou not 
know when "Friends" were hung in thy colony; when Baptists were 
hung and whipped and finally when Edward Shippen, a great mer- 
chant of Boston was publicly whipped because he would not subscribe 
to the belief of thee and thy Fathers and was driven to the colony, 
of which he afterwards became Governor?" In the midst of the dis- 
cussion, John Adams exclaimed: "The Baptists might as well expect 
a change in the solar system, as to expect that the Massachusetts 
authorities would give up their establishment." 

The reporter present at the meeting adds to the former state- 
ment: "In that struggle, as always before, the Baptists led and the 
foremost man among them was James Manning, President of Brown 


University, baptized and licensed at Scotch Plains, New Jersey, and 
educated in that state. We owe nothing to the Puritans for our 
civil and religious liberties. Had they had their way we would not 
have had them. A line of inquiry for the origin of Baptists has not 
been explored. Baptist churches appeared among them at a very 
early date, so that their beginning is unknown nor probably ever will 
be. A tradition among them is: "that they have been Baptists 
since the Go.spel was first preached in Wales." From the earliest 
date they have cherished those amazing ideas of human rights of civil 
and religious liberty, of which we l)oast. "The non-conformist" an 
English paper asserts, "in England there can be no doubt that Bap- 
tists existed as early as the third century." (Cook, page 27.) Austin, 
Archbishop of Canterbury in the sixth had groat trouble with a colony 
of Baptists in Wales and used such repressive measures as to load 
his memory with infamy." C. H. Spurgeon said: "It would not be 
impossible to show that the Christians who dwelt in this land were 
of the same faith and order as the believers who are now called 
Baptists." The Welsh, ostracized from commerce and travel; shut up 
in their mountains are left out of history. Yet they had advanced 
views of social life; of civil and of religious liberties and equalities 
that antidate memory and hi.story. 

The Welsh Triads were a code of law, unique and unparalleled, 
known only to themselves. The Triads are thus named because set 
in threes, three being a sacred number among the Druids, who were 
priests and teachers, learned and influential. These Triads are said to 
have originated among the Welsh Druids and were added to by suc- 
ceeding generations. The Welsh Druids are said to be in advance of 
other Druids in their ideas of the "rights" of mankind, and taught 
"That it was the duty of all men to seek after trnth and to receive 
{maintain) it, against the whole world," an assertion which is the germ 
of civil and of religious freedom, and the essential element of growth 
in physics, morals and brains. Roger Williams and William Penn, each 
of Welsh origin, incorporated in the charter of their colonies, the largest 
liberties to all. The Triads were evolved from what is called "Dy- 
venwal Moelmud." They were knowni abroad, about three centuries 
before Christ. Of two hundred and twenty-eight, twenty are inser- 
ted .showing their type and the intensity of their provision for a 
free conscience; a free speech; and the equal rights of prince and 
peasant; king and subject, noble and workman. 

I Three pillars of the social state; sovereignty; the law of the 
country; the office of a judge. 


II Three duties incumbent on each of these three, instruction; 
information and record; regulations for the good of the community; 
justice, privilege and protection to all. 

III Three elements of law; knowledge; natural right; consci- 

IV Three things which a judge ought always to study: equity, 
habitually; mercy, conscientiously; knowledge, profoundly and 

V Three things necessary in a judge: To be earnest in his 
zeal for the truth; to inquire diligently to find out the truth from 
others; to be subtle in examining in any cause brought into his court; 
to discover deceit, in order that his decision may be just and 

VI Three guardians of law: a learned judge; a faithful witness; 
a conscientious decision. 

VII Three ties of civil society; just liberty of ingress and of 
egress; common rights; just laws. 

VIII Three things bring a state or community to ruin. Exor- 
bitant privileges; perversion of justice; an unconcern. 

IX Three bonds of society: sameness of rights; sameness of 
occupancy; sameness of constitutional law. 

X Three of a common rank against whom a weapon is not to 
be unsheathed: a man, who is unarmed; a man before he has a beard; 
a woman. 

XI Every Welshman has by birth three native rights: In the 
term of Welshman a Welsh woman is included; The cultivation of a 
tenure of five acres of land in his own right; the use of defensive 
arms and signs (armorial insignia); the right of voting; which a male 
attains when he has a beard; and a female when she marries. 

XII There are three prohibitions of the unsheathing of offensive 
weapon or of holding them in the hand: In an assembly of worship 
in a court of the country and of the Lord; the arms of a guest where 
he remains. 

XIII Three things appertain to every man personally: in- 
tance; right; kind. 

XIV Three excellencies of the law: to prevent oppression; to pun- 
ish evil deeds; to secure a just retribution for what is unlawfully done. 

XV Three kinds of justice in law: justice as it depends on truth; 
on knowledge; on conscience; truth is the root of judgment; conscience 
is the root of discrimination; knowledge is the root of conduct to its 


XVI Three things that make a man worthy of being chief of a 
clan: That if he speak to a relation, he is listened to; that he will con- 
tend with a relation and be feared bj' him; and that he is offered security, 
it will be accepted. 

XVII Three protections are general: a court of law; a place of 
worship; a plow or team at work. 

XVIII Three things that must be listened to by a court or judge: 
a complaint; a petition; a reply. 

XIX There are three standing forms as to a court: to appoint a 
proper day for its commencement; the pleading; the judgment; that the 
place be well knowTi within sight of country and clan; the assembling 
peacefully and quietly and that there be no naked weapon against any 
who go to court. 

XX Three that are silent in a general assembly; The Lord of the 
soil or king; for he is to listen to what is said and when he has heard all, 
he may speak, what he may deem necessary, as the law and the decision 
the law require; the Judge who is not to speak till ho declares his judg- 
ment as to that which has been proved and declared to the jur}^; one 
who is surety for another and not bound to reply, but the Judge or Jury. 

A question occurs. Did not Blackstone draw his ideas of justice 
and of truth and equality from these Triads? They provide that no 
unsheathed weapon shall be allowed in a place of worship, nor in a 
court. That a teacher ought to be in each family. That neither 
King, Lord, Judge and surety be allowed to meddle in the debates of 
the assembh^; that a homestead of five acres and a married woman's 
right to vote were guaranteed. But one persecution has ever been knowTi 
in Wales, except one in a foray of Roman Catholics, who were immedi- 
ately expelled from the land, nor has there been kno-\\Ti a case of idol 

Happily America proved a refuge where freedom was safe. Our 
denominational life was nurtured by Welsh pastors. Only in the 
L^nited States of America are there constitutional guarantees of free 
worship, and of speech. Baptists and Quakers paid the penalty of 
having an open Bible. Outside of the three colonies, Rhode Island, 
Pennsylvania and New Jersey, even in America, there was no security 
for them. In Maryland there was a limited freedom. In 1639, the 
Roman Catholic faith was made the creed of the colony. But in ten 
years, the law was amended guaranteeing liberty of worship to all 
who worshipped Jesus Christ, shutting out Unitarians, and infidels and 
all who denied to Virgin Mary her Romish functions. After the Amer- 
ican Revolution, the entire nation was made by the adoption of the 
Constitution, a home for every belief possible to men. 



Why associate these Churches as one? Because the body now 
known as Middlctown Church, derives its name from the village in 
which it is. But Middlctown Church originally included a vast ter- 
ritory, while the present Church is wholly local. Further, nearly all 
of the constituents of the Church settled at Baptisttown, (Holmdel) — 
Stouts, Holmes, Bownes, Grover, Lawrence. Ashton, the first pastor, 
settled West of Holmdel. Coxes, Cheesmans and Mounts located at 
Upper Freehold, making Holmdel the center of the Church. The 
first house of worship and parsonage were at Holmdel, where the 
pastors lived until 1826. The second house of worship and par- 
sonage were also built there. The "yearly meetings," originally 
held between Middlctown and Piscataway, were held only at Holmdel 
and Upper Freehold; never at Middletown village, it being distant 
from Baptist families. At Middletown village a town hall was built 
and used for worship until 1732, when Baptists built a church edifice. 
Rev. John Burrows gave a lot on which to build a house of worship. 
Pastor Ashton was the first Baptist minister in New Jersey and 
preached the first sermon at the house of John Stout, Sr., near Bap- 
tisttown (Holmdel). His wife, Penelope Stout, was buried in a family 
cemetery on her husband's farm. It has been long since lost in a field. 

The absolute oneness of these churches prior to 1836 is shown in 
their record. That at Middletown village is essentially involved in 
that at Holmdel. Both Cohansie through Obadiah Holmes, Jr., and 
first Hopewell through John Stout, Jr., and his brother James originated 
in Baptisttown (Holmdel). Middletown, the earliest Baptist church 
south of Rhode Island was constituted in 1667-8. Some, who claitoed 
to know, insisted that in 1664-5 was its beginning. Benedict intimates 
its organization in 1667. Morgan Edwards alluding to the incorporation 
correspondence, with lower Dublin in 1688, speaks of an impression 
then prevalent — that "the church had been in order since 1667." 
The supposition of its origin in 1688, came from the advice of the 
Middletown Church to Middletown in 1688, "that they do incorporate." 
The church was not incorporated until 1793. Pastor Stout investigated 
the matter in 1837, and was then told by very old people, lineal descend- 
ants of constituents, "that after settling. Baptists met, had preaching, 
observed the ordinances, brought up their children in the faith" and 


in the worship of God and knew from tradition, that while a short time 
elapsed before a church was organized the church had been in regular 
order if not before 1665, soon after. Finally, he decided, that it was 
safe to date its origin as early as 1668. Accordingly in 1872, Pastor 
Stout changed the date of the organization of the church in the minutes 
of the Trenton Association from 1688 to 1668. Before making the 
change Mr. Stout conferred with pastors of branches of the church, 
who had made investigations and they agreed with him in making 
the change. 

Benedict speaks of John Browne as the first pastor of the church. 
But there was not a John Browne among the early Baptists. James 
Ashton, a constituent, was the first pastor. It is significant of these 
Baptist colonists, that they included an ordained Baptist minister 
as one of them. Of these thirty-six patentees, eighteen were Baptists. 
The wives of some others were Baptists. They were conscientious 
God-fearing persons. From the time of their settlement to 1668, was 
almost twenty-five years. Is it reasonable that such people fleeing 
from persecution, would live like heathen, all of these years, allowing 
their children to grow up Godless, having included a Baptist min- 
ister to be their pastor ? Other denominations were among the 
colonists: Episcopalians, who founded a church; Presbj'terians, who 
owned the only cemetery in the place, in which Abel Morgan was buried. 
These were people of "means" and of social position; yet Baptists 
absorbed them, and their ownership of lands is the only trace of them 
that remains. Would it have been so, had the Baptists left the 
field to them for twenty-four years? What and where would these 
children have been? Beside, these Baptists planted stations afar off 
and nearby; would they have done this witliout a home church? One 
of the Holmes family, has made a genealogical record of the family and 
informs the writer that she has evidence that Obadiah Holmes, Sr., was 
present at the organization of the church at Middlctown. He died in 1 682, 
six years before 1688. His sons, Jonathan, the eldest, and Obadiah, 
the youngest, were constituents of the church. Obadiah, Jr., often 
visited the old home in Rhode Island, returning about 1683-5 to 
Holmdel, he moved to Cohansie, Salem county. He was the first 
Baptist minister there, gathered the Baptists in meetings and really 
originated the Baptist church. His being a constituent in Middletown 
in 1688 is improbable, being in Salem county and a Judge of the 
Courts there. Obadiah Holmes, Jr., for his birth and christening 
in a Congregational church in Salem, Mass., and of his successful labors 
in Cohansie.* Of the Holmes family, John, the second son, said to be 
*See record of Cohansie Church. 


the first Baptist resident in Philadelphia, going there in 1756 was a 
man of wealth, a judge in the city courts. Obadiah, Jr., the youngest, 
was also a Judge in Salem county and Jonathan, of Holmdel, the eldest 
son, was a member of the Governor's Council the Colonial Legisla- 
ture. Many other Baptists in New Jersey held high places in civil 
and political life, illustrating the liberal policy of the Colonial govern- 
ment and the competency of our Baptist ancestry for place and 

It has been said that the Apostles of our Lord were poor and ignor- 
ant men, as if our Lord had no more sense than to belittle himself and 
his cause by choosing weakness and ignorance to influence men to 
righteousness, rather than strength and intelligence. Men who were to 
associate with the highest culture and to stand before kings. A like 
falsehood is said of Baptists, who laid the foundations on which we 
buUd. Our Baptist forefathers were the foremost men of their times. 
Note this contrast: A majority of Baptists founded a colony in 
Monmouth county. Their patent had this pledge: "Unto any and all 
persons, who shall plant or inhabit any of the lands aforesaid; they shall 
have free liberty of conscience, without any molestation or disturbance, 
whatsoever, in their worship." This was in 1664 or 5. 

Proprietors for a Congregational colony got a charter for the set- 
tlement of Newark, in New Jersey, in 1666 and provided: "None 
should be admitted freemen or free Burgesses, save such as were members 
of one or other of the Congregational churches; and they determined as a 
fundamental agreement and order, that any who might differ in religious 
opinion from them and who would not keep their views to themselves 
should be compelled to leave the place." Can there be a wider contrast 
between a Baptist and a Pedo Baptist? Mr. Lawrence, one of the pat- 
entees of Monmouth county, was not himself a Baptist church member, 
but his wife was a Baptist. This gave us a majority of the patentees. 
Some of these were "Friends" (Quakers) locating in Shrewsbury. They 
fully agreed in this guarantee. The names of the eighteen Baptists 
were, excepting Mr. Lawrence: — Richard Stout, father; John or Jona- 
than Stout, son; Jonathan Holmes, the oldest, brother to Obadiah 
Holmes, Jr., the youngest; James Grover, father; James Grover, Jr., 
son; Jonathan Bowne, father; John Bowne, son; John Cox; Rev. 
James Ashton, John Wilson, John Buchan, Walter Hall, William 
Compton, Thomas Whitlock, William Lay ton, William Cheeseman, 
George Mount. 

Of these, the youngest Stout emigrated to Hopewell early in 1700 
and the name is lost from Holmdel. Rev. D. B. Stout, of Middle- 
town village was a descendant of Richard Stout. The descendants of 


tlic ilolincs live on ilicir ancestral estate, except Oljidiali, who reniaiii- 
cd in Soi'.th Jersey in th(^ vicinities of (Johansie. The Hownes inter- 
married with the Crawfords and their name is lost. To a large extent 
the lands of these adifiiiied. The Cheescmans, Coxes and Mounts s(!t- 
tlcd at Upper Frceliold and .lacobstown. Their names are among the 
constituents of Hightstown. Upper Freehold was an original Baptist 
community, having with the exception of Holmdel anil Cohansie, the 
earliest liaptist house of worship in the colony. The son of Hev. James 
Ashton, th(! first pastor of the old church moved to Upper Freehold 
in an early day and dying a bachelor, his name is lost. He bequeathed 
property to the church. On account of the Brays naming their set- 
tlement in Hvmterdon county Baptisttown, Holmdel, was adopted for 
the old Baptisttown as a memorial nanic!. 

T\w parsonage being at Holmdel, pastors went fn»ru tiicre to 
their scattered flock and grouping them into mutuality, laid the founda- 
tions of many fiaptist cluirches. From the first these liaptists did not 
limit themselves. Houses of worship were built in distant parts anrl 
periodic appointments were made, to which tlie people would travel 
thirty miles on foot or on horseback along "bridle paths" taking 
their children with them. This in part explains why long sermons came 
into fashion. Those who made these sacrifices were not content with 
a "taste" of the word, nor with platitudes. They wanted substance 
and plenty of "sound doctrine;" something to think of for a month or 
months and not a "milk and water" diet. Upper Freehold becaiiH- the 
center, whenc(> Middletown pastors radiated from the ocean to the Dela- 
ware river and to far South of Trenton, covering a vast territory. 
There is scarcely a more marked instance! of the mockery of a name, 
than that which gives to the church in the Middletown village, the 
memories, constituency and work of the original Middletown church. 
If any one church is entitled to have been that body it is Holmdel. 
Middletown vill.Mg(> was otic of i(s lesser centers. I'p (o \KAV,, n 
majority of Mic i?a[)lisiiis wen- administered at Ibihndcl, wlicre 
most of iho. memlx-rs could be present. For seventy years, the 
history of the churcii is obscure as respects its pastors; James A.shton, 
John Burrows, John Okison, are names coming to us by their con- 
nection with important events in its history. How long Mr. Ashton 
was pastor is not known. John Burrows was pa.stor about eighteen 
years; Mr. Okison followed. Mr. P^aglcsfield came next and died in 
the third year of his charge. 

The following scrap was given to the; writer before; 1850, l)y the 
Hev. 1). B. Stout, pastor at Middletown: "At the yearly meeting, 
May 24th, 1712, agreed to submit to (he judgment of our friends come 


from I'liiladclpliia ;m<l wlicth.T Ihr. procccdiiijiis MKainsl, .loliii Okisoii 
lijith boon regular, acH-ordinj!; to tlic iiicrils of tlu; case, or not. As also to 
give their opinion, what may Ix; propcsr to Ixs doiu;, ns to his continuing 
to teach. If they find the proceedings against him irregular and that, 
;iH to all other differences which rehit(!S to tiie church, shall forever 
be buried. And also, what shall l)e laid Ixiforc^ them and determined 
by them, it is mutually agreed to be goveriKul by." 

This paper indicates in part the trouble of 1712 and expresses the 
spirit of the church, to bury forever all allusion to the action about Mr. 
Okison. The Council advised the church to bury all fornu^r disputes 
anil to erase all record of them. The church did so. 'I'he (iarly leaves 
of the minute book were torn out and we have lost the early records of 
the church. 

The writer has another paper, taken from the minutes of the 
Court. An index of the times and of the laws which hindere<l and hurt 
Baptists: — "Court of Sessions begun and held at Shr(!WHbury for tli<' 
county of Monmouth on the third Tuesday in September, Anno 
Dom. 1707. Whereas Mr. John Bray, minister of the Baptists of the 
county of Monmouth mad(! application to the ('ourt of Sessions, held 
last March, that he might be [)ermitted to (|ualify himself as the law di- 
rects in the behalf and the Court then ordcsnsd tin; further consid(!ration 
thereof should be refernul and now said John Bray appearing in open 
sessions, being pnjsented by stjveral of said congregation, viz: Lawrence, 
John Garret Wall, Jacob Troax, Jr., James Bolen, in behalf of themselves 
and the rest of their brethren, and accordingly the said John Bray had 
qualified liimself as the law in the case directs, viz. : he did take the oath 
made in a statute, made in the first year of their Majesti(!S reign, entitl- 
ed an act for removing and prev(;ntitig all disputes concerning the as- 
sembly of that I'arliament and did make and sul)scribe th(i declaration 
mentioiKHl in the statute made in the thirtieth year of the reign of King 
Charles, II, entithid an act to prevent Papists from sitting in either 
houses of Parliament and also did declare his approbation of and did 
subscribe the articlc!s of religion mentioned in the statute made in the 
thirtieth year of the reign of the late Queen Elizabeth, except the 34,35, 
30 and those words of the 20th article, viz.: the church hath full power 
to decree rites and ceremonies and authority in matters of faith and that 
part of the 27th article concerning infant baptism, all of which are en- 
tered on record. According to the direction of another act of Parliament 
entitled, an act for exempting her Majesties Protestant subjects, dis- 
senting from the church of iMiglaiid from the penalty of certain laws." 

This extract of the doings of the court indicates that in the colonies 
religion was legal and illegal. Preachers must appear in Court and have, 


its authority to exercise their office. Quite different from Baptist ideas 
of one's liberties. Another question is settled, as to when John Bray 
became a minister of the Gospel and who licensed him. Five houses 
of worship were built within the bounds of the old church up to 1737, 
and two parsonages at Holmdel; one, a house of worship and a 
parsonage, soon after the settlement. It fronted on the road from 
Holmdel to Colt's Neck, about two hundred yards distant from the 
parsonage, built in 1825. The third was built by John Bray in 1705, 
and was his gift with five acres of land to the church. Two were 
built in Upper Freehold, "The Yellow Meeting House" and another 
twelve miles distant from the first: The fifth in Middletown village 
in 1732. Then the "Town Hall" that had been a place of worship 
for Baptists was deserted. These were maintained as Baptist nuclei 
by pastors of Middletown church, to which they were more conven- 
iently located, in the parsonages at Holmdel, than they could be 
elsewhere. This arrangement continued until churches were organized 
in these distant localities and till Mr. Bennett settled in 1792, who 
lived on his farm in Marlboro. 

Abel Morgan lived on his farm opposite to Red Bank and Mr. Ash- 
ton on his farm, near Matawan. Mr Roberts lived in the parsonage at 
Holmdel till 1826 when he bought a farm and moved on it. Abel 
Morgan may have lived in the first parsonage. Other pastors lived 
at Holmdel, the center of the church. Instead of organizing the second 
Middletown church (now Holmdel) in 1836; had the church divided, 
Holmdel would have retained its place in age and dignity. Both 
of these bodies are designated in tlie church records as branches of the 
original church. That at Baptisttown, known as the "Upper Meeting- 
house." and the congregation, as "The Upper Congregation;" and that 
of Middletown Village, as the "Lower Meeting-house," and the congre- 
gation, as "The Lower Congregation." These congregations were ab- 
solutely one; sharmg equally in the responsibilities and privileges of the 
Church. At Baptisttown there was a very certain proportion of social 
and financial strength, as well as of spiritual power. Reference to .some 
of these men, the founders of our religious freedom, is necessary to the 
completeness of this sketch. 

The business of the Church seems to have been transacted as now 
in country Churches, "at the meeting before communion," indiscrim- 
inately at either house. 

We read in June, 1713, "at our yearly meeting in Middletown." In 
August, 1732, "appointed a quarterly meeting in Middleto^vm." Aug- 
ust, 1753, the entry is "Middletown, at the Upper Meeting-house;" 
and in the next month, "at the above said meeting-house." In 1736, 


probably to avoid confusion, it was decided to hold a "yearly meeting 
for business in the old Meeting-house, near John Bray's." 

We find no reference to a change of this order. Yet fifty years 
later, in 1788, it appears that a change had been made; the Commun- 
ion services before that date having been held for six months consecu- 
tively in each place. 

Then, however, it was ordered "that the meetings should be in 
rotation in their seasons at each meeting house." This arrangement 
continued until the division of the church in 1836. 

The records of these early days, now exciting a smile by their 
quaintness of speech or style; and now, as the tenderness and strength 
of Christian character crops out, stirring the deepest sensibilities of the 
soul, indicate the type of men and women — their stern integrity, their 
constancy, their conscientious piety, their sense of propriety and fitness 
in the things of the Lord's house. They illumine their times, agitated 
by the same questions and matters of concernment as ripple ours — 
handled, however, with a decision and positiveness that would sadly 
hurt the "poor" feelings of some who prate much of "liberty." 

They had convictions which they cared to maintain. In March, 
1787, a member asked a letter of dismissal to join a Seventh Day Bap- 
tist Church, and the record adds significantly, "But there was no an- 
swer given." 

A member, in 1788, became a "Universalist," and it was ordered 
that he be "ex-communicated on Sunday, in public at Bray's meeting- 
house." It is recorded in 1790, that a brother took his letter from Upper 
Freehold and joined Middletown church, because the "former totally 
omitted the laying on of hands after baptism and before receiving into 
the Church, in full communion." The brethren seem to have held them- 
selves in pledge for one another, as instanced in the record of January, 
1787, where it is said: "All the members signed a letter of dismission." 

Care for the decencies of the Lord's house was characteristic of the 
Church. In 1780, it was moved "that the suit of clothing belonging to 
the said Church for the use of the minister to perform the ordinance of 
Baptism in, was almost worn out; and not being decent for said purposes 
any longer, ordered the purchase of firsting for a new suit." Cleanli- 
ness of the sanctuary as well as decency in the official apparel of the 
sanctuarj^ as well as decency in the official apparel of the minister was 
provided for; and the duties of the sexton differed somewhat from now. 
In 1792, £1 12s. was paid Deborah Van Cleaf, for taking care of the 
house and sanding the same." 

The pews of the "Upper House," at least, seem by the authority of 
Church to have been held in individual right. John Stillwell, the Church 


Clerk, reported to the Church that Hope Burrows, the widow and ex- 
ecutrix of John Burrows, deceased, gave him their pew in "The Upper 
Meeting-house;" whereupon, the "Church agreed that he have the same 
pew under the said gift, with doing some repairs on the window at the 
end of said seat." 

The frequent resignation of the deacons when incapacitated for 
active duty, leads to the conclusion that they esteemed the office more 
one of work, than of honor and for life. 

In 1805, the use of their meeting houses was forbidden "for any 

These people were certainly not seriously befogged in their ideas 
of church duties; rights and decencies; nor of the uses of the office in 
the house of God; nor of the irresponsibility for the doctrine that might 
be preached from their pulpits; nor of the limits and liberties of Chris- 
tian duty and privilege. 

This entry is in the register: "Dec, 1791, Crawford's Jack, de- 
parted this life." That no contempt of Africa's sons is designed, an- 
other entry in 1796, by the same hand evidences: "Died — Samuel, a 
black man, an example of real piety. He hath been a member of this 
church for near forty years, without ever a complaint or the least 
accusation him from any person in the smallest degree." A 
memorial fitting to be written on the same page with that of Abel 
Morgan, found in the same book. 

Very rarely indeed do we meet such histories as these. 

Under date of October, 1785, "agreed, that there should be a man 
hired at the expense of said Church members, for one, two or three 
months, as occasion may require, for the benefit and service of the Rev. 
Mr. Abel Morgan in his infirm and low state of body; and the expense of 
wages for the hire of said man so employed shall be levied on each mem- 
ber, according to their estates." 

The next January (1786) Abel Morgan, their late pastor, being 
dead, the following minute is entered: — "Some repairs on the dwelling 
house of the late Abel Morgan not yet paid for: agreed, that each member 
shall be assessed according to their estates to pay the said costs." A 
memorial act, both of the Church and of the man, grander and more 
enduring than granite or iron. 

Forty years later, in January, 1826, an act of justice and appre- 
ciation was performed to their living pastor, Thomas Roberts, quite in 
harmony with that done in behalf of their dead pastor. The sum of 
$300, besides the parsonage and his fuel, being stated as the salary 
pledged to Mr. Roberts for the year, the record continues: — "Now be 
it known, being satisfied that the money subscribed was intended by 


those who subscribed, for the said Thomas Roberts, and there being 
tile past year paid to him by the trustees of said Church, the sum of 
$355.69, it is, therefore, considered as his do (due) for his service for the 
year ending January 1st, 1826." A like appreciation of pastors, and 
award to them of their "do," would diffuse an immense enjoyment in 
the Zion of God, and bear fruit in great and precious blessings upon 
her borders. 

Of the residence of the pastors it is merely a supposition that Mr. 
Burrows and Abel Morgan occupied for a while the first parsonage at 
the "Upper Meeting-house." Samuel Morgan was the last pastor who 
resided in it. Mr. Hand lived in the Academy in Baptisttown, and 
taught the school there. 

Mr. Elliot was the first occupant of the new parsonage, in the sum- 
mer of 1818. The church of which Mr. Elliot had been pastor, object- 
ed to his coming to Middletown, that he would have to live "in a house 
with mud walls." He came, however, landing at Brown's Point, and 
he made his home with Daniel Ketchum, near Baptisttown, until the 
parsonage was made habitable. Mr. King also lived in it. Mr. Roberts 
resided in it until 1826, when having bought a "place" north and east 
of the village of Middletown removed there. 

A striking illustration of the pastor's personal influence in the neigh- 
borhood of his residence, and the bearing of his location upon the growth 
of the Church, is afforded in these records. 

So far as I can determine, the locality of those who were added to 
the Church under Samuel Morgan's ministry, excepting the additions 
from Long Branch, a large proportion were in the vicinity of his resi- 
dence. Of the nineteen received by Mr. Elliot, fifteen were baptized at 
the "Upper House." Thirty were added during Mr. King's oversight 
of whom twenty-two were baptized at the "Upper House." 
The growth of the Church within the limits of the "Upper 
Congregation" was very marked down to 1826, when Pastor 
Roberts removed to his own home in "The Lower Congregation." 
The increase of the Church during the last ten years of his ministry in 
the communities in the midst of which he lived, manifests the power of 
the pastor's personal contact with the people about him. It i a 
significant memorial of the man, and satisfactory explanation of the 
greater numerical strength of "The Lower Congregation," at the 
division of the Church. 

John Bray was a resident and property owner in 1688, the reputed 
year of the organization of the Church. Mr. Bray came from England. 
One of his descendants, Richard Bray, has a deed of 1688, of land to him, 
a part of the "Lawrence tract." He (John Bray) bought a part of the 


Holmes tract, lived and died upon it, having given the land on which 
the Church and parsonage are. The Church minutes speak of him as a 
"man of gifts." He was a preacher, but we do not know that he was or- 
dained; evidently an earnest man, he took a deep and active interest in 
the welfare of Zion. 

To him we are indebted for the property in Holmdel — parsonage, 
meeting-house and burial grounds. 

The grounds at Holmdel, including the parsonage and house of 
worship and burial ground, contain four and one-third acres, and were 
the gift of John Bray, already spoken of.* 

Obadiah Bowne and fJaret Wall in a deed of acknowledge- 
ment of trust, dated December 18, 1705, address themselves to "all 
Christian people," and declare " 'that John Bray and Susanna, his wife, 
on December 14, 1705, on mere special trust and confidence, for the onl}' 
use, benefits and behoofs of the society, community or congregation 
called Baptists," gave, &c., describing the property; and further 
bind themselves to convey the property to the Church, when it shall 
have a legal existence. Not incorporated until December, 1793, the 
title was thus held for 88 years. The original deed of trust is now in the 
keeping of the Trustees, and is the oldest deed held by any Baptist 
Church in the States. This land, since bought from the Duke of York, 
has been owned by Baptists. 

A house of wor.ship and parsonage were built contemporaneously 
alongside of each other on the southwest corner of this property, imme- 
diately adjoining the burial grounds of the Bray family and of the 
Church. t By whom, and when, erected the Church record is silent. 

The buildings were put up prior to 1705. The Baptist families in 
the vicinity probably contributed to their erection. From the little 
known of John Bray, he is supposed to have had considerable force of 
character as well as to have been large-hearted. We incline to the 
opinion that he bore the brunt of the cost of these buildings; from the 
fact that the Meeting-house was for many years known as the "Bray 
Meeting-house." In 1735, it is referred to in the Church book as "The 

*Morgaii Edwards, in his "Materials for the History of the Baptist Churches 
in New Jersey," states "that the ground was partly given by John Bray and partly 
by Obadiah and Jouiillian Miihnes." This is a mistake. Obadiah and Jonathan 
Holmes did not come inin i.(.>.-i>>icin of their father's lands until after his decease 
in 1713, eight years sub.-cqiHiit to the date of the deed given by John Bray. Their 
father may have added to the Church lot and probably did. 

tAneestor of the late U. S. Senator GaiTet Wall, of New Jersey. Jarct, the 
original of Garret. 

JThe great-erandson, of Holmdel Church, tells me that John Bray built both 
chureli and i.iuscmage. This was certainly the first Baptist parsonage in New 
Jersey, and I feel cjuile sure, the first meeting house built by Baptists for their own 
use. Tiaditiiiii says the first house at Middletown was built for town purposes, 
and the Cliureh used it. This was the case of Piscataway. 


Old Meeting -House near John Bray's." Some who worshipped in that 
built at Middletown, have left word that they "were as much alike as 
two peas." "The Old Bray Meeting-house was probably the model of 
the other. 

At a Church meeting, September 18th, 1794, Mr. Bennet, pastor, 
"A subscription was ordered for a new meeting-house on Bray's lot." 
No further mention is made of how much, or by whom, or by what means 
the funds were secured for this object. Fifteen years elapsed, years 
of trials and of constancy, when, October 29th, 1809, having worship- 
ped in the old house more than a century, the minutes read: The first 
Communion Season was held in the new meeting-house on Bray's lot." 
This was a dedicatory service. Beside the pastor, Mr. Bennet, Pastors 
Wilson, of Hightstown, and Boggs, of Hopewell, and Bishop, of "Upper 
Freehold" were present. Mr. Wilson, who, twenty-four years before 
had preached the funeral sermon of Abel Morgan, and, two days after, 
the ordination sermon of Samuel Morgan, and who was also one of the 
two ministers at the ordination of Mr. Bennet, preached on Lord's 
Day morning, from Psalm cxxxii: 15; Mr. Boggs, in the afternoon, from 
Exodus XX : 24. On Monday, Mr. Wilson and Mr. Boggs each preach- 
ed again. The house was thirty-six feet by forty-five. It has since 
undergone enlargements and improvements. Many interesting asso- 
ciations belong to the old sanctuary. Here, July, 1792, the Trustees 
were in.structed to obtain an act of incorporation; and, at the same meet- 
ing, Mr. Bennet was called to ordination, "as a transient minister," not 
pastor, as is graven upon his tombstone. Six months later he was in- 
vested with the pastor's office. Mr. Bennet never was a member of the 
Middletown church. 

An entry in July, 1816, reads: "Appointed John Beers to superin- 
tend the building of a house on the meeting-house lot of the upper house, 
commonly called the Bray Meeting-house, of the size of twenty-five feet 
square, two stories high — no ceiling overhead and the same John Beers 
to proceed in the business so far as the money raised will go." The same 
house is still the parsonage of the Holmdel Church-, 1886. Like the house 
of worship by which it stands, it has been improved and enlarged at vari- 
ous times; but we know not at what expense or how provided for, ex- 
cept that in 1819, the Trustees ordered money at interest to be called 
in to pay the balance due on the building. A room was prepared in 
the house for the library of Abel Morgan, to which by vote of the Church, 
in June, 1818, it was ordered to be removed. 

Elliot, King, Roberts, Hires, Nice, Mulford and Wilson have succes- 
sively occupied as a study this "prophet's room over against the wall." 
Prior to the separation of the church into two bands, in 1836, she owned 


no other parsonage Mr. Bennet alone, of all the pastors since 1705, is 
known not to have lived in either the first or second parsonage. A wood 
lot of twenty-two acres was bought by "The Upper Congregation," for 
uses of the Church, in 1825. Thenceforth, beside his salary in money, 
the pastor received the parsonage, and "his fuel carted to his door." 
Up to the present settlement this has continued to be "the portion" of 
the Holmdel pastors. When "The Upper Congregation" was organized 
into "The Second Middletown Church," this property, really theirs by 
gift and purchase of themselves, and which, for so man}' generations, 
they had freely given for the use of the whole Church, they bought for 

"The Upper Congregation," thus providing the parsonage, a house 
of worship, wood-lot, and incomes which, for a hundred years, made it 
possible to obtain and support with ease an able ministry, none would 
suppose it to be the same place and people which the sketch of First 
Middletown, in 1867, refers to, in the statement that the house built 
on Bray's lot, in 1808, was a "preaching station." With more 
propriety was the village of Middletown "a preaching station" visited 
by the pastors for one hundred years, on alternate Sabbaths. 

The Church was equally identified with both places in every par- 
ticular of worship, ordinances and business meetings. The Middletown 
Church was not that body which met in the village of Middleton, but 
that which held its assemblies in the township from which it was named.* 

Of the pastors who have died within the bounds of the Church, two, 
Abel Morgan, and Thomas Roberts, are buried at Middletown. Two, 
Samuel Morgan and Benjamin Bennet, are buried at Holmdel. Sam- 
uel Morgan, after his resignation, lived and died (1794) about a mile 
from the "Upper Meeting-house." Mr. Bennet died October 8th, 1840. 

It has been said that this is a mistake: that Holmdel is a poetic 
name given at a town meeting, when a name was chosen for the Post 
Office. But I am informed by the oldest residents that Holmdel was a 
familiar and popular name, used interchangeably with Baptisttown 
long before that meeting. 

Stout tract is identified as part of the Hendrickson and Longstreet 
farms, near Holmdel. Penelope Stout is believed to have been buried 
in an old grave yard nearly one hundred yards south of the residence of 
the late John S. Hendrickson. 

*Middletown was probably named b)' the Holmes'. They had come from 
Middletown, Rhode Island, where the homestead farm of the first Obadiah was, 
and which Jonathan, his son, inherited by his father's will. The homestead iu 
Khode Island has only very lately passed out of the family. 


The farm on which tlie venerable James Crawford now lives was 
the homestead of Ohadiah Bonne, passing by marriage into the Craw- 
ford family. 

Ancestor of Deacon G. Mott, First C'hurch, Trenton, and father 
of Gen. Mott, of Bordentown. 

A minister and ancestor of Ashton, the first Baptist in Upper 

In 1713, Rev. John Burrows, of Pennsylvania, became pastor, ac- 
cepting the advice of the Council of the former year and signed the Keach 
"articles of faith and covenant." Rev. George Eaglesfield followed in 
1731. Allusion is made to his death, 1733. Five years later, 1738, 
Abel Morgan settled as pastor, remaining till his death, November 
24th, 1785, forty-seven years. He was abundant in labors; traveling 
far and wide and devoted himself untiringly to the great field under 
his care. 

The American revolution occurred in his pastorate. His meeting- 
house was used by the English for barracks or for a hospital. He states 
in his diary: While the house of worship was in their use, "I preached 
at Middletown in mine own barn, because the enemy had took out all 
the seats in the meeting-house." "At Middletown" meant on his farm 
opposite Red Bank, the river being the boundary between Middletown 
and Shrewsbury. Mr. Morgan did not keep account of the number 
of sennons he had preached, nor a record of how many he had baptized. 
His diary notes more than forty places in which he preached. Mr. 
Morgan bequeathed his library of three hundred volumes to the 
Church for the use of his successors. The big volumes were printed 
in Latin and his marginal notes showed that the books had been 
well read. His manuscript preparations of sermons, each numbered 
and dated, were ten thousand were also given to the Church. By its 
order, a room was prepared in the parsonage at "The Upper Meet- 
ing-house" (Holmdel). But in 1837 Pastor Stout found what was 
left of them in the garret of the house of a member of another 
denomination. When Pastor Roberts moved from the parsonage to 
his farm, the volumes were taken from their proper place, but 
whereto is not known. The remains of the library are now in 
Peddie Institute library. Some of the books are very old: One, 
an edition of Cicero's works, was printed in 1574; John Calvin's 
works, were printed at Geneva in 1617. On a flyleaf in Mr. Morgan's 
writing are these lines: 


"Prayer contains in its several parts: 
"Call upon God, and love, confess, 
'Petition, plead and then declare; 
'You are the Lord's, give thanks and bless, 
"And let Amen, confirm ye prayer." 

A contemporary styled Abel Morgan: "The incomparable Abel 
xMorgan," as the Rev. Mr. Finley, President of Princeton College, found 
out to his sorrow. Alike as missionary and workman, his wisdom and 
piety are memorials of a noble life and of noble accomplishments for 
God and humanity. He was of the same class in activity as Benjamin 
Miller, Isaac Stelle, Peter Wilson, Robert Kelsay and in scholarship 
equal ;o any one. Providentially contemporary with Abel Morgan's 
settlement in 1738, at Middletown, was the death of Jonathan Holmes, 
Jr., son of Jonathan Holmes, of Middletown, now Holmdel, a grand- 
son of Obadiah Holmes, of precious memory. He was a minister, 
whether ordained or not is not written. Having settled his affairs and 
made his will, he visited the home of his fathers in England, in 1737. 
On the return voyage, he died at sea, 1738. He bequeathed £400 to 
the Church, a great sum in those days. Samuel Holmes, James Tap- 
scott, and Jamas Mott were his executors. The carefulness and integ- 
rity of these men and of their successors usually acting trustees of the 
Church up to its incorporation as is shown by its records, is the highest 
memorial of their Christian character and commends them to us as men 
whose memory is worth keeping. 

■It was loaned to Abel Morgan and he was enabled to live in his own 
house- It was repaid in the settlement of his estate. Samuel Morgan 
had the use of it, returning it when he resigned. It was husbanded 
and used to ensure the labors of Mr. Bennett for twenty-two years. In 
1881, it was diverted from the support of the pastor, and part of it 
appropriated to complete the parsonage at "The Upper Meeting 
House." The balance, we imagine, was invested in the houses of 
worship now in use in Holmdel and in the village of Middletown. 
Let the memory of Jonathan Holmes and John Bray be cherished. 
Their works remain a blessing to the generations of men. 

It has been a question how, through the fluctuations and poverty of 
a new country, the wreck of all financial interests in the Revolution, 
Middletown, a small country Church, could command for its pulpit and 
retain in long pastorates, the best gifts of the denomination. The gift 
of Church properties and parsonage, and the use of the legacy of Jona- 
than Holmes, Jr., solve the problem. 

Abel Morgan was succeeded by his nephew, Samuel Morgan. De- 
spite the calamities under which the country was suffering at the close 


of the Revolution, his ministry was as fruitful as was anticipated and 
for diligence, all that could be rightfully asked. He kept up all the ap- 
pointments of the Church and sustained its usefulness and dignity in 
the six years of his service, dying in 1794, two years after his re- 

In 1792, Mr. Benjamin Bennett was called to be the pastor and was 
ordained as a "transient minister." He was a good preacher and an 
enterprising farmer. He first used marl as a fertilizer. Limiting him- 
self to Holmdel and Middleto\VTi village, he gave up the out stations. 
Had he followed up the work of Abel and Samuel Morgan, we would 
have had a large Church at Long Branch. There were many Baptists 
there and in other places within his reach. He had the opportunity of 
his life for God and humanity. It would have cost, however, self deni- 
als. The roads were "bridle paths" through the haunts of wild beasts 
and Indians. A settler's home might not be seen from morning to night. 
The loneliness of these long rides and the liability to suffer harm far from 
help, gives to us an appreciation of the men and of their services, who 
laid the foundations of our denominational growth, and of our attain- 
ment, in education, numbers and social place equal to any other Chris- 
tian people. About 1815, Mr. Bennett dropped into politics, was elected 
to Congress and that closed up his pastorate and his preaching. 

During an intermission in the pastorate, Mr. Hand, a licentiate, 
principal of the Holmdel Academy "supplied" the Church for several 
years, most acceptably until, in 1818, when Mr. Elliot became pastor. 
The Church of which Mr. Elliot was pastor when called to Middletown, 
objected to his going to Holmdel: "That he would have to live in a 
house with mud walls," the new parsonage. Mr. Elliot was a desirable 
pastor to the people with whom he was. They believed him worthy of 
the best things. Mr. Elliot proved to be an efficient pastor; a man who 
could see and value a good thing. He found at Holmdel a Sunday- 
school, which Mrs. A. B. Taylor had formed in her own house in 1815. 
She was a member of the Middletown church of tlje "Upper Congrega- 
tion." Mr. Elliot at once started a Sunday-school in the church edifice 
at Holmdel. Fuller account of Mrs. Ann B. Taylor and her work in 
the missions and Sunday-schools will be found in chapters on Bible 
Schools and Missions. 

How long Mr. Elliot was pastor is not clear. A Mr. King followed 
him, remaining about three years and disappeared mid two days; 
a bad man. There was a great contrast between him and Rev. 
Thomas Roberts who settled in 1825 and after a pastorate of twelve 
years, resigned, in 1837. Mr. Roberts was a good preacher, as well 
as a wise man. Several of his sermons were demanded for publi- 


cation. The fruits of his ministry were large and of abiding vahie. 

Increase of population and of the congregations, and the demand 
for more ministerial labor in the bounds of the Church, had prior to 
1834, led to the inquiry: How to meet the increasing claims of the 
field? A separation into two bands was an unwelcome subject. The 
breaking of ties that had been entwining for fifty years was to some un- 
endurable. The fearful saw ruin in separation. It was doubtful to 
the pastor if the time had come when two Churches could be sustained 
and occupy the field as well as the undivided body. Discussion 
ripened into action in the fall of 1834, when an invitation was sent to 
Rev. D. B. Stout, settled at Lambertville, to visit the Church, with a 
view of becoming joint pastor with Mr. Roberts. He came. The way 
was not yet fully prepared, and he returned home. Early in 1836, the 
Church sent a request to Rev. Wm. D. Hires, residing at South Trenton, 
to visit them. Having done so in due time, he accepted their call to a 
joint pastorate with Mr. Roberts. 

After six months, "The Lower Congregation" worshiping 
in "The Lower House," in the village of Middletown, and "The 
Upper Congregation" taking the title of "Second Middletown," 
was recognized as an independent Church, September 1st, 1836, 
by a Council consisting of Pastors Roberts, and Hires, of Middle- 
town; C. J. Hopkins, of Freehold, and J. M. Challis, of Upper 

Mr. Roberts remained with "The Lower Congregation," in the 
midst of which he lived. Mr. Hires retained the oversight of "The Up- 
per," amid which he resided, receiving the same salary as had been paid 
by the whole body to Mr. Roberts. 

Mr. Roberts had left the parsonage open for Mr. Hires; this, prob- 
ably, decided the location of the pastors. Mr. Roberts, knowing whence 
the support of the pastor came, gave another instance of self denial 
and real piety. Had the old Church divided, the historical truth of 
Middletown Church ^ould have been preserved in its true relationship 
and the names of the constituency of Middletown would not have 
been found outside of itself, mainly in Holmdel and Upper Freehold 
and in Hopewell. 

Upon the resignation of Mr. Roberts, "The Lower Congregation" 
called Rev. D. B. Stout and he began his charge in 1837. Mr. Stout had 
already been impressed with antinomian ideas, but new relations modi- 
fied his views, being a man open to convictions. These came to him 
through Rev. F. Ketchum, an eminent evangelist of his times, through 
whose co-operative labors. Pastor Stout baptized in one year two 
hundred and thirty-six. Mr. Stout was a loveable man, unassuming, 


genial, amialilc and a preacher of righteousness. Not. having had 
scholastic training, he did not make any pretense to it. His in- 
fluence was wholesome, having what is better than brains or education, 
"good sound common sense." Being human, he had faults and made 
mistakes. Mr. Stout was born at Hopewell in 1810, a place identified 
with the names of Eaton, Manning, Gano, and Hezekiah Smith. Pas- 
tor Stout was a descendant of Richard Stout. In a ministry of forty- 
three years, he had two settlements: Lambertville, of which liis 
father was a deacon and for years its only male member; where Mr. 
Stout had lived from early youth, been baptized, licensed, ordained as 
pastor, which he was for five years. Thence going to Middletown, 
where he was pastor thirty-eight years till his death on May 17th, 
1875. He was a constituent of the New Jersey Baptist State Conven- 
tion and a member of its Board from its origin, till he died forty-five 
years, a longer time than any other had been. Four Churches were col- 
onised from Middletown where he was pastor. He was buried in the 
church yard, where Mr. Roberts had been and to which Abel Morgan's 
remains were removed in 1888. His successors have been E. J. Foote, 
1876-82; the first pastor who lived in Middletown village, a new parson- 
age being built there in 1876; Rev. F. A. Douglass, 1883-6; Rev. E. E. 
Jones, 1887-92. 

Under Mr. Jones, sheds were provided for the beasts, which brought 
the people to the house of God and he also had a baptistry put in the 
house of worship and for the first time in more than two hundred years 
the ordinance of baptism was administered in the village. In 1893, 
Rev. W. H. J. Parker became pastor and ministered ten years to the 
Church, till 1904. 

"The Upper Congregation" had a large place in Baptist beginnings 
in New Jersey. The first Baptist Sunday-school in the State was begun 
there and all missionary societies and nearly all the contributions abroad 
came from that quarter. "The Lower Congregation" was solicited 
from there. The writer has the original subscription books and Sunday- 
school reports given to him by Mrs. Ann B. Tajdor in her eightieth 
year for safe keeping. They will be given to her grandson, Prof. B. 
Taylor, of Crozer Seminary. Mrs. Taylor said to the writer: the lady 
solicitor would walk from their homes nine to twelve miles to "The 
Lower Congregation" to collect funds for the use of the society. The 
spirit of missions imbued "The Upper Congregation." One woman, 
Mrs. Ann B. Taylor, must be referred to as especially devoted to these 
causes. They appointed a committee in 1787 to collect moneys to aid 
"the Church on Staten Island in building a meeting-house. Twenty- 
seven years prior to the I irth of the Home Mission Society, funds were 


collected for 'Home Missions and Education.' " A female benevolent 
society, formed in 1825, in "The Upper Congregation." collected moneys 
for the destitute from its origin till it ceased to be, in 184.5. Through 
it, the convention has received funds from its beginning, six years be- 
fore it resolved itself into the Second Middletown Church. It appro- 
priated $5.00 to the "Young Men's Education Society" in New Jersey, 
before the "New Jersey Baptist Education Society" was formed. 

Foreign Missions were also annually contributed to for many years 
prior to the separation of the Church in 1836. Each year since the 
Church has contributed to the State Convention. The first gift was 
twenty dollars, and never after less. Without exception, it has also 
given annually to Foreign Missions, beginning with five dollars and 
increasing to nearly three hundred dollars in one year. Since 18-15, it 
has an unbroken annual credit for Home Missions and Bible purposes. 
Feeble Churches have ever shared in its sympathies. From the 
first, the school at Hightstown has had a large place in the heart 
of the Church, to which it has given many thousands of dollars. 

Mrs. Taylor organized and maintained a Woman's Mission Society 
to buy books for the Sunday-schools, to clothe needy children of de- 
pendent parents. The society sent money to India, through the Eng- 
lish Baptist Mission Society before 1800. After Mr. Elliot resigned, 
living on her farm two miles from Holmdel, she walked to the meeting- 
house, superintended the Sunday-school there, returned home to take 
charge of the Sunday-school at home. Some facts illustrate the char- 
acter of Mrs. Taylor: She always paid her pew rent a year in advance, 
saying, "She might die at any time and she wanted to be sure that her 
pew rent was paid the year in which she died." She died in 1879, 
eighty-three years old. Times were set for benevolent collections on the 
Lord's day. If the collection on such a day was delayed, Mrs, Taylor 
always made her way to the pastor: "To-day was the time for such a 
collection; you have not forgotten it? No? Well, don't!" Clusters 
of members lived at several localities and had unique ways of getting to 
the house of prayer. The women had a custom of ride and walk. A 
mother and daughter, two sisters, or neighbors, would arrange for one 
to ride on a horse to a given place and there hitch the horse and walk 
on to another set place and wait. The other having walked to the 
horse, from thence rode on to the one waiting and thus on, it might 
be to the house of worship, distant from their home, perhaps, ten or 
more miles. A key to this consciousness of the blessedness of divine 
truth, was the preaching. 

The preacher had much to say of the grace of God, of a free and 
undeserved salvation; of being "kept by the power of God through faith 


unto salvation." The "meat" in the sermon was nourishing, or, if it 
lacked the pith of "Divine Sovereignty," it was emptiness to one who 
who had walked two days, or had journeyed, "ride and walk," for 
twenty miles to reach the house of God. The experience of these 
disciples was, as in the early ages, the Bible, universally essential to 
an uplift of person and nation. 

Tlie Rev. Mr. Roberts was an earnest and staunch temperance man 
and "The Upper Congregation" was in hearty sympathy with him. 
The earliest remembered public discussion of temperance in "The Upper 
Congregation," was a sermon by Pastor Roberts, about 1834, from the 
text: "I speak as unto wise men, judge ye what I say." The discourse 
made a deep impression upon the community; many accepted the doc- 
trine of total abstinence, some of whom now living, 1881, refer to it 
as the means of their giving up the use of intoxicating drinks as a 
beverage. A positive temperance sentiment was at this time devel- 
oped, which, nurtured by Pastor Hires, ripened into Church action in 
1839, when "Total abstinence from intoxicating drinks as a beverage 
was declared to be a Christian duty." 

Why did not Pastor Roberts preach a like sermon in the "Lower 
Congregation?" Had he done so, it would have destroyed the influence 
for good on the very lines on which he hoped to secure reform. "The 
Lower Congregation" was allied with the political influences of the day 
and less responsive to the then called "radical temperance movement. 
Later both the Navesink and the New Monmouth churches were com- 
posed of a temperance element, not at home in the mother church and 
on this account under the influence of Mr. Roberts and Mr. W. V. Wil- 
son went out." "The Upper and "The Lower Congregations" were 
extremely unlike and this may have reconciled them to the division in 
1836 and hurried Pastor Roberts' resignation the next year. The un- 
likeness of these branches of the same Church was partly due to the 
dignity of ancestral names in the "Upper Congregation" and to the ac- 
cumulation of wealth by succeeding generations. It is a surprise that 
the division had not occurred when Abel Morgan became pastor in 1738. 

Pastor Hires resigned in 1846, having been pastor of the Second 
Middletown Church ten years. There is not a known reason for 
his sudden and unexpected resignation. His charge was a continuous 
success. He was a rare preacher for conciseness and strength. Few 
equalled him in his capacity to inspire people and to train them for use- 
fulness. His going away was a great loss to the Church. The "bent" 
he gave to it for temperance, missions and education is still manifest. 
He grounded his people in fundamental truth. God a sovereign; man a 
sinner and lost; Christ the only Saviour; men saved to glorify God and 


to be co-workers with and for him. Mr. Gobel, the anti-nomian once 
invaded his fold. His coming and his flight were contemporary. 

Rev. Wilham J. Nice followed Mr. Hires in 1848, remaining three 
years and as much to the surprise and regret of the Church he gave up 
his charge, as had Mr. Hires, and left at once. It is believed that the 
same cause led Mr. Nice to resign as had influenced Mr. Hires to leave. 
Mr. Nice was one of the most modest and lovely of men. He was 
intensely conscientious and wholly devoted to his Master, a choice 
spirit and one to be leaned upon. Rev. C. W. Mulford was pastor 
for two years, but his impaired health compelled him to close 
his labors. 

One of the choicest of men, Rev. C. E. Wilson, became pastor and 
for nearly sixteen years ministered to the Church. Universally beloved 
the good man laid down and died. While pastor, the house of worship 
was enlarged to double its former capacity. Large congregations wait- 
ed on the labors of this true man of God and he had a remarkably 
successful pastorate. 

After Mr. Wilson, came Rev. T. S. Griffiths, settling in April 1870- 
The following extract at the end of ten years, instances some results 
of the ten years' work: The financial and benevolent departments 
of the Church have very marked characteristics. A debt that had ac- 
cumulated in 1870 to $4,000 has been paid; also repairs, since then, 
costing $1,400. The annual home expenditures of the last ten years has 
been nearly double that of former years, averaging $2,120 each year, 
and aggregating $21,200.00 The annual average benevolence of the 
Church for the first thirty-three years of its existence was $205.62, 
and for the whole period $6785.56. In the last ten years, the 
benevolence of the Church has aggregated $12,241.95, an annual 
average of $1,224.19. The whole amount paid for home and foreign 
interests since 1870 has been $33,441.95, an annual average of 
$3,344.10. Mr. Griffiths removed in September, 1881. 

Rev. W. W. Case settled in December next, 1881. While Mr Case 
was pastor, a new parsonage was built, but there was not, as in the old 
one, a room reserved for Abel Morgan's library; also a chapel was built 
for social and Sunday-school uses. The Church edifice was remodeled 
within and without at a cost of many thousands of dollars. The house 
of worship will accommodate about half as many as it did before the 
alterations were made in 1887-1894. 

Holmdel is a rural settlement and has neither factories nor 
railroad connections; withal the country is filling up with foreign- 
ers, whose "faith" and associations are alien to the old settlers. 


Endowments, however, by some of the old families, descendants 
of the original constituents relieved anxiety for its future support. 
Mr" Case's charge continued nearly twelve years. 

In 189-4, Rev. R. B. Fisher became pastor and is now (1904) pastor. 
There has not been need of improvement in the properties of the Church 
since Mr. Case resigned. Several members have been licensed to preach. 
The Church claims in part the maternity of Churches. Cohansie and 
Hopewell went out of "The Upper Congregation." 

Not many Churches are paralleled with the old Church in the number 
of its off-shoots. Through Obadiah Holmes, Jr., a constituent, Cohan- 
sie and its outgrowth; through Jonathan Stout, another constituent, 
First Hopewell, Hunterdon, Warren and Sussex counties were planted 
with Baptist Churches. Hightstown also and Upper Freehold have 
multiplied many fold. So that as many as one hundred and seven 
Baptist Churches have sprung from this oldest Baptist Church South of 
Rhode Island. Mr. Hires had regular appointments at Keyport, Mata- 
wan and Marlboro. The constituency of Red Bank also was increased 
fi'om Holmdel. Under Pastor Griffiths, both Marlboro and Eatontown 
were each saved from extinction. 

Other influences for good have gone out to New York State, and to 
the far South from the venerable Church. The first Baptist school in 
America, was at Hopewell, where her sons and those of other Churches 
were educated for the ministry. James Manning, John Gano, Hezekiah 
Smith, the Suttons and many others for eminent places in judicial and 
political life must be included as one gift of the old Church to Baptists 
and to the world. 

Holmdel, hedged in by seven Baptist Churches, only one of 
which is nine miles distant, its field is limited, but it had a distinctive 
constituency and their descendants are as characteristic as was their 
ancestry. Allusion to the Holmes family has been already made; an- 
other family by the name of Longstreet gave strength to the Church. 
The mother, Mary Holmes, was a near descendant of Obadiah Holmes, 
Sr. She left a legacy to "Peddie Institute." Each of her children liv- 
ing at home did the same. Some of them endowed the Holmdel Church. 
Jonathan and Mary, Jr., built and endowed the Longstreet library 
building at Peddie Institute. The Holmdel Baptists were an influen- 
tial people, having the endowments of heart, character and wealth. 
Pastor Hires at Holmdel after the division of the Church, received the 
same salary as the whole Church had given to Mr. Roberts. Many 
Anglo-African's lived there and they included some of the nobility 
of the earth. They would come to the parsonage on Monday 
morning and say: "I hear that a collection for missions wag 


taken yesterday. I could not be there; here is what I would 
have given if present, add it to the other." 

A family of Ely's located at Holmdel at an early day. The father, 
though of an opposite political party to a majority of thousands in the 
county, was elected to the most important office in the county on ac- 
count of his personal worth. Removing to Holmdel, leaving his eldest 
son on the homestead farm, who under the same conditions as his father 
was also elected to the same office and for the same reason, his pre- 
eminent worth as a citizen and a man. Of six sons four were deacons: 
One at Freehold, three at Holmdel and also the husband of an only 
daughter. The mother of these sons was a remarkable woman. Henry, 
a son, told to his pastor this incident of his childhood: On Lord's 
day morning his mother said to him: "Go and get ready for Church." 
He replied: "I can't go to Church to-day." "AVhy not?" "My shoes 
are worn out." "Why did you not tell me that yesterday? Now, you 
shall go to Church bare foot." He did. And he said to his pastor: 
"Ever afterwards mother knew of worn out shoes and anything else 
needful to wear to Church." Such a woman was of the same type 
as Mrs. Taylor. Mrs. Taylor's only son was a deacon. 

Said a neighbor to whom religion was an offense, to the same pastor: 
"If I had a million of dollars I would put it in William Ely's hands to 
keep for me nor ask for a "note" or a scrap of acknowledgment from 
him; sure that when I wanted it I would get it." Henry could not be 
drafted in the Civil War because of the loss of an eye. He said to his 
pastor: "Then, I employed a "substitute" for six hundred dollars 
for a year. At its end, he said to himself: 'I can spare six hun- 
dred dollars for my country, why can I not spare that extra each 
year for Christ? I can and will' " And he was a plain farmer. He did 
this till he died. His benevolent gifts were quite a thousand dollars 
each year. His death was glorious. O, for a vast increase of such moth- 
ers and such sons. Middletown Church has been the mother of more 
than one hundred Churches not only in New Jersey, but in Pennsyl- 
vania, New York and in the South. 


COHANSIE, 1690, SALEM IN 1755. 

Cohansie is the name of a river that designates its vicinity. When, 
in 1683, the first Baptists came from Clouketin, Tipperay county, Ire- 
land, they settled on the South side of the river and built a meeting house 
on the farm of David Thomas (a Welsh name). The names of these 
Baptists were : David Sheppard, Thomas Sheppard and John Sheppard 
(brothers) ; Morgan Edwards also mentions Thomas Abbot and William 
Button. About 1700, they moved to the North side of the river and 
built a house of worship, about 2 miles south of RhoadstowTi. Morgan 
Edwards states part of the lot was a gift of Roger Maul and the "deed," 
dated December 28th, 1713, and part the gift of Nathan Sheppard, his 
"deed" is dated February 6th, 1779. Morgan Edwards further says: 
"\ house of worship was built in 1741, on the site of the old house." 

The Dutch West India Company was an enterprising corporation. 
In 1621, Captain May sailed into the Delaware bay with emigrants, 
Quakers, Swedes and Hollanders, these landed at various points on both 
sides of the river. Mixtures of population from different nations of 
Europe were peculiar to the Middle Eastern States. New England 
and Virginia alone having positive relation to English population. 
Irish Baptists had no more liberty than in England, Scotland or on 
the continent. Wherever they appeared, their presence was a reason 
for their persecution, whether by Protestants or Roman Catholics. 
Kingcraft and hierarchies hated democracy and the integrity of the 
men and women who maintained their convictions and won for 
humanity the right to think and to do what was right, out of these 
will be recogrtized as having accomplished more for human welfare 
and for the independency of mankind, than all or any other 
humanitarian movement in the world. It will be known that the 
Divine Christ was essentially interwoven in their thought and purpose 
of living. Their persecutions will be seen to be the scaffolding by which 
they have lifted the rights of men to the topmost place in government, 
and by which they have climbed to the endearment of the Divine love. 
Our bread had been an aversion, but for the "little leaven" of which it 
gave no sign. The hewed waters, leaking from the cracks of rocks, waste 
away, yet they index the ores hidden from sight. Thus character that 
modifies nations is life or death to humanity. Are a record names of 


constituents of churches, .'ind some scarcely note, that such a record 
memoralizes a birth hour of unspeakable interests. 

The early records of Cohansie church are lost, but wc are indebted 
to the researches of Morgan Edward and of Robert Kelsay to fill 
the gap. Obadiah Holmes, Jr., the youngest son of Obadiah Holmes, 
Sr., the Massachusetts Baptist martyr with another Baptist, visited 
Cohansie in 1683-5. He was now about forty years old, having 
been born in Salem, Mass., in 1644. His father was a member of 
the Congregational Church there and its record states: Obadiah 
Holmes, Jr., was christened (sprinkled) on Jime 9th, 1644. Mr. 
Holmes, Jr., was only licensed. He gathered the Baptists together, 
maintained meetings and souls w^ere converted. Inasmuch, as he 
had been appointed a Judge of the Courts he may have lived in 
Salem. He sent for Rev. Elias Keach, of Penepack, Pa., in 1688, to 
baptise the converts. He came and baptized three men. This 
good news went to Holmdel. "The yearly meetings between Middle- 
town and Piscataway were in progress and Mr. Killingsworth, of Piscat- 
away visited Cohansie. Other Baptists moved there: One, John 
Holmes, the second son of Obadiah, Sr., and brother to Obadiah, 
Jr., John Holmes had been a Judge in the Philadelphia Courts. He 
settled at Alloway and Baptists increased to nine men. Of these the 
Cohansie Church was constituted." Middletown, Piscataway and Co- 
hansie are the sole Baptist Churches formed in New Jersey in which only 
men are named as constituents. 

Rev. Thomas Killingsworth became pastor of Cohansie at its organ- 
ization. His coming was providential. He was pastor nineteen years 
and was beloved by his people and the community. He was a mission- 
ary pastor going far and wide, gathering Baptists into the several 
centers as at Salem. Succeeding pastors continued on these lines. 
Especially Mr. Jenkins, until about two years before his death in 1754 
at the age of seventy-six years. In the meantime, a meeting house 
had been built at Mill Hollow, two miles from Salem towards Alloway, 
to where Judge Holmes had moved from Philadelphia. A church at 
Alloway was formed in 1741. The Mill Hollow house was in part to 
accommodate this Church. Later the Alloway Church disbanded. As 
Mr. Jenkins lost his health, Mr. Job Sheppard and Robert Kelsay licen- 
tiates of Cohansie, looked after the out stations. Mr. Sheppard having 
moved to Alloway took care of that section. Mr. Kelsay, living at 
Pittsgrove, cared for that region. Rev. R. Kelsay later pastor at 
Cohansie, gathered data of the early history of the Church and put it 
in shape for our information. While, as already indicated, Obadiah 
Holmes, Jr., was the first Baptist minister hereabouts and a Judge 


in the Courts, he kept up his ministerial labors, for the coming pastor. 
Mr. Killingsworth's arrival was providential. He died while pastor 
in 1708. His was the work of a missionary pastor, going far and 
wide gathering Baptists into centers, as at Salem. 

It is not a surprise that Baptists were chosen Judges, since a large 
majority of the residents of Salem county were "Friends" (Quakers). 
Between them and Baptists was a kindly feeling, acquired in their 
sufferings to keep an open Bible, a free conscience and equality before 
the law. The "Friends" knew that they were safe with Baptist 

In 1710, Rev Timothy Brooks accepted the pastorate. Morgan 
Edwards gives the history of this arrangement as written by Pastor 
Kelsay: "In 1710, Rev. Timothy Brooks and his followers xmited with 
this Church. They had come from Ma.ssachusetts about 1687 and for 
twenty-three years kept a separate society on account of difference of 
opinion touching predestination, singing psalms, laying on of hands, etc. 
Rev. V. Whitman, of Groton, Conn., effected the union. Its terms 
were: Bearance and Forbearance." Pastor Brooks, Mr. Kelsay writes 
was not eminent for parts or learning, yet was a useful preacher; meek 
in his carriage; of a sweet and loving temper and always open to con- 
viction and made the Welsh mini.sters labor to instruct him in the "ways 
of the Lord more perfectly." Mr. Brooks died in 1716, having won the 
love of both flocks, who were heartily united in him. 

During nearly five years "supplies" preached. In 1721 , Mr. William 
Butcher was ordained for the pastorate. Death limited his service to 
about three years. He died in December, 1724, at the age of twenty-six 
years. He was a "good minister of the Gospel." For the next six years 
Rev. Nathaniel Jenkins, pastor of first Cape May church, preached once 
a month at Cohansie. Resigning at Cape May, in 1730, he became 
pastor at Cohansie. Mr. Jenkins was an eminent man and commanded a 
high place in both ministerial and governmental life. He had a gift of 
"bringing things to pass," as many Welsh men do by their forceful en- 
ergy. The Church grew along all lines. Preaching stations were plant- 
ed at Salem, Dividing Creek, Pittsgrove, Alloway and Great Eggharbor. 
A new Church edifice was built. Job Sheppard, the first pastor at Salem, 
Robert Kelsay, the first pastor at Pittsgrove, and afterwards pastor at 
Cohansie for thirty three years, succeeded Mr. Jenkins. Each were 
licensed to preach at Cohansie. Mr. Jenkins served the Church till 
1754, when he died. Few ministers in New Jersey accomplished more 
for God and humanity, both in the Legislature and in the ministry, 
than Pastor Jenkins. In his last illness, he advised the members to 
choose Mr. Kelsay to follow him, and after Mr. Jenkins died they did so 


immediately. But Mr. Kolsay objected to leaving Pittsgrove. He also 
thought that his friend, Mr. J0I3 Sheppard, was the right one to follow 
Mr. Jenkins. It was interesting to note the contention of Mr. Sheppard 
and Mr. Kelsay as to which one of them should take the mother Church. 
Each wanted the other to enter this foremost place. 

There was a Providence, however, which over-ruled the matter. 
Mr. Sheppard had become pastor at Salem and was wanted there. Mr. 
Kelsay's home in Pittsgrove had been burned up. Then Cohansie re- 
newed the call with emphasis and Mr. Kelsay consented and began his 
charge in May, 1756. He was a native of Ireland and came to Cohansie 
in 1738, was baptized in 1741, licensed in 1743, settled at Pittsgrove, a 
branch of Cohansie, preached there twelve years and was ordained in 
1750. A contemporary said of him: "As a man and companion, he 
was amusing and instructive. As a Christian he was exemplary and 
animated; as a preacher, he was ferv'ent and truly orthodox. Warmly 
engaged was he in the service of the saiictuary, to which he repaired 
without interruption till a few days previous to his death." Mr. Kelsay 
had the genial qualities of the Irish, to which was added fervent piety 
and great earnestness in his ministry. He was a man of order and set 
himself to make up deficiencies. A later pastor says of him: "the 
early records of the Church being lost, the first register of which we have 
any knowledge was commenced by him in 1757. It is a large folio bound 
in parchment and contains the earliest statistics extant. Everything 
pertaining to the general record of the Church was kept with 
scrupulous exactness." 

With respect to the results of his ministry, the Church has great 
reason for devout thankfulness. The membership in the first decade 
increased from one hundred and six to one hundred and thirty-one, 
despite deaths, removals and a colony to form Dividing Creek 
Church in 1761. In the second decade, although the membership 
had decreased, another colony formed the Pittsgrove Church. A 
third decade included the Revolutionary War. Every hallowed 
influence was over borne by the desolation of homes and lands. The 
colony being a highway of the contending armies and the harbors 
being a refuge of English fleets, its seacoast and rivers were patrolled 
by warships to destroy the commerce. Special seasons of grace 
wereenjoyed, however, in 1781 and 1782, in which sixty-eight disciples 
were baptized. A memorial of Mr. Kelsay is found in the minutes of the 
Philadelphia Association. He preached at its session in 1788 to 
young ministers from Acts 8: 35. He advised them: I. To study 
with earnest prayer as if it all depended upon their own endeavors; but in 
preaching to depend on Divine assistance as though they had not studied 


at all. II. To be concise in preaching and to conclude when done, 
III. To pray for a blessing immediately after preaching." Good ad- 
vise to preachers young or old. Especially these days when so much 
emphasis is laid upon an educated ministry. Mr. Kelsay was seventy- 
seven years old when he preached the sermon spoken of. Next year on 
May 30th, 1789, he died, having been pastor of Cohansie Church thirty- 
three years and, if Pitt.?grove is included, spent his whole ministry, forty- 
five years among his own people. 

The same Providence that hitherto had directed this people in the 
choice of a pastor for them, influenced them to call Henry Smalley, of 
Piscataway, who entered on his work on July 3, 1790, and was ordained 
the next November. Mr. Smalley had but lately graduated from col- 
lege. From the first, a uniform and continuous prosperitj' attended the 
pastoral charge of Mr. Smalley. There was also an intelligent and re- 
sponsive spirit of enterprise in the Church. A new house of worship 
in a more central location was needed. The site on which the Church 
edifice now stands was bought in 1799 and the house of worship now in 
use was dedicated in 1802. Internal changes and adaption to modern 
ideas have been made. But the substantial structure, its neat and 
fitting architectural proportions signify intelligence in its original plan- 
ning and a staunch and cultured piety that preferred the larger cost to 
the inferior and its economical tendencies. Various Christian activities 
indicated the accord of pastor and people in all movements for the ex- 
tension of the Kingdom of God. When the New Jersey association was 
formed in 1811, a Baptist mission society for State missions was estab- 
lished. In 1812, its income was $195.73, of this Cohansie gave $87.22. 

On the eve of the War of 1812, a Church edifice in Bridgeton was 
proposed, which was completed in 1817. This house in size and style 
was befitting a town developing into a city and a Church, whose age and 
social standing and pastoral strength gave it a fore-most place in that 
section. Pastor Smalley preached in this house on each Lord's day, 
laying the foundations of the First Church of Bridgeton. At the organ- 
ization of that Church this property was given to them. Pastor Smalley 
in 1838 was seventy-three years old and being consulted on the subject 
he consented to an assistant pastor. The pastor's choice for the man 
was approved. 

About this time, the Church built a meeting house at Greenwich, 
an out-station. This house was not completed until in a later pastorate. 
Mr. Smalley's work on earth was shortening and on February 11th, 1839, 
it pleased God to call him up higher, in the seventy-fourth year of his 
age. Having been pastor at Cohansie almost forty-nine years. The 
second longest Baptist pastorate in New Jersey. Two colonies to or- 


c;anizo Churches left Cohansie dnrinjr Mr. Smalley's pastorate, one at 
liridgeton, in 1828; another to unite with members of Salem Church, 
to form a Church at Canton. Under Mr. Smalley , five hundred were bap- 
tized. He also was the sixth and the last of the old pastors to close his 
pastorate at death. There were but three years in his long charge in 
which there were no baptisms. It is wonderful that six pastors succeed- 
ing each other had each long pastorates and enjoyed continuous 
growth and prosperity. 

A change began with the settlement of Rev. I. Moore, in July, 1840. 
Since then, the Church has had thirteen pastors, in sixty years: One 
remaining eleven years; one, ten years; one eight years; one, five years; 
the other eight averaging more than two years each. 

Mr. Moore differed widely in his doctrinal views from his prede- 
cessors and preached his convictions. Former pastors were decidedly 
Calvinistic in their ministry, developing motives for Christian activities 
from the Divine sovereignity building up a high-toned piety that busied 
heart, hand and foot for the Divine glory. Mr. Moore dwelt upon the 
virtues of well-doing and on the testimony not of the "witnessing spirit," 
but of conduct. This nutriment was not palatable and trouble ensued: 
Councils were called and the pillars of the Church, including much of 
its wealth, intelligence and spiritual activity were dismis.sed; the social 
and the benevolent interests were dried up; congregations maimed and 
wailing, supplanted rejoicing. Mr. Moore was a good man, but failed to 
understand the situation. His change from a diet of "faith and works" 
to one of works was a treatment whereby the "patient" grew worse in- 
stead of better. Had he waited and been less vigorous in discussion, 
he might have prevailed with the Church. In about three years, he 
resigned. The writer was familiar with the causes of the unpleasant- 
ness. Really, it was a happening in which both parties misunderstood 
each other and pushing with their horns, hurt each other. Mr. Moore 
was proven in that he had the good sense and piety to retire, rather 
than stay and blight the heritage of God. He settled at First Cape May 
and did good and when he resigned, after a pastorate of many years, 
that Church recalled him and his second pastorate was as long as his first. 

Rev. E. D. Fendal became Pastor of Cohansie Church in April, 
1843. His stay was about three years, to September, 1846. He had a 
useful pa.storate. Large accessions by baptism and the membership 
larger than it had ever been before. The house of worship at Greenwich, 
projected at the end of Pastor Smalley's term, was built and is occupied 
by the Greenwich Church organized in 1850. 

Rev. J. G. Culhmi followed Mr. Fendal and settled as pastor in 
November, 1846, remaining to the end of July, 1850. While pastor, a 


colony was dismissed to constitute tlio Greenwich Church. Also, steps 
were taken to huild a parsonage at Roadstown and funds were pledged 
to remodel the interior of the meeting house. A succes.sor to Mr. 
Cullum was secured in Rev. J. N. Folwell, who became pastor in 
October, 1850, and was ordained in the next month (November). Mr. 
Folwell's labors were shortened by illness and this "earnest effective" 
pastor was constrained to give up his charge in February, 1852. 

In April, 1852, Rev. J. M. Challis entered the pastorate. His pas- 
toral charges were always and everywhere a success. He was pastor 
eight years and supplied the Church until his successor arrived. Rev. T. 
G. Wright, on May 1st, 18G0. Mr. Wright was pastor longer than any 
other since the death of Mr. Smalley — eleven years. A lot for parsonage 
was given by Benjamin Mulford in August, 1861, and in the next March 
the pastor occupied it. The house of worship was enlarged and re- 
novated in 18G4. Large contributions were made to several Baptist ed- 
ucational institutions from 1865-1868. Pastor Wright was followed in 
August, 1871, by Rev. T. O. Lincoln, who closed his ministry at Cohansie 
in April, 1874. In that year Rev. W. F. Basten settled as pastor and 
after ten years resigned in 1884. A call was given to Rev. W. W. Pratt, 
which accepting began his oversight January 1st, 1885, and ended his 
pastoral care in March, 1888. Benevolences and Christian activities 
developed in the years of this pastorate. On the next June, Rev. H. 
Tratt accepted the call to be pastor and, after about three years, resigned 
in 1890. 

A few months elapsed when Rev. E. S. Fitz became pastor, in May 
1891. After two or three years of prosperity, evil reports effected his 
morality. A Council was called, the findings of which although "ex- 
parte" and repudiated by the Church, condemned Mr. Fitz. At the 
session of the Association in 1894, "the hand of fellowship was with- 
drawn from the Church so long as they retained their present pastor; 
regarding him unworthy of Christian fellowship." This was a sorrowful 
act; circumstances justified the action. A creditable feature of the sad 
affair was the devotion of the venerable Church, sustaining the honor 
of their pastor, fully convinced that he had been wronged and accepting 
with him the condemnation he had incurred. This ostracism lasted two 
years. Mr. Fitz was excluded when the Church was satisfied of the 
truth of the evil reports about him and in 1897, the Church reported its 
self and its action to the association and had a warm welcome back. 

Rev. T. C. Russell entered the pastorate three months after Mr. 
Fitz left, in May, 1896. The new pastor had an unenviable place and 
the supposable reason for his course was a hope of recovering the Church 
to itself and of averting the wreck that threatened. A noble motive, 


with which he allied himself to the great army of martyrs. The sympa- 
thy of the neighboring pastors and Churches was with him in his great 
work. His memory will always be precious to the living and eternity 
only can show the results of his work and worth. The wisdom of Mr. 
Russell, was shown by his resignation. Alienation and opprobrium 
attached to him among the members of the Church by the course 
he had taken, but he wisely resigned and left the door open for another 
in whom there could be unity. 

Thus in April, 1898, Rev. J. S. Teasdale accepted the pastorate and 
is now (1900) serving the Church. The old time unity and activity is 
renewed. The Church from the beginning has been characterized by 
a comprehension of its mission to bless the world. The early pastors 
were missionary pastors, having stations far off, involving long journeys 
and perils and laying foundations for Churches. There is some uncer- 
tainty as to the number of meeting houses, which the Church has built 
in part or in whole, probably ten. The first four long before 1742. In 
1799, the site of the house now in use at Roadstown was bought and the 
house built there. Two parsonages were lived in by pastors: One before 
1862, the other in 1876. It is not certainly known how many have been 
licensed to preach. But of those known, two pastors have each been 
represented in the ministry by a son, and one, Mr. Kelsay, by a son and 
grandson. Cohansie has a large lineage of Churches. They may be 
counted by scores. These old Churches had the continent before them 
and they appreciated their opportunity and entered in to possess it. To 
us of the twentieth century is offered not a continent, but the world 
through the agency of the American Baptist Missionary Union and the 
American Baptist Home Missionary Society. 

Salem, the county seat of Salem county is among the oldest set- 
tlements in New Jersey. In 1641, English colonists from Connecticut 
settled at Salemtown . About this time, the Swedes bought of the In- 
dians, the district from Cape May to Racon Creek. The Swedes yielded 
to the Dutch and the Dutch yielded to the English. The "Friends" 
(Quaker.s) flocked to New Jersey and were a controlling element in West 
Jer-sey, assuring to the people free speech, free conscience and equality 
in the Courts. 

In 1683, Obadiah Holmes, Jr., youngest son of Obadiah Holmes, 
the Massachustets martyr, came to Salem. He was a licensed Baptist 
preacher, and being appointed a Judge in the county Courts, he may 
have lived at Salem. Soon after coming he gathered together Baptists, 
set up Baptist meetings and did the work of an evangelist. Cohansie 
Baptist Church owes its origin to him, being the first Baptist minister 
in these parts. 


The Cohansie Church was located on the Cohansie river. Very 
soon after its organization its pastors began missionary work and Salem 
was one of the first localities of its missions. If Mr. Holmes lived in 
Salem, the beginning of Salem Church must have been contemporary 
with Cohansie Church. Rev. Killingsworth removed to Cohansie and 
became its pastor in 1690. Later, Judge John Holmes, second son of 
Obadiah Holmes. Sr., and brother to Obadiah Holmes, Jr., removed to 
Salem county, settling near Alloway. Pastor Killingsworth and Oba- 
diah, Jr., were Judges in the Court and Baptists had two of their number 
Judges in Salem county. Baptists were in Salem and in Alloway, 
which led in 1741-3 to the building of a Baptist house of worship at Mill 
Hollow, two miles from Salem toward Alloway, and the two congrega- 
tions worshiped in it. A few years after, Mr. Sheppard, a licentiate 
of Cohansie, moved to Alloway and supplied that branch. A Church 
had been constituted at Alloway, in 1741. The pastors of Cohansie 
kept on in the missionary work of Mr. Killingsworth. As Pastor Jen- 
kins declined in health the two years before he died in 1754, Messrs. 
Sheppard and Kelsay maintained the out-stations, each in their respect- 
ive localities — Alloway and Pittsgrove. Nineteen Bapti.sts were on 
May 17th, 1755, recognized as the "Anti-Poedo Baptist Church of Salem 
and Alloway Creek." Another name: "The Anti-Poedo Baptist 
Society meeting in the Town of Salem," was adopted in June, 1786, 
the Church having decided to build a meeting house in Salem. Services 
continued, however, in the Mill Hollow house until 1790. By special 
legislative act the name was again changed in 1860 to the "First Baptist 
Church of Salem." 

Job Sheppard descended from David Sheppard, who came from 
Ireland in 1683, was a constituent of Cohansie in 1690. Job Sheppard 
was ordained pastor of the Salem and Alloway Church, 1755-56. He 
died March 2nd, 1757, only fifty years old. His chief work was done be- 
fore his ordination, preaching in Salem, Alloway and other stations. 
He was a man of rare worth, unenvious and without a taint of jealousy 
of another's influence or position. Messrs. Kelsay and Sheppard had 
been licensed at the same time, when Mr. Jenkins died, each was anxious 
that the other should succeed to the eminence of pastor at Cohansie. 
But Mr. Sheppard preferred the lowlier position of pastor at a mission 
station. There was a sorrowful lack of appreciation in the Churches 
which he served, that his dust lies in an unmarked grave in a country 
graveyard, it may be, overgrown with briers and weeds. Job Sheppard 
the first pastor of Salem and Joseph Sheppard, pastor there 1809-29, 
were descendants of David Sheppard, who had come from Ireland in 
1683 and was a constituent of Cohansie Church. 


A vacancy in the pastoral office lasted four years. When, in 1761, 
Rev. John Sutton became pastor, but illness compelled him to retire 
within a few months. Mr. Sutton was one of five brothers — all Bap- 
tist ministers — sent out by Scotch Plains Church. Rev. John Stutton 
was a graduate of Hopewell, an associate with Rev. James Manning, of 
Scotch Plains Church, founder of Brown University. Mr. Sutton was 
an eminent man in his times. An interval of eighteen months occurred 
before Rev. John Blackwell, of Hopewell, entered the pastorate, which 
again soon closed. 

About four years passed, when, in February, 1768, Rev. Abel Grif- 
fiths settled as pastor, ministering seven years to the Church and sup- 
plied the Brandywine Church in Delaware. Material interests prosper- 
ed under Mr. Griffiths. A parsonage and farm of one hundred acres 
about a mile from towTi was bought. 

A long vacancj' of nine years followed the resignation of Mr. Grif- 
fiths, including the dark days of the American Revolution. This in- 
terval, however, showed traces of the Divine presence. In one year 
eighteen were baptized, in two other years, eight in each. Despite of 
death and other losses, the membership had doubled. It is quite likely 
that Pastor Kelsay of Cohansie had a care for Salem Church, the eldest 
child of his Church. 

Rev. P. Van Horn became pastor in March, 1784. He died while 
pastor, September 10th, 1789. During the pastorate of Mr. Van Horn, 
1786, the meeting house in Salem was begun and was nearly four years 
before completed. The building was of brick, large and substantial and 
creditable in architecture and taste to those who built it. The house 
cost seven thousand five hundred dollars. It was built on a lot of the 
widow Dunlap, formerly Mary Wiggins, who died in 1797, leaving, by 
her will, all her property, personal and real, to the Church. Eleanor 
Waters, who died in 1795, also left the Church 100 pounds or about $500. 
What remained of these legacies in 1844 was used in securing the present 
house of worship. 

About a year after Mr. Van Horn died. Rev. Isaac Skillman entered 
the pastor's office, in September, 1790. The following curious docu- 
ment signifies the business arrangement of this settlement. It is a 
sample of a number that follow, when new pastors were engaged. It 
reads as follows: "Be it remembered, That on the sixteenth day of 
November, 1791, the following argeement was entered into between the 
Rev. Mr. Isaac Skillman and the Baptist Church and congregation and 
their trustees in Salem, that is to say, the said Mr. Skillman covenants and 
agrees to be the pastor or minister of said Church and congregation, to 
execute all the duties that a minister ought to perform in a Church 


agreeable to the Baptist Confession of Faith; preach all funerals that he 
may be called upon to preach for said congregation; preach two sermons 
a day in the summer season, visit the said congregation twice a year, 
formally, and not leave nor absent himself from the necessary services 
of said congregation, without consent of said congregation. And the 
said Church and congregation and their trustees doth covenant and 
agree to and with the said Mr. Skillman to pay him for his labors and 
services in the said Church and congregation, as above said, the sum of 
one hundred and twenty-five pounds a year, to commence on the four- 
teenth day of August last. And further the said parties agree and 
promise each to the other that if any discontent on the part of the said 
Mr. Skillman, whereby he should wish to be dismissed from serving said 
Church and congregation, or if any discontent should arise in the Church 
and congregation that they should wish to have the said Mr. Skillman 
dismissed from being their minister, in either case, they may, if either of 
them see 'mete' call the minister and two of the members from Cumber- 
land and Wilmington Baptist Churches to judge between them, and their 
determination shall be binding to each party. In witness whereof the 
parties hereunto set their hands in presents of the minister and two 
members of the Cumberland Baptist Church and the minister and two 
members of the Wilmington Baptist Church. 

Signed: ISAAC SKILLMAN, Pastor. 

Henry Smalley, f^ , . Job Robinson, f „.., . , 

T /u r) Cohansie o i u ajt- ! Wilmmgton 

Jonathan Bowen i „, , Caleb Way, -I ^. , 

,Tr, . • Church. „, c; ^ I Church 

Isaac Wheaton [ Thomas Sasnot, ( 

Thomas Sayre, John Holme, Benjamin Holme, 

Anthony Keasby, John Briggs, John Walker, 

Howell Smith, — Trustees. 

This is followed by the signatures of seventeen male members of 
the Church in addition. 

Mr. SkiUman was a native of New Jersey. Had prepared for 
college at Hopewell and graduated from Princeton. In the minutes of 
the Philadelphia association, October, 1772, is this record: "Thursday 
morning being appointed by the First Baptist Church of this city (Phil- 
adelphia) for the ordination of Brother Isaac Skillman to the work of the 
ministry, it was attended with fasting and prayer and a sermon by 
Brother James Manning, President of Brown University. Then the 
person was ordained by Messrs. John Gano, Abel Morgan and Isaac 
Stelle; the charge was given by Benjamin Miller." Call up this galaxy 
of names — Manning, Gano, Morgan, Stelle, Miller!! Manning, Gano 
and Miller and the candidate, Skillman, natives of New Jersey; Morgan 
and Stelle, pastors of the two oldest Churches south of Rhode Island 


and Morgan Edwards was then pastor of the First Baptist Church in 
Philadelphia. If great names and godly men ministering in Divine 
things, could call down the sanctity of the Holy One upon the person in 
waiting, he might be assured of the Divine anointing at the hands of 

The next year, Mr. Skillman settled in Boston, Mass., (1773), pastor 
of the Second Baptist Church for fourteen years. Resigning his charge 
there he accepted the call to Salem in 1790. "The Church grew in 
numbers, in resources and in effective strength." Mr. Skillman died 
suddenly in 1799 and was greatly lamented. Leaving the memorial 
of one whom "the king delighted to honor." Mr. H. G. Jones supplied 
the pulpit for six months, from June, 1791, when he was called to be 
pastor, in January, 1792. He served the Church nearh^ four years, 
resigning on account of failing health. 

After several months had gone, Mr. Thomas Brown was called and 
ordained in 1796. He remained two years and moved to East Jersey. 
His short pastorate was successful and he left behind him a cherished 
memory. Joseph Sheppard was called to be pastor and was ordained 
in April, 1809, resigning in 1829. His pastorate of twenty years was 
the longest the Church had known. Mr. Sheppard was the fifth genera- 
tion from the original David Sheppard. The other pastorates approxi- 
mating Mr. Sheppards in length were Rev. J. R. Murphey and Rev. A. 
H. Sembower, each lasting twelve and more years. The oversight of 
Pastor Sheppard was a continuous good to the Church. Two colonies 
were dismissed in it, to constitute Churches — Canton and Woodstown. 
Six young men were influenced to prepare for the ministry. A 
higher academic school was begun and a building erected for its use. 
Under his able, earnest and intelligent oversight, the welfare of the 
Church was promoted. He took an active part in originating the New 
Jersey Baptist Association in 1811, the first association and general 
body of Baptists in the State, and was its first clerk; also, clerk of the 
"New Jersey Baptist Mission Society," constituted at the organiza- 
tion of the Association. In effect, the beginning of the New Jersey 
State Convention. Mr. Sheppard survived his removal from Salem 
about nine years and died at Camden fifty-two years old. 

Rev. C. J. Hopkins followed at Salem, in May, 1829, and continued 
in charge of the Church sLx years. Mr. Hopkins always had a crowded 
audience and was a "taking" preacher. A most genial and humorous 
man. Many incidents are told of his funny side both on the road, in 
the parlor and in the pulpit. Serious matters had their "sunny side" 
to him. A colony for the organization of a Church at Alloway was sent 
out in 1830. Later, in 1859, Mr. Hopkins returned to Salem and was 


pastor of the Second Church, remaining until 1861 , when they disbanded. 
While visiting Salem in July, 1862, he died very suddenly. 

Rev. Thomas Wilkes followed Mr. Hopkins, in July, 1835. His 
stay was only eight months. Mr. Nightinggale succeeded in March, 
1863. He was a vigorous man and of his piety and worth none who 
knew him had any doubt. Had he been born a hundred years earlier, 
he would have fitted the times admirably. As the writer remembers 
him, his solemnity was at times embarassing. For three years, after 
Mr. Nightinggale, Rev. Samuel Smith was pastor; much the same kind 
of a man as Mr. Nightinggale Worthily known for the three "S's" — 
Sober, Sound and Safe. 

The pastor succeeding Mr. Smith, Rev. S. C. James, was wholly 
unlike the two last. Ministering from January, 1842, to March, 1844. 
A lovable man and eminently useful. A smile always wreathed his 
countenance and his words cheery and youthful; his grey hairs seemed 
out of place. In April, 1844, Rev. J. W. Gibbs entered the pastorate. 
He had the gift of words. One of the good women of his Church said 
to him, "Mr. Gibbs we cannot understand the words you use," To her 
he replied: "My sister, you must buy a dictionary." A member of 
his congregation caught this from his sermon: — "Anticipating the 
circumstances of the results of the consequences on the part of the 
Apostles, aside and separate from the Scriptures." 

A new house of worship down town where people lived had long 
been needed. The sanctity of the old house of worship suddenly en- 
hanced. A second Church was formed of the disaffected to the 
movement. The gates of the cemetery in which it stood were locked 
and funerals with the dead shut out. The new structure, however, 
was finished and dedicated in December, 1846. Pastor Gibbs re- 
mained about three years. Closing his labors in April, 1847. Mr. 
Gibbs did a great work for the Church by his tact and wisdom in 
building the new sanctuary. 

James Smithers became pastor on the same day on which Pastor 
Gibbs retired. He was discovered in various immoralities and ex- 
pelled from the Church on account of them. 

Special Providence sent them for pastor Rev. R. F. Young. The 
troubles growing out of building the new Church edifice and the odium 
which attacked to the Church on account of the Smithers reprobacy, 
called for such a pastor as Mr. Yovmg proved to be. One who could 
instantly command universal confidence for his known purity in the 
many years of his devoted Christian ministry. He became pastor, 
October 1st, 1849. While pastor for five years, his labors were incessant 
and reached in every direction. He made no pretentions and was emi- 


nent for humility, tenderness and efficiency. Many converts were add- 
ed to the Cliurch under his hibors, the debt on the new Church edifice 
was paid and concord in the Church restored. A second effort was made 
to found an academic school. The failure of the movement and the 
loss of funds to provide a temporary home for the school was wholly 
beyond the control of Mr. Young. Mr. Young resigned October, 
1854, to return to an old charge in Pennsylvania. The beloved and 
able Aaron Perkins followed in February, 1855, and soon remedied so 
great a loss. Mr. Perkins was in his sixty-third year and had been 
preaching for forty-three years, but retained the ardor and vigor of his 
youth. At the close of his pastorate, in July, 1859, he left large re- 
turns as the harvest of his sowing and of the wonderful rewards which 
his successor was privileged to reap. A few months later, in October, 
1859, Rev. J. R. Murphey became pastor and for twelve years served 
the Church. In 1868 and 18G9 a revival broke out and two hundred and 
forty-seven were baptized, the largest number baptized in one associa- 
tional year in any Baptist Church in the State. Seventy-two members 
were dismissed in July, 1869, to organize the memorial Church in Salem. 
A week elapsed at the close of the service of Pastor Murphey in March, 
1872, when Mr. Miles Sanford settled as Pastor. Mr. Sanford died 
October 31st, 1874, only two years and seven months after the be- 
ginning of his work. 

After an interval of months, Rev. C. E. Cords entered the pastorate 
in June, 1875, and resigned in November, 1877. His pastoral relation 
identified him with Baptist interests in Salem and in 1881 "the memorial 
Church" called him to be their pastor. Rev. J. B. English became pas- 
tor, serving as such about two years. 

"Supplies" ministered to the Church for many months when a call 
was given to Mr. H. A. Griesemer, who was ordained pastor in February, 
1881. Improvements on the meeting house at a larger expenditure than 
the original cost of the projaerty, added every needed convenience for 
Christian work. Mr. Griesemer resigned in April, 1884. 

Pastor A. H. Sembower began his ministry at Salem on September 
1st, 1884 and continued twelve and more years. Being the second 
pastor after Joseph Sheppard who showed the gains made by long pas- 
torates, to both pastor and Church. Mr. Sembower resigned in 1896. 
The debts incurred by improvements in the previous pastoral care, were 
all paid in this pastorate. A colored sister, Sidney Miller, a member of 
the Church, left a legacy of eighteen hundred dollars to the Church, 
which was used to pay the last debts. Pastor Sembower followed some 
of his predecessors in being a missionary pastor. In Salem, a colony 
founded the Mt. Zion Church, and in 1890, forty-eight members 


founded the Quinton Church. In February, 1897, Kcv. E. McMinn 
became pastor and continued until 1000, when he resigned. 

Salem has had twenty-five pastors. One served twenty years; 
two, more than twelve j^ears; four closed their work on earth by death: 
— Job Sheppard, P. Van Horn, I. Skillman and Miles Sanford. Five 
pastors were ordained for the pastoral office. 

As many as eleven members have been licensed to preach; some 
of tliem foremost men in the Baptist ministry. One, C. W. Mulford, 
was a champion of temperance in a day when it was an unpopular theme 
and was secretary and president of the New Jersey State Convention. 
Another was D. J. Freas, he had financial "means." Entering a field, 
found nine Baptists beside himself ; prevailed to have a Church formed; 
and wasoneof its constituents; was pastor and used his funds to build a 
house of worship, sheds and what else was needful. The writer recalls, 
that having spent "all," he asked the endorsement of the Board of the 
Convention to visit Churches and ask their help to repay him. Alas, 
that it was a vain venture! Mr. Freas spent the last years of his life as 
a city missionary in Trenton, N. J. He chose this work of his own 
accord and without salary. But he lacked nothing for his work or for 
himself. It was said: "There had never been such a funeral in Tren- 
ton," cither for the number of clergymen present, nor for the 
persons there, rich and poor, nor for the profound and universal grief 
expressed; nor for the multitude present to do honor to the man whose 
unselfishness and piety was known throughout the city. 

Seven colonies went out from Salem Church. These included two 
hundred and thirty-six members. The membership included the 
Holmes, Smiths, Keasbe)'s, Sheppards and Quintons, a large and in- 
fluential part of the wealth and culture of the comnmnity. 


CANTON, 1818, WOODSTOWN, 1822, ALLOW AY, 1830, 

Canton is about midway between Cohansie and Salem. Nathaniel 
Jenkins, first made Canton an out-station of Cohansie Church, long be- 
fore Salem Church was formed. Pastors Kelsay, of Cohansie, and Job 
Sheppard, of Salem, and their successors kept up the appointment. 
Steps were taken in 1809 to build a meeting house in Canton. Messrs. 
Small ey, of Cohansie, and Joseph Sheppard, of Salem, also, took meas- 
ures for the organization of a Church. Since mention is made "of 
constituent members and of a councO in November, 1812," having 
frequent consultations and it "was resolved to constitute a gospel 
Church." For some reason this decision was not carried out. 

SLx years later, on November 12, 1818, Pastors Smalley and Shep- 
pard met with twenty-six members dismissed from Salem and five from 
Cohansie, in all thirty-one, and endorsed them as a regular Baptist 
Church. Previously an arrangement had been made with Mr. Thomas 
J. Kitts to become pastor and in the next December he was ordained. 
Pastor Kitts was very useful, but he resigned at the end of sixteen 
months. The pastors were Rev. J. P. Cooper, 1821-23; Rev. E. Jayne, 
1824, seventy years old and died in April, 1826; Rev. J. P. Thompson, 
1827-30; E. M. Barker, 1830-33; ordained 1831, Rev. J. P. Cooper, 
second charge; Rev. J. Miller, five years, an antinomian. tender him 
the Church withdrew from the New Jersey Association and sent a dele- 
gate to an anti-nomian association. 

In December, 1834, they resolved: "That, we as a particular 
Baptist Church hold no further correspondence with the New Jersey 
Baptist Association, believing that they have acted contrary to their 
constitution in the following particulars: First. To allow Churches 
to make alterations in their 'articles of faith.' Second. In the 
admission of the Church at Vincentown on a new 'confession of faith.' 
We have, therefore, come to the conclusion: "That the aforesaid 
Association has no standing article of faith by which it may be discrim- 
inated as a particular body and under such considerations, we have 
deemed it expedient to withdraw from the same." The resolution to 
which reference is made is: Resolved, that we recognize no right in 
our association to dictate confessions of faith to the Churches, and 


therefore, deem it expedient to act upon the confession of faith, 
which we have generally received, but refer it to the Churches to 
make such alterations as they may deem necessary in that instrument." 

This resolution is wholly Baptistic, denying to associations or to 
any other person or body the right to dictate to a Church what it shall 
believe. The Canton Church had no right to dictate to the Asso- 
ciation, that it ought to dictate to the Churches. A Church 
must choose for itself. If Baptist, Presbyterian or another it is 
free to choose its own relationship. The only right of an associated 
Church is to inquire if it agrees to the accepted faith. Asking to join 
a Baptist or any other such body one ought to be a Baptist, or be in 
accord with those with whom he unites. 

In the digest of 1833, page 7, a quotation from the Canton letter 
says: "Have preaching from a sound evangelical man." Sound and 
evangelical had a significant meaning in that day. To one familiar 
with Hyper and moderate Calvinism, two generations since, the memory 
is horrible. An "unsound" preacher was ostracised. We can have 
no conception of the bitterness and enmity cherished against Rev. H. 
Holcombe, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Philadelphia, excited 
by that memorable sermon, "On the attainableness of faith" inti- 
mating that a soul had some part in its own salvation, at least, by ac- 
ceptance of Christ and by overcoming and growth. 

Subsequently this action of the Canton Church was shown to be the 
work of the Pastor and he became a "bone of contention." A council 
was called, both parties agreeing to abide by their decision. But the 
Miller faction repudiated it, and Mr. Miller and the minority left 
the Church. Another council's advise was accepted and Miller with 
thirty adherents were excluded. These built a place of worship, near 
the old Church edifice, adopted anti-nomianism, having Mr. Miller for 
pastor. But when he removed, the light went out and the property 
was put to secular uses. This was the only attempt of anti-nomianism 
made in South Jersey. Pastor Moore, at Cohansie, tasted, 1843, its 
bitterness. With his removal and the coming of another, using 
careful formula of speech, dissent and difference disappeared. An 
old pastor at Canton, Rev. J. P. Cooper, whose goodness and 
ministering piety were known to all and doubted by none, em- 
ployed himself to heal the wounds of old hurts and to restore the 
spirituality of the Church. 

Rev. William Ruddy became pastor in 1838. The Church re- 
united with the New Jersey Association. A large and very creditable 
brick house of worship was built and paid for in 1840-1. Pastor Ruddy 
resigned in 1841. His pastoral care was unmi.xed good to the Church 


and to the community. Rev. William J. Nice followed. Prudent, 
extremely modest, eminently pious, his work and influence promoted 
the best spiritual welfare of the Church. Concord prevailed, many 
converts were gathered, restoration characterized the labors of one of 
the best of men. After this the pastors were: Rev. William Bowen, 
1842-45; George Sleeper, 1849-55; William Pike, 1856-58; S. C. Dare, 
1859-63; W. E. Cornwell, Jr., 1864-5; J. W. Marsh, 1866-69; E. M. Buyrn, 
1870; S. Hughes, 1871; E. M. Barker, Second pastorate, 1872-73; F. 
Spencer, 1874-76; M. M. Fogg, 1877-80; C. DeCamp, 1881-83; J. Ferris, 
1883-87; J. J. Davies, 1887-91; William G. Robinson, 1891-93; J. D. 
Williams, 1894-96; L. Myers, 1896-1900. 

The Church has had twenty-seven pastors in its eighty-two years 
of life, an average of three years each. One died while pastor. Two 
were pastors twice, and it may be one of them, three times. Mr. Marsh 
baptized ninety-five in 1867-68. Mr. Dare baptized in 1861-62 
seventy-one. Mr. Fogg, in 1880-81 baptized sixty-five. Other 
pastors while no less useful did not gather in so many converts in 
any one revival work. Two houses of worship have been in use by Can- 
ton Church, one built in 1809, while Canton was yet a mission station of 
Cohansie Church, the other in 1840-1, Mr. Ruddy being pastor. 

There is no reliable information of Baptist intere.sts in Wood.stowTi 
earlier tlian 1 822. Pastor Kelsay and Pastor Sheppard may have had 
meetings there before the organization of the Church. VVoodstowai 
Baptists were commonly associated with the Salem Church as the con- 
stituency of Woodstown shows. The Church was formed of fifteen 
members, fourteen of them from Salem and one from Cohansie and was 
organized as an independent body on July 24th, 1822. In the next 
August, Mr. William B. Marshall was ordained. His stay was short, 
only about six months. Rev. P. Cooper followed for a year. On 
October 23rd, Rev. WiUiam Bacon, M. D., became pastor. Both as 
physician and pastor. Dr. Bacon sustained a noble record as a 
good and true man having the entire confidence of all, even though 
his home was a burden and an affliction and only the good 
of Christ's cause prevented him from making his troubles pub- 
lic and getting a divorce. While pastor, the temperance pledge 
was added to the covenant, in 1832. A society was also formed 
to aid young men to get an education for the ministry, six years before 
the New Jersey Education Society was organized. After eight years 
of untiring service, Dr. Bacon resigned, in February, 1838. But for 
his income from his medical practice he could not have been supported 
on the field and this the more indicates his worth. 


The succession of pastors has been : Rev. H. Samuel Wilson, 1839; 
Rev. C. C. W. Park, 1840-42; Mr. D. Mead, ordained in July 1842-44; Mr. 
F. P. Baldin, ordained December, 1844, suddenly died within a year; 
A. J. Hires, "supply," ordained July, 1846-47; Rev. J. P. Hall, 1847-50; 
Rev. C. Brinkerhoff, 1850-54; Rev. A. Harvey, 1S54-5G; E. C. Ambler, 
1856-59 (Lecture and Sunday-school room built in 1858.); W. E. Corn- 
well, 1860, ordained 1861 and remained as "supply;" H. B. Shermer, 
1861-63; Rev. F. D. Meeson, 1864-65. 

For nearly three years destitute of a pastor, in which time A. J. 
Hires and E. M. Barker were supplies; Rev. S. C. Dare, 1868-69; (Bap- 
tistry put into the house of worship in this pastorate.) Rev. J. Thorn, 
1870-71; Rev. F. B. Greul, 1872-74; ordained; Rev. P. S. Vreeland, 
1874-76; Rev. F. W. Sullivan, 1877-78; (In 1878, Sister S. B. Ale in her 
will left her house to the Church for a parsonage.) Mr. E. I. McKeever, 
1878-81; (ordained 1879.) Rev. E. D. Stager, 1881. 

The Church has had twenty-eight pastors. Dr. Bacon had the long- 
est charge, eight years. Seven of the pastors were ordained. Five mem- 
bers have been licen.sed to preach. The loss of the early records ac- 
counts for our ignorance of how and when the Church edifice was built, 
a substantial brick building of large size for the times in which it was 
erected. It was believed that each of the two deacons gave one 
thousand dollars for it. One of them, Matthew Morri.son, is knowoi 
to have given one third of his property toward the building. It was 
said that in the night he dreamed that he and Deacon Waters had given 
that sum, whereupon he asked the Brother Deacon to give that amount. 
He, willing to give liberally, did not think that he could give so much. 
But constant importunity prevailed, and such an example secured the 
additional needed sum and the work was done. From his knowledge 
of Deacon Morrison, the writer is fully persuaded that he was the kind 
of man whose whole soul was wrapped up in the welfare of the kingdom 
of God. 

Baptists and Alloway are associated from an early date. John 
Holmes, second son of Obadiah Holmes, Sr., the Massachusett.9- martyr, 
moved from Philadelphia to Alloway earlier than 1700. His youngest 
brother, Obadiah, Jr., having come to Salem county about 1683-5. 
John Holmes was a man of wealth, of culture and of position in .social 
life. Under the Colonial government, he was a Judge in Philadelphia 
and was in disfavor with the "Friends" (Quakers) for a decision in which 
he maintained the Baptist doctrine of the right of private opinion. 
Other Baptists lived at Alloway. In reprint of Philadelphia A.ssociation 
(A. B. P. Soc, 1851) 1755, page 72, is this minute: "Concluded to receive 
the Church lately constituted at AUoway's Creek in Salem county." 


This body and First Salem were really one Church. The first meeting 
house of this body was built at Mill Hollow, on land given by Daniel 
Smith, two miles from Salem, toward Alloway. Mr. Job Sheppard was 
the first pastor of this Church and preached twelve years in the Mill 
Hollow house. 

There was in early times a very real Baptist element in Alloway. 
A concentration of Baptists in Salem at the building of the Second 
Church edifice in Upper Salem, accounts for the loss of Baptist influence 
in Alloway. A Baptist house of worship was built in Alloway, in 1S21, 
and Pastors Cooper, Sheppard (Joseph) and Hopkins preached in it. 
The present Church was not organized until 1830, when twenty-five 
members were dismissed from Salem to constitute the Church. In 
1832, Rev. E. M. Barker became pastor. Rev. John Miller was pastor 
in 1833, lieing an anti-nomian he led about one third into schism, but he 
and his party were failures. Rev. Mr. Ferguson was pastor in 1835. 
Dr. Bacon, of Woodstown, divided his labors at home and in Alloway, in 
1836. The succession of pastors was: N. Stetson, one year; Ezekiel 
Sexton, three years; then, "supplies," William Maul, three years; F. T. 
Cailhopper, seven years, and ordained; William Roney, one year; James 
Tricket, four years; A. H. Bliss, seven years, while pastor the meeting 
house was enlarged and remodeled; J. E. Bradley, three years; M. M. 
Finch, one year; J. Walden, three years; J. Tricket, three years (second 
charge); L. Wardell, one year; E. V. Glover, three years; C. R. Webb, 
one year; W. L. Mayo, two years, in whose oversight a parsonage was 
built; G. S. Wendell, seven years. 

Since 1832, twenty-three pastors have served the Church. Being a 
rural Church, a struggle was essential to maintain it. Had such 
Churches an endowment to pay the current costs, the Church need only 
care for the pastor and the foreign element now being substituted for 
the American in rural sections. It would have the means and influence 
to Christianize and Americanize them. 

As one result of the great revival in the First Bapitst Church of 
Salem, in 1868-69, the Memorial Baptist Church of Salem was con- 
stituted on July 4th, 1869, with seventy-two constituents dismissed 
from the First Church, for the organization of the Memorial Church. It 
was supposed that this new Church was intended to be a memorial of 
the work of grace out of which it grew. It met in a hall until their 
house of worship was ready for use. The basement of their Church 
edifice was occupied in 1870, and upon entrance into the upper room all 
expenditures were paid. 

On September 1st, 1869, Rev. H. H. Rhees became pastor. His 
stay was short and, in 1870, Rev. H. G. Mason accepted the pastoral 


charge, closins; his oversight in 1875. Rev. A. C. WilHams entered the 
pa.storate in May, 187fi, and conckided his pastoral care in 1879, being 
followed by Rev. C. M. Ray, in March, 1879, continuing until 1881. 
Pastor C. E. Cordo settled on February 1, 1881. Important and 
needed repairs on the meeting house were made and at the end of 
four years, he resigned in April, 188G. Rev. D. DeWolf entered 
the pastorate, in November, 1890. Mr. DeWolf was called into 
the service of the Now Jersey Baptist State Convention and B. P. Hope 
became pastor in March, 1891, and is now (1900) pastor. A parsonage 
was bought in 1893. Mr. Hope exceeded in tlie length of his oversight 
any preceeding pastor. 

The Memorial Church has had seven pastors. Mr. Hope has in- 
cluded more than one-third of the time the Church has lived. One 
member has been licensed to preach. The financial management of the 
Church has accorded with business affairs, a most creditable arrange- 

A mission was begun by First Salem Church at Quinton, 
in 1876, in the school house. Two constituents of the First Baptist 
Church at Salem, in 1755, were Quintons and probably a Baptist ele- 
ment was in the place. In 1888, a chapel society was formed and they 
erected a building which was dedicated in March, 1890, and at that time 
a Baptist Church with forty-nine members was formed. Of these, forty- 
eight were dismissed from First Salem Church. Within a year it had 
largely increased. 

After the organization, a student preached until July, 1891, when 
Rev. H. S. Kidd became pastor, remaining about a year. The members 
increased in 1892 to nearly one hundred . In November, 1892, Rev. 
W. H. Burlew entered the pastorate. A parsonage had been built. 
Mr. Burlew resigned in 1894. Rev. William B. Crowell settled as pastor 
in 1895. A mission at Harmony was begun about this time. Revival 
seasons appeared and the general interests of the Church improved. 
Mr. Crowell having been pastor nearly three years, resigned in February, 
1899. The next April Rev. E. Fullaway became pastor. Quinton 
Church has prospered. 

Located in a rural district, tlie outlook for its increase is limited. 
But alone in its field, it will be responsible for making known the way of 
life to the people thereabouts. With little prospects of a large member- 
ship, it will have the larger opportunity to train its membership for a 
larger part in the Kingdom of God. 



Bridgeton is distant three or four miles from Roadstown. Robert 
Kelsay, pastor of ('ohansie was the first Baptist to preach in the place, 
then consisting of a few cabins and a transient population. The first 
house of worship was built there in 1792, when Bridgeton gave sign of 
its coming position as a county seat. Baptists from Bridgeton could 
easier get to Cohansie and the need of a Baptist Church in Bridgeton 
was not as necessary then, as later. An early planting of a Baptist 
Church was therefore delayed. Pastor Kelsay had also nearly reached 
his eightieth year and his home field needed all of his strength. 

On July 3rd, 1790, Mr. H. Smalley became pa.stor and in 1797, made 
a regular appointment to preach in the Court House at Bridgeton. 
Pastor Smalley continued this service until 1816, when it was removed 
to the new meeting house on Pearl street, a substantial brick building 
begun in 1812. The preaching was in the afternoon of the Lord's day. 
At a meeting in this in February, 1827, resident Baptists agreed 
to ask letters to organize the First Baptist Church of Bridgeton having 
gotten a minister as conditioned by the Cohansie Church. On January 
Sth, 1828, Cohansie Church gave letters to thirty-eight members, who 
with pa.stor elect. Rev. George Spratt, M. D., and his wife, made forty, 
were constituted the First Baptist Church of Bridgeton. financial 
troubles came early and discord, and Dr. Spratt resigned in October, 

Rev. J. C. Harrison settled in February, 1831. Tokens of Divine 
ble.ssing and monthly additions by baptism for two years caused the 
indifference and discord to disappear. One memljer was licensed to 
preach. At the end of three years, in March, 1834, Mr. Harrison re- 
signed. In December, 1834, Rev. M. Frederick became pastor. Mr. 
Frederick was an exceptional man for the graces of the Holy Spirit. 
He died November 13th, 1837, universally beloved both in the Church 
and in the community. While pastor he organized a Church in Cedar- 
ville. In his pastorate he baptized one hundred and fifteen converts. 
The Church numbering eighty-seven at his coming, had one hunderd 
and sixtv-six when he died. 


In November, 1838, llev. C. J. Hopkins settled as pastor. Upon 
his labors the Divine blessing rested. Mission work at home and abroad 
had a large place in the Church under his influence. Mr. Hopkins had 
eminent social gifts and was as much beloved as was Pastor Frederick, 
and yet there was a vast difference in the men. His predecessor was 
not a "solemn man" in the common sense, but a religious man impressing 
others that while there were other things in the world beside religion, 
they were insignificant, lacking the savor of piety. But Mr. Hopkins 
met people with a smile and rarely failed to have them smile, too. He 
did not always come out foremost in his humor. An incident happened 
in Bridgeton of the kind: A colored man asked him to marry him, say- 
that he would give him five dollars " if you marry me as you do white 
folks." "Certainly I will." They came and were married. As they 
were leaving and as nothing had been said of the "fee," Mr. Hopkins 
said to the man: "You said you would give me five dollars if I married 
you as I did white folks?" "Yes." "Ah! Massa, you no marry me as 
you did white folks." "Yes, I did." "Ah! Massa, you no bus the brideW" 
None would more appreciate this outcome than Mr. Hopkins, even at 
the cost of five dollars. During the pastorate of Mr. Hopkins, a 
"lecture and social meeting room" was built "down town." He 
resigned in September, 1S43, much against the wish of his people. 

Great as was the unlikeness between Mr. Frederick and his successor 
it was no more so than between Mr. Hopkins and Rev. C. E. Wilson, his 
successor. Mr. Wilson was a most amiable man, more modest and quiet 
than otherwise. Mr. Hopkins would entertain a crowd; Mr. Wilson 
would sit aside and chat in monosyllables. The choice by Churches of 
succeeding pastors is one of the curiosities of humanity. Mr. Wilson 
was pastor from April, 1844, to May, 1852, more than eight years. The 
second longest pastorate the Church has had. His oversight was a con- 
tinuous prosperity. He was one of the men whom longer and better 
known won a place in the confidence of others. He was a man to be 
leaned upon and was always found where he ought to be. 

Rev. W. E. Corn well, Sr., entered on his pastoral duties in July, 

1852. Soon after Mr. Corn well's coming, the increase of congregation 
made it necessary to build a larger house of worship and in February, 

1853, it was decided to buy "a lot in as central a location as possible." 
The lot on which the First Baptist Church edifice stands was bought the 
next October. A decision not to build until two-thirds of the cost was 
subscribed, delayed the enterprise until June, 1854. Pastor Cornwell's 
happy pastorate, aboimding in good to the Church and to the cause of 
God, lasted only four j'ears, to July, 1856. He had been a minister 
many years in the German Reformed Church, preparing a sermon on 


baptism, he failed to find in the Scripture authority for sprinkling as a 
mode of baptism and for infant baptism, and joined a Baptist Church. 
Accepting a call to Princeton, he died there March 29th, 1857. His 
successor was J. S. Kennard, who settled in January, 1857. He had 
been ordained in his home Church the December before. On September 
23rd, 1857, the new house of worship was dedicated. Mr. Kennard 
resigned his charge in September, 1859. 

Rev. J. F. Brown succeeded him and continued until March, 1868. 
The Civil War had begun and ended in these years. Homes, families, 
parents, sons and brothers were divided A nation of common origin, 
allied in trade, intercourse, relationship, government and in natural 
interests warred upon itself. Religious interests suffered more than any 
other. Pastor Brown was a patriot in all this test of character and of 
principle. In his pastorate the name of the Church was changed from 
Second Cohansie to First Baptist Church of Bridgeton. The Pearl street 
property that had been given to the First Baptist Church and used by 
them for twenty-nine years was being encompassed by a large popula- 
tion among whom were many Baptists, and the question of a second 
Baptist Church to occupy the old house was freely discussed until on 
July 17th, 1866, the subject having been decided, sixty-six Baptists 
were dismissed for this purpose, and were recognized as a Baptist 
Church and called themselves the Pearl street Baptist Church. 

This was the second Church which had colonized from First Bridge- 
ton. In 1856, the Cedarville Baptists who were from location identified 
with Baptists interests in Bridgeton, became an independent body. 
Pastor Brown was associated with other Baptist movements in South 
Jersey. Two movements had been made in Salem to found a Baptist 
school. Again the matter was under advisement and Mr. Brown was 
chainnan of a committee of the West New Jersey Association, in 1865, 
to locate a school. The school was located at Bridgeton and is known 
as the South Jersey Institute. 

Mr. Brown was followed March 1st, 1872, by Rev. E. B. Palmer. 
Mr. Palmer was pastor twelve years. The longest pastorate the Church 
has had. A work of grace was enjoyed in the winter of 1872-3 when 
ninety-two were baptized and twenty-five were baptized at Pearl Street 
Church. A sister in the Church gave to it a dwelling house that cost 
sixteen hundred and fifty dollars. Another paid for the lot on which 
the brick chapel, had been built. Two were licensed to preach in this 
pastorate. One, Mr. C. Keller, with his fellow German members united 
in a request to organize them into a mission. Their wish was complied 
with and they used the chapel. On account of removals, the mi-ssion failed. 
November 6th, the First Church paid the debt of Pearl Street Church, 


incurred by needed repairs. Altogether Pastor Palmers ' oversiglit was 
characteristic of the man, a workman that needed not to be ashamed. 
He resigned in May, 1884, In their letter to the Association, the Church 
said: "By his wise councils and superior ability, by his faithful devo- 
tion to this work in a pasorate of more than twelve years, the Church 
has been greatly strengthened both in temporalities and in spirituali- 
ties." An Anglo-Africo Church was formed about 1887, but did not 
stay long. 

Kev. T. G. Cass followed Mr. Palmer and was pastor from 1885-90. 
For seven years from 1891 to 1898 Rev. C. C. Tilley ministered to the 
Church. In June, 1898, Rev. R. A. Ashworth became pastor, resigning 
in April, 1900. The next July, 1900, Rev. C. T. Brownell entered the 

Fourteen pastors have ministered to the Church, of whom, one died 
while pastor; one served twelve years, another eight years. Early in 
1831, under the charge of Mr. Harrison, the Church adopted a pledge of 
total abstinence from all intoxicants as a condition to membership. 
All the pastors of Cohansie, except, it may be, Mr. Brooks, were staunch 
Calvinists and the Bridgeton Church was, therefore, foremost in whole- 
some Calvinistic truth, God a Sovereign; man fallen and lost, and under 
condemnation; salvation unmerited and wholly of grace, the highest 
inspiration to "good works" and to perseverance. 

Their doctrinal training explains the foremost place New Jersey 
Baptists hold in education, missions and all other good causes. Not 
only those of New Jersey , but those of every Christian name and every- 
where. As Bancroft says: "Calvinism has been the faith of those" 
who have originated and pushed forward the enterprises of this Christian 

The original constituents of Cohansie Church located in what was 
known as "back neck". Coming from Ireland, there were Welsh 
among them as such names as David James and David Thomas indi- 
dicate. They removed from the South side of the Cohansie river to the 
North side and were the constitutency of Cohansie Church in 1690. 
Thus the north side of the river was known as the Baptist side, and 
the south side of it as the Presbyterian side. One hundred and 
fifty years passed ere there was a change in the quiet of the south 
side by a Baptist mission at Cedarville. 

Nathan Lorrance, of Cedarville, had been a Presbyterian, but, 
becoming a Baptist, built a meeting house. He died in 1754 and his 
"will" gave his property to his daughter, excepting "all that messuage 
called Flying Point, save one acre, where the Baptist meeting house 
now standeth, when the Baptist members that liveth on the South side 


of the Cohansic creek shall see fit to take it." They to pay a certain 
sum to two of his daughters. This daughter was Abigal Elmer, grand- 
mother of Lucius Elmer, a historian of Cumberland county. Mr. 
Lorrance's daughter married the son of a Presbyterian minister. Bap- 
tists did not make a claim on the meeting house and it and the lot were 
sold under the Elmer title in 1828. Judge Elmer in his history of the 
county, devotes large space to a Presbyterian preacher in that county 
named Osborn. But dismisses Henry Smalley, pastor of Cohansie 
Baptist Church for nearly fifty years, the oldest Church in the county 
into which Mr. Smalley had received seven hundred and fifty persons, 
iviih less than a line of print. So much for pedobaptist prejudices, and 
the reliabilty of Presbyterian histories out side of themselves. "Schaff 
& Herzog's encyclopedia" is another illustration of how much pedobap- 
tists think of themselves and how little of Baptists. 

In 1835, Rev. Mr. Frederick, pastor of the First Baptist Church at 
Bridgeton, preached at Cedarville, making an appointment on alternate 
weeks. In 1836, he baptized numerous candidates there, they uniting 
with the First Bridgeton Church. The Cedarville Baptist Church was 
constituted on September 6th, 1836, in Butler Newcomb's woods and 
had thirty-one constituents. In Cedarville, was a "free" meeting house 
and there Mr. Frederick held his meeting in weather unfit for outdoor 
service. But when the converts developed Baptist proclivities, the 
Presbyterians closed the doors of the "free" house of worship. Then, 
the Baptists secured an old shoe maker's shop, about twelve by eighteen 
feet and held their meetings in it. A Sheriff's sale threw a lot into the 
market which Mr. Lorrance had intended to give for a Baptist house of 
worship, but which after his death was otherwise disposed of. The 
lot had a short time before been sold for fourteen dollars, but the 
Presbyterian opposition to Baptists made it cost them two hundred 

Providentially, the woods' meeting in 1836 brought Mr. E. D. 
Fendall to Cedarville. He was induced to stay and held the meeting for 
three months. Still he delayed going away until February, 1837. In 
the temporary absence of Mr. Fendall from the field, Mr. William H. 
Bingham filled the gap until January, 1838. Returning, Mr. P'endall 
was ordained in 1839 and remained four years till December, 1842. A 
house of worship was erected in 1838. Mr. Henry Wescott was a resi- 
dent and being ordained in 18-42, ministered in that year, in part and 
was pastor from March, 1843, to June, 1844. Mr. Ephraim Sheppard 
and a brother-in-law followed preaching at Millville and at Cedarville. 
Each of these pastors were independent of the salary the Church could 
pay. Pastor Sheppard remained until 1846. 


Other pastors were William P. Maul, 1847-53; John Todd, lSr)3-.'37; 
the last serving both Millville and Cedarville, each ten miles distant 
from the other. Mr. Todd walked to and fro. At Cedarville, while 
Mr. Todd was pastor the debt of the Church was paid, the Church 
edifice repaired and a parsonage bought and nearly paid for. 

In those days. Baptist Churches were far apart, the Convention 
Board appointed missionaries with a roving commission to large and 
destitute districts. Mr. Todd was assigned a field stretching from Cape 
May to Long Branch, and west to the edge of "The Pines." 

This region was nearly an "unknown land." A vast wilderness, 
nearly an hundred miles long and forty wide. Thousands of people 
were scattered through it. Mr. Todd was sent to carry them the "mes- 
sage of life," going on foot from cabin to cabin, and from one cluster of 
homes to another. I recall one of his verbal reports to the Board. How 
and where he slept at times. Once he asked a family if they believed in 
Jesus, and had for an answer: "Who is he?" Another replied 
to the queston : "If they had a Bible?" "What is that?" Few could 
have endured the hardships and exposures of his long and lonely tramps, 
not knowing in the morning where he might be at night. Some times 
he trampled all day, not seeing or human face, and then slept 
under the trees, contenting himself with the crust which he carried for 
an emergency, and with water of a spring or brook. His sturdy English 
body stood him in good stead. His faith in God and love for souls held 
him firmly to his Christ-like work. I doubt not but that he has met in 
Heaven, many who, but for him, would never have heard of the Saviour. 
Mr. Todd was a godly and true man. Caring more to do good than for 
personal comfort. An example of the host of the good and useful, of 
whom the world never hears, but who will be among the chiefest of the 
Saints on high. 

There were other devoted men whom the Convention sent out. 
commissioned to range freely in wide destitute sections; men "who en- 
dured as seeing Him who is invisible," who lighted "the lamp of life" in 
many a dark place laying the foundations on which those who came on 
later built. 

Additional pastors at Cedarville were: E. D. Farr, M. D., 1858-60; 
S. L. Cox, 1681-83; E. M. Barker, 1863-70 (The longest pastorate the 
Church had knoAvn and one of marked advance. The Church edifice 
was moved to the front of the lot and enlarged); G. G. Craft, 1871-72; 
W. A. Durfee, 1872-77 (A new Church edifice was built under Pastor 
Durfee.); a period of depression followed one of expansion and Pastor 
Swinden, 1878-79, realized what it was to stem the ebb tide. 


A change came with Pastor W. W. Bullock. Discord yielded to 
unity. A heavy debt was paid and revival blessings appeared. Mr. 
Bullock was pastor, 1880-84; Mr. T. P. Price ministered, 1884-88; Mr. 
A. S. Flock, 1888-95 (A useful charge for seven years.); Mr. H. S. Kidd, 
1895-98; Mr. W. T. Pullen, 1898-1900. 

The Church has had sixteen pastors. But one of them remained 
eight years. A house of worship was built in 1838, which has been en- 
larged and improved as it needed to be. In 1874, a large and costly 
house of worship was dedicated. Heavy debts were incurred and the 
only trouble the Church has suffered was incurred. Two members have 
been licensed, one in 1842, and is now an active pastor nearly or quite 
ninety years old and has been preaching sixty-one years. 

The house of worship on Pearl street, Bridgeton, which gives its 
name to the Pearl Street Baptist Church, was built in 1816 by the Co- 
hansie Church and was the place of the ministry of Henry Smalley for 
twelve years and the home of the First Baptist Bridgeton Church for 
twent3'-nine years, is still a home of a Baptist Church, having been stead- 
ily in use for eighty-seven years. A colony of sixty-six members were 
dismissed by First Baptist Church to worship in the Pearl Street house 
and that body called itself Pearl Street Baptist Church. Rev. W. R. 
McNeil became pastor in 1867 and the membership grew to two hundred. 

The old house was rebuilt in 1868. The debt incurred by this 
repair was largely paid by the First Church. Pastor McNeil resigned 
in 1872 and Rev. B. S. Morse followed the same year closing his work as 
pastor in 1874. In 1875, Pastor A. B. McGowan settled as pastor, 
remaining till 1878, when Rev. J. E. Ches.shire followed, who retired 
the next year, 1879. Rev. S. C. Dare became pastor in 1880, serving 
until 1884. Rev. T. R. Taylor began his charge in 1884. An Anglo- 
Africo Church was begun by the joint action of the two Churches in 
1886 or 1887. Mr. Taylor closed his pastorate in 1887. In July, 1887, 
Mr. McNeil began his second pastorate, which he ended in June, 1891. 
The same year. Rev. C. E. Cordo settled as pastor and resigned in 1895. 
Three months after. Rev. E. A. Stone became pastor, but closed his 
ministry in 1899 and on January, 1900, Rev. F. H. Shermer entered the 

The Church has had ten pastors in thirty-four years of its life. 
But one remained five years and one was twice pa.stor. Two members 
have been licensed to preach. Inheriting an old Church edifice that 
had been unused for some years, a large sum was necessary to restore it 
and to add to it modern conveniences and appliances, adapting the 
building to the uses of Christian work. A large proportion of this 
amount the First Baptist Church provided. 


The Berean Church at Bridgeton was organized in August, 1893, 
with one hundred and twenty-five constituents. Nearly all of them 
were dismissed from the First Baptist Church. The next November, 
Rev. J. J. Pierson was called and became pastor. Immediate measures 
were adopted to build a house of worship, which was dedicated in June, 

Under Mr. Pierson, large accessions by baptism and by letter were 
made. The First Baptist Church donated to the Berean Church, a 
parsonage, equipping the Church for a larger work. Mr. Pierson had a 
short pastorate, dying on January 18th, 1895, within two years of enter- 
ing the pastorate. Previously he had been pastor at Woodbury twelve 
years. His people said of him: "He served us faithfully, lovingly and 
tenderly." On June 11th, 1895, Rev. G. L. Hart settled as pastor. The 
rapid growth of the Church since its organization, in membership, has 
continued in the years of Pastor Hart. 

Greenwich is on the west side of the Cohansie river and south of 
Roadstown, the site of the Cohansie Baptist Church. The removal of 
the early Baptist settlers to the other side of the Cohansie river, located 
them nearer to Greenwich, which was one of the outstations of Cohansie 
Church. Rev. E. D. Fendall had business relations to the place that 
took him there in 1836 and he made appointment to preach in the school 
house. A temporary residence in the town identified him with the 
Baptist movement in Cedarville, in 1836-8. Becoming pastor at Cohan- 
sie, in 18-43, special revival influences reached "Bacon's Neck." (An 
early name, from an early settler.) The converts united with Cohansie 
Church at Roadstown. 

In 1843, a house of worship was begun. It was dedicated the next 
October. Regular services were held in this house for five years, by. 
pastors of Cohansie Church. Then, in December, 1849, the Greenwich 
Baptist Church was organized with forty-nine constituents. Of these, 
forty-eight were dismissed from Cohansie Church. A reorganization is 
said to have been made next January. Rev. J. R. Murphey was the 
first pastor, until September, 1852. He was followed by Rev. George 
Young for a year; when Rev. H. C. Putman settled and stayed till 1857. 
Rev. William Maul became pastor and remained for almost nine years. 
Other pastors were: A. J. Hay, three years; S. C. Dare, ten years; 
T. M. Eastwood, two years; J. M. Scott, four years; W. H. Burlew, 
one year; W. P. Hile, three years; E. I. McKeeycr, four years; B. B. 
Ware, two years; W. E. Renolds, 1900. Thirteen pastors have filled 
the office. 

In 1874, under Mr. Dare, the house of worship was remodeled and 
furnished anew. One member has been licensed to preach. The nar- 


row field and the probable limitation of residents narrows the hope of 
a large membership. Nevertheless, the people are reliable and include 
elements of strength and companionship. 




Hopewell is a colony of Middletown Chiirch. Some of its constit- 
uents were from Pencpack Church, Pcmisyhania. Morgan Edwards 
explains and says of Jonathan Stout, third son of Richard Stout, of 
Holmdel, a constituent of Middletown Church and who emigrated from 
Middletown (Holmdel) in 1706, the first settler of Hopewell, that "six 
of his children are said to have gone to Pennsylvania for baptism, others 
were baptized here (Hopewell), in aU seven." These seven, and the six, 
and their father and mother, fifteen were the constituents of Hopewel 

The Cliurch was organized at Mr. Stout's house, April 23rd, 1715, 
and worshipped for thirtj'-two years in the homes of the Stouts. The 
first meeting house was built in 1747, on a lot, the gift of John Hart, 
Efeq. Rev. Oliver Hart was pastor. In 1790, the pastor said: "That 
from first to last half of the members had been of that name (Stout) and 
about as many more of the blood of the Stouts, who had lost their 
name by marriage." The mother of Jonathan, Penelope Stout, of 
Middletown, lived to be one hundred and ten years old, and saw her 
descendants to the number of five hundred and two in eighty-eight 3'ears. 
These Baptists were Baptists. They went to Penepack, a long distance, 
to join a Baptist Cliurch rather than violate their convictions of truth 
and duty. Evidently to them fellowship wnth error was something more 
than feeling. Doubt overhangs the early ministry at Hopewell, both 
at to who they were and as to the time of their ser\-ices. IMr. Edwards 
only names Messrs. Simmons and Eaglesfield, licentiates as preaching 
in the earliest times. 

Kingwood Church had been organized and had built two 
houses of worship before 1712. TMiile Hopewell had not built its own, 
as stated by Mr. Edwards and he adds "that Rev. Joseph Eaton, of 
Pennsvivania, preached montlily at HopeweU for fifteen years. After 
him. Rev. Thomas Da\^s, of Great Valley, Pennsylvania, was pastor for 
years and Rev. Mr. Carmen of Hightsto^-n, Rev. Mr. Miller, of Scotch 
Plains, and Mr. Bonham for two years. "Glorious years were they, 
fiftv'-five converts joined the Church and a meeting house was built." 
Thirty-three years had gone when Rev. Isaac Eaton settled as pastor. 


in April 17th, 1874, and was ordained on November 29th, 1748. His 
pastorate continued until July 4th, 1772, when he died in his forty- 
seventh year. 

Of Mr. Eaton, Mr. Edwards writes: "He was the son of the afore- 
mentioned Joseph Eaton, of Montgomery, Pennsylvania, and united 
with the South Hampton Church in early life and there commenced a 
licentiate in Divinity, at the same time with Mr. Oliver Hart. He and 
Mr. I. Eaton were buried in the meeting house (at Hopewell). At the 
head of his grave, close to the base of the pulpit, is set up by his congre- 
gation a piece of fine marble with this inscription: 

To the front of this are Deposited the Remains 
of the Rev. Isaac Eaton, A. M., who, for upwards 
of twenty-six years, was pastor of this church; from 
the care of which he was removed by death, on the 
4th of July, 1772, in the 47th year of his age. 

In him, with grace and emineniie, did shine 
The man, the Christian, scholar, and divine. 
His funeral sermon was preached by Rev. Samuel Jones, who speaks of 
him to the following effect: (Which I choose to transcribe partly 
for fear my affection would lead me to extravagence and partly because 
I cannot do the business well.) "The natural endowments of his mind 
the improvements of these by the accomplishments of literature; his 
early and genuine piety; his ability aa a divine and a preacher; his ex- 
tensive knowledge of men and books; his Catholicism would afford scope 
to flourish in a funeral oration, etc., but it is needless." When it is 
recalled who Rev. Samuel Jones was and who the Rev. Isaac Eaton was, 
these were not words of extravagent laudation. 

"Mr. Eaton founded the first school on the continent for 
the education of youths for the ministry." "Rev. Messrs. Thomas 
Curtis, John Anderson, Joseph Powell, John Blackwell, Charles Thomp- 
son, John Gano, born in Hopewell, July 22nd, 1727." The writer 
copied these items from the old minute book of First Hopewell. John 
Gano called to exercise his gifts November 19, 1752, and did so on 
January 20th, 1753; licensed April 14th, 1753; ordained May 29th, 1754. 
Hezekiah Smith, the Baptist Apostle to New England, licensed October 
12th, 17G2. James Manning, founder of Brown University, and John 
Sutton, his co-worker in locating Brown University. Other men also 
foremost in politics, law, merchandise, cabinet councils and military 
affairs were graduates of Hopewell school which was founded in 1756. 
It was a foremost center of education and it was an extreme of folly to 
remove it to Rhode Island. The denoniination has suffered irreparable 
losses by its closing. 


Mr. Eaton was one of the worlds' great men; not alone in his nat- 
ural endowments and culture, but as much in the appreciation of the 
claims of the future upon him and of his relations to that future. His 
forecast in founding a school of universal qualities, and also, his choice of 
location, the heart of the country, the center of its wealth and of its 
social forces, amid the men of the only Baptist Association in the coun- 
try and in a colony of the largest liberties, having guarantees in its sett- 
lers, "Friends" and Baptists, unlike other colonies. Mr. Eaton's wife 
was "Rebecca Stout" and she may have influenced his coming to the 
church where his father had ministered so long. 

Morgan Edwards is quoted anew; "There have been remarkable 
revivals in this church. In 1747, fifty-five were baptized; in 1764, one 
hundred and twenty-three converts were added and in 1775-6, one hun- 
dred and five united with the church. A parsonage lot in 1773 and 
additional land for the parsonage farm increasing it to one hundred and 
thirty-three acres." This was in the American Revolutionary war, and 
indicates ample "means." Since the church has deserted the Gospel of 
grace, the church has lost ground. Some of its best families have gone 
into other denominations and instead of being a fruitful mother, en- 
compassed liy efficient churches, lives alone, barren, a stone of stiunbling 
and a sorrow to every evangelical churcli of the kingdom of God; deny- 
ing itself any of the activities of Godliness among the children which it 
has disfellowshipped. Nevertheless, Hopewell is historic ground, a Bap- 
tist "Mecca." 

Just across the street in front of the church edifice, there stood a 
mounting block, consisting of a large stone six feet long, four feet wide, 
set on .stone mason work three feet high, used especially by ladies in dis- 
mounting and mounting their horses as they came to or left church. 
The top of the stone was reached by steps. 

Sunday, April 23, 1775, news of the battle of Lexington reached 
Hopewell while the peoplewere worshipping in the First Baptist Church. 
At the close, Joab Houghton, standing on this block, inspired the men 
with love of liberty and desire for independence. In closing he said: 

"Men of New Jersey, the Red Coats are murdering our brethren of 
New England. Who follows me to Boston?" 

Every man an.swered "I!" 

Mr. Houghton was chosen leader of a party of volunteers who later 
left for Boston, the scene of the war. 

October 19, 1776, he was made a captain, and March 15, 1777, Lieu- 
tenant Colonel. Colonel Houghten was afterwards a member of the 
first Legislature of the State in 1784 and 1787, and also of the Baptist 
Church. Died, 1796. 


"As a luoinorial of him ami those events, this block was erected 
July Uh. 1S'.)0, by the people of Hopewell." 

The block was dressei.1 in evergreen, anil vipon it rested a beauti- 
ful wreath of inunortelles, the gift of Mrs. D. S. Davis, a lineal desceml- 
ant of .lohu Hart. 

Houghton's daughter Alice, married Conant Cone, and became the 
mother of Spencer Houghton Cone, born in Son^erset county, who was 
in turn, teacher, actor, soldier in the war of 1S12, editor, and finally be- 
came a distinguished Baptist minister in America in his time. 

Here in Hopewell lived that distinguished benefactress, Elizabeth 
Hobbs, who gave £350 (,$1,750) for the education of pious young men 
for the ministry. This was supposed at the time to be the largest legacy 
left by anyone for this purpose in the Baptist ilenomination. Isaac 
Eaton and John Hart, signers of the Declaration of Imlependenee, were 
her executors, and they aided, out of this fimd, Charles Thompson, wlm 
graduated in a class of Rhode Island College. 

These arc memorials of this couple in the grave yard at Hopewell: 

In memory of John Hobbs, who departed this life June G, in 1701 . in 
the S5th year of his age. He was a great Historian and Mathema- 
tician, and a pious, meek, humble, and exemplary Christian. 

In memory of Eli/.abetli Hobbs, widow of John Hobbs, who died 
March 20, 1707, aged u pirardii of SO years. She left a handsome legacy 
towards the education of pious young men for tlie ministry of tlie Bap- 
tist denomination. 

Burgess Allison, founder of Bordentown school, w^as a beneficiary 
of this fund. He graduated from Brown University and opened school 
at Borilentown in 177S. He was a Baptist pastor at Jacobstown 
church for twenty-five years. 

From Hopewell graduateil many of tlie foremost ministers of tlie 
Baptist ilenomination. From Bordentown school also, came some of 
our eminent pastors. These schools were also throngeil by profes- 
sioniil men as well as prospective clergymen. They included various 
courses of study. Mr. lOdwards gives the names of graduates, eminent 
in position imder the government , in law, in medicine, and merehan- 
di.<ie. Years passed ere Ueverend Benjamin Cole settled at Hopewell 
in Octoln-r, 1771. while pastor the third great re\ ival oeeurred and 
one hundred and live converts were baptized. Mr. Cole resigned in 
the spring of 1770. 

Kev. Oliver Hart followed in December, 17S0. lie may have 
been one of the Hopewell Hart family. Ho was a fellow student 
with Isaac F^aton and was licensed by the same church and began 
preaching as had Mr. Eaton. Mr. Hart going to Charleston, S. C, and 


was pastor there for thirty years. He remained pastor at Hopewell 
till his death in 1795, at the age of seventy-three years. Mr. Edwards 
writes of him: "All I shall .say is, that he is the fittest man I know to 
succeed Mr. Eaton." The minutes of the Philadelphia .Association, 
1706, page 323, have this record of Mr. Hart: "It has plea.sed God, in 
the year past to remove that burning and shining light, Rev. Oliver 
Hart of Hopewell, X. J." 

In 1796, Rev. James Ewing followed Mr. Hart in the charge of 
Hopewell church. His pastorate terminated with his death in 1806, at 
the ago of fifty-two years. One hundred and fifty-one were baptized 
in his pastorate at Hopewell. In 1807, Rev. John Boggs became pa.stor. 
He held the office till he died in 1846, at the age of seventy-six. 

The account of First Hopewell might close here; since in 1835, 
First and Second Hopewell and Kingwood withdrew from the central 
Baptist As.sociation, identifying them.selves with an Antinomian body. 
Kingwood is followed by Baptisttown. Second Hopewell and Kingwood 
are extinct. Kingwood was pre-eminent among Baptist churches as a 
Missionary church. It is only a question of time, when First Hopewell 
will be extinct. This wreck was under the pa.storate of Mr. Boggs. 
He had written circular letters published in the Association minutes, 
exhorting the churches to sustain missions, only a short time before he 
piloted the church to ruin. He was a terrific contrast to former pastors 
An only explanation of his course was: that he had come to a premature 
dotage and by his imbecUity belied his former teaching, and the whole 
record of First Hopewell and accepted the teachings of Beebe, Gobel and 
their kin, in the place of those of the Son of God, whose last words on 
earth were: "Go ye into all the world. And they went forth and preached 
everywhere." Such is the sorrowful fact of First Hopewell church. 
Virtually it is the only one of its kind, left in New Jersey. Nominally 
there are one or two others sustained by First Hopewell. 

But despite its glorious record, for sixty-five years, it has been 
dwindling. Churches of other denominations have absorbed its fami- 
lies and grown strong through its lack of Gospel power. Isaac Eaton, 
Oliver Hart, the Stouts and Hautons and Blackwells, could they know 
of the ruin that has come to the work of their lives, would be filled with 
shame. In colonial days as many as five of the chief institutions of 
learning in America were within a circuit of twenty miles of Hopewell. 
This eminence of educational facilities, and the colonial guarantees by 
l)oth Baptist and Quaker proprietors gave to New Jersey the assurance 
to all settlers, of the precious boon of civil and of religious freedom and 
of the freest opportunity for expansion in all helpful directions. A 
further type of the case of the people in this vicinity is that nine 


United States Senators; three nominees for the Vice Presidency of the 
United States; two Governors of New Jersey: four Chancellors of the 
State and five signers of the Declaration of Independence, were 
natives of this neighborhood. 

It is the prayer of Baptists that the venerable First Hopewell 
church will return to her "first love" again, be happy in him who 
went about doing good. A glorious past, is to her a robe of white, 
except as it has been soiled by associations and which darkens her future. 
When again, she incorporates the last commission of our Lord into her 
activities, we will rejoice together in her "walking with God." 

Of the beginning of Baptist interests at Kingwood (Baptisttown) 
Morgan Edwards, writes: " For the origin of this church, we must look 
back to 1722. When the tract began to be settled by persons, some of 
whom were Baptists; five of them. Three other Baptists came, in 
1734. Mr. Thomas Curtis, a licentiate and a student at Hopewell (poss- 
ibly a licentiate of Hopewell church). At Kingwood he and the aforesaid 
Baptists built a small meeting house. The first fruits of his ministry 
went to Hopewell for baptism. In 17-48, James and John Bray and his 
wife, members of Middletown (living at Holmdel), sons of John Bray 
who built the third house of worship and parsonage at Holmdel in 1705, 
arrived, which increased their number to twelve souls. Mr. Curtis 
visited the lower part of the township (now Kingwood) where another 
meeting house was built in 1741 on the spot where the present one 
stands. Here five were baptized by Rev. Joseph Eaton of Hopewell. 
His next converts in the lower tract were baptized by Rev. Thomas 
Davis, who succeeded Mr. Eaton at Hopewell. This increased the 
Baptists to twenty-two and made them think of becoming a dis- 
tinct society. Having obtained release from Hopewell they were 
constituted a church July 31st, 1742. 

Mr. Curtis was ordained for pastor October, 1745. He died in 
April, 1749. Mr. Edwards says of him: "He was a steady man and re- 
markable for peace making. This church speaks of him to this day (Jan- 
uary, 1790) -nath great veneration." Well they might. Upon his 
coming to them he devoted himself to tlieir spiritual welfare. Preacli- 
ing, maintaining meetings and building houses of worship. He was a 
devoted disciple of the Holy One. Sabbatarians and Dunkards were 
church members, and as a peace maker he must have been busy. Both 
Seventh Day Baptists and Dunkards (feet washing Baptists) had colo- 
nies nearby and were aggressive to win proselytes. More, in the seven- 
teenth and eighteenth centuries, new things of doctrine and of opinion 
were welcomed by good people as never before. It was a formative 
period. Luther, Calvin and Armenius were making new formulas and 


theories of all kinds were mooted everywhere. America was a refuge for 
all dissentients from other dissentients and authorities, civil and 
religious. An immense mixture of extreemists and positive.sts inxhe 
religionists coming hither and the new element of liberty to think and 
to teach, tended to a wider divergence. Baptists have cause for grati- 
tude, both, that the New Testament was our sole authority for duty 
and for instruction; that our ministers could thereby command and 
control these elements of contradiction and settle the foundations of 
our churches on a scriptural basis. 

Then as now, liberty drifted into the license of unrestrained opinion. 
Liberty of opinion is the most lawless of human rights. Since it has 
only the moral limit of the right to think and to believe that which it is 
right to think and to believe and one nmst determine for him.self what 
is right to think and to believe. The Scriptures being the only authority 
on all moral questions of right and wrong. Mr. M. Bonham followed 
Pastor Curtis and was ordained in 1749. Rumors affecting his morality 
resulted in his exclusion from the church. 

After many years Rev. David Sutton entered the pastorate in 
in 1764, remaining till August, 1783 and proved himself sent of God. 
Morgan Edwards says of him: "He has often been compared to Nathan- 
iel of whom it was said, there was no guile in him.' " Mr. Sutton was a 
son of John Sutton, a con.stituent of Scotch Plains church. He was a 
mi.ssionary pastor. In 1764, the year of his settling at Kingwood, he 
made an appointment at Flemington and no doubt influenced Messrs. 
Lowry and Eddy to give in 1765, (the next year) the lots on which to 
build a Baptist meeting house; he secured the erection of the house o( 
worship in 1766, within two j'ears of his coming to Kingwood and in 
his long charge at Kingwood, nearly twenty years preached in the 
house at Flemington. He was thus the first Baptist preacher at Fleming- 
ton and laid the foundation for the later growth of Baptist interests there. 

Mr. Sutton's successors at Kingwood preached at Flemington, 
until, and long after the organization of the Flemington church. That 
body owes all it is to this wonderful man. In November, 1784, Rev. 
N. Cox settled as pastor. But in April, 1790, he became aUniversalist; 
had he been content with this, none would question his liberty to change 
his views of truth and duty. He did, however, what he could to destroy 
the church and get possession of the house of worship. The people 
repudiated him and he was excluded from the church. 

The next five years was a period of discouragement. In October, 
1795, Rev. G. A. Hunt became pastor, remaining eleven years, when he 
quietly disappeared in another evangelical denomination. Like Mr. 
Sutton and Mr. Cox, Mr. Hunt had a regular appomtment in Fleming- 


ton, agreeing when he settled at Kingwood to give one third of his labor 
and time to Flemington. He baptized several in Flemington who did 
not join Kingwood church and in 1798, ten members of Kingwood, 
with those lately baptized at Flemington, were organized into the 
Flemington church. Mr. Hunt supplied the Flemington church to the 
close of his charge at Kingwood in 180G or 7. Rev. James McLaughlin 
followed Mr. Hunt at Kingwood for one year. Resigning at Kingwood, 
in 1809, he preached alternately at Kingwood and at Flemington until 
1811. When leaving Flemington, he limited himself to Kingwood, 
resigning at the end of the year. In 1813, Rev. Jolm Ellis entered the 
pastorate at Kingwood, continuing until 1817. All of these pastors 
suffered from the blight left upon the church by Mr. Cox and his attempt 
to destroy its evangelism. 

In the spring of 1818, Rev. David Bateman accepted a call to be 
pastor. In 1819, another church edifice was built (the fourth or fifth) 
three miles southeast of Baptisttown. For the next two years more 
than one hundred converts were baptized. A year or more passed, when 
again there was an extensive revival and many were added to the 
cliurch by baptism. Mr. Bateman was pastor till his death on August 
10th, 1832, at the age of fifty-five years. His death was a providential 
mystery. As pastor and preacher, he had few superiors. A "supply" 
ministered after Mr. Bateman's death and later became pastor foi 
about six months. 

In October, 1834, Rev. J. W. Wigg became pastor. Soon Anti- 
nomianism caught root in Kingwood church. Beebe, the anti-mission 
and anti-temperance apostle with his allies, Gobel, Housel and others, 
took advantage of a new pastor and prevailed against the Christian 
activities of those times and forcing action whereby the timid and in- 
active members were overborne. Under Mr. Bateman, this element 
had been restrained. But the onslaught of the Antinomians having won 
victory in North Jersey and had broken up the Warwick Association, 
was very fierce and the pastor of First Hopewell, John Boggs, yielded to 
these foes of righteousness and joined in the iniquity, so that First and 
Second Hopewell and Kingwood churches were swept from their 
foundations on the Gospel and in 1835, withdrew from the "Central 
Baptist Association and united with an antinomian body." Mr. Wigg 
did what he could to save the name and honor of Kingwood churcli. 

In 1838, Mr. Wigg was appointed to write the circular letter of the 
Anti-mission Association, the theme of which was: "The importance 
of thorough acquaintance with the Scriptures." This letter was re- 
jected by the Association as being, ''Truth unguarded." Such people 
had no use for the Bible! An invitation by Pastor Wigg to Evangelist 


F. Ketchum to hold a "Protracted meeting" brought matters to a 
head. At the next church meeting it was Resolved: That from this 
time on, Elder Wigg is dismissed from being pastor of this church, in 
consequence of his departure from the doctrines and practices of this 
church and his taking liberties with the church, which she never gave 
him, we are therefore destitute of a pastor and from this day he will 
not be expected in either house." 

A large stone house of worship had formerly been built in a village 
in the field of the church. Pastor Wigg went on a Lord's Day to 
preach in this building and he was locked out. This incident gave the 
name of "Locktown" to the village. At the meeting in which Mr. Wigg 
was put out of the pastorship, a committee was appointed to "examine 
preachers and to admit none to preach, but those in fellowship with the 
Delaware River Baptist Association." The Son of God, the New 
Testament, and the Gospel were thus shut out. This is Antinomianism. 
At the same meeting, fifty members were suspended for sympathizing 
with Pastor Wigg, who was excluded from the church. As an anti- 
nomian party they claimed both houses of worship." 

Those adhering to the old faith and to Baptist practice now set them- 
selves about organizing a new Kingwood Baptist church and building 
a house of worship. On April 14th, 1839, sixty members of the original 
Kingwood church and fifty-two converts recently baptized, in all, on.^ 
hundred and twelve disciples renewed, "The Missionary particular Bap- 
tist church of Baptisttown." The disappearance of the late Kingwood 
Baptist church was restored by a Kingwood Baptist church, which 
alone could claim the glorious record of former years. 

The houses of worship of the lost Kingwood church have been 
dumb and are, save as the pastor of First Hopewell occasionally preaches 
at Locktown. The other is a dwelling house and thus has life in it, 
or is rotting down. How different the end from the beginning of the 
former Kingwood! Within forty years of its organization, the pastor's 
salary was five hundred dollars and a parsonage of seventy acres. An 
income then equal to that given by our wealthiest churches. It had 
built five houses of worship if not six. One of them at Flemington, 
in 1766, it had licensed four members to preach and been 
the mother of four churches: Mt. Olive, 1753; KnoUton, 1763; 
Flemington, 1798; Bethlehem, 1831, and had sent many constitu- 
ents to Sandy Ridge, and a majority of the constituents of both 
Second Hopewell and Croton; paying one half the cost of a deserted 
meeting house in Croton and Baptisttown, 1839-40. Few Baptist 
churches in New Jersey exceed Kingwood in its mission work in 
behalf of humanity. Since "the Shadow of Death" has fallen on 


Kins^wood in 1835, the withering process has not stayed. It is 
a "waste". 

The later organization retained the old name, Kingwood, and 
built their meeting house at Baptisttown, inducing afterward a change 
of name to Bapti.sttown. Baptisttown was a link to Middletown. John 
and James Bray lived at Baptisttown (now Holmdel) when the sons 
moved to Hunterdon county, they named their place Bapti.sttown, in 
memory of the old place where they had lived. Mr. Wigg was called 
to be pa.stor of the later Kingwood, resigning his charge in 1841. In 
these two years he welcomed twenty-five by baptism into the church. 
His successor was an unworthy man and was excluded in 1842. Rev. 
E. Haydock stipplied the church for two years and then he became 
pastor. In 1844, Rev. C. Fox began his charge remaining until 1850. 
While pastor, a company of nine members were dismissed who with 
others constituted the Cherry\alle church. 

Upon the resignation of Mr. Cox, Rev. Thomas Barrass was called. 
Mr. Barrass was much beloved and had a happy and useful pastorate. 
Flemington could thus make some glad returns to its mother church. 
Mr. Barrass resigned in October, 1861. In the spring of 1861, twenty- 
two members were dismissed to be constituents for Croton church. Re- 
newed Kingwood seems to have retained the aggressive force of its old 
time energy and to keep up its usefulness. 

November, 1861, Rev. A. Armstrong settled in the pastorate. For 
many years, pastors of Kingwood had preached at Frenchtown. The 
State Convention Board from 1859 had occupied the river shore towns, 
by its missionaries. Under the oversight of Rev. Messrs. G. Penny 
and of W. D. Hires, a house of worship was built in Frenchtown and 
dedicated in December, 1861. Whereupon, Mr. Armstrong seeing his 
opportunity included Frenchtown in his field, preaching there each 
week. After five years, he resigned and took steps to settle at French- 
town. Kingwood numbered one hundred and forty-two members; of 
these seventy-six took letters to constitute a church at Frenchtown. 

This was a serious blow to Kingwood. But its inherent vitality 
restored it. Rev. Samuel Sproul occupied the pastorate in April, 1867 
Special revivals attended his labors. A parsonage was built in 1870, 
and Mr. Sproul closed a most acceptable pastoral charge of seven years. 
Parting with him was a real cause of grief, sharing with Mr. Barrass in 
the tender sympathies of his people. With other supplies was Rev. W. 
E. Watkinson who settled as pastor in April, 1875. He reaped well, 
closing his charge in November, 1881. Rev. George Young en- 
tered the pastorate of two years and gave way to his son, G. B. 
Young, in 1884. During the labors of the son the grounds were im- 


proved and sheds were built to shelter the beasts that brought the 
people to the house of God, from storm and heat. Mr. Young closed 
his work at Kingwood in July 1887, and was followed by Rev. S. C. 
Dare, who stayed two years. In June, 1889, Rev. G. M. Owen accepted 
a call to be pastor. The name of the church was changed to Baptist- 
town in 1895. Mr. Owen is now, in 1900, pastor. Eleven years attest 
the unity of his people in him. A storm gave birth to this re-organized 
church in 1839, but despite its hindrances and the bitter opposition 
from without, it has maintained its original type, since its first organi- 
zation in 1742, and kept up its expansion in local and foreign missions. 
Since 1839, the church has dismissed one hundred and seven to 
share in the organization of other Baptist churches. To Cherryville, 
Croton, and to Frenchtown, the church has done its full share to provide 
houses of worship, in concert with other churches. It is a record not to 
be ashamed of in an isolated rural church of limited membership. Since 
1742, twenty pastors have ministered to the church. Mr. Curtis, 
twelve years till his death; David Sutton, almost twenty; D. Bateman, 
till he died, fourteen years; G. A. Hunt, eleven years; Thomas Barrass, 
ten years; S. S. Sproul, seven years; C. Cox, six years. Shorter pastorates, 
Armstrong and the two Youngs, G. M. Owen, eleven years. The church 
has built six meeting houses for itself, of which two were erected before 
1741. First Hopewell was a wealthy church, and Kingwood nearby. 
Middletown, Piscataway, Cohansey and their stations, not only wealth 
but many men of culture and of high social and official position and of 
political distinction, this the more reflects upon the removing of Hope- 
well school from the center of the country to an extreme and out of the 
way place. The Honeywell and the Hubbs legacies, illustrate the 
blunder and folly of the movement. 

It will be presumed from the near vicinity of Kingwood, (now Bap- 
tisttown) church to Frenchtown and from the early missionary instincts 
of old Kingwood and of First Hopewell churches, that Frenchtown 
would have been occtipied long since, with local Baptist ministries. 
But it was new Kingwood ( Baptisttown ) to plant a Baptist 
church there. If it is recalled, that Frenchtown is of comparatively 
recent origin, a satisfactory explanation is afforded for .seeming delay. 
In 1840, there were about twenty-five dwellings in the place and only 
since the railroad passed through the town has there been assurance 
of gro^\i,h. In 1859, the Board of the State Convention appointed 
Rev. J. G. Penney its missionary, with Frenchtown as a center. Pastors 
of nearby churches preached there and a goodly number of Baptists 
lived there and one of them offered a large sum for a house of worship. 
Mr. Penney took hold of the enterprise with energy and the house 


was nearly completed before he left the field. Rev. W. D. Hires 
followed him. The building was dedicated December 25th, 1801. 

About then Mr. Hires left the field and the Baptists in the town 
determined to organize a Baptist church. At a meeting they called, a 
committee was appointed to get the names of those who would unite 
n the movement. Nearly sixty persons agreed to the plan and in 
March, 1866, they decided to constitute the Frenchtown Baptist church. 
At the first regular business meeting of the church called. Rev. A. Arm- 
strong was called to be pastor. Resigning at Baptisttown, he became 
pastor at Frenchtown in April, 1866 and closed his work there in 1869. 
The succession of pastors at FrenchtoAvn was: S. C. Boston, 1870-72; 
W. H. Shermer, 1872-73; W. H. Pease, 1873-75; S. S. Woodward, 1876- 
78; W. D. Hires, 1878-81; I. D. Shull 1881-83; J. Waldon, 1883-87; J. W. 
Taylor, 1888-90; H. A. Chapman, 1891-94; and C. M. Deitz, 1895-1900. 

The church has had eleven pastors. Substantial growth and deep 
rooting in the community could not be hoped for under such repeated 
changes in the pastoral office. The church, however, with its house of 
worship provided for it; has been a self sustaining body in nearly all 
of its past history. Such fields of small returns and distant hope of 
large growth demand courage and faith in those who sustain them. 




What had been known as Rocksbury church from 1753 to 1768, 
the name of the township in which the meeting house was, was called 
Schooley's Mountain church from 1768 to 1890, one hundred and twenty 
two years. The members of the church were living on the mountain, 
and hence the name, Schooley's Mountain. From 1768, the name of 
the church disappears from the minutes of the Philadelphia Association. 
Neither is it in the minutes of either the New York or the Warwick 
Associations. It appears in 1823 in the Warwick Association as the 
"Olive church." In the Sussex Association it is called Schooley's 
Mountain until 1889, Avhen another designation is given. The "deed" 
of the lot on which the first meeting house stood is dated March 15th, 
1768, and was made by James Heaton. 

Morgan Edwards says of the origin of the church, "The rise of 
Baptists in this mountain was owing to Mr. Samuel Heaton, who with 
three brothers came from Connecticut to set up iron works. Bred a 
Presbyterian, he wanted a Presbyterian minister to christen his son. 
His wife oljjected saying, "If you show me a text that warrants 
christening a child, I will take him to the minister." Mr. Heaton quoted 
several, but his wife was not satisfied. Then Mr. Heaton went to the 
minister, sure that Infant Baptism must be in the Bible. The minister 
owned that there was no text that directly proved the point, but that 
it was probable by deduction from many texts. This shocked Mr. 
Heaton and he went home to "search the Scriptures." And with the 
the universal result of becoming a Baptist. He then went to King- 
wood, about forty miles, and considering the roads and the route, three 
or four times more. He was baptized there, uniting with the Kingwood 
church. Returning home, he began to preach. Converts were made, 
who went to Kingwood and were baptized into that church. This was 
the beginning of "Schooley's Mountain Baptist church." 

In 1751, Mr. Heaton was ordained and founded three Baptist 
churches. Mount Olive, Dividing Creek and a church in Virginia. Mr. 
Edwards adds of Mr. Heaton: "If an honest man be the noblest work 
of God," as Pope saith, "Mr. Heaton may lay claim to that nobility." 
(For other tributes to Mr. Heaton by Morgan Edwards, see History of 


Dividing Creek church.) Pastor Bonham of Kingwood visited the 
people and baptized, also Henry Crossley, a Ucentiate. Statements 
of the number of constituents differ. Minutes of the Philadelphia 
Association say five. Mr. Edwards gives twelve to fourteen. Mr. and 
Mrs. Heaton were among them. Henry Crossley was one of them and 
he was called to be pastor and ordained in 1753. He resigned in 1755. 
He had a second charge of seven years of the church, 1762-1768, inclu- 
sive. In 1768, he had a joint pastorate at Mount Bethel. 

Adversity befell Schooley's Mountain church when Pastor Crossley 
removed. Its members associated with Morristown. Morgan Ed- 
wards says of this era: "Since the people of Schooley became a church 
they have undergone a dissolution and a reunion; some moved away, 
others joined Morristown, but others returning, they reunited under 
their first covenant on July 12th, 1775." Even though, so closely 
associated with Morristown, the Schooley Mountain members reserved 
to themselves, liberty to hold monthly meetings and to transact 
business among themselves. This arrangement continued until 
November 18th, 1786. How much Pastor Reune Runyan of Morris- 
town had to do with this arrangement is unexplained. He did 
pastoral work at Schooley's Mountain and his influence was wholly 
of a merging process. When he returned to Piscataway, he kept up 
these endeavors, even though the long, weary and lonely distance, 
cost a vast sacrifice of time and of comfort. Rev. David Jayne 
supplied Schooley Mountain Baptists when Mr. Runyan returned to 
Piscataway and remedied in part, Mr. Runyan's plans. In 1784, 
Mr. Jayne was called elsewhere and Mr. Vaughn followed him in 
1790 to 1794. That year Rev. Isaac Price settled at Schooley's 
Mountain, remaining till 1797. Again there was a hiatus in the 
church history las-ting till 1832. 

The Board of the State Convention then sent one of its restoring 
missionaries. Rev. M. Quin, an Irishman and humorous of course, into 
North Jersey. Mr. Quin was happy in recovering Baptist's interests 
there. Early in 1834, Rev. John Teasdale was providentially raised 
up in Sussex county. His enterprise and effective ministry with that 
of his brother, Thomas, gave a new impulse to Baptist affairs. Rev. 
C. C. Park was pastor in 1835, and Rev. J. M. Carpenter, another 
North Jersey Baptist minister had the pa.storate from 1837 to 1840, 
Succeeding Mr. Carpenter came Rev. T. Richey. 

About this time. Deacon Samuel Cozard died leaving his homestead 
farm and other property to the church. The Cozard family was an 
important element in the church. They had been among the earliest 
settlers. Four of the name were constituents in 1753 and when the 


family removed the church declined and when they returned in 1775, 
the church enjoyed prosperity. These Cozards were Baptists irre- 
spective of what others might be or do. Baptists in all conditions of 
popularity or unpopularity, Baptists to whom truth and duty was of 
more worth than the good will of any differing from them. Baptists 
who accomplish aught for God and humanity are of this sort, whoae 
faith is vital and is worth telling to every creature. Benedict says that 
Mr. Quin made the discovery of Mr. Cozard's legacy. But the "will" 
was not made till long after Mr. Quin had left the field. Mr. Richey 
did good service for the church and for the cause of Christ. 

The second pastorate of Rev. John Teasdale of nine years from 
June, 1842. Prosperity characterized these years till 1850, when 
Deacon Aaron Salmon died. His "will" gave the bulk of his estate to 
the church, as he had said he would. The "heirs" contested the will, 
but the courts sustained it. "Costs" however, wasted the property 
on the lawyers and what was worse, wrought contention in the church 
and arrayed the Godless against it. It is never safe to risk the avarice 
of "heirs." Pastor Teasdale preferred quiet to disorder and resigned 
in 1851. These Teasdale brothers had been the gift of Wantage, 
(Deckertown) to the denomination. They made neither pretense of 
wisdom or learning, nevertheless they were great, in that they had 
"good common sense," and were true, safe and godly men and with 
Zelotes Grenelle saved the Baptist churches in North Jersey from anti- 
nomianism. These men were raised up at a time of need and did 
great work under the lead of Zelotes Grenelle. 

Rev. Asacl Bronson followed Mr. Teasdale. Mr. Bronson had been 
pastor of a pedo Baptist church, but was led to see his errors through 
Mr. Teasdale, who baptized him into the membership of Mount Olive 
church which licensed and ordained him. Pastor Bronson continued 
pastor till in July 1853. His successor was Rev. T. F. Clancy who 
remained nearly ten years, resigning in the spring of 1863. Under Mr. 
Clancy, a new house of worship was built and was dedicated in 1856. 
After Mr. Clancey, within a few weeks, Rev. H. B. Shermer, ministered 
for nearly six years, till his death on March 22nd, 1869. The next Oc- 
tober, Rev. G. F. Hendrickson settled as pastor. A special work of 
grace occurred under his labors, continuing as pastor for about three 
years. The pastorate was again occupied by Rev. J. G. Entrikin, near 
the close of 1873. 

Next year, 1874, a meeting house was built at Drakesville and in 

1875 was provided. Rev. S. Sproul settled in 1875 and stayed six years 

at Mt. Olive, of mutual profit and enjoyment. Resigning in 1881, a 

short interval came between his resignation and the settlement of Rev. 



M. M. Fogg, in April, 1881. Mr. Fogg was pastor until in 1883. After 
Mr. Fogg, Rev. T. C. Young became pastor, at the next October and re- 
signed in 1888, whom Rev. S. L. Cox followed and closed his pastorate 
in 1890. In that year, thirty-six members were dismissed to constitute 
the Netcong Church. In 1891, Rev. J. L. Watson became pa.stor and 
is now (1900) occupying the office. Mt. OUve Church has had three 
meeting houses. One built in 1768. The "deed" was given by James 
Heaton, brother of Samuel. The "deed" was made to four denomina- 
tions. A second house was built in 1810 and was a "union" house. 
Matters were not pleasant in this union arrangement. Two denomnia- 
tions used the building and the others built one for themselves. The 
Baptists used the old building till 1854, when it was sold, and Mt. 
Olive Bapitst Church built for itself a house of worship and that was 
dedicated in 1856. In 1870, the house was renovated and enlarged. 

When Antinomianism captured the Warwick Association in 1833, 
Mt. Olive withdrew and with the First Wantage and Hamburg 
organized the Sussex Association in 1833. Two churches colonized 
from Mt. Olive: Ledgewood, in 1874, with twenty-eight constituents, 
and Netcong, in 1890, with twenty-six constituents. At least one 
member has been licensed and ordained and has been pastor of the 
Church, exclusive of Samuel Heaton who was ordained before the Church 
was organized. Mt. Olive has had twenty-two pastors. Two of them 
had double pastorates. Mr. Crossley being seven years in his second 
charge and Mr. J. Teasdale being ten years in his second oversight. 
Pastor Sherman died while pastor, having been pastor six years. 

Originally Ledgewood was named Drake.sville. The change of the 
name of the Adllage to that of Ledgewood involved a change of the name 
of the church. Mt. Olive claims the maternity of Ledgewood Church. 
Since Drakesville was a mission station of Mt. Olive Church. The 
origin of the Church is described by the Church clerk, who says: "Pur- 
suant to a notice the citizens of Drakesville met in the old school house 
June 22nd, 1873, to take into consideration the erection of a Baptist 
Church (house) in the village." A committee of three was appointed 
to select a site and arrange for lots on which to build a Church edifice. 
Mr. H. Matthews offered to give the lots and to aid in the erection of 
the buUding. The committee on funds reported that two thousand 
dollars was pledged and it was voted to build in 1873 at a cost of 
four thousand and five hundred dollars. 

All of this happened a year before the Church was organized. Next 
year, in October, 1874, a Baptist Church was constituted with twenty- 
eight members. Six pastors have served the Church; one of them had 
a joint charge of both Mt. Olive and of Ledgeville, J. G. Entrikin, 


1874-76; A. Millington, 1879-81 (Under him the upper part of the Church 
was completed so as to be used for Sunday services.); T. F. Clancey, 
1882-87; I. N. Hill, 1887-92. Between the pastorates of Messrs. Clancy 
and Hill, the entire indebtedness of the Church was paid and while Mr. 
Hill was pastor in 1888, a large contribution was made for the erection 
of the Stanhope chapel. D. Spencer followed Mr. Hill as pastor, 1895- 
1900. Since Mr. Spencer resigned. Rev. T. A. Gessler has supplied 
the Church. 

Netcong Baptist Church sprang from a mission of the Mt. Olive 
Church, which was first known as Stanhope and is in Sussex county, on 
a stream dividing Morris and Sussex counties. Allusion is made to 
Stanhope chapel as early as 1887-8, and is distant from Mt. Olive Church 
about five miles. In 1890, twenty-six members were dismissed to con- 
stitute the Netcong Church, these and other Baptist residents, in all 
thirty-six, were constituted that body, occupying the Stanhope chapel. 
In 1893, they report that they have enlarged and improved their meet- 
ing house, implying a building previously erected. Information from 
Netcong and Dover is indefinite , in general statements . Rev. William 
H. Shawger was pastor at an early date, whether the first pastor is not 

On February 22nd, 1892, a mission at Dover was begun, which Mr. 
Shawger maintained until September, 1893, when thirty-nine members 
of Netcong were dismissed to form Dover Baptist Church, including Mr. 
Shawger, who became pastor at Dover, he removing to that place. Mr. 
J. A. Crawn was ordained for the pastorate at Netcong in 1894. Rev. 
William H. Head followed Mr. Crawn in 1895 as "supply," and in 1898 
is stated to be pastor. The close of his pastorate is not given, but Rev. 
J. A. Peake was pastor in 1900. Netcong is a rural Church, and the 
future of such churches is not cheering. 

The Dover Church, which colonized from Netcong church three 
years after its institution, probably impaired the strength of Netcong. 
If so, they have not complained. An increase in the number of churches 
is not an index of denominational growth, except as resources and popu- 
lation increase, especially if the mature and resourceful churches starve 
distant places to keep the starvelings at home alive. 

Baptist interests in Dover assumed real form when Pastor Shaw- 
ger of Netcong Baptist Church, with Mr. William Morey and Mr. D. 
Jones, on Feburary 22nd, 1892, rented a hall in Dover and began a 
Baptist Mission. Pastor Shawger and these two gentlemen (Baptists) 
sustained the mission until on September 18th, 1893, when with 
thirty-nine members dismissed from Netcong Church constituted the 
Dover Baptist Church. Mr. Shawger was chosen pastor of the Dover 


body. The Church there worshipped in a hall until they moved into 
their own Church edifice, in April, 1896. Their house of worship had 
cost six thousand dollars. It was a large and fitting place of worship. 
In its early years, Dover Baptist Church grew rapidly in membership. 
Later its increase accords with the average increase of Baptist Churches. 
Mr. Shawger is now (1900) pastor at Dover. 

In 1800, members of First Wantage living in Newfoundland asked 
the Church to observe the Lord's Supper in Newfoundland twice a year. 
The request was granted and Pastor Southworth of First Wantage 
preached at Newfoundland once each month from the time of the re- 
quest. Four years developed increased Baptist interest under the active 
labors of Mr. Southworth, and in 180-1 the Newfoundland Baptist Church 
was formed. The Church united with the Warwick Association. But 
in 1817, it was "resolved that this Church shall be dropped from our 
minutes." In 1822, its name appears again and the Church reported 
a membership of thirty-five. The Church reported in 1823, seven 
baptisms and a membership of forty-five. When constituted Ebenezer 
Jayne was ordained. He was still pastor in 1809. Thomas Teasdale 
followed Mr. Jayne, in 1811. In 1839, the Church united with the 
Su.ssex Association. That body was made up of Churches which had 
separated from the Warwick Association when it divided, in 1833, 
adopting Antinomianism. The Sussex Association representing the 
missionary, temperance and working forces of Christianity. In 1856, 
the name of the Church disappears from the minutes of the Sussex As- 



Rev. Messrs. David Jayne, Ebenezer Jayne, John Ellis and David 
Bateman (pastor of Kingwood, 1818-1832) each preached successfully 
in the northern parts of Hunterdon county. A church organization 
was not attempted until the appointment by the board of the State 
Convention of Rev. Thomas Barrass to be a missionary in north New 
Jersey, including North Hunterdon county in his field. The brothers, 
Thomas and Edward Barrass were men of force, of intelligence and de- 
votion to their work, and among the most efficient pastors and evange- 
lists in the state. People were not long in finding out that they were 
of the sort that never apologized for being Baptists of the straightest 

The Bethlehem Church was formed in October, 1837. It was a 
child of Kingwood Church; pastors of that Church occupying the field 
baptizing the converts, who are supposed to have united there. The 
constituents numbered thirteen. In 1839, a spacious meeting house 
was built. Before this worship was in private houses and barns and 
groves as the seasons permitted. Among the members of the Church 
was Nathan Terribery. Those who knew the men and women of these 
earlier times will be surprised that so large and costly a house of worship 
was built. Mr. Terribery was one of the men who asked: "What is 
necessary?" and measured his benefactions by the needs and not by 
what he could spare, and who never limited himself by other than the 
needs. The New Hampton (Junction) Church, a colony from Bethlehem 
Church had a meeting house paid for, ready for its use, and Deacon 
Terribery was chairman of the committee that built it. Mr. Barrass, 
as missionary and as pastor, was nineteen years in this field, giving 
most of his time to Bethlehem Church. Under his administration, 
the Church had grown from thirteen members to one hundred; had built 
two houses of worship and paid for them. Resigning in March, 1850, 
he was at once followed by E. M. Barker, 1850-53; J. J. Barker, 1853-58; 
William Archer, 1858-63; George Young, 1863-67; H. Wescott, 1867-72. 

In June, 1868, nineteen members were dismissed to form New 
Hampton (Junction) Church. Had these remained in the mother 
Church, one pastor would have sufficed for the whole field. Twenty- 


four members, including the pastor, Mr. Wescott, were dismissed in 
1872 to organize the Clinton Church. The going out of these colonies 
was a serious loss to Bethlehem Church. Clinton especially, being near 
by and the town a growing place, while the house of the Bethlehem 
Church was in a lonely rural neighborhood and but for a legacy condi- 
tioned upon maintaining worship in the original Church edifice, the 
Bethlehem Church would have been removed to either Clinton or to 
Pattonburg, a chapel having been built in the last-named place, where 
nearly all the services are held. Mr. J. W. Porter, a student, minister- 
ed at Bethlehem in 1874. T. C. Young became pastor in April 1876-77; 
A. B. Still, 1878-86; L. Myers, 1886-88; J. H. Hyatt, 1888-96; M. M. 
Fogg, 1896-99, dying while at his work. Mrs. Kilgore gave a lot for a 
parsonage and a pastor's home was built under Rev. T. C. Young's 
pastoral care. Rev. A. B. Still had a joint pastorate with Hampton 
Junction Church till 1882 and his memory is recalled with pleasure. 
Mr. Still and Mr. Hyatt were pastors each about eight years. Two 
colonies have gone from Bethlehem, Hampton Junction and Clinton. 

The church has had twelve pastors, the first of whom held the 
office for thirteen years. It has had two houses of worship and a 
chapel. The pastor resides in the parsonage beside the church over a 
mile from Pattenburg. There is no prospect of a large membership. 
With an increase of population, it might grow in strength and force 
and be a source of spiritual power in a wide section. 

New Hampton, Hampton Junction, Central Baptist Junction are 
the several names which the Baptist church at the Junction, Hunterdon 
county, has been known by. Earliest it was know as a "branch of the 
Bethlehem Baptist Church," where Pastors Barrass, Barker and others 
maintained a mission station. Deacon Terriberry lived near the Junc- 
tion and no doubt was the means of the building of the meeting house 
there in 1852. He was a constituent of the Junction Church formed in 
1868 wiih nineteen members. As yet the young Church could not sustain 
itself and the mother Church divided the ser\aces of its pastors with it 
for more than thirteen years and was cheerfully consented to by Pastors 
Still, Young and Wescott, and Pastor G. F. Hendrickson, of Port Murray 
supplemented their work for months. Strength was thus gained and in 
April, 1882, Rev. John Moody became pastor. A work of grace was 
enjoyed under his labors. Within two years, Mr. Moody was called 
away and, in 1884, Rev. Willliam A. Smith entered on the pastorate of 
both the Junction and the Washington Churches, four miles apart. 

Mr. Smith was active in his two-fold service. He devoted special 
attention to Washington, where as yet a house of worship was to be 
erected. Mr. Smith closed his work at the Junction in 1889. Rev. G. 


W. Everitt followed, and in February, 1891, a beautiful house of worship 
was dedicated. Mr. Everitt had a very useful pastorate. His enjoy- 
ment of the new sanctuary was short. In December, 1892, both him- 
self and companions were summoned in their early life to the reward of 
the faithful on high. In May, 1893, Rev. L. A. Schnering entered the 
pastorate and retired in February, 1895. His successor was H. M. B. 
Dare, 1895-1902; Central Junction may become a large Church. Rail- 
road centers have a changing population and their population depends 
upon how long the railroad shops stay. These have now been removed 
but it is a satisfaction to pastor and people to know that whatever hap- 
pens to a locality. Divine truth is living seed and if it does not germinate 
in one locality, it may in another. Aside from joint pastoral care with 
Bethlehem and Washington, five pastors have served the Junction 
Church, one of whom died while in office. Two houses of worship have 
been built, one in 1852, the other in 1891. 

Clinton Baptist Church originated from Bethlehem Church. There 
is a dwelling house in Clinton occupied and owned by a member of the 
Baptist Church, originally built for an Episcopal meeting house, it was 
remodeled for a denominational school. One of the stockholders cher- 
ished Baptist ideas of Bible teaching. Through his influence, Rev. E. 
R. Hera, pastor of Cherry ville Baptist Church, was obtained for monthly 
service. On one occasion, Mr. Hera gave Baptist views of truth and of 
duty. The Pedo Baptist stockliolders took offense. On other occasions 
they found no fault, content to hear the advocacy of doctrines they 
also held. When Mr. Hera, came to his next appointment, the door 
was locked and he was in the street. Such is pedoism: only our own 
and us. 

This outrage stirred the town. A few Christian Methodists opened 
the Methodist Church edifice that day for Mr. Hera and the largest con- 
gregation Mr. Hera had had gathered to see a man who preached his 
convictions of truth, irrespective of place or hearers. It was not the 
first and only time in which our Methodist brethren showed their love 
of truth and honest convictions in the preacher under like circumstances. 
Shut out from the only public hall in the town, Baptist meetings were 
omitted for a time. 

When Rev. Mr. Archer was pastor at Bethlehem, he preached in 
Clinton in private houses. In the meantime, Mr. J. G. Leigh, the stock- 
holder in the old building, of Baptist convictions and who had influenced 
Mr. Hera to come and preach at Clinton, built a school house and em- 
ployed teachers, causing the old parochial school to wither and die. 
The building which had been an Episcopal meeting house and school 
was sold and Mr. Leigh bought it so that the Baptists went back to the 


place from which they had been locked out. An extensive revival broke 
out in Bethlehem Church, the pastor of which lived at Clinton. In May, 
1870, he baptized six residents of Clinton. Mr. G. T. Leigh may have 
been one of them. Soon the organization of a Baptist Church in Clinton 
arose. Mr. Leigh gave the lots for a Baptist Church edifice. The house 
begun in the summer of 1871 and in March, 1872, thirty-seven disciples 
constituted themselves a Baptist Church in the building from which they 
had been expelled. At this meeting, Mr. Leigh was chosen one of the 
deacons and also treasurer of the Church. Rev. H. Westcott, pastor at 
Behtlehem Church, was one of the constituents and called to be pastor 
at Clinton, entered at once upon his duties. 

Their house of worship was dedicated in August, 1872. It was a 
large and most fitting structure having cost ahnost eleven thousand dol- 
lars, besides the value of the lots. The accomplishment of this result 
may signify the part Mr. Leigh had in it. Mr. Wescott remained one 
year. This was the second Baptist Church he originated, the former being 
First Woodbury. He has ahvays been a most efficient helper of new and 
weak Churches, having at his command private resources that enabled 
him to serve Churches without consideration of a salary. Pastors fol- 
lowing were: W. H. Sermer, 1873-77; G. B. Young, ^877-79; H. D. 
Doolittle, 1879-1880. (At midnight he passed to the everlasting man 
sions. Just before he died he called for Deacon Leigh and asked: 
"Deacon, can't I lie just out yonder?" pointing to the Baptist ceme- 
tery. There his body waits the resurrection of the just.); I. N. Hill, 
1880-85; P. A. H. Kline, 1886-93 (The house of worship was enlarged, 
the grounds improved, needful comforts for man and beast provided, 
and best of all, the field which had been barren of spiritual returns, was 
fruitful in converts and in growth. His resignation was accepted with 
deepest regret.) ; E. E. Jones, 1893-96; E. J. Skevington, 1897 and is now, 
1900, pastor. 

Clinton has had eight pastors; one died; only Mr. Kline remained 
eight years. There is every reasonable hope that the Clinton Church 
will have growth and become a center of earnest Christian power. 

The Hampton Junction Church in 1882 called to be its pastor Rev. 
J. W. Moody. In the spring of 1883. he began an afternoon Lord's day 
service in the school house, about a mile out of Washington. A 
blessing attended the service. In April, 1883, thirteen were baptized. 
It was resolved by the Junction Church, on May 20th, to form a Church 
in Washington. An organization however did not take place until 
October 22nd, 1883. Washington was distant from the Junction four 
miles. Services were continued in Washington by Mr. Moody's suc- 
cessor, Rev. W. A. Smith. The baptized converts united with the 


Hampton Junction Church. Mr. Moody closed his labors at Hampton 
Junction Church, Janaary 27th, 1884, and the Washington Church was 
organized and was supplied by him nine months before his removal and 
was its first pastor and one of the constitutents of the Washington church, 
nineteen being the whole number. Already measures had been taken 
to erect a house of worship. A lot had been bought and some materi- 
als for a house of worship. At this juncture Pastor Moody accepted a 
call to a distant field. 

Rev. W. A. Smith was called to the pastorates of the Churches and 
entered on his work in April, 188-4. The concern of chief moment was 
the building of the Church edifice in Washington. The missionary 
committee of the Association had talked over it, but as yet had done 
nothing. That committee, in 1884, was re-organized. A new member 
suggested that Cherry ville. New Brunswick and Flemington each give 
five hundred dollars, and the other Churches of the Association made up 
the balance of the cost of the house. The Senior Deacon of Cherry- 
ville, H. Deats, indorsing his pastor's suggestion. The plan was approv- 
ed and this action was an inspiration to the Churches of the Association. 
The needed sum was promptly secured. Cherryville alone of the three 
Churches paid the five hundred dollars. Mr. Smith was pastor at 
Washington until 1895, having resigned at the Junction Church in 1889, 
having been pastor of two Churches five years and of Washington Church 
exclusively about six years. Rev. C. W. Haines was pastor, 1895-98. 
Rev. E. A. Boom followed Mr. Haines, 1899, and is now (1900) pastor. 

Four pastors have ministered to the Church. One house of worship 
has been built and paid for. 



There is but little data of the churches of an early day which came 
and are not; that if they did not illustrate the missionary convictions 
and the real type of our Baptist ancestry, the veil of oblivion might 
be dropped over them. It would not, however, be just to the men 
and women who laid the foundations of our Baptist faith and have 
Isuilt for us what we have of denominational life and of outcome. 

Morgan Edwards gives what we have of the early life of Knowlton 
church, stating that, "about 1754, two Baptist families, each a hus- 
band and wife moved from Kingwood to the neighborhood." Soon 
after their coming, another Baptist family from Kingwood moved to 
that vicinity. These invited Baptist ministers to visit them. Their 
pastor at Kingwood and Rev. H. Crossley of Mount Olive church 
visited them. As a result of their labors, eight persons went to King- 
wood and were baptized, uniting with that church. The date of the 
deed of the land, on which their meeting house stood was August 9th, 
1756. Their house of worship was built in 1763 and was distant five 
miles from Roxbury (Mount Olive) Baptist church edifice, on a knoll 
like a sugar loaf, the top of which was broken off. From this resem- 
blance the church derived its name, "Knowlton." Knowlton became 
extinct in 1800. 

Rev. T. F. Clancy, an intelligent and cultured man, sent by the 
Philadelphia Association to take charge of the Honeywell school, and 
pastor of the Delaware church, writes in 1853: "About eight miles east 
of the Delaware church formed in 1834, is an old grave yard, killed (?) 
by a drunken minister, if tradition bears true testimony." The Del- 
aware church was in Knowlton township, probably formed of descend- 
ants of Knowlton church. Oxford, (now Montana) possibly had a 
like origin. Mansfield also, had its beginning from Knowlton in 1786. 
Kingwood, the eldest daughter of First Hopewell was pre-eminent 
a missionary church and First Hopewell would have been, but for 
antinomianism. Middletown is thus the ancestress of nearly all the 
Baptist churches in Hunterdon, Warren and Sussex counties of New 
Jersey. Thus Middletown, the senior Baptist church, south of Rhode 
Island, through Cohansie, First Hopewell, and Hightstown is the 


fountainhead of Baptists in North, Central and South Jersey. It is also 
represented far South and West. It's only peer is Piscataway, the 
fruitfulness of which is like to that of Middletown. The memory of 
Obadiah Holmes, the virtual founder of Middleto%vn, is indeed blessed. 
Rev. H. Crossley was the first pastor of Knowlton, for three years. 
Elkana Holmes was pastor in 1775, and after him, Rev. D. Jayne, an 
indefinite time. In 1785, Daniel Vaughan was ordained for the pas- 
torate. With his charge, Morgan Edwards account of Knowlton 
church closes January 2nd, 1790. 

Morgan Edwards, under date of December 29th, 1789, says of 
the early history of Mansfield, commonly written Mansfield wood 
house, the name of the township in Sussex county, "they hold worship 
in a private house, except when many come together. Then they meet 
in Dr. Cummings's barn. The families are about twenty, whereof 
twelve persons are baptized and in the communion." No meeting 
house; no minister; no salary, and yet collect something considerable 
to pay for ministerial visits. One of the first settlers of Mansfield was 
Mr. Abraham Giles, a member of Knowlton church. He invited Rev. 
Mr. Crossley, pastor of Knowlton, to preach at his house sometime 
in 1763. This raised the curiosity of the few families who had made 
settlements in the neighborhood. Mr. Crossley and others repeated 
their visits and some of their hearers became very serious. 

In 1770, Dr. Robert Cummings of Pennsylvania, settled in the 
neighborhood. His wife was the daughter of Andrew Bray, Esq., and 
a very sensible woman. He also encouraged ministers to come preach 
at his house. The next who opened a door to Baptist preachers, was 
a Dutch family named Beam, and it so happened that his daughters 
were the first in these parts who received the baptism of repentance 
for the remission of sins; viz., Elizabeth, Christianna and Susanna. 
After them followed their father and mother, Jacob and Catharine. 
Next followed the names thirteen. These persons on November 20th, 
1786, were formed into a church by Rev. David Jayne. On November, 
12th, 1788, twelve members went from hence to settle at Niagara and 
took a preacher. Rev. William Haven, with them. The early preachers 
at Mansfield have been named. Later, Mr. Cox preached af Mansfield, 
once each month and received twelve bushels of wheat yearly for his 
labors. * * * Qne minister, Thomas Jones, a Welshman, was 
ordained by D. Jayne. Mr. Jones was a man of originalities. He 
removed to the State of New York. 

This record of Mansfield is very satisfactory. Since but for it, we 
had not known of early Baptist planting there, nor of the part in it 
of Knowlton. The First Mansfield church of 1786, is renewed by a 


re-organization in 1841, as Point Murray by the Board of the New 
Jersey Baptist State Convention. Missionaries Rev. WilUam Pollard 
and Thomas Barrass both of Flemington Church were sent to these old 
fields of Knowlton and Mansfield seventy and fifty years after the early 
planting; each, Mansfield, now Pt. Murray; Oxford, now Montana, and 
Delaware, were an out-growth of Knowlton, a legimate offspring of 
Kingwood. In July, 1841, Rev. T. H. Cole, licensed by the Delaware 
Church in 1840, and got astray spiritually but was recovered, visited 
the places of his youth, doing the work of an evangelist. With four 
others, three of them from Oxford (now Montana), in all five, reconsti- 
tuted Mansfield Church (now Pt. Murray). Thus twice Mansfield 
derived its life from the Old Knowlton; first from itself, next from 
its lineal descendant and occupant of its original field and by one, 
which Delaware church commissioned to preach. 

In 1842, a house of worship was built in Point Murray and in 1894, 
the name of the church was changed to that of the to-mi in which it 
it was located. Mr. Cole was the first pastor; Rev. J. J. Carey became 
pastor in 1848, and in 1852, Rev. Edward Barrass settled as pastor. 
Successors were Rev. J. Timberman, 1858-60; J. K. Manning, 1864-67; 
H. C. Putnam, William Humpstone and H. Wescott followed, each one 
year; G. F. Hendrickson, 1873-77; T. C. Young, 1879-81 ; C. W. O. Nyce, 
1882-86; C.L.Percy, 1887-90; G.F.Love, 1890-92; T.E.Vasser, Jr., 1893- 
1900. Point Murray being on the canal, was a business center, where 
boats received and discharged freight. Since 1841, sixteen pastors 
have served the church. This is not an impeachment of their integrity. 
Rather their going there is an instance of self denial and of devotion to 
the best interests of humanity and of their purpose to do what they 
could to bless and save them who are "ready to perish." A small 
salary and an isolated location has doubtless shortened ministerial 

Originally, Montana was Oxford. Oxford and Delaware churches 
were closely linked by their nearness to each other and by the labors 
of the two brothers, Thomas and Edward Barrass. Delaware church 
was in Knowlton township and Oxford was near by. Both were an 
outgrowth of Knowlton. Thomas and Edward Barrass were much 
like to the brothers, Thomas and John Teasdale, eminent for piety, 
character and devotion to Baptist interests in North Jersey, these 
with Zelotes Crenelle ought to be held in everlasting remembrance 
among us for their work and worth. Mr. T. F. Clancy writes in 1853 
of the Oxford church that it was constituted with nine members. The 
church prospered under the missionary labors of the men whom the 
State Convention sent into its field. 


In 1842, a party claiming to be the Oxford church drew off, oppos- 
ing all benevolent societies, Bible, Tract, Sunday-schools, missions 
and seminaries, as being innovations on Baptist usages. Although a 
small minority and the church clerk being one of them, they kept the 
papers of the church, locked the meeting house door and denied access 
to it, by the majority, whom they excluded as heretics. The church, 
although assured of their power to dispossess these usurpers, chose to 
build a new house of worship, which was dedicated in 1847, and to 
leave the faction in the hands of God, protesting against thir action 
and filling claims against the property. The faction is now reduced 
to a very few. * * * Rev. Thomas Barrass who was pastor from 
1831 to February, 1844, resigned. His brother Edward was "supply" 
in 1846 and pastor in 1847 imtil 1850 and ministered to the church for 
seven to nine years. Rev. Mr. Clancy preached once in four weeks for 
Oxford church until April, 1855. 

Soon after the division, about 1842, a majority of the evangelical 
party formed the Franklin church. An antinomian faction went out 
of Hamburg church in 1823, calling itself Franklin. It died of inanition. 
But not succeeding the members at Franklin returned to Oxford. 
After Mr. Clancy, Rev. Edward Barrass was recalled and had a second 
charge of four years. Rev. J. Timberman was pastor in 1859. Rev. 
William Pike served a year. Mr. J. K. Manning was called and was 
ordained in November, 1862 and remained four years. Pastors follow- 
ing were: S. L. Cox, 1868; J. J. Muir, 1868-70, being ordained in Aug- 
ust, 1869. M. M. Finch was ordained for pastor in June, 1871. His 
stay was only ten months. Rev. A. B. McGowan followed and re- 
signed in 1875. Mr. C. Warwick was ordained in February, 1876. 
Rev. S. G. Silliman, 1877-79; J. M. Scott, 1880-81; E. M. Lamb, 1882-90. 
While pastor, the house of worship was repaired and improved. Rev. 
E. A. Boom, 1896-97; S. L. Cox, 1898. W. E. Cooper was also pastor 
about two years. 

Seventeen pastors have ministered to the church. Two of them 
have been recalled. Thomas Barrass was pastor thirteen years and 
the two pastorates of his brother Edward, nearly equalled that of 
Thomas. Montana is believed to have been formed of descendants 
of Knowlton, constituted in 1763. Two meeting houses have been 
built by the church. Small salary, mountainous country and secluded 
section relieves pastors and people from the love of change. Railroads 
laterly have relieved these hills of their seclusion. The people have 
the same elements of character, intelligence and companionship that 
characterize other American communities. 


In 1821, the Board of the Pennsylvania Baptist State Convention 
sent Rev. J. C. Hagan to labor in Sussex county, New Jersey. Mr. 
Hagan remained two winters and was followed by Rev. J. Booth assisted 
by Rev. Thomas Menton. * * * xhis action was induced by the 
Honeywell school fund, which had been left to the Philadelphia Asso- 
ciation. Mr. Honeywell is supposed to have left $20,000, to found 
a school for the education of slaves and of the children of poor parents. 
There was not a Baptist organization in New Jersey to which he could 
give this legacy, when he made his will in 1773. (Minutes of Phila- 
delphia Association, pages 181, 200, 326.) The supervision of this 
school brought distinguished ministers of that Association to this 
field. * * * "Isaac Stelle, Montany, Samuel Jones, J. Mathias, 
who visited the school for thirty-six consecutive years, with only one 
interruption," so writes Mr. T. F. Clancy sent by the Association to 
be its principal. Three trustees were named in the will of Mr. Honey- 
well: Isaac Stelle of Piscataway, Benjamin Miller of Scotch Plains, 
and Samuel Jones of Philadelphia. Thus indicating his preference 
for a New Jersey supervision. 

In October, 1891, the trustees of the Philadelphia Association 
reported money on hand: $1, 964. The total receipts of the Honeywell 
School Fund amounted to $4,504.02. of which amount $4,100 was 
received from matured loans of the city. There is a cash balance to 
new account of $2,979.02, of which balance $2,600 awaits re-invest- 
ment. Had Mr. Honeywell endowed Hopewell School, he would have 
prevented the crime of its removal to Providence, Rhode Island, by 
the "outsiders" of New Jersey. 

When in 1830, the New Jersey Baptist State Convention had been 
organized, its Board sent Rev. William Pollard to Sussex county, to 
counteract the tendencies of our churches in North Jersey to anti- 
nomianism. Later they sent the Barrass brothers, Thomas and 
Edward, who with Zelotes Grenelle and the Teasdale brothers saved 
the older churches from the wreck which befell many others. Thomas 
Barrass was the first pastor of Delaware church and was followed by 
his brother Edward, under whom the house of worehip was begun in 
in 1838. The succession of pastors was; J. R. Morris, 1841; J. R. 
Curran, 1842-45; Thomas Teasdale, 1845-47; T. F. Clancy, 1849-53. 
Mr. Clancy was sent by the trustees from Frankford, Penna., to be 
principal of the Honeywell School. He became pastor of the Dela- 
ware church and was ordained there. He wrote histories of the origin 
and growth of many Baptist churches in North Jersey. A. Harris, 
1854; William M. Jones, 1859, and C. E. Cord, one year. In 1853, 
the membership was sixty. They had a good brick meeting house. 


Twenty-five were added by baptism in one year and in 1856, a deacon's 
widow, Mrs. Aten, canceled all of their debts. Not reporting to the 
Association for many years, a committee was sent to inquire their 
state. The committee reported in 1870, advising that the name be 
omitted from the list of churches. The report was adopted. 

Antinomianism is supposed. The intense hyper-Calvinistic ideas 
of the day had made way for it. The denomination was almost uni- 
versally and vitally impaired in efficiency in New Jersey for half a 
century. The organization of the New Jersey Baptist State Con- 
vention was providential. Under the leadership of Pastor Webb of 
New Brunswick and Morgan J. Rheese of First Trenton, the words of 
Caesar after Pompeii, are fitting: "Vini, visi, vici." 

Rev. T. F. Clancy of Sussex county wrote an account of Montana 
(Oxford) church in 1853. Oxford and Delaware churches were linked 
together by their nearness to each other and by the labors of the two 
brothers, Thomas and Edward Barrass. The Oxford church 
prospered under missionary labor and numbered eighty members. In 
1842, temperance and missionary questions awakened very special 
interest. In the fifties Rev. Mr. Clancy for a time preached once in 
four weeks for Oxford until April, 1855. The period of Mr. Clancy's 
ministry was probably short. 


(•ii.\ni:i: i\. 

ri,i:Mi\(i'ix)N. SANDY miKiK. wkimsvii.i.i; wn cnKinn' 


Tho Flotjunirton llnptiMi cliurrli ih a {lauitht«;r of «hr KinffwcKxl 
rhurrh. Kroin 17<VI. I)avi«l SiilUm. N. CUtx, (J. A. Hunt fiml Jnmm 
Mc!,:uij:hlin. c<ncl» jKudor of KiiijiwcKKl church, mmnl,ain«><l regular 
;»p|xtiniM(i'nt.H in Mcminglon. Mr. Sullon, ctf KinKwiKxl, l»y hin 
pnv»clnnR in Kli'mi?»jrton, doulillctut irillticnccd Thonin^ l-<»wry ami 
.l.iinc.t I'.ilily in \lt\ii, to Riv(> (lie (troiind oit which to Innid a hnptini 
mctMinn ho»i!«<». Next year. 17<M\. Mr. Sutton i«'cun><l th«> t-nction of 
the hoiiJ«» an<l in the n«'nrly twenty ycnrn of hi* clinrsfp «»t KinffwocKi. 
prcnchctl in it. Morgan Kdwartl« ch^Mcrilxw Mr. Sutton. "He haw oft(>n 
heen compared to Nathaniel, of whom it w.'u* tuiid: 'Then> wax no (Oiilc 
in him.' " Mr. Sutton w:w i>!»i«tor of a wealthy church and of a willing 

The pa!«t«)rate of Mr. Sutton at KingwtKHl wa« a npi'cial Providpncc 
for Baptist intenwtj*. He wa« the right man in the right place, not 
only to anticipate the future, hut nn nuich to contnjl tho influi-nc*'*! 
and mean« of his time to mouhl that future. The unprt*tentious houne, 
the building of which he ko quickly accompliHluHl han had triple utum. 
It wns a »«mctu.ary of pniiw sun! prayer. It wa« alw) the sanctuary 
of our sick and wountled sohlien* in the American Revolution; again 
it l>ec4uno "a houHc of prayer" !in<l of m««»««tg«'« of life to other nicit and 
woun«le<l one.s. Nor yet w.'u< it*< miction done, heing a lr)ng linn- hom«! 
.and center when'in wa*« <leveIop«*d a church which waK :u» antidote 
to the falsities of its ,ancei<try. which cherishetl the faith of the early 
disciples .and of Haptist^s in these later time«<, a church that is a npring 
whenc»» living waters flow for "the healing of the n.ationjt," Would then? 
have l)een a Baptist church in Klemington, so early, entwining it* rootn 
about the early settlerx and a foundation of social order and piety, had 
Mr. Sutton failed to compn-hend the future? 

In the interim of the defection of Mr. Cox from evangelical tnith, to 
the coming of Mr. Hunt to Kingwoo<l, Kev. Mr. Kwing of Finfl Hop«»well 
pre.achiHl in Flemington once in four weeks. B.istor Hunt s«'ttle<l at 
KingwjxxJ in October. 170.5, thre«» years before the Flemington church formed. He engaged to devote one third of his labom in Heming- 
ton. The meeting house in FlemingtOD "wa« almoMt in ruiiui." In 


the Cox episode it was unused and neglected. It was repaired and 
Mr. Hunt baptized six converts. These with ten dismissed from 
Kingwood were constituted the Flemington church in 1798. Mr. 
Hunt ministered at Flemington till 1 803, after that he limited himself to 
Kingwood, untU his resignation. Mr. McLaughlin followed Mr. Hunt 
at Kingwood. He agreed to divide his labors between the two churches, 
preaching in either alternately and yet Kingwood wag one of the 
wealthiest Baptist churches in the country. Amply able to command 
the entire time of a pastor and thus at the sacrifice to itself of its own 
needs gave a generous motherly care to its daughter. 

Mr. McLaughlin became pastor at Kingwood in 1808, serving 
both churches till 1811, when he followed Mr. Hunt's example and 
limited himself to Kingwood. Nearby pastors "supplied" Flemington, 
as the church could secure them until April, 1812, when Mr. C. Bart- 
olette "supplied" the church for a year. On May 1st, 1813, he was 
ordained and remained as "supply" for two years and in April, 1814, 
settled as pastor. 

There are events which mark an era. Pastor Bartolette's coming 
to Flemington was one such. He was a wise man and prudent, an 
able preacher, a good pastor and like to his Divine Master, "went about 
doing good." Under his efficient labors, the church grew in strength 
and in number. His pastorate of thirty-four years, was fuD of the 
tokens of Divine favor. Coming to the church when it was weak, 
numbering but eighty members, at his resignation in 1846, it was 
flourishing and numbered three hundred members. More than four 
hundred had been baptized by him into the church. His salary in 1812, 
was two hundred dollars; at the latter part of his charge it was increased 
to four hundred dollars. This however, was not the measure of the 
pastors' income, since it was a universal custom in our churches in those 
days, to share with the pastor, various supplies to the families, the 
furniture, the bam, the wood and the poultry yard, which the writer 
knows, exceeded the nominal salary many hundreds of dollars and 
relieved all anxiety for old age. Mr. Bartolette left the church one of 
the most efficient Baptist churches in the State. He was an evangelical 
preacher, a high toned Cahdnist, impressing his hearers with a sense of 
the Divine Sovereignty and of mankind's reprobacy. Some feared that 
he might launch into the "Dead Sea" of Antinomianism. But he was 
more of a Christian than a doctrinarian, nor ever overlooked the fact, 
that the condition of faith in atoning blood implied responsibility as 
well as obligation. It is a tmeism, that Calvinistic pastors build up 
strong, numerous, abiding and independent churches. Presbyterian- 
ism is an instance. History verifies Bancroft's statement, that 


Calvinism is the fountain source of missions and of the mighty agencies 
which bless humanity and gives to Christianity its aggressiveness^ 
Pastor Bartolette was a missionary pastor. 

At Sandy Ridge, a meeting house was built in 1817 and a church 
organized in 1818, where he preached half of the time till March, 1832. 
In 1836, a large and substantial house of worship was built in Fleming- 
ton. In that year also, a church was formed at Wertsville. An exten- 
sive work of grace was enjoyed in 1838. First Hopewell and King- 
wood, the eldest daughter of First Hopewell, were missionary churches 
until the cancer of Antinomianism developed in Kingwood in 1831-5. 
The former, though deteriorating by the process of self-absorption, 
is still living because of her former spirituality and wealth. King- 
wood has a "name to live" but is dead. Baptisttown however, con- 
stituted of its evangelical element is its substitute in Kingwood. Flem- 
ington church is the fourth generation from Middletown, the succession 
being Flemington, Kingwood, First Hopewell and Middletown. Five 
were licensed to preach in the pastorate of Mr. Bartolette. Three 
were ordained upon the call of Flemington church. Of these, were 
the two brothers, Thomas and Edward Barrass. They labored and 
suffered in destitute places and served needy churches; that but for 
such men, would have been wholly destitute. Another of the three 
ordained at Flemington was William Pollard. 

All of them were earnest, able preachers and had an enviable record 
among ministers and churches. Usually our early ministers were 
men who travelled far and near; often were hungry and poorly clothed, 
choosing sacrifice and hardship, rather than leaving a call unanswered, 
or an opportunity for service unmet. Then and now. New Jersey has 
had and has, noble, devoted men who delight in sacrifice for the privi- 
lege of service. Thus also, they are everywhere; whose whole purpose 
in li^dng is, likeness to the Divine One, who "gave himself for us." 
Mr. Bartolette spent the evening of his days among the people to whom 
he had ministered. Their love clung to him as a mantle. He died in 
1852, sixty-eight years old. He had only one settlement as pastor. 

Rev. C. W. Mulford having been called to be pastor, entered on 
his official duties in the fall of 1846. Mr. Mulford was quite unlike 
his predecessor. Mr. Bartolette was a sedate man both in the pulpit 
and in social life. Mr. Mulford was an animated preacher, genial in 
social life. His charge was cut short by a bronchial affection, to about 
three years, which issued in his death. Rev. L. G. Beck followed Mr. 
Mulford in 1849 and resigned at the end of eighteen months. Mr. 
Beck was persistent and the church very much against its wishes, 


yielded. While pastor, thirty-nine members were dismissed who with 
ten from Kingwood and one from Bethlehem were constituted the 
Cherryville church. 

The same year in which Mr. Beck closed his work in Flemington, 
1851, Rev. Thomas Swain was called to be pastor and immediately 
entered the pastoral office. He remained sixteen years, closing his 
charge in April, 1867. In Mr. Swain's charge two were licensed and 
ten members were dismissed to unite with seventy-eight others, in the 
constitution of a church at Croton. Three churches have sprung 
directly from Flemington, Sandy Ridge in 1818, Wertsville, 1836; 
Cherryville 1849. At both Croton and Ringoes however, Flemington 
gave efficient aid to assure the maintenance of these bodies. It is 
due to Cherryville church to say that she contributed annually for 
many years to sustain the pastor at Croton. It is also fitting to credit 
the Flemington church for making up any lack of local mission work, 
with large benevolent offerings to send the Gospel to far off regions, 
correcting thus, a misapprehension of a people responsive to the needs 
of the needy. 

Rev. E. A. Wood succeeded Mr. Swain. He began his pastorate 
December 1st, 1868. The new house of worship begun previous to 
the settlement of Pastor Wood, was dedicated in 1868. Mr. Wood 
gave up his pastorate at Flemington in the summer of 1872. A few 
weeks after Rev. T. E. Vasser entered upon the pastorate and con- 
tinued eight years resigning in 1880. Several months passed; when 
Rev. F. L. Chapell began his pastoral care in May, 1881, remaining 
till July, 1889. On April 1st, 1890, Rev. J. E. Sagebeer settled as pas- 
tor and resigned to close his pastorate in 1898, when Rev. L. D. Temple 
settled as pastor and was in charge in 1900. 

Some have held that if Flemington had compassed herself with 
Baptist churches and developed them as she could have done Flemington 
would have been a stronger body than it is. This is true of other Bap- 
tist churches formed before and since 1700. Solomon truly said: 
"There is that scatteth and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth 
more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty." However, pastor and 
church are the best judges of localities and of the wisdom of planting 
new interests. Most worthy and memorable men have come out of 
Flemington church who were licensed to preach. Among them were 
Thomas and Edward Barrass, brothers, and William Pollard. These 
were both licensed and ordained at Flemington. They were able 
preachers and could command and hold large congregations. Usually 
they expended their strength in behalf of small and dependent churches 


or sought out fields which but for them would have been left unculti- 
vated. Exclusive of Mr. Hunt and of Mr. McLaughlin, the church 
has had nine pastors, one of whom held his trust for about thirty-four 

Three houses of worship have been in use by the church; one 
built under the ministry of Mr. Sutton, 1766. Another in 1836, under 
Mr. Bartolette's pastorate and a third in 1867-8, and a vacant pulpit. 
The first was in use seventy-one years; the second, thirty-two years. 
The third is now in use and is one of the largest and in its appointments, 
one of the best Baptist houses in the State. Several members have 
been licensed to preach, certainly as many as seven, perhaps others. 
More than one thousand converts have been baptized into the fellow- 
ship of the church and in 1900, the membership was within a fraction, 
five hundred. 

Reference to churches an outgro^^th of Flemington, must include 
allusion to Rev. C. Bartolette, pastor of Flemington church. Soon 
after his settlement, he distributed his labor in the adjoining sections 
of which the church was a center. The vicinities of Sandy Ridge 
shared largely in them. On the Lord's Day in summer, he preached 
in the homes of the people. In winter, on week evenings. These 
ministries had fruit and on the 24th of October, 1818, nineteen disciples 
constituted themselves the Sandy Ridge Baptist church. The Divine 
blessing abode upon the church in 1819. In that year began alternate 
preaching between Flemington and Sandy Ridge and continued for 
thirteen years and till the increase at Flemington demanded Mr. Bart- 
olette's entire time. 

Upon the retirement of the pastor from Sandy Ridge, Rev. J. 
Wright settled there. Prosperity marked the j'ears, 1833, 1839 and 
1840. Pastor Wright, after a useful and joyous pastorate of more 
than ten years, resigned. Rev. George Young entered on pastoral 
duties in the spring of 1843, remaining three and more years, having 
continuous prosperity. After Mr. Young followed Rev. J. E. Rue, 
1847-1850. In this time ground was bought and a parsonage built. 
Rev. J. J. Baker succeeded for nearly five years, 1850-54. Mr. Baker 
had a useful and happy charge. Rev. J. Timberman was pastor, 
1854-57. For nine years from 1858 to 1867, Rev. S. Sproul ministered 
to the church. 1858, 1860 and 1862 were special seasons of spiritual 
harvesting. At a mission station in Stockton, north of Sandy Ridge, 
on the river Delaware, a substantial meeting house was built, to which 
a colony was sent in 1868. The Sandy Ridge church built a large, 
stone house of worship in 1866. The old house erected in 1817 had 
been outgrown and was entirely too small to accommodate the con- 


gregation. It was not dedicated, however, until a few weeks after 
the former pastor, George Young's second pastorate had begun. 

The pastoral charge of Rev. S. Sproul was an era of attainment 
both at home and abroad. Its longer continuance in contrast with 
other short pastorates, had much to do with its efficiency. The man 
himself, Mr. Sproul, must not be left out of the accounting. Events 
show that pastors come into the right place at the right time and have 
specialties in their ministerial career, which are exceptional to them- 
selves and to the churches they serve. Pastor Sproul, judging by the 
fruits of his labors had such an experience at Sandy Ridge. A period 
of "supplies" continued till the second settlement of Rev. George 
Young, beginning anew in November, 1867, and in the same month 
the new house of worship was dedicated. Pastor Young resigned in 
January, 1872, "supplying" the church for some time after, however. 
Rev. B. R. Black was pastor 1873-76. A. W. Peck was pastor for 
a little while. 

In the spring of 1878, Rev. George Young held the pastoral office 
for the third time and remained two years; the welfare of the church 
was much improved in these years. Rev. M. B. Lanning followed 
1881-5. His service was helpful in all respects. Stockton church 
united with the mother church, in a joint pastorate under Rev. A. 
Cauldwell. Churches, in small villages and rural districts are quite 
sensitive to financial changes in commercial centers, also the tendency 
of young people and of capital to the cities seriously impairs their 
strength. Some such, once the stay of the denomination, have been 
reduced by this current abroad to weakness. Mr. Cauldwell resigned 
in the spring of 1888. Destitute of pastoral care until 1890, needed 
repairs on^the church edifice and on the parsonage were made in the 

Rev. G. H. Larison, M. D., became pastor in 1890, being pastor 
also at Rlngoes, preaching at Sandy Ridge in the afternoon and at 
Ringoes, morning and evening. While in the midst of a work of grace, 
he died in 1892, as a result of his intense overwork. (See history of 
Ringoes for an account of his wonderful labors.) A wonderful man! 
As "supply," Rev. C. A. Mott ministered at Sandy Ridge from 1894 to 
May, 1897, when Rev. W. G. Robinson settled and is now (1900) pastor. 

Sandy Ridge has had sixteen pastors. Three of which have been 
joint pastorates with other churches and one of them has been three 
times in charge of the church and another died and closed his ministry 
on earth. A goodly number have been licensed to preach, Messrs. 
C. E. and W. V. Wilson, brothers, W. E. Lock, A. Ammermen, E. C. 
Romine, and the brothers, Judge J. and J. C. Buchanan, but for the 


removal of their father from Sandy Ridge, would have been in the 
number of men of mark from the church. 

Education and schools had a place in the plans of these people. 
One of them, Robert Rittenhouse, founded a Manual Labor School 
in 1831 in his own home, which involved his entire "means." Later 
he bought a more satisfactory property and widened his work. Pro- 
fessors were engaged and the school only closed when Mr. Rittenliouse 
had exhausted his private resources. (On education, a more complete 
account of this school which is given by Rev. W. V. Wilson, one of 
its early students.) This is wa.s one of the eight schools that gave New 
Jersey pre-eminence in the colonies and the states, both as to their 
early origin and their foremost place in the schools of the land and adds 
to the folly of the removal of Hopewell school to Rhode Island from its 
natural and proper home. The two schools, at Bridgeton and Hights- 
town are not included in these eight. Under the Divine hand, strength 
and power are developed from a source which men judge of little worth. 
Thus Sandy Ridge, a plain people, isolated from the centers of busy 
life, send out men whom God honors with the largest usefulness. 

Their unworldliness was told to the writer by a venerable woman, 
once a member of the church, now nearly a hundred years since, and 
said: "It was customary for mothers to bring their infants to church 
and rocking chairs to church and other needful things of infanthood 
and exercise the needful offices of maternity." Although primitive, 
these Godly women trained giants to bless the world. Two houses of 
worship have served the church. One built in 1817, another built in 

1866, corresponding in size to the large growth of the church. A 
third was built at Stockton, a mission station, whither the church 
sent a colony of forty-five members to organize a church. 

Rev. Messrs. Joseph Right, J. J. Baker, A. W. Wigg and A. Arm- 
strong are tenderly remembered as having done mission work in Stock- 
ton long before a Baptist church was established there. By the 
persistent efforts of Rev. S. Sproul of Sandy Ridge, a house of worship 
was built in Stockton and dedicated in 1861. Messrs. Bartle and A. 
Van Sycle gave lots for the building. Pastor Sproul preached at 
Stockton on alternate Lord's Day afternoons. In 1865, Baptists in 
Stockton had increased and agreed to organize a church. Letters 
were given to forty-five and on January, 27, 1866, formed a Baptist 
church. Continuous meetings were held at the time and many persons 
were converted. Rev. C. E. Cordo became pastor in March, 1866, 
and gathered the harvest and closed his labors at Stockton in July 

1867. Mr. J. S. Hutton was ordained for pastor ending his charge of 
three years in September 1871. In 1868, Deacon Wilson of Sandy 


Ridge, (father of C. E. and Wm. V. Wilson) bought a lot and gave it 
to the Stockton church for a parsonage and soon after the parsonage 
was built. The succession of pastors was: A. Cauldwell, 1871-75; 
B. F. Robb, ordained October 1875-79; Mr. Noecker ordained 1879. 
Pastor A. Cauldwell returned to his old charge in 1882-88. Its last 
two years was a joint pastorate at Sandy Ridge. C. W. O. Nyce, 1890; 
J. Huffnagle, 1890-92. "Stated supplies" served the church for seven 
years to May 1899. In that year, Rev. E. E. Krauss entered the 
pastorate, and was pastor in 1900. Mission work had begun con- 
temporaneously in Stockton and in Frenchtown along in 1850-59. 

Both of them were manufacturing towns on the Delaware river. 
The churches and the houses of worship were undertaken in the same 
years. Churches, in manufacturing places are subject to the financial 
conditions of the market and to a changing and often, to a transient 
population, and if they do not have an endowment in financial crises, 
the pastor is the chief burden bearer. Straits of a reduced salary 
often compel pastors to change when they ought not to. A wife 
overborn with hardships of economizing, children deprived of an 
education which educated parents know the value of is a compulsion 
in the Divine instruction of I. Timothy, 5:8. 

Stockton has had eight pastors, one of whom held the office twice 
and was part of the time joint pastor of the mother church. The 
house of worship built under Mr. Sproul in 1861, of Sandy Ridge, is 
still in use. The outlook of the church for growth and large mem- 
bership is not brilliant, owing to a limited field and to being encom- 
passed by older and influential Baptist churches. 

The constituency of Wertsville church was from Flemington 
church. Its origin was unique, much like that of Ledge wood and 
wholly -nithout action by the maternal church. On March 1, 1834, 
a meeting was called at the school house of those favorable to the 
building of a Baptist house of worship in Wertsville. Baptists who 
eventuaUy formed the Baptist church, numbered only eight persons. 

Although the number was small, it included men and women of 
generous ideas and plans. Having discussed the matter, the meeting 
adjourned to the 22nd inst., when final action was taken and articles 
of association were adopted, one of which read: "When a church 
shall have been constituted at said meeting house upon the doctrines 
and principles usually held and practiced by Baptist churches; then 
said church shall have the free use of the house and all other property 
pertaining thereto." Article 2 provided: "The name shall never be 
changed to any other denomination." These Baptists knew what 
they wanted and that the thing wanted be made sure. James Servis 


and Betsey Hoagland gave one acre of land as the site for the meeting 
house and burying ground forever." A house 40x48 was built of 
stone on this lot. A large house for eight people to erect for their 
use. They must have had in mind the saying, "Still there is room." 
We have no further account of this church edifice. 

But on October 1836, a council recognized these eight persons as 
a Baptist church. Their names were N. O. Durham and Mary, Malon 
Higgins and Ann, Abraham S. Van Doren, Abraham Larison, Mary 
Carr and Elizabeth Young, four men and four women. Rev. William 
Pollard was their beloved pastor for the next three years. Enfeebled 
with sickness while pastor, he died on November 30th, 1839. The 
church under his labors had grown to be a strong and numerous body. 

On the Lord's Day, after the recognition of the church, a husband 
and wife were baptized. Rev. William Pollard became pastor and 
though quite infirm, remained three years and died on November 30th, 
1839. Under his labors the church grew to be a strong and numerous 
body: Other pastors were: J. Spencer, 1840-41; J. Wright, having 
a joint pastorate with Sandy Ridge from 1842 and after at Wertsville 
only till 1849; Eph'm Sheppard, 1849-56; George Young, 1856-7; Sam- 
uel Cox, ordained June 10th, 1858-60; J. Beldon, 1861-65; then two 
years of supphes; S. Seigfried, 1867-69; J. Wright, second charge, 
1869-73; suffered a long illness in 1873, aged seventy-seven years. 
J. M. Helsley, 1877-78; H. A. Chapman, 1882-89, had a season of 
revival. Mr. Chapman was an art and mechanical genius. The 
house was transformed under his oversight and by his hand, passing 
description in originality and beauty. Mr. Chapman completed the 
reconstruction without cost to the church. The small salary did not 
retain Mr. Chapman. Nor did the Mission Board appropriate the 
necessary funds for his support. Managers of missions err, as do 
men in their private affairs. After nearly two years from Mr. Chap- 
man's going away, G. W. Leonard settled as pastor in 1891-93. Then 
was a period of "supplies" for five years, and the Rev. J. H. Denning 
settled and retired in 1899. Mr. H. W. Moore, a student ministered for 
some time. The Church has but the one house built, 1834-36, which 
was renewed by Mr. Chapman. 

There have been sixteen pastors and long intervals of "supplies." 
One pastor has died, another has retired in his old age and he had l)een 
pastor twice. Wertsville is a rural church and the nearby Flemington 
is attractive, being large and influential. 

Cherryville is about four miles from Flemington and is on the hills. 
A fact that removes it far off. The church was organized with forty- 
nine members, of them nine were from Kingwood, one from Bethlehem, 


and thirty-nine from Flemington. On October 2nd, 1849, Baptists 
met in the home of one of their members; adopted articles of faith, 
and covenant and organized themselves into a Baptist Church. The 
Church located itself in the village, the name of which it bears. 

The Board of the Baptist State Convention had sent a missionary 
on the field: Rev. E.R. Hera. Pastor Bartolette and the Barrass brothers, 
also of the Flemington Church, had long since been preaching in these 
various localities. Mr. Hera began his work in April, 1849, and in the 
next October the Cherryville Church was constituted. Of natural loca- 
tions, Cherryville was nearest to Flemington. Two miles West was 
more central, but the largest nucleous of members was in Cherryville. 
Mr. Hera was the first pastor in 1850 and continued until July, 1853, 
having been on the field four years. "Supplies" served the church till 
July, 1854. 

In 1850, a good meeting house was built on the lot given by David 
Everitt. The location was out of the way on a beautiful knowl, suitable 
for a cemetery for the dead, but not for a site for a living church. When, 
in 1881-2, the house was remodeled, the pastor used every reasonable 
influence to remove the house to where it ought to have first been put, 
on the corner lot at the foot of the hill, among the homes of the village. 
But it was objected, "then we will have to move the horse sheds!" 

Mr. Hera had a useful pastorate. The church was in entire accord 
and free from debt. Mr. B. Stelle became pastor in July, 1854. He 
won a large place in the love of his people and in the midst of usefulness 
was summoned to his reward on high in August, 1864. Within a few 
months Rev. W. D. Hires took charge of the church. He resigned in 
1867. As in other of his pastorates, Mr. Hires left the impress of him- 
self on the church. An inspirer of men and women to attain to the 
highest aims. The church made a great advance under his labors. 
In 1867, Rev. William Humpstone was pastor both at Cherryville and 
Croton. His stay was only ten months. Limited in mental quality 
and lacking culture, he was the opposite of his predecessor. Then, as 
now, culture is valued by all. Mr. Humpstone was a good man, 
thoroughly earnest and had many tokens of divine blessing on his 

"Supplies" ministered to the people till April, 1869, when Pi,ev. E. 
S. Lear entered the pastoral office. Before his settlement a parsonage 
was bought and paid for. Cherryville had very ample financial re- 
sources. Rev. C. E. Young occupied the pastorate more than five 
years. Most unexpectedly death changed the scene of his service from 
earth to heaven, in August, 1876. Mr. Young was greatly beloved. A 
career of expanding usefulness and of the fairest hopes was strangely 


and suddenly cut off in his youth. First as "supply" and then as pastor, 
Rev. M. B. Laning served the church four years and more. 

His successor was Rev. T. S. Griffiths who settled in 1881 and 
resigned in 1885, but supplied the pulpit from November till the next 
spring. Pastor Griffiths accepted the call only upon the personal so- 
licitation of the senior deacon, H. Deats, when he said: "The call is 
unanimous and if you do not come, I do not know what the result will 
be to the church." There had been serious disagreements previously. 
Also, upon the condition that the meeting house be renovated. Before 
accepting the call a church meeting was held, and Mr. Griffiths was pres- 
ent. It was decided to expend four thousand dollars for improvements 
of the house of worship, and the amount was subscribed within half an 
hour. The senior deacon, H. Deats, saying, as was his want, "Brethren, 
I will take my corner." Later plans involved an outlay of about eight 
thousand dollars. The entire cost of the rebuilding was paid before the 
house was reopened. It was one of the most beautiful, attractive and 
convenient country meeting houses in the State. Of the old edifice, 
nothing was retained except the frame and the floor, and additions were 
made to the front for a steeple and to the rear for a baptismal and social 
meetings. In 1887, Mr. Griffiths learned that a new parsonage was not 
begun and meeting Mr. Deats entreated him to see that it was begun 
at once and before he died. He did so. But he died before it was 
completed. Early in 1886, Pastor W. F. Smith settled and remained 
till April, 1890, Rev. I. D. Mallery followed in February, 1891, to 
1897. In August, 1897, Rev. A. E. Finn became pastor and is now 
(1900) pastor. 

The church has had eleven pastors, two of whom died and thus 
closed their pastoral career. The longest term was ten years. The 
shortest ten months. Two of the pastors had joint pastorates with 
Croton church. While Cherryville has not sent out colonies, it has 
given largely and for many years, to aid Croton to sustain a pastor. 
Other churches in Hunterdon and in Warren counties have also been 
cared for by Cherryville church. Deacon H. Deats was a constant 
helper. The house at Washington, N. J., lingered for years. But 
when Mr. Deats and Cherryville took hold of it, the house was soon 
completed. On one Lord's Day morning, five hundred dollars were 
raised for the building at Washington by Cherryville church. 



Second Hopewell sprang from First Hopewell when First Hope- 
well was a missionary church and was organized in 1803, (page 319, 
Minutes of Philadelphia Association, October, 1803.) with a member- 
ship of twenty-eight. In 1804, it had twenty-three additions by 
baptism. Twelve years went by, before a pastor ministered to it. 
First Hopewell pastor supplied it. Second Hopewell was a constituent 
of the New Jersey Association formed in 1811. In 1815, Rev. William 
E. Ashton was the first pastor for one year. 

Glimpses behind the curtain show that people were as hard to 
please then, as now, and as ready to take offense as in our days. Pas- 
tors were as much as now, persons on whom the disgruntled vented 
their displeasure. Human nature is the same, whether it is Noah, 
Christ or Spurgeon, who preaches. The succession of pastors was, 
A. Hastmgs, 1816-21; J. H. Kennard, 1822-24; could have staid till he 
died, but Zion's King had other use for him in the city where he min- 
istered many years in its tenth church. Samuel Trott, 1827-30. An 
antinomian, his influence determined the withdrawal of the church 
from the Baptist faith and plunged it into antinomianism, also upon 
the venerable and infirm pastor of First Hopewell. Mr. Boggs, who 
also with his church lost their footing on the grace of salvation and 
were swept into the antinomian bog. S. Trott was pastor of Second 
Hopewell in 1829 and C. Suydam in 1832. In 1835 the Association 
referred the letters of First and Second Hopewell to Brethren Wright 
and Stites. Their report was adopted and agreeable there to. (See 
Minutes of 1835, page 3, item 26,) "the names of said churches were 
dropped from our minutes." Second Hopewell lingered the life of 
a weakling. 

Outside of its locality (Harbourton) it is spoken of as "dead." 
Pastors of First Hopewell (living on its original vitality) preach at 
Kingwood and Second Hopewell, keeping up a nominal existence. 
Strange it is, but Second Hopewell has an active Christian offshoot, 
Lambertville, which while it does not repudiate its maternity, does 
not glory in it. Under the Christian influences at Lambertville, the 
Baptist church there was saved from the wreck that overtook First 


and Second Hopewell. Second Hopewell located at Harbourton and 
there was the opened grave and the coffined tenant, which the daugh- 
ter prays that it might have a "resurrection unto life." 

While J. H. Kennard was pastor of Second Hopewell (Harbourton, 
near Lambertville,) in 1822-24, he occasionally preached in Lambert- 
ville at the home of Phillip Marshall and of William Garrison, mem- 
bers of Second Hopewell church. Other Baptist ministers, also 
preached at the houses of other Baptists living in Lambertville. Sandy 
Ridge was more accessible from Lambertville than Harbourton and 
Baptists in New Hope worshipped at Sandy Ridge before the organ- 
ization of the Lambertville church. 

The Baptist church in Lambertville was constituted on February 
10th, 1825, with but five members. Within a short time, Rev. J. 
Booth united with the church by lettter and alternated with Rev. J. 
McLaughlin as "supplies." Mr. McLaughlin had been twice pastor 
at Kingwood and was well known at Second Hopewell and its out 
stations. At the first business meeting in Lambertville church, it 
was resolved to build a house of worship and the lot on which their 
meeting house is, was bought and the church edifice dedicated in 
October, 1825. A minute in the church book reads- "Lord's Day, 
August 7th, 1825, the church met at Mr. Blodgett's, from thence went 
to the Delaware River, because there "was much water there," and 
Mrs. Blodgett was baptized. Rev. Samuel Trott was called in con- 
nection with Second Hopewell, preaching alternately at each place. 
Mr. Trott being an antinomian, sowed the seeds which developed in 
Hopewell to its extinction and impregnated Lambertville, impressing 
some young men licensed to preach with his false teaching. Among 
them Mr. B. D. Stout, who was chosen as a "supply" and soon after 
was ordained and finally called to be pastor serving as such for five 
years. Mr. Stout's father was a Deacon of the church and for years 
its only male member. 

Providentially, Lambertville church was compassed with Christian 
influences and both the church and Mr. Stout saved from the snare 
of falsehood. The pastorate of Mr. -Stout was prosperous. The 
membership increased more than fourfold, even though by a division, 
many were dismissed to Second Hopewell and other antimission 
churches. A succession of short pastorates followed Mr. Stout's 
removal to Middletown in 1837: Mr. Daniel Kelsay was ordained 
about May 1837. Rev. J. Segur followed in 1838. Interims of pastors 
occurred. Rev. George Young was pastor early in the 1840's. J. B. 
Walter closed his charge in 1843, who with twenty-three members 
were dismissed to constitute the Solebury church in Pennsylvania. 


A second pastorate of George Young occurred till January 1845. 
Mr. William B. Shrope was "supply" and then pastor until April 1849. 
Many were added by baptism under his labors. Rev. J. Davis followed 
from May 1849 to 1850. A year of "supplies" came, when 
in 1851, Rev. A. Armstrong became pastor, resigning in 1860. A 
parsonage was built in this charge. As yet the longest pastorate the 
church has had. Rev. H. A. Cordo served as pastor, 18G1-64, after 
whom Rev. F. Johnson had a short stay and Rev. C. E. Young followed 
for about three years. A. D. WilUfer, who settled in 1809, was 
excluded for immoralities in 1873. Rev. C. H. Thomas was pastor 
five years and Rev. W. M. Wick for four years. 

In 1883, a new and costly house of worship was dedicated. The 
building had been in progress since September, 1868 and in March 
1870, the basement was used for worship. In the meantime, interest 
on an enormous debt and the progress of the house by annual dribs, 
tested the endurance of the church and was a burden and hindrance 
to all prosperit3\ A recent pastor said to the writer that, "When he 
hears the fire bells he hopes it is the Baptist church edifice." The 
building in design, in acoustics and in cost is an affliction. Rev. C. H. 
Woolston was pastor 1885-87; W. W. Bullock, 1887-91; F. H. Cooper, 
1892; E.M. Lightfoot, 1894-97; a former pastor, H. A. Cordo, 1898-1900. 

LambertAdlle has had twenty-one pastors. Two of them have had 
second charges. Seven members have been licensed to preach. Two 
were ordained at home and one to be pastor where he had been bap- 
tized and licensed. Two churches have gone out of Lambertville, 
Solebury, Penn., and Ringoes, each of which were originated by G. H. 
Larison, M. D., who was licensed and ordained by Lambertville church. 
(See History of Ringoes church.) In May 1839, the manufacture, 
sale and habitual use of intoxicants was made a disciplinary offence 
and membership was denied to any unwilling to comply with the rule. 
An early antinomian element in the church, the blighting influence of 
the mother church, the long, hard struggle under the burden of debt 
to build their new house of worship (which was an extremity of folly 
into which the church was led by unwise and heedless pastors;) 
evinces the devotion of these Baptists; their love of the truth and 
their purpose to maintain it. 

Ringoes is in Hunterdon county about six miles from Fleming- 
ton. Baptist interests there had their earliest paternity in the King- 
wood Baptist church (now Baptisttown) whose pastors made it a 
mission station. Ringoes is not referred to in the minutes of the 
Flemington church till long after Dr. Larison of Lambertville had 
developed Baptist interests in and about the town. Still it is certain 


that such a pastor as C. Bartolette would not omit it from his labors. 

Lambertville, however, through G. H. Larison, M. D., one of its 
most active and inteUigent members, sought out Ringoes. "He can- 
vassed the field in 1867 with the village as a center finding four Baptists 
in the town and two other friends of Baptist faith willing to unite and 
and sustain Baptist meetings in Ringoes." A meeting was appointed 
at the office of C. W. Larison, M. D., of Ringoes, brother of Dr. G. H. 
Larison of Lambertville. When a committee was chosen to find a 
room in which to hold meetings and to report at an adjourned meeting 
next week in the office of Dr. C. W. Larison of Ringoes. The com- 
mittee reported that not a room could be had and "that not even the 
school house would be allowed for that use." A numerous Presbyterian 
church was in the village and controlled the schoolhouse by the trustees. 
This policy illustrates the uniform habit by Presbyterians toward 
Baptists and interprets their pretense of union. The writer knows 
of worse things in New Jersey of them than this. There was but one 
other place in the village where Baptists could meet, Dr. C. W. Larison's 
office, and they met there for seven weeks on Saturday afternoons. 

In October thay bought a large plot of ground and paid for it. 
Trustees were chosen to hold the property and to build a house of 
worship. The church edifice was built in 1868. The church was 
constituted in September 1868, with twelve members, about a year 
after Mr. Swain resigned at Flemington. The constituents represented 
three churches, Lambertville, Sandy Ridge and Flemington. Another 
A. B. Larison, M. D., was a constituent of Sandy Ridge. "Supplies" 
served the church until January 1870, when Dr. A. B. Larison was 
called to be pastor and was ordained in February 1870. 

Dr. Larison while a surgeon in the Civil War, 1861-4 contracted a 
fatal disease, which terminated his life and his earth work in September 
1872, not however, till the debt for the house of worship was paid. 
Scores of converts were added to the church, while he was pastor and 
he was greatly beloved. Rev. E. I. Pierce entered the pastor's office 
October 1873 and resigned early in 1875. T. C. Young was pastor a 
year. Mr. Helsley followed and was ordained in June 1876, closing 
his pastoral care in April 1882. The pastors following were: F. 
Wilson, a year, 1883; E. M. Gerald, about ten months in 1884. Alien- 
ation came and the house of worship was closed for nearly six months. 
The sympathies of the people went out to their old friend, Dr. G. H. 
Larison of Lambertville, who had entered the ministry. 

He added to the calls of his medical practice the duties of supply 
at Ringoes, beginning there in July 1887. Rising very early on the 
Lord's Day he made his physician's calls and rode seven miles to 


Ringoes, thence six miles to Sandy Ridge, preached in the afternoon, 
returned to Ringoes, preached in the evening and then seven miles 
home to Lambertville; in all twenty-six miles; three sermons and 
early morning physician's visit and also a large "practice on the week 
days at home. He maintained these labors for about five years, enjoying 
a large blessing on his ministry. It will not be a surprise that he died 
at the end of five years in 1892. It is proper to add that this good man 
voluntarily served thus at his own cost. 

Rev. G. W. Leonard was pastor at Ringoes for a year after Dr. 
Larison's death. Early in 1894, Rev. T. C. Young began a pastorate 
of about two years. A succession of pastors was: A. Wells, 1896-98; 
G. Poole, 1898-99. Ringoes Baptist church was planted in a Pedo 
Baptist community under the shadow of a large congregation dis- 
avowing our ideas of truth and of duty and who needed the better 
light of the Gospel of grace. Pedo Baptists are helpless in the light of 
New Testament teaching. Rev. William Grant entered the pastor's 
office in 1899 and was pastor in 1900. 

Twelve pastors have served the church. Two of them died while 
pastors, brothers and physicians. Another brother and physician 
was a resident of Ringoes. One of these brothers held the pastoral 
office twice. A sister of these brothers was also an influential woman, 
holding a high educational professorship and was principal of an 
important academy. 



Up to 1786 the Hightstown Baptist church had been known as 
the Cranbury Baptist church; named at Cranbury from its original 
location in that village, about two miles distant from Hightstown. 
The church removed to Hightstown in 1785. A tradition of seventy 
and more years since was an arrangement with the Presbyterians, 
that if the Baptists would remove to Hightsto-noi, the Presbyterians 
would leave that place to them and not found a Presbyterian church 
there. It is too late to verify any such arrangement and if made, was 
only verbal. The removal however, avoided local rivalries, and 
afforded opportunity for a larger number of people to hear the Gospel 
and to enjoy the privilege of religious worship. New Jersey was a 
preferred resort for Baptist colonists in the 17th century. North, east, 
west and south, they were an important element of the first settlers. 
Of those locating in Monmouth county. Baptists were foremost and 
most numerous. Their influence in adjaent sections was A-ery great. 

The Middletovra Baptist church formed in 1668 had a large con- 
stituency and widely scattered. The country included a very large 
section and Middletown township included a large part of the county. 
Many constituents of the church located at Upper Freehold, others 
at Jacobstown and at various points south of Hightstown. Their 
wide distribution, involved several centers where houses of worship 
were built, the people themselves evidently having ample means both 
to provide for themselves as well as to erect many places of worship, 
where the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper were admin- 
istered and pastors from the original church preached in the earliest 
periods of settlement of the country. It fact, the same mistake was 
made at both Holmdel and Upper Freehold, that of not organizing 
new churches. Hohndel would then have retained its original date 
and Upper Freehold but a little later, 1668. These bodies, had 
with First Hopewell and Jacobstown the lineal descendants and names 
of the constituents of the original Middletown church. Both Cran- 
bury and Hightstowm were on the route of pastors from either, their 
homes or from the parsonage at Holmdel to Upper Freehold, where 
they could stop and preach as they were accustomed to do. A reason 
why Cranbury (Hightstown) antedates Upper Freehold is, that being 
nearer the mother church, it would have the sustaining care of the old 


church, as well as afford to Upper Freehold and Jacobstown, where 
many constituents of Middletown lived, nearer headquarters of Gospel 
ministries and of the ordinances. 

The minutes of the Philadelphia Association(Minute 1745, page 49, 
A. B. P. Soc. Ed. 1851.) state: "Agreed and concluded pursuant 
to requests made by the brethren about Cranbury, that our brethren, 
Nathaniel Jenkins and Jenkins Jones be at Cranbury, Friday the first 
day of November, in order to settle the members there, in church order." 
Seventeen persons were present, members of the Middletown church, 
who covenanted with each other as a Baptist church, a Baptist church 
distinctively. Other denominations were allied to reject their views 
of New Testament teaching and Baptists were at a great discount as 
disciples of Christ. This opposition was to Baptists a bond of unity 
and of assertion of their faith, inciting them to exceeding watchfulness 
lest an erroneous minister or a church, come into their fellowship. Out 
of this grew the custom of asking the association to appoint men to at- 
tend the organization of a church and the ordination of a minister. 
Numbers, culture, repute, place and even the Baptist idea of individu- 
ality were wholly subordinate to guarding against infection by error. 

Pastors Jenkin Jones, of Penepack, Pa., and Nathaniel Jenkins of 
Cohansie were present November 1st, 1745, in Cranbury "to settle the 
Baptists there in church order." One of the constituents was James 
Carman, a licentiate of Middletown church. The organization of the 
church was probably due to him, he having been "licensed to preach 
among that branch of the Middletown church which resided at Cran- 
bury." On the next Lord's Day, November 3rd, 1745, Mr. Carman was 
ordained for the pastorate of the new church. At this time he was 
sixty-seven years old, a time of life in which men are considering the 
question of retiring from public life. There is but one other Baptist 
pastor in New Jersey ordained so late in life. Rev. C. C. Lathrop, 
ordained at Deckertown in 1887, when sixty-nine years old. Pastor 
Carman was a remarkable man. Like the early time pastors, he 
was a missionary pastor. Three or four sermons a week, forty or 
more miles to an appointment did not content him; now in Hunter- 
don county and then in New York City were chosen opportunities to 
do "what he could." When seventy-four years old he was an appointed 
preacher at the Philadelphia Association. 

Rev. Mr. Parkinson, pastor of the First Baptist church in New 
York City, preached a historical sermon at that church on January 1st, 
1813, and says: "After which (the loss of former ministries) Rev. 
James Carman of Cranbury (Hightstown) visited them and baptized 
till their number increased to thirteen when, they were advised (prob- 


ably by Mr. Carman) to unite themselves to the church at Scotch 
Plains of New Jersey, so as to be considered a branch of that church 
and to have Mr. Miller, its pastor, preach and administer the Lord's 
Supper once a quarter." This was in 1753, the eighth year of Mr. 
Carman's settlement, when he was at least seventy-four or seventy- 
five years old. Note the wisdom of this Council. Pastor Miller was 
known to care for the cause of Christ wherever his charge. Scotch 
Plains was the nearest accessible church. Mr. Carman was an old man. 
New York City was at least fifty miles from his home and he must 
ride all that long way on horseback on trails, and having a large field 
at home, it needed his whole time and strength. Thus he made sure 
to provide for the New York Baptists, not only one of the ablest men 
of his day, but also one of the most devoted men. Mr. Carman's salary 
was so small that no mention is made of it. He probably made these 
journeys at his own cost, "for Christ's sake," was the law of his life. 
He died in 1756, at the age of seventy-eight years, having been pastor 
eleven years. 

There must be no withholding of honor or credit from Scotch 
Plains church, nor from its great and devoted pastor, Benjamin Miller, 
for their part in laying the foundations of New York City Baptist 
interests, nor from the man who suffered hardships and self denials 
to plant well and make sure the seed of the tree under the shade of 
which, tens of thousands sit, and the fruit of which has been a blessing 
to the whole earth. Yet such a man as James Carman, whose prayers 
and hardships and long journeys and words of cheer and counsels of 
wisdom have borne fruit in the prosperity which has blessed the world, 
must not be forgotten, as one chosen of God for the increase in which 
we rejoice. Having finished his work, the good man died and was 
buried near the old meeting house in Cranbury. In 1899, his remains 
were disinterred and buried near the house of God in Hightstowm. 

An interim of six weary pastorless years passed. Then Peter 
Wilson, whom Mr. Carman had baptized was called and ordained for 
the pastorate on May 13th, 1782. The labors of this man were apostolic 
whether we speak of the long and frequent journies he made to des- 
titute places; to his incessant labors; to his cheerful response to the 
calls made upon him; to the great and many revivals which attended 
his ministry, or to the eminent men whom he instrumentally brought 
into the kingdom of righteousness. The story of his life and work 
has been effectively told by a succeeding pastor, nearly eighty years 
after Mr. Wilson had gone to his'reward,*Rev. O. P. Eaches. That 
record of a wonderfurman and his no less*wonderful career, is more 
fittingly told than could be by a comparative stranger. The example 

niGlITSTOWN 115 

and influence of his pastor, James Carman, was very positive with Mr. 
Wilson. He had grown up under it. The self sacrifice and zeal and 
devotion of pastor Carman had vast rewards in its silent training of 
the young man, who later would stand in his place. After Mr. Wilson 
resigned in November, 1816, he still supplied the church till June 1817, 
his pastorate really lasting thirty-five years. 

How immensely his wife had to do in the make-up of the man, 
may be inferred from the statement of Morgan Edwards of her. He 
said: "It should not be forgotten that Mrs. Wilson encouraged him 
in his wishes, saying she would go to the washtub or take a hoe in her 
hand rather than he should go without learning." Who can limit a 
man's attainment with such a hallowed home inspiration? Only the 
grace of God has more to do with the making or unmaking of a man 
than that of a wife. Her name, Mary Fisher, ought to be enrolled 
among the nobility of our churches. 

An interim of eighteen months occurred after Mr. Wilson resigned, 
during part of which, Rev. John Seger was supply and on May 1st, 1818, 
settled as pastor, remaining eighteen years. While yet in business 
he had been ordained in New York City in January 1873. Mr. Seger 
made no pretence to scholarship, but the "Book of books" was his 
constant study. He was an instructive preacher and a successful 
pastor, having frequent and large accessions of baptized converts. 
At his resignation the membership of the church was one third larger 
than when he became pastor and it was the largest in membership 
of any Baptist church in the State. Mr. Seger was President of the 
Convention that organized the New Jersey Baptist State Convention 
in 1830 at Hamilton Square. 

In the same year in which Pastor Seger resigned, Rev. C. W. 
Mulford entered the pastorate in December, 1836, and continued pastor 
ten years. Mr. Mulford was a stanch, out spoken temperance man. 
Only one other Baptist minister, oftener and more imperatively com- 
manded public attention to the subject, Rev. Samuel Aaron. Mr. 
Mulford succeeded M. J. Rhees in the secretaryship of The New Jersey 
State Convention. Pastor Rhees removing from the state and from 
being secretary, Rev. C. W. Mulford was chosen President of that 
body. He was one of the Quartette, always present at its annual and 
quarterly meetings of the Board, Judge P. P. Runyan, G. S. Webb, 
S. J. Drake and C. W. Mulford, men always ready to undertake any 
service for the promotion of the interests of the Baptist churches and 
cause in the State or out of it. Mr. Mulford died at Flemington in 
1864 with an incurable disease. 


Rev. George Young followed on April 1st, 1847, closing his pastoral 
care at Hightstown in April, 1851. Mr. Young's pastorates were 
always short, but a second or a third charge in the same church was a 
usual thing in his ministry. He was a highly cultured pastor, exceeded 
by few in his day. Had he contented himself with continuance in 
his pastorates he would have been a greater power for good. But 
his custom of scattering himself limited him in all respects. 

After a few weeks, Rev. J. B. Saxton became pastor at Hights- 
town in May 1851, staying only till October 1852. On the following 
March 1853, E. M. Barker having settled remained four years. Mr. 
Barker was a conscientious man and amusements like croquet were 
only evil to him. Still he enjoyed a "smoke." The specialty of his 
charge in Hightstown was the erection of the spacious and creditable 
house of worship now in use, dedicated in February 1858, in the pastor- 
ate of Rev. L. Smith, who entered the pastorate December 1st, 1857. 
Mr. Smith was a very frail man when he came to Hightstown and did 
not improve. Disease shortened his stay. He died at St. Paul, Minn., 
August 25th, 1864. 

Arrangements were made in January 1864, for a private school. 
The room over the lecture room was granted to Rev. L. Smith, the 
pastor, for a schoolroom free of charge for one year, and Miss Gurr 
was employed to teach the pupils "gathered from the congregation." 
Thus the privacy of the school was assured by Pastor Smith having 
control of the room and of the school and by the pupils of the Baptist 
congregation, subsequently the Haas brothers adopted the school, 
which they gave up upon the location and organization of "Peddie 
Institute." These plans were in anticipation of the action of the 
New Jersey Baptist State Convention to found a Baptist school in the 
State within a few years. Hightstown was a fitting location. A 
friend of the movement in Hightstown Rev. Joshua E. Rue, anticipating 
the opportunity of Hightstown to secure the location of the school 
travelled in the State in behalf of HightstowTi. Eventually the loca- 
tion was made at Hightstown. In the fall of 1869, the main building 
of the Institute was dedicated. It had cost one hundred and fifty 
thousand dollars, and the Board was seriously in debt. Later, through 
the efforts of Rev. William V. Wilson, funds were collected to pay the 
debt and cancel all claims against the Board. 

Additional property has been bought and given to the school, 
enlarging its campus to twen'y-six acres. A Ijeautiful library building 
was built by Jonathan and Mary Longstreet, named the "Longstrect 
Library." A dining hall, including all needed kitchen, culinary and 
laundry appliances has been built. The dining hall is large and favor- 


ably compares in style and beauty and convenience with any, anywhere. 
An athletic field and its appointments, a telescope and observatory, 
laboratory thoroughly furnished, also the scientific department with 
a fine collection of shells, minerals and geological specimens, crowned 
with an endowment of one hundred and seventy thousand dollars 
completes an equipment of the school that is a foremost one in the 

A record of Hightstown must include denominational education 
affairs. The convention which met in Hightstown in 1811 to form 
the New Jersey Association, appointed a committee to report plans 
for a school. There had been in New Jersey a knowledge of educational 
methods in the colonies and there was a higher educational tone here 
than elsewhere. On account of its central location and its staunch 
Baptist interests, there was a disposition among Baptists to locate 
there. Acquaintance with the minutia of education in the colonies, 
showed that New Jersey was a preferred place and an immense advance 
on any other colony. The first free school was begun here in 1668. 
The first legacies for Baptist schools were in this colony and the first 
Baptist schools were here also. 

The sources of its population explain the fervor with which edu- 
cational movements were welcomed. The Holland colonists were 
required as a condition of their emigrating to America to take im- 
mediate steps to found a church and a school. The "P>iends" (Quakers) 
invariably by mutual agreement built school houses alongside of their 
meeting houses. Christian denominations entered into a race for the 
earliest effort to found secondary schools and colleges. (See History 
of Education in New Jersey, issued by the government in 1899, Wash- 
ington, D. C.) 

On June 19th, 1864, Ruv. Isaac Butterfield entered the pastoral 
office. He was a man of rare worth and a preacher eminent for clear- 
ness, simplicity and powers, unpretentious in scholarship, but "mighty 
in the Scriptures." The spacious house of worship was packed with 
an immense congregation entranced by his expositions of sin's ruin, 
of righteousness and of "judgment to come." His stay as pastor 
was only two years. On May 1st, 1867, Rev. Lyman Chase became 
pastor and resigned in two years to take a professorship in Pcddie 
Institute. While a man of intelligence and culture he was not an 
aggressive pastor, better adapted to teach than to develop a church 
into efficiency. After Mr. Chase resigned, "supplies" ministered to 
the church something more than a year. 

In June, Rev. O. P. Eaches accepted a call to be pastor and is now 
(1900) holding the office. When Mr. Eaches settled as pastor, the 


membership was three Imndred and seventy. In 1900, it was live 
himdred and thirty-nine. Each of these thirty years there have been 
additions by baptism. The whole number of Baptisms since June 
1870, to June 1900 has been seven hundred and forty-three. 

Since its constitution, the church has been financially independent. 
From September 1766, to October 1786, ten years, had there been a 
local mission society to aid struggling churches, the church might 
have asked aid. Pastors' salaries were small in the early times, oftener 
they cared for themselves, either living on their own farms or on a 
parsonage farm. Pastor Wilson had a salary of six hundred dollars 
and since then pastors of Hightstown have had a definite income. The 
church has built four meeting houses. The first was built at Cranbury 
in 1747. A "deed" of the lot on which it stood was dated April 15th, 
1746. This building was used to November 1785, when the church 
removed to Hightstown. Whether the second house was ready for 
use in 1785, is not certain!}' kno^Ti. That at Hightstown was in use 
to 1834, when under Mr. Seger, it was too small and the brick edifice 
now in use was built and was dedicated in 1834, about two years 
before Mr. Seger resigned. This building is now in use for the Sunday 
school and for social meetings. The fourth building was dedicated 
in February 1858, in the pastorate of Rev. L. Smith. To Mr. Barker 
and the church building committee the inception of this very creditable 
house is a fitting memorial of the taste and ideas of the people, of a 
church edifice. A parsonage farm had been bought in 1817 and held 
for the pastor till 1857. In 1871, a parsonage was built in the town. 
As many as twenty members have been licensed to preach, one of 
whom became pastor. Alexander McGowan was much like Mr. 
Wilson. A Presbyterian minister, he challenged Mr. Wilson to a 
public debate on baptism. While studying the New Testament in 
preparation for the discussion he became a Baptist and Mr. W^ilson 
baptized him. Of these twelve were useful pastors in New Jersey. 
Others were active ministers abroad. 

Hightstown is centrally located in the state. The Baptist church 
is influential both at home and abroad. It may be permitted to add 
some items of interest about Peddie Institute. Hon. D. M. Wilson 
was the first President of its Board and to him is due the choice of 
the architectural design of the magnificent building even though it 
cost forty-thousand dollars more than a "factory structure" that had 
been partly built. At his death, Hon. Thomas B. Peddie was elected 
President. It is said that he had given fifty thousand dollars while 
living, to Peddie. His will endowed it with an equal sum and Mrs. 
Peddie's will added one hundred thousand to the endowment. Other 


large givers were, the Longstreets, Jonathan and Mary Jr., who bnilt 
the Longstreet library building and Miss Mary fully equipjx'd the 
physical laboratory at a cost of one thousand dollars, and annually 
sends a royal donation for the purchase of books for the library. The 
mother was a Holmes, a near lineal descendant of Obadiah Holmes, 
the Massachusetts Baptist martyr. Each of her children followed her 
example. A daughter's legacy, Eleanor, was about being cast into the 
bottomless pit of debt. Her piistor prevailed, however, to have it 
used as the seed of the "Longstreet Library," assuring the Board 
that it would yield ample fruit; and it has. S. Van Wickle of 
New Brunswick, Rev. F. R. Morse of New York City, Deats, father 
and son, the Wilsons, D. M. and William V., Price of Burlington, 
New Jersey and Rev. Alfred Free of Toms River; these and many 
more have had a large part in the equipment of Peddie Institute. 
Through its friends the school is justly entitled to a first place among 
the Academies of the nation. 



A Seventh Day Baptist church was formed at Manasquan in 
1745. Whether they had left seed of the Baptist faith in the com- 
munity which laid dormant for half a century after their emigration 
to the West is not known, but Baptist ideas of Bible teaching, like 
the wheat grains in the wrappings of Egyptian mummies, retain a 
life germ for centuries. They have but one meaning in all generations, 
even though far apart in both tune and distance. An instance hap- 
pened at Long Branch, New Jersey. Abel Morgan of Middletown 
Baptist church had a station at Long Branch in 1738 and after, and 
had many converts. An hundred years later, the writer had a station 
there and was greeted with welcome by descendants of the early 
Baptists, still cherishing the ideas of their Baptist ancestry. 

Manasquan Baptist church began with and from a woman. Mrs. 
Elizabeth Havens, a widow, was a member of First Hopewell Baptist 
church and a lone Baptist resident of the town in 1801. Two of the 
children were religiously impressed. At her request, one of them 
Samuel, journeyed a long distance through the sand and the Jersey 
"pines" to Hightstown to invite Mr. Wilson, pastor there, to come 
to Manasquan and preach. He did so on the 9th of December, 1801, 
and preached in the house of John Havens, another son. The son, 
Samuel, who had gone to Hightstown was the first one baptized in 
April, 1802. From this time Mr. Wilson visited there once a month 
until there were thirty-seven baptized believers there. Soon after 
Samuel's baptism, Mr. Wilson baptized John Havens and Anna, his 
wife and the wife of Samuel Havens. When thirty-seven had been 
baptized, they decided to organize a Baptist church and on October 
20th, 1804, did so, as the First Baptist church of Howell. Upon the 
division of the township the name was changed to Manasquan. Of 
the constituents, thirteen were named Havens, and others were rel- 
atives, their names changed in marriage. The constituents numbered 
twelve men an twenty-five women. Mrs. Havens was an instance 
of the kind of Baptists, who made us denominationally what we are. 
Some of a modern type would have said, "We are all going to Heaven 
and denominations make no difference. Why send off fifty miles or 
more for a Baptist minister when there are good ministers and churches 


nearby?" The pastors were: Rev. William Bishop, 1807-12; John 
Cooper, preaching once a month, 1812-1823, eleven years; John 
Bloomer, 1823-29; Mr. Clark, one year; D. P. Perdun, ordained August 

Mr. Perdun was an illustration of how really grace fits a plain, 
uncultured man of very limited information for usefulbiess and in- 
fluence. He was of large and massive physique, a physical stalwart. To 
grammar and reading, except his Bible, he was a stranger. An amusing 
instance of his make up happened at a woods' meeting. The meeting 
had not resulted as anticipated. At a conference on the matter, Mr. 
Perdun exclaimed, "I am going to visit every house near here." Hear- 
ing that two elderly ladies lived at a given place, he began there. One 
of them opened the door wide enough to see the caller. But Mr. 
Perdun pushed in and on inquiry learned that she was not a Christian 
and unmarried. Whereupon he lifted his hands and exclaimed, "no 
Lord, no husband and no God. You are in an awful condition!" 
Neither of these ladies was converted at that meeting, nor is it probable 
they ever forgot Mr. Perdun. 

After the resignation of Mr. Perdun, Mr. Boozer was a "supply." 
Rev. C. Cox, Sr., was pastor from June 1842-44. A special work of 
grace was enjoyed under the labors of Mr. Cox at Manasquan and 
Kettle Creek churches at both of which Mr. Cox preached. Rev. E. 

R. Hera, 1846-48. Also Rev. W. F. P. did pastoral service 

after Mr. Hera. In the spring of 1851, Mr. W. F. Brown became 
pastor till 18.53. Four years passed in which the vitality of the church 
was impaired by lack of pastoral care. The frequent changes and 
pastorless intervals were due to the location of their houses of wor- 
ship, one being an accommodation for both Manasquan and Burrsville, 
located in the "Pines" distant from anywhere, which was occupied 
in 1843 and later. This house had been built in 1808 and served neither 
place. Had the house been located in Manasquan, the church would 
have grown to be numerous and of ample means. To establish outposts 
at their pleasure was unwise. The next meeting house was a greater 
folly and without other excuse than covctousness, the probable reason 
had its reward in the almost extinction of the church. Baptists in 
numbers, social position and financial resources had more than all 
other denominations combined and really gave enough to build a 
"union" house to have built one for themselves. There were no other 
churches in the village than theirs. When the writer preached in 
this "union" house in 1843, he said to Baptists, "You have made a 
coffin for your church and you can date its obituary from the day you 
committed yourselves to this movement, providing a home and center 


for other denominations and affording them a home and chance to be. 
it is good to be generous, but not at the cost of suicide." Nor were 
other Christ ian^names^slow in improving their opportunity. With 
lielp from abroad they organized and concentrated in the town, building 
attractive cliurcli edifices where the people were and grew strong, 
while Baptists grew weak; leaving Baptists in their shabby "union" 
house on the hills and well out of the way. This saved the Baptists 
the cost^of sustaining a pastor, giving them preaching by pastors 
of other denominations and it was sure to be emasculated of Baptist 
facts and ideas. They were thus pastorless for many years. 

In 1867-9 the writer, then on the missionary committee, of the 
Association went to them, pointed out the coming extinction and 
prevailed with them to make an effort for life. Deacon Mark Brown 
of the Baptist church bought lots in Manasquan on which the church 
built their second church edifice in 1871 or 2 and it was dedicated in 
1872. The plans and general design of the house were given by the 
chairman of the missionary committee of the Association. A location 
in the village put the church on a parity with other denominations 
and the decline since 1808 was stayed. 

Mr. J. D. Merrill was called to be pastor in December 1857 and 
was ordained on January 19th, 1858. During his pastorate they had 
as large a measure of prosperity as the conditions allowed. Its iso- 
lation on the hills and the attraction of more fitting and suitable places 
of worship in the village hindered the prosperity of the church. Mr. 
Merrill closed his labors at Manasquan in April 1864. Rev. E. M. 
Lockwood followed on May 1st, 1864 and was ordained in August 
1864. He was pastor of both Manasquan and Kettle Creek churches. 
He died on August 13th, 1866. Rev. S. L. Cox followed within a 
few months remaining but one year, because of the uncongeniality 
of the climate. He was succeeded by his father. Rev. Charles Cox, 
who after twenty-four years was pastor the second time. Three 
years Mr. Cox, Sr., remained, closing his pastorate in 1871. Mr. T. S. 
Snow was the next pastor and was ordained in September, 1871, 
remaining until 1873. Upon Mr. Snow's resignation. Rev. E. M. 
Barker entered on his charge 1873-76. In 1876, Rev. D. S. Parmelee 
became pastor for nine years, resigning in 1885. A parsonage was 
secured while Mr. Parmelee was pastor. 

Rev. Henry Cross settled as pastor in 1886. Pastor Cross enlarged 
the church work by making a station at Point Pleasant, about six 
miles south of Manasquan river. Mr. Cress closed his first pastorate 
in 1892 and in the same year, Rev. F. C. Brown became pastor, re- 
maining till 1896. The hearts of the people clung to an old pastor. 


Mr. Cross and he wtia recalled in 1896, and was ministering in 1900. 
Since iiis return the house of worship has been enlarged, really made 
new at the cost of the original building. An inspiration to a higher 
life is infused into the church, more than in any former period of its 

Excepting the labors of Mr. Wilson of Hightstown, the church 
has had twenty pastors. Five or six of these have been ordained here. 
Three have had duplicate settlements. There have been four hundred 
and thirty-one baptisms, except'mg those baptized by Mr. Wilson. 
Of the two meeting houses and the renovation of the last, mention has 
been made. Two members have been licensed to preach, one a pastor's 
son. Another was the ever memorable A. O. S. Havens, who travelled 
and preached on the coast from Manasquan to Mannahawkin and 
through the "Pines" at his own cost, sowing seeds of the Baptist 
faith and impregnating the people with our convictions of truth. 
So much so, that it was a Baptistic section. Three churches have gone 
out from Manasquan, Osborneville, 1835, founded by Mr. A. O. S. 
Havens; Orient, 1848; Point Pleasant, 1888. 

In August 1835, Kettle Creek (Osbornville) was constituted with 
seven members. Five were named Havens, of one family and near 
relatives. One, A. O. S. Havens was a licentiate of Manasquan church. 
These lived at Kettle Creek and some of them were constituents of 
Manasquan church. Mr. A. O. S. Havens was ordained on November 
1835, and was the first pastor remaining, until 1842, also he supplied 
the church from 1845-47. This was his only pastorate; he was a very 
busy minister of the Gospel. Kettle Creek was the only church be- 
tween Manasquan and Manahawkin and east of Jacobstown. Mr. 
Havens was the only Baptist minister living and preaching in this 
wide spiritual waste. Fifty years since it was common rumor, that 
several Methodist churches were composed exclusively of baptized 
believers; the entire section being permeated with Baptist ideas 
through Mr. Havens, who is not known to have asked or received 
any renumeration for his labors. His useful and busy life ended on 
October 16th, 1854 at the age of fifty-three years. A school teacher 
and licentiate, L. H. Terrill helped him in his work, enabling him to 
go abroad and minister in distant places. 

In October 1849, Rev. John Todd became pastor and served 
the church two years. He was a self-sacrificing, good man. The 
Board of the State Convention, welcomed opportunities to engage 
him for missionary work. A meeting house was built soon after the 
church was organized and is now in use. Built in the "Pines" its 
location prevented any growth. About 1869, Rev. Mr. Cook ministered 


to the church. Rev. C. P. Decamp followed as pastor of Kettle Creek 
and Orient church from 1874. Rev. G. Johnson also supplied the 
church. In conjunction with Orient church, Rev. D. Young was 
pastor. After many years, of which the Association minutes said, 
"No report," in 1893, Rev. E. B. Walts settled. New Ufe at once 
began. He baptized converts, doubled the membership. The name 
was changed to Osbornville and the house of worship was repaired, 
Mr. Walts resigned in 1895 and Rev. G. W. Leonard became pastor 
ministering to Osbornville and Orient churches. He closed his labors 
on the field in 1898. 

East of the Raritan and North of Manahawkan and Hightstown 
there were only three Baptist churches. From 1835 to 1865, thirty 
years, eleven Baptist churches were formed, in all fourteen Baptist 
churches. The same territory after the organization of the Trenton 
Association in 1865 to 1900, a period of thirty-five years, includes 
thirty-eight of our churches, an increase of twenty-five in thirty-five 

Appearances indicate that Osbornville church has trials awaiting 
it in the future. Places north and south of it are centers of resort 
for simimer population. Were the meeting house in the village the 
outlook would be more hopeful. Family churches however, seldom 
get hold of a community, unless it is a family community. The sons 
of Mr. Havens are influential men, but they do not live in Osbornville. 
His daughters also, are women of position and influence. Neither 
are they associated with Osbornville church. 

Orient and Osbornville are much alike in their location, isolated 
and away from the thoroughfares of travel. The building of the 
Manasquan first house of worship toward Burrsville helped Baptist 
influence there. Some of the children of Rev. A. O. S. Havens lived 
at Burrsville and that helped Baptist interests there. In 1858, Rev. 
W. F. Brown did much mission work, making Burrsville his head- 
quarters, with the outcome of the organization of Burrsville Baptist 
church, with a constituency of fifteen members. Mr. W. F. Brown 
was pastor and supply for more than twelve years. Chosen to political 
office at various times he was not dependent on the church for support. 
A meeting house was built in Burrsville about 1859-60. Rev. J. E. 
Howd was pastor in 1872. Messrs. DeCamp and Young were joint 
pastors of Busrrville and Osbornville. In 1879, the old pastor. Rev. 
W. F. Brown had a second pastorate which lasted to 1885. Both of 
his pastoral charges included more than sixteen years. Rev. E. 
Thompson, pastor at Lakewood, supplied the church for a year and 
more. The Point Pleasant pastor also supplied the church. Rev. 


G. W. Leonard was for several years pastor at Burrsville and Osborn- 
ville, which arrangement terminated in 1898. Rev. J. W. Hartpcnse 
settled in 1899. 

Churches located as are Burrsville and Osbornville need to be 
tenderly cared for. They live a life of exhaustion, sending abroad 
their most efficient young people. Of necessity they endure long 
periods of destitution and need a large faith and unyielding devotion 
to maintain their visibility and prove themselves the peers of the 
active and self denying servants of God. Such disciples do not have 
the inspiration of association nor are cheered by the consecration of 
times and means in fields "white for the harvest." They endure 
hardships under the most discouraging conditions, make up the de- 
ficiencies of those who go away and hold up the standard of the cross 
in the night and ofttimes in loneliness. Happily God knows! 

Point Pleasant is one of the many churches on the sea shore, 
which owe their existence to the missionary committee of the Trenton 
Association and to Pastor Cross of the Manasquan church. Members 
of Manasquan and Orient churches had been long residents there. 
There were not halls or suitable places of worship. Occasionally 
devotional meetings were held at the homes of members of the churches 
and the pastors were among their people. Pastors and the Baptist 
churches were of "one accord" and in hearty sympathy -n-ith the 
missionary committee, giving special attention to the place in 1882, 
learning then that lots were in waiting to be given for a Baptist placQ4 
of worship. Delays came, by the calls from other places. But in 
1886, the increase of residents put a special phase on the question of 
early movement at Point Pleasant. Pastor Cross had made an appoint- 
ment for service in 1887 and Deacon William Curtis of Manasquan 
church had given valuable lots for the church edifice and the missionary 
committee pushed the collections of funds from the churches for the 
house of worship at Point Pleasant. The concord of the nearby 
church and of the pastor and of the resident Baptists hastened the 
completion of the house of worship which was dedicated in November 
1888, and the organization of the church with fourteen members. 

LTntil 1892, the church was supplied by Mr. Howland Hanson, 
a licentiate of Asbury Park church while a student in college. After 
Mr. Hanson, Rev. W. L. Mayo became pastor in July 1892. He 
stayed only two years. While pastor, the church bought adjoining 
lots, removed the meeting house and made additions for more efficient 
work. Rev. G. W. Drew entered the pastorate, and resigned his 
charge in 1895, when Rev. Mr. Mauser settled as pastor closing his 
pastorate in 1898. A parsonage was built in 1896. Rev. J. A. Clyde 


accepted a call to be pastor and began his pastorate in 1898 and is 
now ministering to the church. After Mr. Hanson, four pastors have 
served the church. Their house is still in use. There is an ample 
field and good hope for the growth of a strong and efficient church. 

The South River church was derived from Hightstown. Its 
origin is not given in the church minutes. The beginning was about 
that of Manasquan. The South River church became antinomian 
and is reduced to a nominal membership. In 1871, under the lead 
of First New Bruns^\'ick church, Baptist elements local and from 
Herbertsville united in constituting The Tabernacle church known as 
Washington and South River. It was formed of thirteen members 
on November 12th, 1871. Our record dates from the New Constitution, 
November 1871. Rev. M. Johnston was the first pastor who closed 
his work in 1874. Other pastors have been H. D. Dolittlo, C. H. 
Woolston, F. C. Overbaugh, W. A. Smith, S. D. Samis, E. I. Case. 
The life of the missionary church has been harrassed by the primitive 
body and limited to less growth than it would otherwise have had. 




The earliest traces of Baptist ideas in Trenton, is said by Morgan 
Edwards to have been introduced there by "Rev. Jonathan Davis, a 
Seventh day Baptist, who with his brother, Elnathan settled in Trenton, 
near the beginning of the century, "(eighteenth) adding that he had 
seen a printed letter directed to Mr. George Whitfield from Jonathan 
Davis dated May 1st, 1740. Mr. Davison was a native of Wales, but 
came to Trenton from Long Island. He died in Trenton in 1750 in 
his seventy-fifth year. Mr. Davis married a lady in Trenton whose 
maiden name was Bowen. I find the name of Bowen among the 
constituents of the First Baptist Church of Trenton. Even though 
many years had gone since Mr. Davis had died, a Bowen of the First 
First church evidenced that the seed he had sown bore fruit. 

Rev. Peter Wilson, pastor at Hightstown preached at Trenton 
as early as 1787 at the house of Mrs. Hannah Keen. "On March 4th, 
1788, he baptized five persons in the Delaware river, supposed to be 
the first case of believers baptism in Trenton." This is not certain, 
since Rev. Mr. Davis may have baptized therein in his long residence 
in the toMm. The First Baptist church in Trenton was constituted 
November 9th, 1805 with a membership of forty-eight. It was formed 
as "The Trenton and Lamberton church." Lamberton, Mill Hill 
and Bloomsbury were sviburbs of Trenton and have been long since 
absorbed in the city. Descendants of some of the constituents. Cole- 
mans, Howells, Parkers, Deys, and others are now identified with the 
Baptist churches in Trenton and in its vicinity. Mr. Wilson con- 
tinued to preach at Trenton once in four weeks until 1809. He also 
had other appointments at Manasquan, Hamilton Square, the Manor, 
Pa., Penns Neck and Lawrencevile, additional to his pastoral duties 
at Hightstown. Few men could be more busy and few accomplished 
more in the vast undertakings of this wonderful man. Col. Peter 
Hunt gave to the church for a house of worship, the land on which 
their meeting house and cemetery are and building their church edifice 
on it, dedicated it on November 26th, 1803, two years before the 
church was constituted. 

Growth made necessary additional labors to Mr. Wilson and on 
July 9th, 1808, Mr. Boswell was engaged as a "supply" once in four 
weeks. At the same meeting at which Mr. Boswell was engaged, 


Mr. Coles, a licentiate of the church was employed as a "supply" for 
another Lord's Day of the month. Three Lord's Days of the month 
the church provided for itself ministerial service. At the close 
of Mr. Wilson's labors in July, 1809, a period of twenty-two years, Mr. 
Boswell was called to be pastor in connection with second Hopewell 
church to begin the next September and a few weeks later was ordained. 
His salary was three hundred and fifty dollars for one half of the time. 
After two years, Mr. Boswell was called for three Lord's Days in each 
month. Trouble developed in 1823, fourteen years after Mr. Boswell's 
settlement, 1808; he had imbibed Swedenborgianism. Hitherto, 
the church had prospered. The pastor was an able preacher, genial 
and winning in social life. His mistake was, instead of saying, that 
his \'iews had changed and quietly resigning, he kept his place, preached 
heresy, stating his views with increasing boldness, until unendurable 
by the evangelical element of his hearers and they were compelled to act. 
In April, 1823, a church meeting decided to call a council for 
advice. Henry Smalley of Cohansey, John Boggs of first Hopewell, 
James McLaughlin of second Hopewell and Thomas B. Montanye of 
Pennsylvania were summoned. The clerk, was instructed to invite 
Mr. Boswell to meet with these pastors, but he declined to meet them. 
The council reported to the church: "We the undersigned having 
heard, are of the opinion that he (Mr. Boswell) has departed from the 
faith of the particular Baptist churches, and demand that he be im- 
mediately notified that until he renounces his errors he cannot have 
our fellowship as a regular Gospel minister." Henry Smalley, John 
Boggs, Thomas B. Montanye. Mr. McLaughlin was pastor of the 
church of which Mr. Boswell had been pastor and was known 
to be evangelical. The church adopted the report and excluded 
Mr. Boswell. By the end of the year sixty-three members had 
been excluded for their sympathy with and acceptance of 
the views of Mr. Boswell. The course pursued by the church 
and the small following of Mr. Boswell at the end of a pastorate of 
fifteen years instances the staunchness of these Baptists and how 
independent they were of personal ties and of genial associations in 
their belief of the Divine word. Mr. Boswell and his friends built 
a meeting house near the First Baptist house of worship and the 
worshippers there were commonly called the second Baptist church. 
For Mr. Boswell baptized those received into his church as Baptists 
do and thus his church was known b}' the sign it hung out. A later 
pastor, D. H. Miller, for special reasons, published a history of the first 
Baptist church of Trenton, representing Mr. BosweU as badly treated 
in a history of the Central church. Mr. Miller's history was a curious 


mixture of truth and misconception. Within a few months Rev. S. W. 
Lynd, pastor at Bordento-\vn was called to a joint charge of that church 
and of first Trenton. The arrangement lasted for a few weeks and 
terminated satisfactorily to both churches. Rev. George Patterson, 
M. D., followed for two years till March, 1828. "Supplies" ministered 
for two years more. 

A call was given in March 1830, to Morgan J. Rhees to a joint 
pastorate with Bordentown which continued till 1834, when Mr. 
Rhees settled at Trenton exclusively. His was the first pastorate 
since Mr. Boswell in which the church had the undivided labors of 
a pastor. Within three years the congregation outgrew the capacity 
of the house of worship and it was enlarged and modernized. Necessity 
justifies curious doings. In 1838, an invalid was received by letter 
"and the hand of fellowship was given to her Father in her behalf." 
After eight years of most acceptable service, Mr. Rhees resigned, and 
a call was sent to Rev. Samuel Aaron, to which he replied: "That his 
anti-slavery views would occasion dissatisfaction to some worthy 
brethren. I doubt very much my fitness to be a pastor till my mind 
or the minds of my brethren shall have undergone a change." This 
was like Samuel Aaron, a man of great courage, unconcerned, whether 
his views on slavery and temperance pleased the people or not. He 
spoke intensely, educating men and women for the days of 1861-65. 
After hearing this letter of Mr. Aaron, so frank and sensible and just, 
Mr. Rhees was immediately and unanimously recalled and as promptly 
accepted the proffered pastorate. Finally he resigned in 1840, closing 
pastoral labors of ten years. 

]Mr. Rhees did an especial work. The defection of Mr. Boswell 
had both impaired the strength of the church and had brought con- 
fusion and hindrance to the Baptist cause and to Baptists in the city. 
Especially as he had located himself as a Baptist on his old field, Mr. 
Boswell did his utmost in opposition to his former charge with whom 
he had the largest influence to win them to his false views. Mr. Rhees 
was such a preacher and pastor that the church had constant growth 
in a continuous accession of spiritual, social and material strength. 
Mr. Boswell died in 1833, and the house of their worship was sold about 
1837, to evangelical Christians and nothing remains of the ism that 
built it. Pastor Rhees was a grand man. The ten years of his life 
in Trenton were also ten years of service as the secretary of the new 
and unshapen state Convention for local missions. Its first secretary 
his plans of administration governed its operations for sixty years. 
To him, that body owes more for its efficiency than to any other, not 
excepting Rev. G. S. Webb and Judge P. P. Runyan, both of the 


first Baptist church of New Brunswick. The temperance cause had 
one of its best advocates in Mr. Rhees. Anything for the better- 
ment of humanity had him for a champion. 

The Trenton Baptist church was a jealously watching church 
against ministerial assumptions or claims of pastors' rights. The 
moderatorship was denied him in their business meetings. Nor was 
there a ready assent to his presence at business meetings. Once, 
present at a business meeting, he expressed his views on the matter 
under consideration. At once one of these good men, offended and 
indignant at the pjistor's objections, possibly to his own plans and 
ideas, moved that Mr. Rhees be excluded from the church. The 
motion was hastily carried. Happily, reflection came before adjourn- 
ment; the vote was reconsidered and the original motion lost, and 
notice of the shameful action was refused a place in the minutes of 
the meeting. Mr. Rhees was a man who did his own thinking along 
Bible lines. He was tall enough to see over the walls of liis fold and 
long armed enough to touch far off fields. 

Mr. L. F. Beecher, having been chosen was ordained for the 
pastoral office in October 1841 . Resigning the next Septemper, his short 
stay was a continuous blessing. In January, 1843, Rev. John Young 
was invited to "supply" the church until April. But in February, 
after a statement of the circumstances of his situation, and an inter- 
change of \'iews on the subject, he was called to be pastor and it was 
immediately accepted, his charge to begin on February 15th. Mr. 
Young presented "a letter from Deacons of a Baptist church in London 
and divers others letters in testimony of his standing character as a 
member of the Baptist church and on these letters was received into 
full membership." This was a strange and unwise proceeding on the 
part of the Trenton church. A body most insistent on following 
the usages of Baptist churches, the subsequent events showed the 
mistake and folly of the course taken. These letters may have been 
forgeries. At a special meeting of the church in July following, Mr. 
Young resigned, to take effect August 15th, he having been elected to 
a professorship in a Campbellite College in Virginia. Mr. Young was 
a cause of dispute and of confusion to Baptist interests in Trenton. 
Mr. Young preached a sermon in early August in which he advocated 
the union of all denominations and more or less exposed his Campbellite 
tendencies. If not of that sect when he came to America, his con- 
version to their views was a short process. Seemingly he was honest, 
which explains his large following. As many as one hundred and 
twenty-four asked for letters of dismission from the first church to 
organize a second Baptist church in upper Trenton. All of these 


however, were not personal followers of Mr. Young nor had iinl)ibcd 
his views. 

The New Jersey Baptist Convention had for along time been 
trying to induce the first church to colonize a Baptist church in North 
Trenton and many Baptists in the city sympathized with this prop- 
osition and these united in this movement of a Baptist church in North 
Trenton. It is not known that pledges had been exchanged between 
Mr. Young and some of the dismissed members to form a second Baptist 
church that might eventually be a Campbellite church. It is known 
that having gone to Virginia and declined the professorship (!) he 
returned to Trenton and became pastor of second Trenton church. 
Whereupon, that body broke into three parts. Thirty-seven mem- 
bers returned to the first church. Another party constituted them- 
selves the Trinity church, worshipping in Temperance Hall. The 
third party built a meeting house on the corner of Hanover and Mont- 
gomery streets, (now the Central church edifice) and had Mr. Young 
as pastor. Mr. Young had been repudiated by the first church and 
was a bar to a recognition by the first church of that which Mr. Young 
was pastor. In the history of the "Central church" the facts per- 
taining to the extinction of Mr. Young's church (known as the second 
Baptist church) the disposition of its property and its possession by 
the "Central Church" and the absorption of the "Trinity" church 
in the "Central" is fitly given. An explanation of why Mr. Young 
was recognized as a Baptist minister and his church as a Baptist church 
has not been written, nor can be. In part it is a fact, that Baptists 
in the entire state were concerned to have a Baptist church in North 
Trenton. The first church located in South Trenton while a large 
and influential body, did not influence the entire city, with Baptist 
influences and its scattered membership in Upper Trenton, lacking 
the cohesion of a church failed to represent our ideas of church order 
and the conditions of memljcrship in a church as was felt to be desirable. 
The writer recalls how seriously this subject was discussed hi the Board 
meetings and the intense feeling that Baptists did not have the repre- 
sentation in the State capitol, they felt themselves entitled to. This, 
impelled the recognition of both the church and of Mr. Young. 

The mother church after having suffered the calamities endured 
in connection with the Young affair, chose for pastor, a man known 
to all to be right and true to Baptist interests. Rev. L. G. Beck. 
Him they called and he entered the pastoral office in March 1844. 
Mr. Beck was a wise pilot for the stormy times into which he was 
summoned. His position was far from desirable. Nevertheless, 
he retained it for nearly six years and richly deserved the quiet and 


peaceful pastorate on which he entered. One of the most amiable 
and loveable men followed Mr. Beck in January 1850, Rev. H. K. 
Green. Mr. Green was a polished preacher and a man of the highest 
scholarship in his generation. He declined re-election at the end of 
1852. For a year or more, that choice man, Duncan Dunbar min- 
istered until in 1854. 

Within a short time, Rev. Lewis Smith settled in 1855. Three 
years later Mr. Smith accepted a call elsewhere. Many converts 
were added to the church under his ministry and the church adopted 
a resolution: "That signing a tavern license should not be tolerated 
in a Christian church. The use and sale of intoxicating drinks were 
also included." A second offense subjected the offender to exclusion. 
Material advances were also made in the erection of a building in 1857 
for Sunday school and social meetings. 

In October 1858, Rev. O. T. Walker entered the pastorate. The 
growth of the membership, the increase of the population in South 
Trenton, the popularity of the pastor, his indefatigable labors brought 
a crisis to the church. The old meeting house, which had been en- 
larged and modernized several times, was utterly inadequate to ac- 
commodate the multitude that thronged it. A new edifice was built 
larger than any Protestant house of worship in the cit}^ modest, 
plain and attractive on account of its fitness for its uses. Still the 
spacious room was too small. Hundreds were often unable to get 
standing room in it. Pastor Walker closed his ministry September 
1st, 1863. Since then, large congregations have met. Succeeding 
pastors have baptized hundreds into the church and yet the same 
walls include the average congregation. 

Rev. D. H. Miller entered the pastorate December 1st 1863. 
He retained the congregations Mr. Walker had gathered and bap- 
tized more than anv former pastor. Two reasons explain this. One, 
Mr. Walker had won many into the House of God, as yet unconverted 
and Mr. Miller harvested them. Another, the Central church had 
gotten Elder Jacob Knapp to hold a series of meetings in February 
1867 and one hundred more were baptized into the first church within 
a year. Mr. Miller closed his work in Trenton in October 1867. 

An interim of six months occurred until Rev. G. W. Lasher settled 
as pastor in April 1868. Mr. Lasher soon won a large place for him- 
self in the confidence of the church and congregation and in that of 
the Baptists in the city and in the esteem of the entire Christian com- 
munity. The internal affairs of the church were reorganized and 
conformed to practical efficiency. In 1871, he wrote a sketch of the 
first church and said: "Lots were bought on Perry street." The 


first church never bought or owned lots on Perry street, nor opened 
a mission thereabout. Instead of Perry street, Mr. Miller bought 
cheap lots on a side and out of the way street in the midst of a mission 
which the Central church had opened a year before, when the central 
church had secured lots on Perry street. Mr. Lasher adds: "At 
the request of the Central church, they were sold to it at the price paid 
for them and the mission transferred to them." Mr. Miller happening 
in the study of the Central pastor told of the buying of the lots in a 
mission of the Central church. At this time all South Trenton with 
its tens of thousands of population was open, nothing being done 
for Baptist interests. To the Central people it was strange to locate 
a mission in their field where they had sustained a mission for more 
than a year and the nearby destitution neglected. The Central church 
did not request the sale of the lots to them. Instead, Mr. Miller asked 
of the Central pastor if his church would buy their lots, the price 
being fifty dollars more than the first church had originally paid for 
it. To explain the added cost of the lots, something was said about 
"interest." Mr. D. P. Forst was President of the Central Board of 
Trustees and when the purchase of the lot of the first church was stated 
to him, he said: "Say to Mr. Miller, send to me the deed of the lot and 
I will return to him my check for its price." The lot on Perry street 
costing nearly double that of the first church had a chapel for the 
Central Church, built on it within six months- of this settlement. 
The mission was not transferred to the Central Church. The First 
Church never had a mission in that locality. Clinton Avenue Church 
is the development of the Pearl Street Mission. 

Mr. Lasher saw the needs of his own field and was the first pastor 
of the first church to take measures to meet them. Lots were bought 
about 1868 or 9 and a chapel was built in a densely populated neigh- 
borhood and was dedicated on May 23rd, 1869. The mission has grown 
into a church, Calvary Baptist church. Another mission was originated 
by the gift of lots on which to build a chapel for what is now the fifth 
Baptist church in Trenton. The chapel was erected in the pastorate 
of Mr. Lasher and a church constituted in 1891. While thus pushing 
matters in South Trenton, the pastor succeeding in reducing the debt 
which encumbered the church, showing himself not only an efficient 
pastor, but awake to supply his field with Gospel agencies. More 
than his predecessors he has effectively furnished South Trenton with 
churches maintaining the Gospel of the Son of God. After its accom- 
plishments this pastorate came to an end quite too soon. In it also, 
was the earliest attainment of unanimity in city missions. The 
prejudices growing out of the "Young" episode gave way to concord 


in the common interests of our churches. Had Mr. Miller been dis- 
posed to united enterprises, there would have been, both a German 
and an Afro American church established long since. But the old 
entanglements were very unyielding. The Central hurch was ready to 
pledge several thousand dollars annually for years, for these objects. 

Rev. Elijah Lucas became pastor in 1873, remaining twenty and 
more years, closing his labors in 1894. In 1886, he resigned. But 
the church declined to accept it, by so nearly a unanimous vote that 
he consented to remain. Only pastors Wilson, Boswell, Rhees, Beck 
had stayed more than three or four years. A little coterie of mem- 
bers craving some new thing buzzed about the pastor and made him 
uneasy. These practiced on Mr. Lucas, found out that if either must 
go they could be spared. Withal he was an able preacher, original, 
pithy and clear. His activities kept him in touch with his hearers, 
the lowly as much as the officials. He was not perfect. Prov. 22:3 
was his portrait. The politicians on sale, rum sellers and saloon 
keepers cursed him. As chaplain in the legislature, his prayers were a 
terror to some of them, showing that he knew what they knew could 
unmask them. No pastor in Trenton had more bitter enemies. They 
assailed him on a clergyman's most vulnerable side, his moral char- 
acter. They failed but so impaired the confidence in him as to drive 
him away. Had Mr. Lucas intrenched himself in the sympathies of 
his ministerial brethren of the Christian denomintitions in Trenton 
and been a co-worker with those of his own denomination in their 
common fields, he would have had a religious constituency to keep 
him in Trenton, "a terror to evil doers." 

Rev. M. P. Fikes began his pastoral work in 1894. The interior 
of the church edifice was remodeled and the building for the Sunday 
schools and social meetings was connected with the main building. 
Mr. Fikes resigned in April, 1900. 

The first church, Trenton, is located "do^\Tl to^\ii," amid the 
workmen of the factories of South Trenton. Under Mr. Walker, a 
proposition to remove to "Mill HiU" was seriously agitated, but the 
condition of the gift of the ground, where the house stood and the 
cemetery about it, its reversion to the heirs of Col. Hunt, if diverted 
from the uses for which it was given possibly influenced the choice of 
the old location. 

Of their house of worship, it is the second they have had up to 
1900. even though the old house had been enlarged and often repaired. 
The church has had fifteen pastors. Mr. Wilson antedated the consti- 
tution of the church. In all he preached in Trenton twenty- one years, 
Mr. Boswell fourteen years; Mr. Rhees, ten years; Mr. Lucas more than 


twenty years; seven have been licensed to preach. Twenty-one 
hundred have been baptized into it. Of these, nearly seven hundred 
and fifty were baptized by Mr. Lucas. The annual average of baptisms 
since 1805 has been twenty-two. In 1875, Rev. Daniel Freas removed 
to Trenton. He was born in Salem, New Jersey, and had a considerable 
competence from his father. Mention is made of him in the history 
of Woodbury church, where he invested so much as was needful to 
adapt the house for worship. The writer recalls a meeting of the 
Board of the State Convention, when Mr. Freas asked its indorsement of 
his visiting Baptist churches in New Jersey to collect funds to repay 
him. The Board cheerfully gave its endorsement. The daily papers 
of Trenton said of his death: "The day of the burial of Mr. Freas 
was in Trenton a day of universal grief." In a letter to the writer, 
this extract appears. "Mr. Freas was altogether independent. He 
received no salary. Certain persons of all religious and of irreligious 
faiths cared for him. All doors were open to him in Trenton. He 
spent twenty years in Trenton as a volunteer missionary." 

Those clippings are from the city newspapers: 

"City Missionary Daniel J. Freas, who was killed yesterday by a 
trolley car, will be very much missed in Trenton. He was a kindly 
and benevolent man, a bom missionary, always ready to assist the 
unfortunate and to excuse the wayward and the erring. He gathered 
from the prosperous to distribute to the poor and wretched, and if 
by chance an undeserving one was the sharer of his bounty, he always 
had a mild and ready excuse. No rain was too heavy and no blizzard 
too severe to keep him from going his rounds to hunt up the sick and 
the suffering. He would say to people of wealth: "Do you wish to 
share with me in the cares and happiness of the coming year? If you 
do, give me as the Lord has blessed you. I will use your money the 
best I can, and you shall share in my prayers." There were people 
who would contribute to Mr. Freas and to no one else." 

To one unfamiliar with Baptist history in Trenton the late date 
of the origin of the Central Trenton church will be strange. The 
Central is the third Baptist founded in LTpper Trenton. In 1842, 
the first church called Rev. John Young, lately come from England, 
to be their pastor. Six months afterwards he resigned, having ac- 
cepted a professorship in the Campbellite College at Bethany, West Va. 
Mr. Young claimed to be a Baptist when called to the first Church. 
Mr. Young in 1843 preached a sermon in which he insisted on the 
union of all Christian churches. A public meeting was called in the 
City Hall; after his sermon, to remonstrate against the action of the 
First church, rejecting Mr. Young. William Boswell, an old pastor 


of the First church, but excluded from it was chairman and F. S. Mill 
secretary; one a Swedenborgian and the other a Methodist. 

At his resignation one hundred and twenty-four members of that 
church received letters to organize a second Baptist church in Upper 
Trenton and that body was recognized as a Baptist church and it 
gave Mr. Young a call to be pastor, whereupon the second church 
broke into three parts, one of which returned to the first church. A 
second organized;the Trinity Baptist church and worshipped in "Tem- 
perance Hall." The third party built a meeting house on the site of 
the present Central church, of which part Mr. Young was pastor. 

Whether an arrangement had been made by some dismissed from 
the first church to call him to be pastor of the second church is unknown 
At a council called in the case of Mr. Young, on his statement that he 
was a Baptist, he was recognized as such, pastor of the second Baptist 
church. It was a universal desire of the denominatino in New Jersey 
to have a Baptist church in Upper Trenton and this explains in part 
the readiness of good and wise men to accept Mr. Young as a Baptist. 
Dates of the various movements in these confusions are lost, the sequence 
of them, however, is clear. The denomination did not accept Mr. 
Young as a Baptist, in fact he was believed to be a Campbellite in 
disguise. He was pastor of the second Baptist church in 1844. When 
he came back to Trenton, how long he stayed and when he left, or what 
became of him and of his denominational relations is not known. 

The Central Baptist church owes its existence to the New Jerse}' 
Baptist State convention. The property of the second church was to 
be sold for debt and the Board of the Convention appointed Judge 
P. P. Runyan of New Brunswick, D. M. Wilson and J. M. Davies of 
Newark to buy and hold it for Baptist uses. They paid off a floating 
debt of thousands of dollars and made needed repairs until the organ- 
ization of the Central church. 

In October 1853, the Board appointed Rev. J. T. Wilcox to be a 
missionary in North Tretnon. He come as a spiritual chemLst and 
mingled the Heavenly alkali of love, patience and faith with the dis- 
cordant elements unite them in a Baptist church. To his wisdom and 
prudence is largely due the success which crowned his work. Helpers 
were few and comforters like to Job's were many. On the 30th of April 
1854, twenty-nine Baptists constituted the Central Baptist church 
of Trenton. In May, they were recognized as such. Fifteen of these 
were from the Trinity Baptist church which had disbanded in antici- 
pation of the forming of the Central church. Two were from the first 
church and twelve Baptist residents in Upper Trenton. Mr. Wilcox 
found chaos. He left a happy church of ninety-three membera 


Wearied with anxious care and exhaustion of more than four years 
of toil, his health failed and he resigned ui the midst of a revival, 
closing his pastorate March 21st, 1858. 

Rev. Lyman Wright the choice of both pastor and people, had 
already accepted a call to be pastor and began his charge in the next 
May. Instead of coming with pruning knife and plow, he came sickle 
in hand to a ripening harvest. Inquirers and converts thronged the 
gates of Zion. Six converts he "buried in baptism" on the first Sunday 
of his pastoral charge. He was pastor eighteen months and the 
house of worship was made attractive. Previously two Baptists had 
moved to Trenton, living nearer the first church than to the Central, 
D. P. Forst and wife, and J. E. Darrah and wife. In reply to efforts 
to unite at the first church, they said: "Your church is already 
crowded and we are not needed. But the Central is small and weak 
and needs us financially, socially and otherwise and so they united 
where they could be of the most use." Prospered in business, they 
accumulated wealth and when later, thousands of dollars were needed 
for enlargement and mission work, it was freely given. On the next 
Lord's Day to that in which Mr. Wright retired. Rev. G. R. Darrow 
settled November 1st, 1859. In about two years, Mr. Darrow accepted 
a chaplaincy in the army of the Civil War. Mr. Darrow left the mark of 
a man of God in whom were combined the cultured gentleman and the 
Christian patriot minister. 

Rev. T. R. Howlet began his pastorate August 1st, 1861. The 
distraction caused by the Civil War, the large drafts upon the men and 
on the wealth of the nation, engrossed the energies of the people and 
the churches endured exhaustion rather than increase and in December, 
1863, there was another vacancy in the pastorate. The church was 
divided and serious alienations prevailed at this time. An interim 
between pastoral oversight was improved by enlarging the meeting 
house and an entire reconstruction, making it a new building. The 
cost was about eight thousand dollars. The entire outlay was can- 
celled when the new house of worship was dedicated in March 1864. 

On December 1st, 1863, Rev. T. S. Griffiths became pastor and 
closed his charge April 1st, 1870., till now, the longest pastorate the 
church has had. The long vacation in the pastoral office, the re- 
building of the meeting house and the suspension of social meetings and 
the Lord's Day service had its usual effect. Congregations were 
scattered and the membership reduced. The alienations of the former 
days had also grown, but the wisdom and piety of the membership 
averted disaster. Former distractions paused by the "Young" episode 
hindered concert between the churches. Both churches however, 


were on the outlook for expansion and l^y mission Sunday schools 
were entering the fields of usefulness. 

The Central church had three mission Sunday schools. Tha^ 
on Perry street had special promise of early return. Already, converts 
were gathered and added by baptism into the church. At a call by 
Mr. Miller of the first church on the pastor of the Central church, he 
revealed that his church had bought lots on a by street, far away from 
the residences of any of their members. This was a surprise since the 
Central church had been sustaining a mission in that part of the city 
since 18G5. Years elapsed but the first church made no move. Deacon 
Forst of the Central church often said to his pastor, "I will build a 
chapel." We had engaged lots on a prominent street at a larger cost 
than the first church, but on account of the old alienation between the 
churches the whole movement was suspended. In time, Mr. Miller 
came to see the pastor of the Central church and asked if he woud buy 
their lots. The pastor said "No, not on a by street." Eventually 
we bought their lots at a price of fifty dollars more than they had paid 
for them and then selling them. The Central church built a chapel on 
their own choice lots. These things delayed the building of the chapel, 
till 1867. The property was given to the Clinton Avenue church and 
they ocupied the place till they changed their location to Clinton 
Avenue. That eminent evangelist, "Elder Jacob Knapp" came by 
invitation of the Central church and begun special meetings in Feb- 
ruary, 1867, continuing them six weeks. As a result, all the city 
churches enjoyed a spiritual refreshing. One hundred and thirty 
six were baptized in the Central church; more than one hundred into 
the first Baptist church and it is believed that as many as five hun- 
dred were added to the several churches that year. 

Another mission was begun in East Trenton by the Central church 
in 1868. The meetings were held in a small room over the oven in 
a pottery and the pastor's feet were unduly heated by the hot bricks 
while preaching. Under the next pastor of the Central church a chapel 
building was erected for the use of this mission which is now "The 
Olivet Church." The disasters which befell the Central church from 
1870 to 78 seriously affected this mission, but Mr. William Ellis kept 
it alive and Deacon D. P. Forst advanced the funds to build the chapel 
which his untimely death made it necessary to repay. When Mr. 
Howlett, pastor of the Central church advised the church to give up 
this mission, the Clinton Avenue church cared for it and later the 
Trenton City Mission Society. A parsonage was bought adjoining the 
church, by Deacon D. P. Forst in 1865. It was lost when given to Mr. 
Howlett in settlemant for arrearages of salary due him about 1875-6. 


Upon the removal of Pastor Griffiths ui April 1870, Rev. C. Keyser 
settled as pastor the next October. After the meetings of Mr. Knapp 
in a sketch of the Central church, it was stated "that only thirty-eight 
remained of the one hundred and thirty-six baptized and of them fifty- 
two had been excluded, or over one-third, and at least twenty have 
ceased to show any interest in the church." Even though the state- 
ment be true, it is not just, except all the facts are given. The pastor 
who succeeded to the care of a church of more than four hundred 
members, two hundred and fifty of whom were actively engaged, 
each week as teachers in five Sunday schools and which sustained 
twenty-one prayer meetings each week, and two additional preaching 
services alternately, both now efficient churches; this pastor a good 
man and an able preacher, announced to these disciples from the 
pulpit: "that the main business of a church was to take care of 
itself," alienated from himself the spiritual element and chilled the 
activities of the church. Very soon the thirteen mission districts were 
suspended and the twenty-one prayer meetings dwindled to one at which 
the attendance was reduced to about twenty per cent of the two or 
three hundred that had formerly met. More, a colony of most efficient 
members went out to form the Clinton Avenue church, because they 
were shut up at home, and with the purpose to renew the old time 
activity. Not only this, but diversion and dissention brought 
disatisf action and a large majority of the young members of the church 
were disgusted with the type of religion they saw in the church busi- 
ness meetings and wandered off, explaining why so many of the bap- 
tized were lost from the membership. It was wholly due to the change 
from life to decay. 

The mission work of the church promised abundant fruit. In 
his introductory sermon in December, 1863, Pastor Griffiths 
had said: "I do not come here to build up this church 
out of other congregations, but to gather from the 'highways and 
hedges,' the non-church-going people." To this the membership 
responded and when the plans were changed for "sitting still," it is 
not surprising that there was a balk in all mission work. If 
any credit is given for the rapid growth of the church it 
is to be recognized as having passed from a "side track" to the 
"main line" to an active place in Christian activities because of the 
piety and devotion of its membership, each aiming to be "in his own 
place round about the camp and answering to the call of the Divine 
Master, "Here Lord, am I, send me." The necessity of building a 
larger house of worship and the prospective increase of labors im- 


pelled the pastor to believe that another unwearied with care could 
better develope new lines of enlargement. 

A large German population had come into the city and demanded 
attention to reach it with Baptist views of truth. Members of the 
Central church had pledged twelve hundred dollars annually for the 
coming five years for mission work among them. But at a meeting on 
this behalf, the pastor, Mr. Miller, of the first church, was not ready 
for the movement, although his members present at the meeting were 
and the enterprise came to an untimely end. The Afro American 
people were also increasing and these needed provision for their care. 
Members of the Central church were sensitive to these conditions and 
with all, had the financial resources to meet them. In anticipation 
of these added calls, the pastor decided to retire, in hope of a more 
efficient successor and resigned to take effect in April 1870. This 
was a mistake m him, inasmuch as a stranger could not know the 
needs of the field. Had he remained these objects would have been 

On the next October, Rev. C. Keyser entered the pastorate. 
Mr. Keyser accomplished two important objects ; the church edifice 
was vastly improved and a chapel was built for the Oilvet mission, 
through Deacon D. P. Forst advancing its cost. But unhappily, the 
improvements on the church edifice remained a debt, which in the 
reduced financial ability of the church, on account of alienations and 
removals imperilled the entire property. Pastor Keyser was valued 
by his people, but misapprehended them and lost his opportunity to 
do them the good in his power, by a staid conventionalism and lack of 
tact. He closed his pastorate in March loth, 1875. 

On the next October, T. R. Howlett was called to a second pas- 
torate by a majority vote against the spiritual, financial and social 
element of the church. An anticipated result happened. There 
was a virtual break up. His first pastorate had not been happy 
Old alienations revived, members who had sustained the church took 
letters, or withdrew and suffered expulsion. He remained till October 
1878, three years. Arrearages on his salary were paid by sale of the 
parsonage. After his resignation while yet pastorless, the Holy 
Spirit visited the church, as of old. 

Rev. L. B. Hartman was sent for. Being proved, he became 
pastor near the end of February 1879. Mr. Hartman was evidently 
the man divinely chosen to recover the church from impending wreck. 
Congregations grew and the pastor happily gathered again an efficient 
church. Lacking the financial and social element included in its 
membership from 1866 to 1870, but yet an efficient body. Pastor 


Hartman iserved the church twelve years closing his labors in 1891. 
His charge may be judged by its fruits, revivals were frequent; some 
who had left the church in its days of trouble returned; debts were 
paid; empty pews were filled; the pastor's salary was increased and 
the status of the church in the community was restored. 

Rev. J. T. Craig was called to the pastoral office in September, 
1891. In 1895, illness compelled his resignation. The church was 
very kind to him both in his long illness and in giving to him a pension 
for many months after his resignation. Tokens of good were enjoyed 
under Mr. Craig. The unity of the church was preserved, debts were 
paid, congregations were retained and converts were baptized. 

Follovring Mr. Craig, Rev. A. W. Wishart entered the pastorate 
in July 1895, and is now (1900) pastor. Mr. Wishart makes a specialty 
of social Christianity — Christianity in the home, business and in the 
municipality. There has been more or less revival interest under 
his ministry. Men, especially, are attracted in the evenings. Mr. 
Wishart has made himself a power in Trenton, both with the officials 
of the city and in the community. The church is heartily united in 
him and is increasing its hold on a large class of non-church-going men. 
There have been many good men members of the church. Deacon 
D. P. Forst and his brother-in-law, J. E. Darrah, Deacons Cheeseman, 
McKee and Thomas C. Hill. Clinton Avenue church is indebted 
especially to T. C. Hill. Fuller allusion will be made to him in the 
history of Clinton Avenue church. 

The origin of Clinton Avenue Church is stated in the history of 
Central Trenton Church. A mission was begun on Perry street in 1865, 
by the Central Church. Deacon T. C. Hill had it in special charge. 
It developed into the Clinton Avenue Baptist Church in 1873, having 
thirty-fi^'e members, nearly all of them dismissed from the Central 
church. At its beginning, the meetings were held in private houses 
and were accompanied with unusual spiritual interest. Numbers 
were converted and baptized into the Central church. Among the 
converts were saloon keepers, whose places were immediately clcsed. 
When in 1867, the chapel was built on Perry street, a Sunday school 
was possible and regular afternoon services were begim by pastor 
Griffiths of the Central Church. The Sunday school and week evening 
meetings were made up of the most crude and untutored elements. 
Then various factories and potteries were located in that section and 
many of its residents were of foreign birth. The boys who thronged 
the meetings evidently enjoyed this land of liberty and they had "great 
fun." Coatless and shoeless, with rents in their nether clothing, 
during prayer meeting pla3'ing leap frog in the aisle, turning somer- 


saults over the benches, whistling, crowing, mewing, as the temper 
took them. Often the pastor could not hear his own voice in prayer. 
Said a member of the church to him at the close of such a meeting, 
"This is dreadful. You must get a policeman to keep order." To 
her, he replied: "This chapel was not built for such as you, but for 
these boys and of those of their kind, wait and see." Within a year 
there were no more orderly meeting and Sunday school. Blessed 
reward they had who endured. It was one of those cases in which 
Christianity proved its mastery of ignorance and of the rudest home 

In the Central Church, the pressure of restrained working forces 
for an outlet, excited a purpose for a change. In 1871, a city Baptist 
Mission Society was formed which employed Rev. James Thorn to act 
as their missionary. The Sundaj' services at the chapel on Perry 
street were renewed. The attendance and interest increased; some 
were converted and baptized, and when, in the spring of 1873, a com- 
mittee was appointed by the Central Church to examine the field, they 
reported favorably concerning the organization of a church, but it 
was not until May 28th, 1873, that the final organization was effected 
Thirty-five persons presented their letters and were organized as the 
Clinton Avenue Baptist Church. A lot having been bought on that 
avenue for the erection of a church edifice, a house was eventually 
built at enormous cost, far beyond the ability of the church to pay for. 
The welfare of the church was sacrificed for many years by the great 
debt with which it was burdened. The building would certainly have 
been sold by the sheriff, but for the thousands of dollars, which the con- 
vention board and the State at large raised to pay for the folly of its 
erection. In the second effort to cancel its debts, the Board of the 
Convention mortgaged another church property, which it had pledged 
its honor to be forever kept for Baptist uses, and to pay off that mort- 
gage has offered that property for sale. How just and true the old 
saying: "That corporations have no souls." This religious corpor- 
ation verifies thus its inability to be honest and just in a matter of 
dollars and cents. The Central Church gave to the Clinton Avenue 
Church the chapel and property on Perry street, which was later sold, 
the funds from its sale appropriated to cancel subsequent debts. 

Mr. C. B. Perkins was ordained, became pastor in October, 1873. 
The church worshipped in the chapel on Perry street two and more 
years. Mr. Perkins closed his pastoral charge in February 1878. 

Rev. N. W. Miner settled as pastor in September, 1878. His 
chief work was to collect funds to save the church edifice. Although 
engaged in these financial matters, the spiritual ties were not over- 


looked and many converts were baptized. But the load was burden- 
some and Mr. Miner resigned in March, 1881. Two years of di.scourage- 
ment passed and division grew out of these financial straits. A large 
number drew off and started an opposition church nearby. It dis- 
banded however, in a short time. Amid these troubles, the mothei 
church had incumbered itself with debt for repairs and improvements 
and, distracted with divisions, appealed in behalf of Baptist interests, 
in the Capital city of New Jersey to the Board of the State Convention. 
In February, 1883, the Board agreed to assume the mortgage on the 
property and appropriated five hundred dollars the sum of the annual 
interest toward the pastor's support, collecting also, many thousands 
of dollars for the debt and by its annual appropriation saved the 
church property. It is only just to Deacon T. C. Hill, on whom re- 
sponsibility wholly lay for the erection of such a house, he paid thousands 
of dollars for the debts of the church, mortgaged his property for other 
thousands to pay claims against the church. It is also due to say, 
that had tlie Central Church retained the financial strength it had when 
Mr. Hill began his enterprise, different conditions would have pre- 
vailed, but the calamities of the Central Church involved its own 
existence. Had Deacon Hill accepted advice and l)uilt a ten or fifteen 
thousand dollar house, the Baptist cause would have been advanced 
instead of being retarded. 

Rev. O. T. Walker once pastor of the First Church, entered the 
pastoral office in 1883, but he failed to draw his friends to a sinking 
craft, he gave up hope. 

In February 1885, Rev. Judson Conklin settled as pastor in 
September, 1885. A remaining mortgage of ten thousand dollars was 
paid about this time. Deacon D. P. Forst having removed to New York 
City on account of the unwisdom of the majority of the Central Church, 
left a legacy of two thousand dollars to Clinton Avenue Church under 
given conditions. The church property which the Board pledged itself 
to keep intact was mortgaged for the balance of the debbt of Clinton 
Avenue Church. Thus there have been no entanglements of debt in 
Mr. Conklin's pastorate, that cut short those of his predecessors. Mr. 
Conklin is now pastor (1900). Clinton Avenue Church since relieved 
of debt, has had a uniform growth both by baptisms and b}' letters 
from the First and Central Churches, each of which, until within the 
last few years have had internal agitations and some of the strongest 
and best of their members have had a home in Clinton Avenue. These 
mature members constitute the church a center of power. 

No other church in the State has had so much done for it by its 
sister churches. Lately, it has expended nuieteen thousand 


dollars on improvements of its sanctuary. Had some of this money 
cancelled mortgages on conventon property, which the Board pledged 
its honor to keep forever, for Baptist uses (which property is now oflfered 
for sale, said mortgages being security for money borrowed to pay off 
the debts of Clinton Avenue Church) there would be more confidence 
in the convention as a guardian of trust funds. The future ^vill show 
the appreciation of pastor and people of their opportunity. Mr. Hill was 
a deacon of the Central Church, was identified with Perry street mission 
from the first. He was a constituent of Clinton Avenue and was 
intensely active in all lines of Christian work. His -wife as much so as 
himself. If, in her judgement, he lacked in giving or in doing, Mrs. 
Hill was an inspiration to make it up. Both of them were modest and 
lowly. He made his pastor his confidant in business and in his re- 
ligious forecasts; the single exception was in the kind and cost of the 
Clinton Avenue Church edifice, yet received his protests with utmost 
kindness. His pastor knew that he was first and always a Godly man. 
Business with him had its primal motive in what it enabled him to do 
for his Divine Master. Of the social meetings and the Sunday school 
in Perry street, he was the main stay. But one other member of the 
Central Church, Deacon D. P. Forst commanded a larger foUo-nnng. 
His purpose to build so large and costly a house of worship for Clinton 
Avenue Church illustrated his idea that nothing was too good for God. 
He had not, however, taken into account his own private resources, 
nor a coming financial crisis. 

A lesson of this history of the intent of a good man is: that while 
desire and faith justify ventures that involve the honor of God's 
kingdom and the integrity of his servants, we need to be sure of His 
indorsement of both the means and of the end, exercising common 
sense as to the probability of commanding both the means and the 
end. God is to be trusted; not, however, in the anticipation that he 
will do what we think he ought to do. He is Himself, the best judge 
of what he ought to do. Clinton Avenue Church has had four pastors, 
and two houses of worship. The chapel on Perry street serving its 
use the first two years of its life. 

Baptist churches have various origin; a mission Sunday school, 
a chapel, an outgrowth of the mind of Christ in a few loving souls, 
cheered in their purpose by a missionary pastor of a nearby, possibly 
of a mother church, or through men and women who see in the wastes 
about them an invitation to possess the land. There is a great differ- 
ence in pastors. One limits himself to the church he serves. Quietude 
is to him, a condition of spiritual health; expansion is a waste. To an- 
other the noise and excitement of the battlefield are essential. Limitation 


stifles him. The sphere of these men in the Kingdom of God is as 
different as their temperament. Fields also are as unlike as the ax, 
the plow. There is use for both in the varied condition of humanity. 
The Wiseman may have had this in mind when he said: "The fining 
pot for silver, and the furnace for gold." Prov. 27;21. 

The pastor of Central Trenton church began a mission in East 
Trenton about 1868. The suburb was new, the people widely scattered. 
Neither halls nor school houses suited for worship. However, there 
was a small room in a pottery above the oven, the top of which was its 
floor. Permission was given to hold meetings in it on Lord's Day 
afternoons. The place was very warm and small and the floor hot 
from the fire under it. At the first meeting, about twcntj' persons were 
present. It was a long and weary walk in the heat of summer from the 
parsonage to the place of meeting. A Sunday school could not be held, 
for while the church would supply needed books and other essentials, 
there was not a safe place for them. A change of place was necessary. 
Mr. Philips had a brick yard near by and he gave the use of his office 
for a Sunday school, where it met till a chapel was built. Under 
Pastor Keyser, who succeeded Mr. Griffiths in the fall of 1870, a chapel 
was built. Deacon D. P. Forst furnishing the means and Mr. Keyser 
maintained a Lord's Day afternoon service there, while pastor and 
having resigned in March, 1875, v/as followed by Rev. T. R. Howlett 
a former pastor. He ad\-ised the church to give up the Olivet Mission, 
and the property came into the possession of Deacon Forst and of J. E. 
Darrah, they assuming the indebtedness of the building due to Mr. 
Forst, he having advanced the funds for its erection. Eventually, 
the property belonged to the estate of Mr. Forst. In the meantime, 
a son of Deacon William McKee, of the Central Church and a son of a 
former pastor, who had begun the mission sustained the Sunday school 
when disasters befell the Central church from 1873 to 1879. 

The Clinton Avenue Church was foster mother of the mission, 
carmg for it, for four years, especially under the superintendence of 
Mr. William Ellis, whose devotion to the mission was tireless. Un- 
happily, a proviso in the deed of the lot returned it to the giver of the 
lot at the suspension of the mission. Whereupon, Deacon Forst 
bought the property and it became a part of his estate. Later arrange- 
ments were made by which it came to the Olivet Church. The Baptist 
City Mission Board, into whose charge the mission had come, in June 

1895, appointed Mr. W. A. Pugsly, a Missionary on the field, and in April 

1896, the Olivet Church was organized with thirty-four constituents. 
Twenty-six were from Clinton Avenue Church, that church being 
closely associated with the field. Rev. J. L. Coote became pastor in 


August 1896, remaining till 1900, when he resigned to enter another 
charge. While pastor, the house of worship has been extensively 
improved and enlarged and the church has fully occupied its field. 
Despite the uncertainties and changes experienced by the mission since 
1868 to the organization of a church in 1896, twenty-eight years, one 
man, William B. Ellis has stood by the mission, kept the Sunday 
school alive, secured occasional preaching and through him, the Olivet 
church has become a possibility. 

Mr. Ellis had been an unbeliever in Christianity, having large 
influence with young men and imbuing them with his enmities to 
Christianity. Mrs. Judge J. Buchanan, member of Central church, 
sent a note to Mr. Ellis inviting him to visit her in her sick room. He 
did so and induced him to go to the church with her husband. The 
pastor found them both on their knees in prayer. Mr. Ellis was 
converted and was baptized in February 1867, and from that time, 
had a new purpose in living, to save men and was most active in mis- 
sions and in personal work. Living near Olivet mission, he established 
a prayer meeting in his house. There had not been a religious meeting 
before in that neighborhood. At the first meeting the window glass 
were all broken with stones and his house battered and defaced. But 
the meeting went on. Factories employing children of foreign born 
people, instanced the need of Christian influence there. Mr. Ellis 
lived to see a great change about his home and the vicinity is as orderly 
as any other. Although Olivet Church sprang from the Central 
Church and its, chapel was built by its members, it is, though cast off 
by the pastor of that body, really a fruitage of Clinton Avenue Church 
and of the City Mission Society. One house and one pastor has served 
the church. 

Rev. G. W. Lasher was the first pastor of the First Baptist church 
of Trenton to occup}' Sovith Trenton with local missions. The 
church itself was ready to respond to the labors of its pastors to plant 
missions at home. But the pastors appear to have been content with 
their home work, excepting M. J. Rhees who preached in North 
Trenton, near by where the Central Trenton Church is located. At 
his removal the appointment ceased. Mr. Young, under the pretence 
of a Second Baptist Church in Upper Trenton, colonized there. But 
its unhappy beginning and wretched end, was a discredit to the Baptist 
cause in the city. To Pastor Lasher belongs the credit of seeing an 
opportunity and of having a "mind to work" and developing the 
forces of the First church to accomplish great things for God and men. 
His choice of the field for another church in South Trenton Avas a sound 


judgment, within the care, sympathy, financial aid, which the mission 
might need from the mother church. 

Not only the location at the corner of Clinton and Rocbling Ave- 
enues, but the provision of the large grounds, the size and type of the 
chapel built, evinced a comprehension of future needs, an intent to 
provide for them. The chapel was dedicated in May 1869. Ground 
and building costing nearly twenty-five hundred dollars. Previously, 
a city mission society was formed. Earlier propositions of the kind had 
failed because of jealousies growing out of the Young influence. Much 
credit is due to Mr. Lasher, that he not only refused to walk in leading 
strings, but broke them in pieces. The enterprise was named, "The 
Hamilton Mission." A missionary, Rev. James Thorn, had been 
employed by the City Mission Society, who labored in both the Perry 
street chapel and in the "Hamilton Mission." 

On September 10th, 1874 the Hamilton Mission was organized 
into the Calvary Baptist Church with a constituency of fifty-four 
members, nearly all of them from the First Baptist Church. Rev. 
M. Johnson was the first pastor for two years, when illness caused his 
removal. Rev. F. Spencer followed for three years to 1877. Under 
his labors continuous refreshings were enjoyed. Also the meeting 
house was enlarged. Illness limited the stay of Rev. L. H. Copeland 
as pastor, to a few months. His successor, William H. Burlew, also 
had a pastorate of only about eighteen months. 

In August 1883, E. J. Foote having been a "supply" for months, 
settled as pastor. During this charge, various gifts from without, 
were applied for repairs, the mortgage debt was reduced and other 
claims were paid. Mr. Foote resigned in 1889. 

Next came as pastor. Rev. H. B. Harper in 1890. In 1891, plans 
were adopted for a new church edifice which was begun in August 
1891 . The next April, 1892, the unfinished audience room was occupied 
furnished with the old furniture of the old house. The church has 
never as yet, recovered from this folly. Had the old house been 
cleansed, painted and furnished anew, it would have saved the church 
from a debt that has paralyzed it and every pastor's work since. Mr. 
Harper resigned after three years and fled from the burden with which 
he had cursed the church. Some pastors have the gift of getting 
churches into trouble and then leaving them for more comfortable 
quarters and enjoying the disasters they have left. Mr. Foote was 
a member of the church and had he insisted upon a reasonable im- 
provement and enlargement of the building, it could have been made 
attractive. He also has gotten away to more pleasing surroundings in 
a church able to pay expenses. 


III 1893, Hov. D. S. Mulhcrn entered tlie pastoriite. It devolved 
on him to complete the buildinj^, The andience room most unsi[:;htly, 
unfinished, with delapidated furniture, the debt and folly from which 
Mr. Harper liad fled, was increased by this needful improvement. It 
was then ileeided to dedicate the house, which took place in June! 895. 
A feature of the service was, that Rev. T. S. Griffiths, pastor of the 
Central ('hureh, when the Perry street chapel wa.s built, offered the 
prayer of dccHcation, also offered the prayc^r of dedication at the 
"Hamilton Mission" was sent to olTer the prayer of dedication of this 
sanctuary. Mr. Mulhcrn was pastor about three years. In this 
short time there were almost as many l)aptized into the church as in 
the ten years before. The largest number of baptisms in one year, sev- 
enty-five, w:is in this charge. 

Mr. Mulhcrn was succeeded by Rev. J. K. Manning. Good hopes 
were indulged for the church under Mr. Manning, but the hopeless 
relief from debt is a sufficient explanation of disappointment. Some 
suggest abandoning the j)rop('rly and locating elsewhere. But the 
large; pojiulation about the house of worship must be cared for. If 
the First Baptist churcli would undertake relieving the church of 
debt, they could do it. Mr. Manning wjis still pastor in 1900. 
The clun-ch hius h:id eight pastors. Two houses of worship, the first 
built and paid for by the First church, the Second which if the church 
could sell for its ilebt, would be in an improved condition. Three 
hundred and eighty-oiu; have been baptized up to 1900, an annual 
average of nearly fourteen. 

As saiil in the history of the First Baptist church of Trenton, under 
Mr. Lasher's enterprising antl missionary pastorate lots were given 
in the sixth ward on which to build a chapel. In June 1870, the pastor 
induced the church to build the chapel and begin mission work. The 
building was dedicated on March 19th, 1871. A Sunday school and 
devotional meetings were maintained until 1891. When the fifth 
Baptist church was organized with a membership of thirty-one, twenty- 
eight of them were dismissed from the First church, under 
the pastoral care of Rev. Elijah Lucas. At its origin, T. C Young 
was identified with the church first as "supply" then as pastor. He 
resigned in 1893, and in Scptcmper 1893, Rev. J. P. Hunter became 
pastor. In that year, lots in another location were bought, with the 
intent to move the building to the new lots. This was accomplished 
in 1894. Mr. Hunter terminated his pjistorate in 1896. Rev. F. C. 
Brown followed him that year. Mr. Brown's coming was attended 
with tokens of Divine blessing and many converts were added to 
the church by baptism. Pastor Brown resigned in 1899. Mr. C. M. 


Anglo in that yciir wius culled iind ord.iiiicd, ixjconiinf!; pastor. Mr. 
Atif^ln in pastor in li)()(). 

Youiif!; cliiirclics in cities have a l()tifi;,]jliard stnigKlc; into indo- 
|)(!nd(!nc(; of outside; aid. The more so, if under the shadow of a large 
and infhuiiitial church. If, however, generosity and open heartedness 
he in the p.'ustor of the mother church, toward the struggling hand, the 
burden is shared and lightcuKMl. But if selfishness and home interests 
dominate the pjustor and mother church and the younger is left to 
carry its own burdens, only those who know the; hard.ships of building 
up a young church in th(; busy city, can know the and anxiety 
of such an enteri) The word of tlu; Apostle in II Cor. 12:14, 
"For the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the t)are,nts 
for the cliildreii," is a rul(> of th(> nilationsliip between a mother church 
and its daughter. Fifth Trenton church has had four p;istors, one 
meeting house which has been r moved from one location to another. 




Hamilton Square was originally named Nottingham Square 
Baptist church; by a division of the township, the church edifice was 
in Hamilton township and the name was changed to that of the town. 
That wonderful man, Peter Wilson, pastor of Hightstown Baptist 
church, made a station at Hamilton Square in 1785. A house of wor- 
ship was built in 1788. The lot was given by Mr. Eldridge and the 
house erected through Mr. Nutt. Those converted at the Square 
united with the Hightstown church and the Hamilton Square church 
was organized April 25th, 1812, of members dismissed from Hights- 
town church. Mr. Wilson was the first pastor resigning in 1816, a 
period of thirty-one years from 1785 and four years after the consti- 
tution of the church. Rev. Mr. Boswell of First Trenton church 
followed Mr. Wilson in 1818, serving four years. When adopting 
Swedenborgian views, he was excluded form First Trenton Baptist 
church. Rev. John Seger became pastor at Hamilton Square in 1820, 
preaching alternately at Hightstown and Hamilton Square. Two 
years of this time was in alternation at the Square with Mr. Boswell of 
First Trenton Baptist church. Mr. Seger served Hamilton Square 
for twelve years. He was very useful, highly esteemed and his labors 
and influence of an abiding character. After his resignation, three 
years of pastoral destitution occurred. In this time, assention pre- 
vailed; antinomianism developed. In 1835, Rev. W. D. Hires was 
pastor a few months. 

Rev. S. Stites became pastor in 1837. He was the first to give 
his entire time to the church. Humble and a Godly man, he labored 
amid many trials from the antinomian element for sixteen years. 
Says a later pastor: "Few would have labored so long and been so 
diligent for a church, so wanting in sympathy and respect for a pastor, 
as was this church." Only the staunchness of pastor Stites saved the 
church from being swept away by antinomianism. Their contentions 
were a great injury to the cause of Christ. The church clerk, one of 
them, when these sloughed off, took the early records of the church 
to this faction, so that they are lost. While Mr. Stites was pastor, a 
parsonage was built in 1839. The sanctuary built in 1785 and in use 
sixty-six years, which was supplanted by a larger and better house 


in 1851. Pastor Stites resigned in 1852 and settled as pastor in a 
near by church, where he ministered two years, even though suffering 
great physical sickness, aggravated by his trials at Hamilton Square 
and then went to where "the wicked cease from troubling." 

In the next June 1853, Rev. William Paulin settled as pastor. 
His ministry had positive results; in changing pastors, the benevolence 
of the church was developed and the Sunday school which had been 
extinct for a long time. Mr. Paulin gathered many converts into 
tiie church and closed his charge at Hamilton Square in January 1859. 
Rev. A. H. Bliss entered the pastoral office in the next August and 
resigned there at the end of three years, leaving the church in the 
enjoyment of revival mercies. 

On February 1st, 1863, Rev. W. E. Watkinson entered upon charge 
of the church. Mr. Watkinson was an active and devoted pastor, as 
well as a good preacher. Congregations increased rapidly; the larger 
house and its spacious galleries were crowded with an interested and 
earnest people. Thus for eight years, the church grew in all the 
elements of growth and power. Seldom has a pastor wrought so 
great a change and accomplished such gains. In one of the annual 
revival seasons, Mr. Watkinson baptized eighty-nine. Among them 
were twenty-two husbands and their wives. The annual average of 
baptisms for eight years was more than thirty-five. The visits of Mr. 
Watkinson to his old field were very much like a jubilee. 

In 1870, the church decided to build a house of worship at Allen- 
town, anticipating there a church organization. Pastor Watkinson 
resigned to take effect in 1871. Rev. W. W. Case accepted a call to 
be pastor and entered the pastorate in October 1871. His father. 
Rev. J. B. Case is widely known in New Jersey as a useful and honored 
pastor for many years. Mr. Case retained his charge for ten years, 
closing his labors at Hamilton Square in December 1881. Several 
revivals were enjoyed while Mr. Case was pastor. A large and modern 
house was built accommodating the congregations that crowded and 
overflowed the old house. The AUentown movement was revived 
and a colony of efficient men and women were dismissed to constitute 
a church there, which, since its organization has been self-supporting 
and a helper of all good things in the field in which it is located. But 
for the trustfulness of the people in their pastor, calling on him to 
write their "wills," dividing their property between the church and 
their heirs, who loaded the odium of losing gain on the pastor, Mr. 
Case might have been at Hamilton Square to-day, efficient and useful 
as at the first. The moral is: Let pastors beware of writing "wills," 
that bequeath anything to benevolence, which covetous "heirs" expect. 


Had Mr. Case heeded tlie wise man's councils in Prov. 22:3, which he 
repeats as of special moment, he would have escaped much slander 
and hate. 

In 1882, Rev. Joseph Butterworth accepted a call to be pastor, 
remaining four years and enjoying a full average of prosperity. Mr. 
Butterworth was followed by Rev. J. B. Hutchinson in September 
1886. Mr. Hutchinson was one of the great preachers of his day. 
Unaided by "notes" his sermons both in rhetoric and in discussion 
were most remarkable if not perfect. He married an estimable lady 
of his congregation, with usual result. At the end of three years he 
accepted for the second time a call to Philadelphia. Two years later, 
it was said at his burial, by one who had known him long and inti- 
mately : 

"Thus, not many, comparatively, know aught of him whom we 
mourn to-day. We are here with the memory of a dear and nol^le 
friend — one who has left the world better than he found it — one who 
has stood as a rock amid the raging currents of men's opinions, turning 
them hither and thither, but ever himself pointing them to the Cross. 
God only knows the value of such a life. 

"The mightiest forces of Nature are silent in their operation. The 
planets and the sun, and the sun's sun, on up to the Throne of God, 
give out no sound. They who dwell therein hear nothing and see 
nothing of the subtle power that holds each in its place. And so, 
with rare exceptions, the greatest power of a life is its unnoticed in- 

"The world does not know its greatest and best dwellers. As the 
fragrance of the flowers and the fruitage of the forests, unknown and 
ungathered of men, exceed that of which we are conscious, so of human 
life and doings. But God knows them. And this makes us glad. 
Since, so it is that which is good and true and Godly cannot be lost. 

"The inaudible lesson of the broken seal, the open sepulcher, the 
folded napkin on its stony pillow, is graven upon the soul as no voice 
could have done it." 

After Mr. Hutchinson, Rev. G. Young followed. He continued 
until September 1894. Followinj:; Mr. Young, Rev. W. T. G;illoway 
became pastor, beginning his duties in 1895. He was .still pastor in 
900. One church, AUentown, has been colonized from Hamilton 
Square, with fifty-two members. Another, under the labors of Rev. 
A. S. Flock in the vicinity of Hamilton Square, of Windsoi-. Under 
the labors of Mr. Flock, many converts were baptized and added to 
Hamilton Square, Hightstown and AUentown churches. Some of 


these agreed to unite in 1898 and constituted themselves at the Bap- 
tist church at Windsor; Mr. Flock becoming pastor. 

Several members of Hamilton Square have been licensed. Three 
church edifices have been in use. One built in 1785, twenty-seven 
years before the church was constituted. Another, in 1851, under 
Pastor Segar. A third in 1881 under Mr. Case's pastorate. An 
incident in the history of this church relative to the tavern license, 
and the change their temperance ideas have undergone is found in 
the chapter on temperance and was it not so sorrowful is significant. 
Another told to the writer by Deacon John West of Hamilton Square, 
whose grandmother was baptized by Abel Morgan opposite to Red 
Bank, Monmouth county. At the baptism the people sang the hymn 
which modern compilers deny a place in our hymn books of Praise. 
Christians, if your heart be warm, 

Ice and snow can do no harm. 
If by Jesus you are prized 

Rise, believe and be baptized. 
(And other verses.) 

Allentown is in Monmouth County, about five miles east of Ham- 
ilton Square. It is a rural town off of railroads. This explains wh)% 
in the midst of five or six large Baptist churches it is only in 1874, 
that a Baptist church was formed there. Numerous members of 
Hamilton Sqtiare lived in and near to the town, but were content 
with their old home. Population tended to commercial centers. The 
quiet and lonely place might have been longer without a Baptist church 
had not its seclusion been an attraction to a widow with a family of 
children. She moved there in 1852. One of her sons was a Baptist 
before their coming and another later. Both joined the Hamilton 
Square Baptist church walking thither on the Lord's Day. 

In the years 1847-51, Pastor Armstrong of Upper Freehold church, 
preached occasionally in Allentown and Rev. W. E. Watkinson of 
Hamilton Square church arranged in 1863 to preach regularly in 
Allentown. He could not induce his church to buy lots and build 
a house of worship in the town. It may be, that it was best that he 
failed since they might have bought cheap lots on a back street and 
built a house to correspond. At a proper season, Mr. W^atkinson 
preached in a near by grove and the Methodists allowed him occasionally 
the use of their house. But objections to the movement arose from an 
unexpected quarter and the meetings ceased. 

When Mr. Case settled at Hamilton Square, he renewed appoint- 
ments at Allentown. In 1873, the Rogers brothers, all of whom were 
Baptists and sons of the widow referred to, became owners of an old 


store building. They fitted up an upper room at their own cost for 
Baptist worship. The place was opened for worship July 20th, 1873. 
This is another instance of many in New Jersey, of Baptists standing 
by their convictions of truth, of duty and of their reward in triumph. 
A Baptist home developed Baptist unity and purpose. Pastors at 
Hamilton Square and at Upper Freehold preached at appointed 
seasons. Pastor Case began special meetings in November 1873, 
neighboring pastors aiding him. One result of these meetings was, that 
eleven persons were baptized in a stream close by on December 27th, 

It was soon after decided to organize a Baptist church. Letters 
of dismission were given by Hamilton Square church to any of its 
members wishing to unite with the AUentown enterprise and on the 
23rd of March, 1874, the AUentown church was recognized consisting 
of fifty-two constituents. At a meeting of the church on May 28th, 
1874, Rev. W. E. Watkinson was called to be pastor. Having preached 
a few weeks, consent was given him to recall his acceptance of the 
pastorate on account of serious illness. 

"Supplies" ministered to the church until October 12th, 1874, 
when Rev. W. Lincoln settled as pastor. He was pastor until his 
death on April 24th, 1877. His charge was both happy and fruit- 
ful. Both himself and wife were buried in AUentown. The succession 
of pastors was: J. W. Grant, 1877-8, one year; W. H. Burlew, 1878-81; 
S. L. Cox, 1882-85; H. Tratt, 1885-88; T. C. Young, 1888-90: W. W. 
Bullock, 1891-96; A. R. Babcock, 1896-1900. 

The first place of worship was owned by the Rogers Brothers and 
the church had the use of it without cost until October, 1879. The 
church was compelled to have more room for the accommodation of 
the congregation. In August, 1878, steps were taken to build a 
meeting house large enough to hold their congregation. Contracts 
were made for such a sanctuary to be ready for use in October, 1879. 
On October 5th, baptism was administered in the baptistery. 

The Rogers Brothers had their usual share in building and pay- 
ment for this house of worship. The building itself is a most creditable 
one, thoroughly equipped with a large pipe organ, heaters and fitly 
furnished. Special revivals have been often enjoyed by the church 
and unity has always characterized it. Its members include a positive 
element of social influence. Other denominations had preceded 
Baptists and were rooted in the community and cared for their own. 
A proper thing to do. StiU they have been kindly to later comers. 
One member has been licensed to preach and is a pastor. Of the 
Rogers Brothers, one is left in AUentown. The others have gone to 


their bless?ed reward. Tlie church is a memorial of their integrity and 
of their devoted Christian faitlifulness to truth, duty and to God. The 
widow mother wrought a good work by her removal to Allentown and 
by training men of might and character to accomplish large things for 
the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

The church named Princeton is located at Penn's Neck, a mile 
east of Princeton. Originally, it was known as Williamsburg. On 
the thoroughfare from Philadelphia to New York, it is believed that 
William Penn and George Washington slept in the public house, which 
is now the Baptist parsonage. The following is a copy of the writing 
of Peter Wilson, a preface in the original church book of the Princeton 
church at Penn's Neck. 

"Williamsborough Baptist church book commencing December 
5th, 1812, at which time and place, their meeting house was opened 
and solemnly dedicated to and for the worship of God. History of 
the rise and progress at Williamsborough, Penn's Neck, West Windsor 
township, county of Middlesex and State of New Jersey. Ministry of 
Rev. Peter Wilson. Preaching commenced at John Flock's in the 
township of Maiden Head (Pennington). Also at tlie house of John 
Campbell's in Princeton. John Flock and his wife joined the Baptist 
church (Hightstown) that year, 1790, Preaching commenced at John 
Hights on Penn's Neck and continued in different private houses in 
Princeton. Peggy Schank was baptized June 12th, the above year. 
1791, John Hight and wife were baptized. Richard Thomas and wife 
were baptized in 1792 (Mr. Thomas was a delegate to the New Jersey 
Association formed in 1811, also to the New Jersey Baptist State 
Convention begun in 1830.) Following is a list of the baptized in 1793-6, 
1798-2, 1803-5, 1807-8, 1810-2, 1811-3, these being entered in the church 
book of Williamsborough, were residents of Penn's Neck and vicinity. 

Mr. Wilson adds: "It is remarkable that God influenced and 
disposed William Covenhoven, Joseph Grover, John Applegate, Ben- 
jamin Maple, William Vaughan, Henry Silvers, John Jones, Joseph 
Smith, Richard Thomas, John Flock, Ezekiel R. Wilson, members of the 
church (Hightstown) Joseph Stout, J. A. Schank, John Grover and 
without exception, almost the inhabitants of Penn's Neck and Prince- 
ton generously contributed to raise a house for God. It was undertaken 
with spirit and the carpenters worked well and nearly completed to 
the satisfaction of the managers, on the 5th day of December, 1812, 
when it was solemnly devoted to the service of God. What remains 
still more remarkable is, that the first sermon preached near where the 
meeting is erected, was in the same house where the .sermon 
was preached before the dedication of the house. The first sermon 


was from Matt. 11: 28-30, the last from Rom. 13- 14. All the above 
took place without previous reflection." 


Then follows "the covenant," in Mr. Wilson's writing: A surprise 
is, that it is almost the same at The Covenant with the New Hampshire 
confession of faith, now so widely adopted by Baptist churches, indica- 
ting how much alike the Baptists of the former days and the later 
Baptists are. On the day in which the house of worship was dedicated, 
the church was constituted with thirty-seven members, among them 
was a Grover, his wife. Mr. Grover was a descendant of James Grover, 
a con.stituent of Middletown church, organized in 1G68; also two Stouts, 
who may have come from First Hopewell Baptist church. The lot 
for the meeting house was the gift of a Covenhoven (Conover). A 
red sandstone near to the church edifice marks his burial 

Rev. John Cooper became pastor in February 1813, preaching 
one fourth of the time. His successor, Rev. Alex Hastings was called 
for a year in 1815. He kept a school, netting him two hundred dollars 
additional to what the church pledged. The ensuing three or four 
years was a period of dissention and decline. Mr. Howard Malcolm, 
a Baptist student at Princeton college "supplied" the church from 
November 15th, 1818. During his stay a debt of five hundred dollars 
was paid. A Sunday school, with forty-six pupils and eight officers 
was established. Mr. Malcom stayed till 1821. On his removal, the 
factious spirit broke out: from the record book, the church was a fighting 
band. This condition continued until Rev. John Seger of Hightstown and 
Hamilton Square preached for them on alternate Lord's Days in 1821. 
In that year, the church adopted a rule: "That the female members 
have the privilege of voting on all church business." An act of incor- 
poration was also obtained. 

On Decemebr 22nd, 1827, Rev. Peter Simonson became pastor. 
The next year, the Presbyterians of Dutch Neck, tried to get 
possession of the^house of worship. A pastor writing of this said: 
"Resistance was offered to them, short, sharp and successful." A 
condition in the deed is "that if the Baptists ceased to use the property, 
it should pass to another denomination, who should use it for religious 
purposes." After Mr. Simonson, Rev. George Allen entered the pas- 
torate in August 1829. At this time the membership had fallen to 
thirty and the congregation to three persons. The factions ruled. 
Rev. D. P. Purdun was pastor one year in 1830 and the name of the 
church was changed to "Penn's Neck." 


In 1831, Rev. George Allen was called to a second pastoral care. 
His second charge continued thirteen years. Rev. Thoma« Malcom, 
son of Howard Malcom, a student at Princeton, visited and preached 
for Mr. Allen and on his ministry, as his father's in the same place, the 
Divine blessing rested, a revival came and now after sixty years, mem- 
ory recalled the old times of blessing under the Father's labors. Mr. 
Allen resigned in 1844, having passed his seventieth year, returning 
to Burlington, where like to Mr. Boswell, of First Trenton, he had been 
deacon and pastor and died there, eighty-seven years old. Thomas 
Malcom supplied the vacancy till Rev. Jackson Smith settled in 1844-5. 
whose health compelled his retirement from the ministry. Under 
Rev. D. D. Grey, who was called to be pastor in 1846, the years of 1847 
and 48 were seasons of pre-eminent revival interest. Unhappily, his 
stay was but three years and despite protests persisted in his resig- 
nation. Prior, however, to his leaving, "the church appointed a com- 
mittee with power to exact from each member their proportion as may 
be deemed by themselves as just and equal." 

William C. Ulyat was ordained for the pastorate in August 1850. 
In that year also, it was resolved "that in the Providence of God, we 
believe that the time has come when we should build a house of worship 
in Princeton and there have the center of our labors." This question 
of the removal of the church to Princeton had been under discussion 
for years. Had Mr. Peter Wilson anticipated Princeton becoming 
the center of influence it is, he would doubtless located Penn's Neck 
church there. The writer recalls debates in the Board of the State 
Convention in Mr. Grey's charge. One curious reason given for it: 
It was, that the town was a Presbyterian town and if the people had 
Baptist light, they would be Baptists. Much unwise talk was indulged 
in. ' Hon. Richard Stockton kindly and generously gave a lot for a 
Baptist church edifice. Other locations were offered for a price, which 
if bought, the Baptist church might have been permanently in Prince- 
ton. The building was begun when the lot was secured and ready for 
use at the time of removal to Princeton in 1853. In the meantime, 
Mr. Ulyat resigned. Rev. S. Sproul became pastor at Penn's Neck in 
October of that year. The Princeton church edifice was dedicated in 
December and the name of the church was changed to that of its 

Penn's Neck church was not a unit in this movement. Numbers 
of its members met in the meeting house and organized themselves as 
the West Windsor Baptist church. In about six years, the West 
Windsor church disbanded. While in existence, pastors Penny, 
Stites and Nightengale ministered to it. The condition in the deed 


made it necessary to maintain worship at Penn's Neck and an after- 
noon service was kept up by the pastors at Princeton, preaching in 
the old sanctuary. 

Rev. W. E. Cornwell entered the pastorate at Princeton in October 
1856. Death closed his career on earth on March 20th, 1857. Next 
August, Rev. G. Young settled as pastor. His pastoral care was happy 
and useful till the civil war, with its distractions affecctd injuriously 
all spiritual influences. People were absorbed with its anxieties and 
woes. Nature's claims for loved ones, exposed to death and constant 
peril could not be denied. Mr. Young possibly was pastor four or five 
years. Usually his pastorates were short, but often repeated in the 
same church, being a very able preacher and good pastor. Following 
Mr. Young, Rev. J. B. Hutchinson accepted the charge of the church. 
He was a remarkable man, self educated and one of the most able and 
original preachers and in private life, a lovable man. The tone of 
intellectual life in Princeton was high. But Pastor Hutchinson could 
look down on it. His congregation included many intellectually elite 
citizens and numerous students of the seminary regularly sat under 
his ministry. Then, as now, usually small churches with limited 
salaries did not retain as pastors foremost men. Mr. Hutchinson was 
summoned to Philadelphia. Rev. H. Y. Jones, \^^dely known as a fore- 
most man among Baptists became pastor in 1871. Foreseeing trouble 
and prospective return by the church to Penn's Neck he stayed only 
a year. 

Rev. L. O. Crenelle entered on the pastoral care of the church 
in 1872. His oversight of the church at this time was providential. 
His experience, eminent wisdom, prudence fitted him for the peculiar 
situation. Local conditions hindered the growth of the church, sug- 
gesting a return to Penn's Neck and in 1874, it was decided to return to 
the original site of the church. Revival blessings delayed the move- 
ment for a year and more. Hon. Richard Stockton renewed his 
generous and noble offer of former years, relieving the church of stip- 
ulations in the deed of the lot, he had given to the church and the 
property in Princeton was sold, the money used to entirely modernize 
the house at Peen's Neck built in 1812 and as ancient, uncouth, strong 
as were church edifices sixty years since. The frame was brought to 
the front on the street and added to front and back and the building, 
except the frame, made new within and without. 

These removals forth and back incurred great loss of congregation 
and of influence. Each removal had been like to the founding of new 
churches. Pastor Crenelle's intelligent devotion and able ministry 
as nearly met these strange conditions. The new house was attractive 


and the winning personality of the pastor regained much that liad been 

Mr. Crenelle having resigned in May 1882, E. D. Shall was chosen 
pastor, entered his duties in February 1883, retired in May 1884. Rev. 
G. F. Love was called, began his pastorate in November 1884 closing 
his work at Penn's Neck at the end of 1888. 

Immediately on January 1st, 1889, T. S. Griffiths having been 
called, began his labors. During the two former pastorates, clouds 
overshadowed the church. Neither pastor nor people had culitvated 
intimacy; alienation, indifferences had impaired their usefulness. 
Debt also accumulated, annual arrearages grew in amount. This 
disheartened the membership, troubles multiplied. But the adoption 
of plans to pay financial obligations when due and to remove causes 
of differences had early fruitiige in concord and cheer. Ere long 
the accumulated debt was paid. This pastorate lasted nearly eight 
years. The pastor closing his ministry when nearly seventy-six years 
old, all the interests of the church work growing into enlarging efficiency. 
Rev. Mr. Lisk acted as pastor for several months and on his retirement, 
"supplies" served the church till January 1898, when Rev. William 
Wilson became pastor and is now (1900) filling the office. 

Three have been licensed to preach. One. C. H. Malcom, a student 
in Princeton, and who was a son of Howard Malcom, that in 1819, was 
an instrument of great blessing to the church and a brother to Thomas 
Malcom, another son of Howard Malcom, who in the ministry of Rev. 
George Allen was the means of a great revival. Another, D. Silvers, 
a Presbyterian student in Princeton Seminary, baptized in 1864, and 
for many years an able Baptist minister and a successful pastor. Sev- 
eral church edifices have been built . One, in 1812, primitive in its 
style, with exalted pulpit, commanding galleries. A second at Prince- 
ton quite equal to any other house of worship in the town. The third 
a reconstruction of the old house at Penn's Neck. Its reconstruction 
was so entire as to have the frame only left added to front and rear 
and surmounted with a steeple and a bell. 

The circumstances of the origin of the German Baptist church of 
Jamesburg were: Rev. C. A. Schlipf of Newark visited friends there 
and held monthly meetings in the shade of the yard of his friend, Mr. 
Buehler. His friend asked him to hold a meeting in Helmetta. 
He did so. Whereupon, Mr. Helm (proprietor of the town) offered 
to build a chapel if Mr. Schlipf would continue his mission. He con- 
sented. On his next visit the materials for the chapel were on the 
ground. Winter stopped out-door work and the building having neither 
doors nor windows, a Sunday school and social meetings and preaching 


were begun, although storms of wind, rain and snow swept through 
the shivering congregation. Calls came to Mr. Sclilipf to hold meetings 
in Janiesburg. A hall was oiTered for his use. Mr. Schlipf visited 
and distributed tracts. Cottage meetings were held and four German 
Baptists were found. Within a year these increased the number to 
thirteen. They all joined the church at Hightstown and worshipped in a 
a school house at Jamesburg. These thirteen met on May 18th, 1885 
and organized the German Baptist Church at Jamesburg, having 
been dismissed for that purpose. In the end, the house of worship 
was built at Jamesburg for both of which, the Hightstown church made 
generous contributions. In the erection of the church edifice a wind 
storm nearly tore the structure to pieces. It was rebuilt and in Feb- 
ruary 1887, was dedicated. Later, adjoining lots were bought and a 
parsonage built in 1892. Mr. Schlipf resigned in 1894, after ten years 
of devoted work. This German church is being slov/ly Americanized 
as have been other German Baptist churches in New Jersey. The 
church has increased to quite a numerous body and English services 
are held in the afternoon of the Lord's Day, begun in 1901 or 2, under 
the conduct of Pastor F. G. Walter, whose English ministry is very 
satisfactory. Rev. C. H. Baum followed Mr. Schlipf in 1894 and 
ministered one year. The next pastor was Rev. E. H. Otto, who 
settled in 1896. Repairs were made on the house of worship in 1897. 
The social meetings at Helmetta, that through a misunderstanding 
had been suspended were renewed. Mr. Otto resigned in Novemeber, 
1899 and was succeeded by Rev. F. G. Walter in 1900, who is enjoying 
the confidence of his brethren as did his predecessors. 



A small stream called "Dividing Creek" gave its name to the 
village on its banks and to the; Baptist church located there. Morgan 
Edwards states of the origin of the Baptist church: "About the year 
1749, a colony of menil)ers of Cohansie church moved to "Dividing 
Creek," which involved visits of the pastor. Rev. Robert Kelsay and 
several residents were converted." 

The village being on the way from Cohansie to First Cape May 
church, other ministers stopped there and preached as was an old time 
custom. In 1751, Mr. Seth Love gave a large plot of ground on which 
to build a Baptist meeting house. When built is not known, but the 
minutes of a council to recognize the church state that "We met the 
said people in their meeting house," and the house must have been 
erected before the church wits formed. 

This building was burned in 1770. Of the colonists to Dividing 
Creek from Cohansie, four of them were Sheppards and it may have 
been a family party. Rev. Samuel Heaton and his wife removed 
from Cape May to Dividing Creek, making the number of Baptists 
twelve. (Mr. Edwards gives twelve; names) and these organized into 
a Baptist church in May 17G1. In that year they bought one hundred 
acres of hmd, built on it a dwelling house and other needed buildings 
(a parsonage) for their pastor, costing several thousand dollars. Indi- 
cating ample means both to care for the pastor and also a readiness 
to expend them for Christ. Considering that in these early days 
incomes were uncertain but necessarily small, especially in the country, 
a parsonage farm and additional salary to pay wages of men to work 
the farm, the pastor was relieved of anxiety for his support. We 
Baptists have reason to be thankful for our ancestry and to be proud 
of them. Rev. Samuel Heaton, the first pastor, was a constituent 
of the church and served the church sixteen years till he died in Septem- 
ber 1777, sixty-six years old. (For the remarkable history of Mr. 
Heaton and how he became a Baptist, see History of Mount Olive 
church, Sussex County.) Mr. Heaton's pastorate was most happy. 


His ministry was in the demonstration and power of the Holy Spirit. 
After his death, Rev. P. P. Van Horn "suppUed" the church once in 
two weeks and in 1779 was called to be pastor continuing till 1783, 
really being pastor nearly six years. Mr. Van Horn was a devoted 
pastor till he died at Salem in 1789. His labors at Dividing Creek 
were eminently useful. Rev. Wiliam Locke became pastor in 
spring of 1785, but God called him on high the next September. Mr. 
John Garrison, Jr., a licentiate of the church "supplied" the church 
until called to be pastor and was ordained in 1787 and died while 
pastor in 1790. Mr. Garrison is supposed to have been a grandson 
of A. Garrison, licensed by Cohansie in 1743. He was baptized by 
Mr. Heaton, whose daughter he married. A vacancy occurred of nearly 
two years in the pastoral office, when Rev. G. A. Hunt settled as 
pastor. Mr. Hunt resigned in 1796. "Supplies" again preached till 
ISOl. when Rev. John Rutter entered the pastoral office, remaining 
two years. Rev. D. Stone followed and served about four years. 
Suppfies again ministered for two years. Then in July, 1810, Rev. 
David Bateman was pastor. His is a memorable name in New Jer- 
sey. His charge at Dividing Creek was only two years. They were 
years of the right hand of the most High. It is believed that Mr. 
Bateman was born at Cohansie in 1777. Not until four years had 
gone did Dividing Creek church have another pastor. 

In 1816, Rev Thomas Brooks became pastor and for twenty years 
until 1836, held the office, serving most acceptably. When seventy- 
five years old, Mr. Brooks resigned. In early life, he had been a 
sailor. During the American Revolution, he was taken prisoner by 
the English and suffered the horrible treatment they usually imposed 
upon their American prisoners, especially sailors. He and others 
were shut in the hold of a ship and starved|till their hair fell out and 
they had the alternative of joining the British or of "walking the 
plank." Finally they were taken to England and shut up in prison 
for two years and starved. They even caught and eat dogs that came 
with visitors allowed to see them. 

Rev. William Bacon, M. D. followed Mr. Brooks. The salary 
was insufficinet for his support and he supplemented it with his medical 
practice. Dr. Bacon was pre-eminently a good man. His purity 
of life won him friends in all circles of society. His domestic life was 
most trying to a man of chastity. For eleven years he served the 
church. The Doctor's unaffected piety gave him great power with 
men, the more so, because of his noble Christian patience with the 
infidelities of his home. At last, in 1868, he had rest in death. 


In 1850, Rev. Daniel Kelsay, son of Pastor Kelsay of Cohansic, 
entered the pastorate and ministered to the church four years till 
1853. Mr. Kelsay had many of the excellent qualities of his prede- 
cessor, unassuming, intelligent and good. The church and the com- 
munity could not Init be bettered by his relation to it. A young man 
succeeded Mr. Kelsay in June 1854. Rev. U. Cauffman soon winning 
the hearts of the people, an unclouded sunshine filled the future. These 
however, were all disappointed. In ten months he died on April 17th, 
1855, twenty-eight years old. Rev. George Sleeper settled as pastor 
the next June and after three years, resigned in 1858. 

In the following forty-two years, fifteen pastors have ministered 
to the church. They are, H. W. Webber, 1859-61; A. H. Folwell, 
1861-63; Benjamin Jones, 1863-65; E. V. King, 1865-66; L. W. Wheeler, 
1866-68; J. H. Hyatt, 1869-70. E. W. Stager, 1870-73; H. B. Raybold, 

At this the time the church resolved: "That it is not our interest 
as a church to change pastors every year or two." A lesson of ex- 
perience. Initiatory steps were taken at this time, to erect a house 
of worship at Point Norris. C. P. DeCamp, 1877-78; M. M. Finch, 
1879-84. The church edifice at Point Norris was built in this term 
and sixty-three members were dismissed to constitute a church there. 
W. Cattell, 1885-88; J. W. Evans, 1889-93; A. L. Williamson, 1894-97; 
E. Thompson, 1897- 1900. The resolution that short pastorates were 
not helpful seems to have been a vain effort to reform. These frequent 
changes were not due to any difhculties. The pastors were invariably 
spoken of with commendation, with one exception. Most likely the 
isolation of the church in a rural district; an uncommercial people 
limiting growth and the small salary to be made out of a farm, excited 
the pastors to prefer a change of field, more, "in the world" and in 
touch with outside life, which pastors called to inspire others to activity, 
need more than other men. 

The Dividing Creek church, even though isolated, has done much 
for the denomination in the state. Its pastors have included some of 
our foremost men. They number in all, twenty-eight. Five have 
finished their work in death. Of these men, the first filled the office 
sixteen years. Another more than twenty years. A third, eleven 
years. These early Baptists from Cohansie, were of the original 
stamp and believed it and were ready to die for it. They built a 
meeting house and bought a parsonage farm and put buildings on it 
before the church was organized. Expansion was characteristic of 
them. Three churches were colonized from Dividing Creek, Tuckahoe, 
1771; Newport, 1855, where a house of worship had been built pre- 


viously to the organization of the church, having fifty-one constituents 
from Dividing Creek church; Port Norris, with sixty-three constituents 
from the mother church. Tuckahoc has given life to three churches, 
West Creek, Pt. Ehzabeth and First Millville and the last to North 
Millville. Ten Imndrcd and fifty-six converts liave been baptized 
into the church. 

Three meeting-houses have been built for Dividing Creek church 
The first built before 1761, burned in 1770. The second built after 
the first was burned in 1771 and was burned in 1821. A third was 
dedicated in 1823 and was enlarged and improved in 1860. Three 
parsonages have been in use. The first before 1761, which was sold 
and one built in 1850 and a better one in 1892. Such are the known 
fruits of the six men and sLx women who planted Dividing Creek 
church, which has yielded a glorious harvest. Had they been men 
and women without convictions of Bible truth and who dared maintain 
them with life, could such results have come from their Avorks? 

Two Baptist churches in New Jersey have been named Tuckahoe, 
one in 1771. Originally all of the country east of Dividing Creek was 
included in the field of the Dividing Creek church. The Baptists 
at Tuckahoe were members of Dividing Creek church. Morgan 
Edwards states that "James Hubbard gave the ground on which the 
first house was built. His deed is dated May 15th, 1750, The house 
of worship was built in 1751. In 1790, the people, on account of 
disrepair, were planning to build a new one. Alderman Benezct 
promised to "give them land, timber, glass and nails." The house 
was built. The church, also, used an old vacant meeting house at 
May's Landing, twelve miles distant." Mr. Edwards adds: '.'When 
the Gospel began to be preached at Dividing Creek bj' Nathaniel 
Jenkins, several from these parts repaired there and received serious 
impressions. Mr. Jenkins was iuA-ited to preach among them. He 
did so, notwithstanding his age and Maurice river stood in his way. He 
baptized some. 

Mr. Sheppard of Salem visited them and baptized others. Mr. 
Kelsay of Cohansie preached there and baptized and a church was 
organized in 1771. They had a large parsonage farm and dwelling 
on it. Their pastors were, James Sutton, he was a constituent of the 
church and ministered from 1771-2; Mr. Lock was bred a Presbyterian, 
but wa^ ordained a Baptist minister in July 1773 and resigned in 1779. 
In August, 1792, twenty-nine members were dismissed to constitute 
the West Creek Baptist church. The old Tuckahoe church never 
recovered from this depletion. It was disbanded in 1834. The W^est 
Creek church of 1792 died from a like cause. 


This clipping is from an old newspaper: 

"Some time ago, Mr. Springer, Sr., when upon a trip to Tuckahoe, 
sent me the names of these two pastors of the church, data which he 
collected from the old graveyard in Tuckahoe. There lie buried the 
Rev. Isaac Bonnell, who died July 25th, 1794, aged 64 years, as well 
as the Rev. Peter Groom, who departed this life January 16th, 1807, aged 
56 years. The next pastor, says Mr. Springer, was the Rev. Thomas 
Brooks, and then the Rev. Mr. Jayne, father of the celebrated Dr. David 
Jayne, of Philadelphia, and grandfather of Dr. Horace Jayne, 
dean of the University of Pennsylvania. (Collegiate department). 
Revs. Jayne and Brooks both died and were buried in the Baptist 
cemetery at Dividing Creek, where the latter was pastor for 23 years." 

Two Baptist churches in South Jersey have been named "West 
Creek." The oldest of these was located in Cumberland county, near 
the northwest boundary of Cape May county. Dr. T. T. Price, of 
Tuckerton writes of the church constituted in 1792: "The meeting 
liouse of the church stood in the woods two or three miles from West 
Creek, adding Port Elizabeth in Cumberland county or "Dennisvillc," 
would," I think, "have better accommodated the community than 
the West Creek church edifice." Knowing the location of their house 
of worship it is a wonder that the church survived so long. 

Tuckahoe church was its origin. Eight pastors served the old 
church and forty-six were baptized into its fellowship. Rev. I. Bon- 
nell, pastor of Tuckahoe was also pastor at West Creek till near his illness and death in 1794. Rev. P. Groom followed and was 
pastor till 1805, eleven years. Mr. Brooks was ordained in 1809 and 
served seven years. Mr. E. Jayne succeeded and was ordained pastor 
.serving four years. Also, J. P. Thompson and Rev. Mr. Pollard served the 
church. Eliel Joslin was pastor and a bad man. He did his utmost 
to destroy the church. Rev. I. M. Church came next. Mr. Church 
was a man of positive ideas and had opposition; was locked out of the 
meeting house. Under his wise and equable administration, the 
trouble ceased and those who had warred on him, returned to the 
church and were his best friends. Pastor Church resigned in 1841, 
imd removed to Northfield. In 1810, Pastor Brooks and some of the 
efficient members were dismissed and constituted the Port Elizabeth 
church. Finally the West Creek church disbanded in 1857. (West 
New Jersey Association, page 9, item 53; 1857). But it lives in its 
progeny; Millville first and North. 

Port Elizabeth to which West Creek church gave life and its life 
was constituted in 1810. The town is on Maurice river, a short dis- 
tance below Millville. In West New Jersey Association, 1843, page 13, 


digest, the church says: "They have united with others to form Mill- 
ville church." disbanding in 1843. An item of interest is: that Deacon 
Wynn, grandfather of Pastor Wynn of finst church, Camden, was a 
deacon of West Creek church; a constituent and deacon of Port 
Elizabeth church; if living when First Millville was constituted, 
was constituent of that church. Deacon Isaac Wynn,was thus a deacon 
of West Creek, a constituent of Port Elizabeth and a deacon of the 
church; a constituent and deacon of First Millville. He died in 1849. 
His wife was Rebecca Price, daughter of Dr. Price's great grandfather, 
Capt. William Price, a constituent of Pt. Elizabteh. Rev. I. C. Wynn 
was a grandson of Deacon Isaac Wynn of West Creek, Pt. Elizabeth 
and Millville. 

In the minutes of the New Jersey Baptist Association for 1837, 
page 2, item 21, the report of the committee on the letters from the 
churches says: "Relative to the inquiry of the Port Elizabeth church, 
Cumberland county, as to changing its name; '^ There can he no objection 
to altering its name to that of Millville church." Port Elizabeth church 
did not alter its name, but lived as it was until December 29th, 1842, 
when it disbanded and Millville appeared in the list of the churches 
reporting to the association in 1843. On page 13, minutes of 1843, 
digest of Port EUzabeth saj's: "That being very small they have 
united with others forming the Baptist church of Millville. How 
many constituents Millville had is quite uncertain. If fourteen, ten 
were from Port Elizabeth and four from Cedarville. "By request of 
Port Elizabeth church, a council met in a school room in Millville, 
December 29th, 1842, to consider the propriety of constituting the 
Baptists there as the first Baptist church at Millville." 

Deacon Isaac Wynn, grandfather of Rev. I. C. Wynn, for years 
pastor of the first Baptist church of Camden, "in behalf of Port Eliza- 
beth church requested for himself and twelve others to be constituted 
into a new church of Millville. This was the action of the Port Elizabeth 
church, taken upon the suggestion of the Association in 1837. The 
four members from Cedarville concurred in this action. 

In June 1843, Rev. H. Wescott was called to preach to the new 
church for six months. He remained one year. Within this time the 
house of worship was built and dedicated. It was a good thing for 
Millville to have had Mr. Wescott. His family was an "old family 
and had financial substance. He was followed by Ephraim Sheppard, 
a brother-in-law, also of an "old family" and who had ample financial 
resources. He settled as pastor in December 1844. Mr. Sheppard 
was ordained in April 1845, and remained until January 1847. Rev. 
William Maul succeeded immediately being pastor from January 1st, 


1847, to 52. In connection with Cedarville, Rev. J. Todd "supplied" 
for nine months. Rev. William Smith ministered as pastor from 1854 
to 58. J. Curran called for one year, in 1858, stayed until 1860. H. W. 
Webber was pastor 1862-64. William Humpstone was pastor 1865-67. 
Others were D. H. Burdock, 1869-70. The meeting house was rebuilt 
at a large cost in 1871. H. Wheat was pastor 1871-73; E. L. Stager, 
1873-78; H. C. Applegarth, 1878-79. At this time a parsonage was 
built. C. A. Mott, 1880-85. In this term the church edifice was 
greatly improved. H. G. James, 1885-87; E. B. Morris, 1888-90; 
G. H.Button, 1890-95. 

Mr. Button baptized one hundred and sixty-six in less than 'five 
years. H. W. Barrass, 1895-6; A. H. Sembower, 1896-1900. First 
Millville has had eighteen pastors. Two were joint pastors with 
Cedarville. One member has been licensed to preach. In 1896, 
forty-seven members, including the pastor, constituted the North 
Baptist church of Millville. The town had grown to be a large one 
and there was ample room for a second church. With the coming 
of Pastor Sembower, the old meeting house often repaired, gave place 
to one larger and better suited in conveniences and appliances to the 
various departments of church life and work. 

On the tenth day of March 1896, forty-seven members of the 
first Baptist church of Millville were dismissed to organize the North 
Millville Baptist church. Port Elizabeth and Millville are both on 
the Maurice river, not far apart. Port Elizabeth being south of Mill- 
ville. For the convenience of its worshippers, the church edifice of 
the first church was located at the nearer access to their homes in the 
southern part of the town, explaining why the younger body is desig- 
nated, North Millville. The pastor of the first church went with the 
colony. Mr. Barrass is now (1900) pastor of the North Millville Baptist 
church. Millville is grown to be a large town and there is ample room 
for the two churches and for their growth into influential bodies. A 
house of worship was begun to be l)uilt immediately and was com- 
pleted and occupied. The concord and enterprise of Millville Baptists 
justify the assurance that the churches will be a continuous blessing 
to the community in the Divine hand to accomplish its mission of 
salvation to perishing men. 

Newport is in Cumberland county. It was an out station of 
Dividing Creek church long before the constitution of the Newport 
Baptist church. A gift of ground for a meeting house by Brother 
Seth Page in 1854, led to its erection in that year. Early in 1855, 
Rev. U. Coffman, pastor of Dividing Creek church began special 
meetings in the new house at Newport. Many converts were added to 


the church and in March 1855, fifty-one were dismissed from Dividing 
Creek church, to establish a Baptist church at Newport. 
Rev. G. Sleeper had aided Pastor Coffman in his special 
meetings and Mr. ColTman, having died, Mr. Sleeper was 
called to be pastor of both churches. The labors of Mr. Sleeper were 
prosperous, continuing four years. Rev. H. W. Webber followed 
from 1859 to 1862. Scores were added to the church by baptism. 
His ministry was a harvest of continuous blessing. 

In the third year, however, of his pastoral care, Mr. Webber 
limited himself to Newport as pastor. Again, under the pastorate of 
Rev. B. Jones, the churches united under one pastor. The Civil War 
was in progress and the thoughts of the people were absorj^ed in the 
national strife. Pastor Jones resigned at the end of the year. A 
vacancy in the pastorate occurred for two years. Rev. L. W. Wheeler 
was called and began his charge of both churches in May 1866, resigning 
in 1869. Other pastors were, J. H. Hyatt, 1869; D. M. Young, ordained 
1871. H. B. Raybold, 1874-76, to both churches, afterward only to 
Dividing Creek. 1876, W. A. Durfee held a joint pastorate of Newport 
and Cedarville. but continued at Newport until 1878. M. M. Finch, 
1879-84, pastor of Dividing Creek and Newport. W. Cattell at both 
churches, 1884-86; Newport in 1889 called F. S. S. Boothe and he 
was ordained in February 1890. Within some time, a parsonage had 
been bought at Newport and that church was less dependent upon 
Dividing Creek. Mr. Boothe closed his pastorate in March 1891. A. 
Cauldwell, 1892; Mr. Paul Weithass who was ordained 1893-95; G. I. 
Meredith, 1895-1900; C. F. Hahn then settled. There have been 
fifteen pastors. Eight have been joint pastors with Dividing Creek 
or other nearby churches. It is doubtful if the increase of weak churches 
is wise. With a Sunday school, devotional meetings and the maternal 
care of the mother church of its stations, it is judged that the Kingdom 
of God would be enlarged more rapidly. 

Many Baptists lived at and near Port Norris, long before a Baptist 
church was formed there. For years a Sunday school house had been 
maintained by them in a village near to where Port Norris sprang up. 
A building for the Sunday school had been built and was dedicated 
to religious uses on January 1st, 1857, twenty-four years before a 
Baptist church was constituted. Soon after, Rev. George Sleeper, 
pastor of Dividing Creek Baptist church held a series of meetings in 
the house at Port Norris and many converts were baptized into the 
church of which he was pastor. Deacon Richard Robbins of Dividing 


Creek church was for the first seven years superintendent. Deacon 
George Robbins, said to have been an "emergency man," was twice 
later superintendent. 

A house of worship became a neccessity. One was built. Soon 
after its completion it was destroyed by fire. Within three years of 
the beginning of the first, another was dedicated as the former had 
l)een, free of debt. The Bible was the only lesson book in the Sunday 
School and the "Pralmist" used in the church service, the only hymn 
book Dividing Creek church pastors often preached in the church 
houses of worship at Port Norris and weekly social meetings were held 
there. Port Norris Baptist church was constituted with sixty-three 
members dismissed from Dividing Creek church in April 1881. The 
succession of pastors has been, M. M. Finch, 1881-83; A. W. H. Hodder, 
1883-84; L. G. Appleby, 1885-86; J. M. Scott, 1887-88; A. B. McCurdy, 
1888-89; C. F. Hahn, 1890-91; W. H. Humphries, 1891-94; C. P. P. 
Fox, 1894-97; W. W. Bullock, 1897-1900. 

Mr. Hodder was a student and returned to his studies at the end 
of a year. Mr. Appleby's pastorate was signalized by a special work 
of grace and an addition by baptism of nearly three score converts. 
His resignation was accepted despite the choice of the church for him 
to remain. In the interval of the pastorates of Mr. Scott and of Mr. 
McCurdy, a parsonage was built and the meeting house improved. 
In the charge of Mr. Humphries, the debt incurred for the parsonage 
was paid and many were baptized. While Mr. Fox was pastor, the 
meeting house was virtually rebuilt. Pastor Bullock has had prosperity 
in all church lines of work and life. Port Norris has had nine pastors. 
Three houses of worship have been in use, two of which were burned. 
The courage of the people and their readiness to respond to the needs 
of the cause of God is shown in the building of their church edifice and 
the parsonage and paying them promptly. 



The original name of Pemberton from 1690 to 1752 was "Hampton 
ILanover." The second name was "New Mills." The change to the 
second name was due to the building of new mills at the place in dis- 
tinction from older mills on "Budd's Run." opposite to the site of 
Pemberton. At the incorporation of the town in 1826 it was named 
Pemberton, in memory of a citizen, Mr. James Pemberton. In 1837, 
the old records of the church were destroyed by the burning of a building 
in which they were. 

Morgan Edwards wrote an account of the first things and says: 
"The house measures 30x30, built in 1752 on a lot of about two acres, 
the gift of Richard Woolston. His deed bears date of April 6th, 1752. 
In one corner of the house is the pulpit, in the opposite angles are 
the galleries, which relieves the conveniences of galleries in small places 
of worship; it is finished as usual in this country and accommodated 
with a stove. No temporality; nor many rich, for which reason the 
salary cannot be above twenty pounds a year. * * * The church 
is in a widowed state, but has been pretty well supplied from Hights- 
town, Upper Freehold etc. The families to which this meeting house 
is central are about eighty, whereof one hundred persons are baptized 
and in the communion, here administered once a quarter, the above 
is the present state of New Mills, October 24th, 1789. History." 

This church originated about the year 1750. One Francis Briggs 
of Salem (Mr. Briggs was a member of Cohansie) settled at New Mills 
and invited Baptist ministers to preach at his house. The consequence 
was, that some were converted and baptized; namely, John and 
Elizabeth, Estelle and Rachel Briggs. This raised the expectations 
that there might be a church at New Mills, in hope of which they built 
a meeting house and applied to the Association (Philadelphia) for 
ministerial helps. During these visits others were baptized. 

In the year 1763, Rev. P. P. Van Horn arrived from Pennepek 
with his wife and family, which increased the number of Baptists to 
ten and made them wish to have communion of saints among them. 
Accordingly, they were formed into a church, June 23rd, 1764. Mr. 
Briggs was the kind of Baptist, those Baptists were, who made us what 
we are as a denomination. They believed in Gospel order and wanted 


that and only that, nor did they hide their convictions of truth and 
duty. Baptists are what they are numerically and in influence, be- 
cause knowing their mission they had the grace and courage to main- 
tain it. Stalwart pastors and stalwart preaching made stalwart Baptists 
whether men or women. Baptists as much alone as if they had compan- 
ionship of their faith, answering to Paul's description, "living Epistles," 
walking Bibles that "wliose light cannot be hid." There is no estimate 
of what one person can accomplish, having a purpose to be only and 
always on the side of God and His will. Even though they numbered 
only ten disciples, they constituted a Baptist church having all the 
distinctiveness which a Baptist church means in the midst of the 
vagaries of error. Ten of such would have saved Sodom. Mr. Briggs 
did not live to see a church organized. He died in 1763. 

Rev. P. P. Van Horn was a constituent of the church and its first 
pastor, retaining his charge for five years, and then returned to Penn- 
sylvania. He had a useful pastorate, the church increasing from ten 
to forty-two members. When it is recalled how sparse the population 
was, the increase is significant of an efficient pastoral oversight. Three 
years went by ere Rev. D. Brandon settled as pastor. He was or- 
dained in December 1770. Morgan Edwards states that, "In 1772, 
a grevious disturbance took place which caused one party to exclude 
the other and they continued in this situation till September 22nd, 
1778." Mr. Branson was excluded in June 1772. As Mr. Branson 
claimed to be a Baptist minister in good standing, the Association 
in 1781, warned the public against him. When this trouble was 
settled, prosperity returned and the church increased in twenty-five 
years to one hundred members. 

In March, 1781, David Loughborough was ordained for the 
pastorate. He continued till April 1782. People are much the same 
in various periods. Mr. Loughbridge had married a lady of the con- 
gregation and some dissented to his choice. For sixteen years there 
was a vacant pulpit. That memoralile man, Peter Wilson, pastor at 
Hightstown. supplied the pulpit for six or eight years of this time, as 
often as so busy a man and one in great demand could. As ever and 
everywhere in his ministry Mr. Wilson gathered many converts into 
the church. From 1789 to 1793, Rev. Joseph Stevens supplied both 
Pemberton and Upper Freehold churches and from 1793 -1798 two 
licentiates of Pemberton, Benjamin Hedger and Isaac Carlisle were 
ordained at New Mills and ministered till the pastorate of Rev. Mr. 
Magowan. This was not a period of destitution nor of barrenness. 
In each year with only one exception there were additions by baptism, 
in all one hundred and ten. Of these, Mr. Wilson baptized fifty-five. 


wliilc supplying Pemberton. Alexander Magowan was much the 
same stamp of man as Mr. Wilson, who had baptized him into the 
Hightstown church, Mr. Magowan being a Presbyterian minister. 
(See Hightstown history for account of Mr. Magowan's becoming a 
Baptist.) Hightstown church licensed Mr. Magowan and he became 
a Baptist minister. Mr. Magowan was pastor at Pemberton from 
1798 to 1806. In that time he baptized one hundred and sixteen. 
Part of this time he alternated between Pemberton and Mount Holly. 

In 1794, the trustees of Pemberton held for Burlington Baptists 
the old "Friends" meeting house in Burlington. Mr. Magowan preach- 
ed at Burlington and at Mount Holly. Pemberton church must have 
had men of substance, who cared for neighboring localities. A house 
of worship was built at Mount Holly in 1800. Mr. Magowan was a 
man of superior ability and of great activity in mission work. It has 
been said of him: "that he was devoted and earnest and stood staunch- 
ly for the faith once delivered to the Saints," In the minutes of the 
New Jersey Association of 1815, page 7, in a prefix written by the 
clerk for the corresponding letter of the Association, it is said; that 
in 1814, Mr. Magowan was appointed to write the corresponding letter. 
Unwilling to leave the duty unaccomplished, he wrote the letter and 
left it with a brother to be presented for him, having decided to go to 
Ohio before the next session of the Association. "About one hundred 
miles from his destination, the wagon was overturned and Mr. Magowan 
fatally injured and died a few hours after, leaving his widow and four 
children in the wilderness." Though dead, his appointment was kept. 
While pastor at Pemberton in 1801 , a colony was dismissed to constitute 
a Baptist church in Mount Holly, where from 1795, three years before 
becoming pastor at Pemberton, he sustained the mission at Mount 
Holly, which Peter Wilson of Hightstown had begun there. 

In 1794, Mr. Carlisle is named in the minutes of the Philadelphia 
Association as a hcentiate of Pemberton church. He is published as 
ordained in 1805. For five years, from 1796, he was a delegate to that 
Association from the first Baptist church of Philadelphia. But, 
according to the minutes of the New Jersey Association, Mr. Carlisle 
was at Pemberton from 1811 to 1814. A statement in some records 
that Mr. Carlisle died in February, 1815 is a mistake. He was a 
delegate to New Jersey Association in September 1815. Rev. I. 
Stratton followed at Pemberton and was ordained in February 1814. 
But death cut short his ministry on June 7th, 1816. Mr. Stratton 
was highly e.steemed and bright hopes were blighted by his death. 

In 1810, Rev. John Rogers settled as pastor. He was the son 
of John Rogers and was a native of North Ireland. A descendant of 


the martyr John Rogers, and inherited the stamina of character and 
conscientious conviction of his great ancestor. AlUed in family and 
in training with the Presbyterian church, he was pastor of a staiuich 
Presbyterian churcli in his native town, amid kindred and loved ones 
and there in the midst of these tremendous influences, the martyr, 
John Rogers, lived anew; the stake of contempt and the cross of sac- 
rifice in the surrender of his old convictions and of his family and 
dearest friends was the cost of becoming a Baptist. He told his church 
of his change of views and they trusted him and provided exchanges 
for him on ordinance days. Some members of his church became 
Baptists. Others accused him of sowing discord. Then he resigned 
and came to America. 

At a meeting of a Baptist Association, he met a delegation of the 
Pemberton church looking for a pastor. He was invited to visit Pem- 
berton and began his ministry in America there. When twelve years 
had passed, Scotch Plains church coveted his labors as pastor. In 
the record of that body, an account of his usefulness appears. Com- 
paratively few have been more beloved than John Rogers. Every 
good cause had a place in his heart. The antinomian element, when 
he met it was remoulded into earnest, active Christian life. State 
Missions, Home Missions, Foreign Missions and any instrumentality 
to save the lost and build up the Kingdom of God, had in him a helper. 
At the close of his ministry in Pemberton, for about two years a licen- 
tiate of the church, Mr. Samuel Harvey "supplied" the church till Mr. 
C. W. Mulford accepted its call and Mr. Mulford was ordained to be its 
pastor in November 27th, 1830 to 1835. 

The church seems to have had a choice of pastors of the first 
Baptist church in Philadelphia. Rev. Henry Holcombe, the foremost 
man of his day preached at the ordination of Mr. Stratton and Rev. 
W. T. Brantly, Sr., preached at that of Mr. Mulford. Mr. Mulford 
was unlike Mr. Rogers, both as a preacher and in social life. Mr. 
Rogers was an undemonstrative, educated and of high toned Cal- 
vinistic views, and in social life, unassuming and retiring. One was 
sure of being on the right side if agreeing with him. Mr. Mulford 
was young, had the wisdom of youth; if in riding he did not "hold the 
lines," he was beside the driver and advised as to the best road. His 
preaching was Calvinistic and earnest, impressing his hearers that he 
believed what he said and that they must believe it and now. Mr. 
Mulford closed his pastorate at Pemberton after five years, having 
had a happj' and useful service. Under his ministr}-, one hundred 
and seventy three were added to the church by baptism. 

Mr. Mulford was always and everywhere, "at the front" on the 


temperance question. Whatever their social, pohtical or religious 
relations and alliances of opponents, made to him any difference. Mr. 
Mulford was the compeer of Samuel Aaron in the intensity of his zeal 
for total abstinence from intoxicants. Good people of all denominations 
were agreed in the advocacy of temperance, as they have not been 
since. Political parties had great respect to the temperance element 
in their nominations for office in New Jersey. Mr. Mulford was laid 
aside in the vigor of his years by a bronchial affection, with which 
he died, only fifty-nine years old. While pastor at Pemberton, Vincent- 
towii church was constituted in 1834. 

Rev. Timothy Jackson was pastor for two years, from 1836 and 
had a harvest of converts in his charge. Rev. J. G. Collom settled as 
pastor in July 1839, remaining till March 1846. While pastor, the 
house of worship "on the hill" was an inconvenience on account of 
its distance from the village, but Deacon Swain giving a lot in town, 
a chapel was built on it for social meetings and other uses. Three 
members were licensed to preach in Mr. Collom's charge. Mr. Collom 
having removed. Rev. D. S. Parmelle entered the pastorate in July, 
1846, continuing till June 1851, and was imbedded in the affections 
of his people. 

After Mr. Parmelee, Rev. L. C. Stevens settled for a few months, 
remo-v^ing on account of the health of Mrs. Stevens, who died within 
a short time. On February 17th, 1853, Mr. S. M. Shute was ordained 
but in 1856, accepted a call to Alexandria, Va. A parsonage was 
bought in the first year of his coming. The same year in which Mr. 
Shute removed. Rev. Thomas Goodwin became pastor, holding the 
office till June 1859. The pastoral office was occupied by Rev. L. G. 
Beck on September 1st, 1859, was held by him until July 1864. Meas- 
ures had been taken in 1860, to build a church edifice in a more central 
place which being completed, was dedicated in September 1861. The 
entire outlay for grounds, sheds and house of worship was paid on the 
completion of the meeting house. Mr. Beck's settlement at Pem- 
berton proved wise. The centennial year 1864, occurred while he 
was pastor. 

Comparatively few men have the gift and the patience to gather 
the facts of an hundred years, sifting tradition from fact, discriminate 
and adjust the real from the unreal, in the memories of the aged and 
so compile historical details, that they commend themselves to us, 
as substantially true. Since the early statements of Morgan Edwards, 
fire having destroyed the church records, we owe to the research, 
intelligence and patience of Pastor Beck, another token of the Provi- 
dence of his pastorate. The meeting house had been built on a lot 


distant from the central part of the town. The Pcmberton church 
had Uved and suffered this disadvantage for an hundred years, till 
now, when through Mr. Beck, a spacious house of worship was located 
in the centre of the town. 

A pastor ought not to be judged by the numbers added to the 
church or by the large congregations waiting on his ministry. The 
better evidence of his usefullness is putting the church into a position 
of influence and equipping it with power to wield for God and humanity, 
making it a channel of blessing and salvation for all time. Mr. Beck 
was followed by Rev. J. H. Parks for about four years and Mr. Parks 
by Rev. J. W. Wilmarth who was pastor eight years. 

In September 1878, Rev. J. C. Buchanan entered the pastorate 
and is now (1900) pastor, already more than twenty-two years. Mr. 
Buchanan's pastorate in duration at Pemberton is exceptional. Pastor 
Rogers alone approaches it. The church has had twenty-two pastors, 
including Mr. Wilson's ministry of six or eight years and the two j'cars 
in which one of its licentiates preached. Several houses of worship 
have been built or provided. One, the old "Friends" meeting house 
at Burlington, which may have been bought by the generous aid of 
Pemberton church in 1794, the property being held by the trustees 
of Pemberton church for the uses of Burlington Baptists. In about 
1800, a house was built for the mission at Mount Holly. 

A meeting house was built at Vincentown and another at Columbus 
under the pastorate of Mr. C. W. MuKord. These were four church 
edifices. For itself, a meeting house was built in 1752 and afterwards 
moved and remodelled into a parsonage, which was burned in 1837. 
In 1823, a house of worship was built to take the place of that erected 
in 1752. For the convenience of the village, a chapel was put up in 
town for Sunda)' school and social meeting uses. A house of worsliip 
was built in Pemberton in 1860-1. Thus, besides four outside missions, 
four other places of worship were built for itself at home. In all, eight 
sanctuaries; additional to these, two parsonages were erected. At 
least nine members have been licensed to preach, one of whom, has 
been pastor of the church and others "supplies" when Pemberton 
has been destitute of a pastor and efficient in sustaining mission 

Two sons of Deacon Swain, Samuel and Thomas, have filled high 
positions in New Jersey and abroad. Job Gaskill also, was an eminent- 
ly useful man. His private means enabled him to serve young and 
feeble churches, unable to sustain a pastor. These and others unnamed, 
reflected credit on the pastors who had developed their gifts and 
upon the church that had sent them out. Pemberton has been 


a fruitful church. Its pastors preached in Burlington. Mount 
Holly waa its mission. So too, Vincentown and Columbus. 
From twenty to forty churches may claim its ancestry. 
Fifty-two members were dismissed to form Mount Holly church in 
1801, twenty-nine to constitute Vincentown church and nineteen 
to establish Columbus church. 

The antecedent record of the pastors of Pembcrton is of intense 
interest. Mr. Van Horn was a Lutheran, but the New Testament 
set him free and made him a Baptist. Mr. Stephens was an Episco- 
palian, but the Scriptures made him a Baptist. Benjamin Hedger, 
a licentiate, was a Presbyterian; the Gospel turned his feet into a 
Baptist church. Mr. Magowan was pastor of a Presbyterian church 
and by Bible study was led into truth and into a Baptist church. 
John Rogers, like to Mr. Magowan, was a native of Ireland, was trained 
in their schools for the ministry and pastor of a Presbyterian church, 
of which his father had been pastor and living in his native place, amid 
his kindred, his ideas of the church and of the ordinances were changed, 
by the "Baptist chapters," as the Methodist minister said, and he 
united with a Baptist church. D. S. Parmelee was a Congregationalist. 
The Bible led him to ask his pastor to "bury him in baptism." His 
prejudice against "close communion" led him to join a congregational 
church. Further study of the Divine Word convinced him that the 
Baptists were as scripturally right on the communion question as on 
baptism and he joined a Baptist church. While at Pemberton he 
published a small volume on "Positive Law; its Distinction From Moral 
Law." Mr. Goodwin had been an Episcopalean, but the Scriptures 
made him a Baptist. 

The pastors were about equally useful in winning converts and in 
promoting the general welfare of the church. Its membership had 
spiritual vitality. Life was not derived from the pastors or from his 
methods. Thus when he removed he did not take with him, that 
which had made his ministry a blessing, nor when a new pastor came, 
the same source of blessing was in. the church to make his oversight 
successful. With the single exception of a bad man, who imposed 
himself on the church, the pastors have been men of peace. Nine 
hundred and fifty-eight have been baptized into the church up to 

Few changes in the economy of our churches have been so marked 
as that concerning women. At the session of the West New Jersey 
Association, a report on the woman question in reply to the query: 
"Ought women delegates be admitted to be members of the Asso- 
ciation?" (Minutes of 1877, page 23, item 55.) Why this matter 


is alluded to, in connection with Pemberton is: that Rev. J. W. 
Wilmarth waa chairman of the committee to which the matter was 
referred and also was pastor of the Pemberton church at that time. 
In 1878, page 20, is the report of the committee and action on it, was 
deferred to the next year. Report: "We answer in the negative for 
the following reasons:" I. Such a practice is inconsistent with the 
plain teachings of the New Testament. II. Such a practice is contrary 
to the universal belief and practice of the church. III. Such a custom 
is contrary to Baptist usage. IV. Such a practice would have a dan- 
gerous tendency. V. Such an innovation would be an act of injustice 
to our female members. VI. Such a change would entail serious 
practical inconveniences. VII. Finally, we can discover no good to 
be accomplished by the proposed change." All of which was main- 
tained in six closely printed pages. It is due to the Association that 
the resolutions of the committee, in perfect accord with the seven above 
mentioned points, were never after heard of and next year, 1879, 
women delegates were enrolled. In 1900, of one hundred and fifteen 
delegates, fifty-five were women. It is also due to the women to say 
that no such trouble has ever appeared as the committee conjured up 
and warned us of. 

Contrasted with this report, was the action of the Philadelphia 
Association in 1746, page 53. (A. B. Publishing Society, Edition 
1746, page 53.) The question then was: whether women may or ought 
to have their votes in the church, in such matters as the church shall 
agree to be decided by votes? They answer: "Alluding to I Cor. 14:34, 
35 vs. and other parallel texts, they add: "If then the silence enjoined 
on women be taken so absolute as they must keep entire silence in 
all respects, whatever; yet notwithstanding, it is to be hoped, they may 
have as members of the body of the church liberty to give a mute 
voice by standing or lifting up of the hands — (vote) * * * But, 
with the consent of authors * * * such absolute silence in all 
respects cannot be intended, for, if so, how shall a woman make con- 
fession of her faith, to the satisfaction of the whole church as she is 
bound to do? How shall a woman do, if she be an evidence to a 
matter of fact? Again, how shall a woman defend herself if wrong- 
fully accused, if she may not speak? How shall a woman offended 
* * * tell the church as she is bound to do (Matt. 18:17)? There- 
fore, there must be times and ways in and by which women may dis- 
charge their conscience and duty toward God and men." Evidently, 
the men of one hundred and fifty years ago, had good common sense 

from whom the twentieth century men might learn something. ThesQ 


old time men believed in a woman having a word to say in things 
of public interest. 

Pemberton has its share of rural experiences, nevertheless, being 
a railroad town, and the vicinities of the two great cities of the nation, 
make it a center of value and the lands about it attractive to a home 

Authorities insist that a Baptist church was planted in Burlington 
at an early date. The minutes of the Pennepek church, Pa., indicate 
that a Baptist church was founded there in 1689. Morgan Edwards 
states: that Elias Keach, pastor of Penepak church, established a 
Baptist church there in 1690. That year Mr. Keach was invited by 
Obadiah Holmes, Jr. — a licentiate — to visit Cohansie and Baptist con- 
verts gathered there by Mr. Holmes, Jr. Mr. Keach baptised those 
converts. If he returned home via Burlington, N. J. as the year inti- 
mates, he effected two important matters, establishing churches in 
Cohansie and in Burlington. It is agreed that the church in Burling- 
ton disbanded in 1699 and the members joined Penepak church. 

Burlington was settled early by the "Friends" (Quakers) in 1667. 
and in 1690, was a populous town. These doings of more than two 
hundred years since, show that Baptists then as now, had faith in God 
and were aggressive to make known their convictions of Bible teaching. 
All in America endorse "civil and religious liberty," but all do not 
know that it cost Baptists persecution and their lives to win it for 

Tradition has it, that indomitable and ever memorable Peter 
Wilson, pastor at Hightstown, visited Burlington in 1790, holding 
meetings there. He was accompanied by two licentiates of Pemberton, 
Benjamin Hedger and I C. Carlisle. These preached until 1798. 
Alexander Magowan became pastor at Pemberton in 1798 and he 
with Messrs. Hedger and Carlisle preached till the constitution of the 
church in 1801. AATien six members of Pemberton, six of Jacobstown, 
and two from Philadelphia, in all, fourteen constituted the first Baptist 
church of Burlington. Among the six from Jacobstown were W. H. 
Staughton and wife. Mr. Staughton had been a member of the Bir- 
mingham Baptist church, England, and had been excluded for adultery, 
in marrying the divorced wife of a man still living, the divorce being 
for other than scriptural cause. (Matt. 19:9; 5:32 and Luke 16:18). 
When excluded, Mr. Staughton fled to America. (See "Whole Truth," 
pages 19-20. Letters of Dr. Furman and of Andrew Fuller of Kettering) 
Staughton later became pastor, the first pastor at Burlington. Mr. 
Staughton in coming North, finally located at Bordentown, then a 
small village where Mr. Allison, pastor at Jacobstown Baptist church. 


lived and had a prosperous school of students from every colony in the 
United States and from Spain, France, West Indies and South America. 
This school, he committed to Mr. Staughton, which proved unwise, 
since it declined under the new management. 

In 1801, the Burlington church called Mr. Staughton to be pastor. 
A call in 1805, to be pastor of the first church, Philadelphia was accepted 
and Mr. Staughton removed to Philadelphia. He resigned his charge 
in five or six years. 

The Burlington church adopted a habit of their times and looked 
for a pastor among their members and licensed Mr. William Boswell 
and called him to be a "permanent supply." His labors continued 
till 1809, when their limited financial resources necessitated a union with 
Mount Holly. Under the arrangement, Rev. J. McLaughlin moved to 
Burlington, preaching in the morning at Mount Holly and in the after- 
noon and evening at Burlington. At the end of the year, Pastor 
McLaughlin decided that the field was too large and limited himself 
to Burlington until 1811, when he removed. Rev. Burgess Allison 
followed Mr. McLaughlin. A man so learned, intelligent and good 
had an almost unbounded influence in the town. The church was 
renewed and in the four years of his stay was very efficient. His 
resignation was reluctantly accepted. Several months passed and 
the Rev. J. E. Welsh was engaged to supply the church whenever 
convenient. This was in 1816. New life appeared at once. The 
church edifice was repaired and made attractive. Crowds met, a 
revival broke out and numbers were baptized. Every effort was made 
to retain Mr. Welsh, but his face was set westward; associated with 
Rev. J. M. Peck, the Tri-ennial convention sent them to the Indians 
in Missouri near to St. Louis. 

Rev. Peter Wilson was called as a supply for one year. The 
immense labors of Mr. Wilson as pastor at Hightstown for thirty-five 
years had impaired his vital force and now nearly seventy years old, 
was compelled to resign. Mr. J. H. Kennard, a licentiate of Wilming- 
ton, Del., supplied the church for a year and in 1820, was ordained 
for pastoral duties. 

In 1822, a second church. Pearl street, was formed in Burlington; 
Mr. Kennard went with the colony. This body is reported in the 
Association minutes up to 1828 and as having had two pastors. Others 
claimed that the second church existed but a few months and in 1823, 
proposed uniting with the mother church. 

There was division at this time. Some wanted Rev. J. E. Welsh, 
who had returned east. Others preferred Mr. Kennard, who was 
pastor of the second church, a short time and then removed to second 


Hopewell. Neither Mr. Kcnnard nor Mr. Welsh were parties to these 
differences. Both were gentlemen entirely above any such personali- 

Mr. Welsh supplied the first church for two years, this being his 
second charge of the church, thence removing to Mount Holly. A 
year passed and the church called and licensed Deacon George Allen, 
who after supplying for a year was ordained November 4th, 1826 and 
became pastor. Mr. Allen was efficient and useful, closing his pastorate 
in six years. We reap the benefit of his care. 

In the minutes of the New Jersey Association, is an acknowledge- 
ment to him, for files of its minutes, preserved by him, acquainting 
us with the early details of our denominational life. Two events 
made Mr. Allen's pastorate memorable. One, an origin of a Sunday 
school by two sisters of the church. Misses Bertha Ellis and Sarah R. 
Allen, a daughter of the pastor. Miss Allen in 1830 married Peter 
Simonson, a promising young man. Her son, was a pastor in Newark, 
New Jersey and her daughter, Mrs. M. A. Wright is one of the efficient 
workers in Burlington church, now past seventy years old. She has 
a large Bible class. 

The other event was the baptism of Mr. Samuel Aaron, a man 
among men. Mr. Aaron was bom in New Brittain, Pa. His parents 
were members of the Baptist church in the town. In 1820, he was a 
teacher and student in the classical and mathematical school of "Friend" 
John Gummere in Burlington, N. J., where Mr. Aaron completed his 
course in 1822. "Friend" Gummere immediately emploved him to 
teach in his school, a foremost school in the United States. Again, 
in 1824, Mr. Gummere engaged Mr. Aaron. Friend Gummere was 
a rare man in the natural qualities of a teacher and in his innate per- 
ception of teaching qualities of another man. His judgment of the 
teaching gifts of men and of their moral and intellectual worth was 
nearly infallible. He had also, the equipment of an education, which 
gave him a foremost place among educators as the writer knows full 
well, having been in his classes. Mr. Gummere appreciated Mr. 
Aaron's eminent worth. In 1826, Mr. Aaron united with the Baptist 
church by baptism; the same year in which Mr. Allen was ordained, 
in his fifty-fourth year. 

Mr. Allen spent thirty years in the ministry. His last pastorate 
at Penn's Neck continued thirteen years and it was his second charge 
at Penns Neck. Returning to Burlington, where he died, eighty-seven 
years old in the midst of the associations of his youth. Supplies min- 
itsered to the church at the close of Mr. Allen's charge in 1832, and 
until the Baptist school was begun in 1833. At this time Mr. Aaron 


wrote to a friend, "I am likely to have my hands full of labor and 
my mind of cares, for in addition to the school, the little church here, 
needs the service of some body who will work for nothing and find 

The school was founded by the Central Education Society of 
Philadelphia, representing Pennsylvania and New Jersey Baptists. 
Mr. Aaron being principal of the school, was called to be pastor in Sep- 
tember in 1833. Thus, for the third time, the church had a pastor, 
one who had been baptized into its fellowship. Brighter days dawned 
on the church, crowds waited on Mr. Aaron's ministry, converts were 
added to the church. A large and modern house of worship was a 
necessity and in 1834, one was built and dedicated and filled with wor- 
shippers. Pastoral duties and those of the school were, however, 
too great a burden. Mr. Aaron gave up the charge of the church in 
1838, after five years of devoted service. Rev. F. Ketchum of Con- 
necticut followed in March 1839. He had adopted the plan of "Pro- 
tracted Meetings" and their accompaniments introduced into the North 
by Rev. W. T. Brantly, Sr., pastor of the first BaptLst church of Phila- 
delphia at his coming from the south. Possibly Mr. Ketchum "pushed 
things" and allowed extremes which Mr. Brantly would not have con- 
sented to. For Mr. Ketchum was a man of intense earnestness and 
likely to use any instrumentality he believed to be consistent with 
Gospel ministries, accepting the language of the parable : "Compel them 
to come in," as literal. Many were added to the church in his short 
pastorate; accepting a call to Philadelphia in May 1840. Mr. Ketchum 
held numerous meetings in New Jersey with uniform success, both 
in the cit)' and in the country, crowds gathered to hear him. Re- 
moving to Illinois, he was equally successful in the West as he had 
been in the East. He died in 1885, seventy-five years old. 

The same year 1840, in which Mr. Ketchum left Burlington, 
Rev. E. W. Dickinson entered on the pastoral care of the church. A 
marked distinguished these pastors. Mr. Dickinson was a 
man of fine culture, scholarly and a very able preacher. In manner, 
style and compositions his sermons were the opposite of his predecessor. 
The six years of his charge were a period of growth and prosperity. 
The church and congregation were loath to part with him in January, 
1847. His successor, Mr. S. S. Parker, was ordained in June 1847. 
A good preacher and a wise pastor, the love of his people entwined 
about him but his failing health compelled his resignation. 

In February 1850, Rev. W. H. Parmly settled. Mr. Parmly 
was a charming man. Everybody loved him. In all things to all 
people; always and everywhere Wheelock Parmly got hold of you and 


you were glad to have it so. He was not a great man, either as preacher 
or counsellor, but he was good and his companionship was delightful. 
Mr. Family resigned in 1854. While pastor the church edifice was 
enlarged and bettered. Mr. Barnhurst, who followed Mr. Parraly 
was eminently a missionary pastor. A chapel was built on Florence 
heights and a way opened for the organization of a church. His 
diligence in missions, exposure by night brought on consumption and 
he was necessitated to retire in June 1865. Going West, in the vain 
hope of recovery, ere long he had his reward on high A deceiver 
became pastor; his character was manifest and he was excluded in 
1857. Supplies ministered to the church for about two years, when 
Rev. William A. Smith settled and was ordained. His health failing, 
he resigned in 1860. 

Rev. W. W. Meech entered the pastorate the neixt June. The 
Civil War was in progress. Its excitements were dominant and like 
to many other pastors, Mr. Meech changed fields, hoping for relief from 
city life in 1862. About this time, Mr. Alexander Tardff was licensed 
to preach and with eleven others, were dismissed to constitute an Afro- 
American church. Rev. Kelsay Walling accepted a call to be pastor 
in 1863. He closed his ministry at Burlington in August 1871. This 
was the longest pastorate the church had enjoyed. It was both 
successful and happy. In 1867-8, a gracious work was enjoyed. 
Young men, especially, were added to the church. There were more 
baptisms in these eight years, than in any other preceding charge. 
On December 5th, 1871, Rev. J. E. Wilson became pastor. The church 
edifice was virtually rebuilt and in 1874, one hundred and twenty-six 
were baptized. 

The earlier movement at Florence had failed and the chapel was 
sold. A renewed interest was undertaken, an outgrowth of the revival 
of 1874. In 1875, a Sunday school was organized and steps were taken 
to build a place of worship and constitute a church in Florence. The 
mission was sustained by Pastor Wilson of Burlington and by resident 
Baptists in Florence. Mr. W. F. Thatcher of Florence was devoted 
to the upbuilding of the church in the town. Mr. Wilson was pastor 
at Burlington about seven years and had a useful and fruitful charge. 
Rev. E. Davis followed, remaining four years till 1882. In the next 
October, Rev. T. M. Eastwood accepted the call to be pastor, con- 
tinuing ten years. Soon after Mr. Eastwood left, the church called 
Rev. J. M. Hare, who resigned to go with the regiment of which he 
was chaplain to Cuba, in the Spanish War. The desire of the people 
went back to Mr. Eastwood and recalled him to resume his former 
pastorate. He yielded to their request and again in 1892, settled in 


Burlington and is now (1900) pastor at Burlington. 

Burlington church included many choice members. Two of them, 
deacons, they licensed and called to be pastors. Another, also, Rev. 
Samuel Aaron, they called to be pastor. Their action is a type of the 
membership of our early churches, that they included members, whom 
they preferred as teachers of Divine truth and these men could spend a 
life time from twenty to fifty years, preaching to the same congregation 
and be heard gladly. Hearers and preachers were Bible men. Evi- 
dently substance was to them of more worth than manner, culture 
and forms. These were the men who made us as a denomination what we 
are. Their spiritual appetite was not dainty nor their spiritual digest- 
ion perplexed with dyspeptic tendencies. 

Note these names which may be increased by scores: Southworth, 
John Walton, Drake, Stelle, llunyan, Randolph, Miller, Allen, Wilson, 
Kelsay, Sheppard, Burrows, Eaton, Jenkin, Bateman, Curtis, Sutton, 
Heaton. The pastors of Burlington have included choice men. Fif- 
teen hundred and thirty have been baptized into the church. Three 
churches have been colonized from first Burlington. 

At Beverly, after the failure of W. H. Staughton and his "union" 
effort, W. H. Parmly renewed the effort and succeeded. The church 
has always been housed. At a meeting of Baptists, December 21st, 
1794, in Burlington, the minutes state, "Having assembled in the 
Baptist Meeting Hojise," bought in 1794, from the "Friends," (Quakers) 
and held by the trustees of Pemberton. Under Pastor Aaron, a new 
and large house of worship was built. It was remodelled under Pastor 
Parmly, rebuilt under Pastor Wilson and has since then, been enlarged. 
Thus the church has had four sanctuaries. Also, two chapels built 
at Florence and a house built at Beverly as is believed. Thus, in all, 
seven, the first having been bought. Nine members have been licensed 
to preach. Three of whom have been pastors. One of them was Mr. 
Rice, who with Judson, sailed for India. If Mr. Aaron is included in 
the nine licensed to preach, the number of licentiates would be ten. 
The church has had twenty-one pastors. One of them has been settled 
twice. Mr. J. E. Welsh has really had three settlements at Burlington. 
His relations to the church were most intimate. Later, he was a 
resident of the city. In July 1876, he was commissioner of the State 
of Missouri, to the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, making 
Burlington his home. Although in his 88th year, he went with an 
excursion to the ocean. There were not any railroads on the coast 
then. Ready to bathe in the sea, he was taken ill and died on the 
beach. His remains were removed to Burlington, where he began and 
ended his ministry. 


Formerly Beverly was known as "Dunk's Ferry." The town is 
on the Delaware river about three miles south of Burlintgon. Baptist 
pastors in Burlington have preached there from an early date. Wil- 
liam H. Staughton had a mission station there or nearby. He ob- 
tained subscriptions, chiefly of Baptists, and erected a commodious 
brick meeting house at Cooperstown, two miles northeast of Dunks 
Ferry. He made it a "Union House," It was used for several years 
harmoniously. But for the last thirty-four years, up to 1851, has 
been a bone of contention among several denominations and is now 
wholly unoccupied. Staughton, in his last days, alluding to it called 
it "Staughton's folly." 

Beverly being a railroad town, and a river town and pleasantly 
located, attracted a large citizen population from Philadelphia, besides 
others from the country. After Staughton's sad failure, Rev. W. H. 
Parraly, pastor in Burlington, established regular meetings at proper 
seasons in groves, in an old building and in school houses. The resident 
Baptists finally decided to organize a Baptist church. This they did, 
on the tenth of February 1851, twelve resident Baptists constituted 
themselves a Baptist church. Six were from Philadelphia, five from 
Burlington and one from Bridgeton. 

Already Beverly was a popular resort. In 1850, Hon. John 
Fenimore, a deacon of the Burlington church, bought a hall in Beverly 
and offered the use of the lower story to the Baptists with the liberty 
of buying the property should they choose. Eventually, the church 
bought and used it for worship. Becoming too small, and a lot being 
given to the church, a brick house of worship was built and dedicated 
in 1865. 

The succession of pastors was: E. C. Brown, 1851-52; G. G. Gleason, 
1852-55; George Mitchell, 1856-; E. M. Barker, 1858-61; J. S. Miller, 
1862; Thomas Davis, 1865-68; William Swinden, 1868-72; W. Kelsey, 
1872-79; D. S. Fletcher, 1879; J. E. Raymond, 1880-82; S. P. Lewey, 
1883; J. Trickett, 1884; J. Walden, 1887-92; H. C. Munro, 1893; T. S. 
Fretz, 1894-99. W. W. Willis, 1900. 

Of these pastors, E. M. Barker was of especial use. For several 
years, the meeting house had been building; a large debt was incurred 
and a second disaster was near. The lot given for the house was out 
of the way and the house if ever finished was a bar to prosperity. It 
was finished and dedicated in 1867. Mr. Barker averted a disaster 
that would have been fatal, by his collections. Rev. P. Powell was a 
resident of Beverly. His record of care for weak churches evinced his 
concern for Beverly, doing by his counsels and gifts, all he could 
for the church. In 1875, tlie la5t debt on the church was paid by a 


lady in Bristol, Pa., giving the entire sum, thus relieving the church. 
Rev. Mr. Powell died June 10th, 1886, ninety-four years old. He was 
one of the men of whom history makes no mention. The writer knew 
him well and redeems his memory from oblivion. 

Others, men of the same stamp, J. Sisty, E. Sexton, E. V. Glover, 
D. Bateman, Zelotes Crenelle, the Barrass brothers and the Tea.sdale 
brothers, men eminent in natural gifts to win their way to high places, 
men who delighted to serve weak and struggling churches, which but 
for them would have died; men, ready to serve in lowly places; men, 
like to their Master, in that "the poor have the Gospel preached to 
them" — served as pastors. 

Beverly shared in gifts from abroad, their first place of worsliip 
was given to them; the lot of their second house was a gift. Their debt 
on their last church edifice was paid by a woman of another state. 
Legacies made a parsonage possible to them, which was occupied in 
1900. Aside from the pastors of first Burlington, Bever y has had 
fifteen pastors additional to the ministries of Rev. P. Powell. 

Early in 1874, Mr. Thatcher, a member of first Burlington Baptist 
church, was appointed superintendent of the Florence Iron Works. 
Mr. and Mrs. Thatcher found at Florence two or three Baptist families. 
A Sunday school was begim there in the fall of 1874 and later a week 
evening social meeting. 

In January 1875, Mr. Wilson, a student and son of the pastor at 
Burlington, began a series of meetings at Florence at which many were 
converted, joining the first Baptist church in Burlington. The next 
four years, students preached regularly at Florence and on January 
29th, 1880 members dismissed from Burlington were constituted 
the Florence Baptist chvn-ch. Mr. O. G. Buddington was called to be 
pastor and on September 17th, was ordained and continued pastor 
until December 1885. Under his care the church prospered, in 1884, 
the house was enlarged and improved. 

Pastors who followed were, C. D. Parker, 1886-89; a parsonage 
was built in 1887; C. M. Deitz, 1889-1893; a chapel was built at the 
railroad station and services kept up in it. Mr. Allyn was pastor 
1893-1900. Revivals characterized this period and scores of converts 
were added to the church by baptism. 

Deacon William F. Thatcher was at his own request relieved of 
the superintendency of the Sunday school, having for twenty-six 
years, discharged its duties. The mission at the railroad station 
afforded large and useful outlet for the faithful activities of the church. 



The first residents in and about Mount Holly were "Friends" 
(Quakers) locating in 1670. William the Fourth, later King of England, 
was with the English soldiers in the town in the Revolutionary War. 
Stephen Girard, the famous Philadelphia merchant, the wealthiest 
man in the United States, founder of Girard College in Philadelphia, 
kept a cigar store in Mount Holly and sold raisins to the children by 
the penny's worth. 

Humble circumstances in early life are one of the least conditions 
determining the future success. As with individuals, so with churches. 
A beginning is not a forecast of the future. The long delay of sixteen 
years, from the early Baptist ministries in Mount Holly to the founding 
of the church was discouraging. Nevertheless, a seed was sown which 
in due time germinated. 

Two men had much to do with the developement of Mount Holly 
church. Peter Wilson, pastor of Hightstown church, who preached 
in it in 1784, and Alexander McGowan, a licentiate of Hightstown, 
who from the Presbyterian came into the Baptist ministry by searching 
tlic Scriptures to find out if he was right in his ideas of the mode and 
the subjects of baptism. 

One Joshua Smith, of New England, possibly a deacon but not 
a clergyman, come to Mount Holly in 1792, held a series of meetings. 
Mr. McGowan was pastor at Pemberton in 1795. He alternated on 
the Lord's Day between Pemberton and Mount Holly. Dates vary 
through the loss of the old record. It is not known how long before 
1795, and if after the constitution of Mount Holly church, if Mr. Mc- 
gowan visited the church. However it is believed that though Mr. 
McGowan was not pastor, that he had general oversight of its affairs 
for thirteen years to 1814, when he removed to the West. He was a 
great worker, an able preacher and soul winner. His labors at Mount 
Holly were wholly missionary. He baptized one hundred and nineteen 
converts in Mount Holly. They united with Pemberton church. In 
1805, Mr. McGowan removed from Pemberton to Marlton. But he 
agreed to "supply" Mount Holly as often as convenient, thus retaining 
his connection with Mount Holly. 

Meriba Cox and Jane Mullen are said to be the first Baptists 
living in Mount Holly. Their names are among the constituents of 


Mount Holly. Some say there were thirty-six, others claim that 
there were fifty-two. The date of the organization is also a question, 
some insisting upon an earlier date than is published in the minutes 
Providentially, in 1814, (the year in which Mr. McGowan went West) 
a young man, a member of Mount Holly came on the stage of public 
life about this time, the ever memorable John Sisty. 

Mr. Sisty had been a member of the first Baptist church of Phila- 
delphia and changed his residence to Mount Holly. Mr. Sisty upheld 
his pastor. Rev. H. Holcombe, under the persecutions brought 
on Mr. Holcombe. Although not officially pastor at Mount 

Holly, Mr. Sisty was licensed and ordained at Mount Holly to 
serve the church there, and for three years preached and did pastor's 
duties at his own cost. About the time at the end of three years 
Mr. Sisty moved to Haddonfield. He was entitled to the highest 
respect. Those of us who knew him, do not forget the quiet, un- 
assuming and unprepossessing little man, who made an indelible 
mark on Baptist interests in New Jersey. 

After Mr. Sisty had removed, another member of the church, 
Joseph Maylin, who had been licensed and later was ordained, served 
the church. Like to Mr. Sisty, he was not pastor, also like him, a 
man of means, he ministered to the church without cost to it for several 
years. Rev. J. E. Welsh, likewise, ministered for an indefinite period. 
But whether with cost to it, we do not know. 

In 1830, Rev. Joseph Sheppard of Salem, entered the pastoral 
office, continuing seven years. Having some private resources, he 
was not wholly dependent on the salary the church gave. Mr. Sheppard 
inaugurated a new era in Baptist interests in Mount Holly. Both 
material forces were accumulated and agressive instrumentalities were 
introduced, as the Sunday school. No mention is made of the reason 
for his resignation. But as he lived in Camden, only three years 
after resigning, it may be that his health was a bar to continued pas- 
toral work. 

In the fall of 1836, Rev. H. K. Green settled as pastor. His stay 
was short. Again in 1837, Mr. Green became pastor. He continued 
but a little while. Mr. Green was genteel in speech and manner; 
of rare culture and of natural intellectual gifts. He had also, a lassitude 
of character which impaired his efficiency as pastor and teacher. 
The writer has ofttimos recited to him during which, he has taken 
a nap. 

Rev. Samuel Cornelius entered the pastorate in December 1837. 
He was the opposite in all respects to Mr. Green, never lacking for 
something to do and doing it with force and zeal. Mr. Cornelius 


shared with Noah Davis in the origination of the American Baptist 
Publication Society. In May 1842, Rev. H. S. Haven followed Mr. 
Cornelius, but illness shortened his charge. 

A new church edifice was begun in 1843. It was dedicated in 
March 1844 as Rev. T. O. Lincoln began his pastoral care for the 
ensuing two years, whom Rev. M. Eastwood succeeded in November. 
Again there was a vacancy of two years in the pastoral office. Rev. 
W. G. CoUom was pastor for three years to June of 1^53 and was 
followed by Rev. T. D. Worrall becoming pastor in 1854 and remained 
till March 1855. 

In the next May, J. S. Miller settled. Debts were cancelled; 
harmony restored and the accession of converts to the church assured 
its future welfare when after the dark days of 1854 and 5 had gone. 
Pastor Miller at the end of four years of efficient service closed his 
charge in Mount Holly in 1859. 

Samuel Aaron was the next pastor in May, 1859, remaining till 
he died on April 11th, 1865. A successor writes of him, "The fame 
and persecution on account of his temperance and anti-slavery apostle- 
ship, which alike ennoble his name, came with him to Mount Holly. 
The church cheered him and was proud of him. Under the ministry 
so devout and scholarship of so courteous a gentleman, the cause of 
Christ greatly prospered. But the anti-slavery and radical temperance 
addresses of Mr. Aaron made him many enemies." His body and that 
of Mr. Lincoln awaited burial at the same time. Happily, Mr. Aaron 
lived to hear of the surrender at Appotomax, but it pleased God to 
take him before the murder of Mr. Lincoln. 

The writer congratulated Mr. Aaron on his dying bed upon the 
surrender of General Lee. He also used to hear the discussions of 
delegates at the sessions of the New Jersey Association as to who 
should be moderator at its annual meetings, the aim being to have 
one in the chair familiar "with the rules of order," and who had the 
courage to enforce them and Hmit debate to the subject under dis- 
cussion, allusion being chiefly to Mr. Aaron. For all knew that Mr. 
Aaron would be heard on the themes of slavery and of temperance, 
the aim being to enforce the rule as to time and frequency of remark. 

Usually, Rev. J. E. Welsh was chosen. He was moderator of the 
Association for many years, elected purposely to hold Mr. Aaron 
within bounds. His intense earnestness and commanding eloquence 
on any question of morals or on the duties of humanity, demanded a 
hearing even of those who repudiated his ideas. First a teacher, and 
when converted a pi-eacher. As teacher, he had no superior. The 
writer recalls how glad the class was to see him come into recitation. 


We knew it meant getting into the heart of things. So patient, so 
thorough, and so Hkc one of us. Students knew that teacher and 
class were a mutual aid societj'. 

Mr. Aaron's life accorded with his profession. His home was a 
station on the "Underground Railway" from slavery to Canada. The 
writer heard him plead in court for a fugitive being returned to slavery. 
Words arc at fault to express the pathos, passion, and elo(|uence of 
that plea. Once he was cruelly beaten by a rum seller in a street in 
a town in which he lived, on account of his advocacy of temperance. 
On another street, a drunken inebriate lay unconscious, where he 
would have died in a wintry night. He got him up, took him home 
with him, gave him as good a bed as his own, and in the morning, 
prevailed v/ith him to reform. Thus his deeds emphasized his words. 

Rev. A. G. Thomas followed Mr. Aaron at Mount Holly on August 
1865, and had a happy and successful pastorate of three years. In its 
second year, a remarkable work of grace was enjo}'ed. One hundred 
and sixty-four were baptized. The house of worship was enlarged and 
improved. Mr. Thomas was parted with, with great reluctance. He 
was succeeded by Rev. J. Waters in June 1868. The spiritual life in 
the church continued in the three years of Mr. Water's stay. Rev. 
T. J. House followed for ten months. In June, 1874, Mr. Edward 
Braislin was ordained and held the pastoral care for seven years. 
Neither was it the choice of the church for Mr. Braislin to resign. 

On April 1st, 1882, Rev. H. F. Smith entered the pastorate. Mr. 
Smith retired to sleep February 10th, 1887; not coming to breakfast, 
the reason for his delay was inquired into and he was found "asleep 
in Jesus." An incident of the evening was the visit of a neighbor 
pastor, and at bedtime, Mr. Smith said to his friend: "Come let us sing 
my favoi-ite hymn," and he began to sing, "I would not live alway, 
I ask not to stay," and sang the entire hymn. It was his last song 
on earth and he had his desire, exchanging the song of earth for that 
of glory. 

Mr. Smith had lived a useful life. The churches he had served 
were the better in all respects for his charge of them. He had been 
secretary of the Convention for fourteen years, retiring from the 
office, contrary to the wishes of the Convention. 

After Mr. Smith, came R. F. Y. Pierce on November 1st, 1887. 
In 1888, the second great revival occurred, when one hundred and five 
were baptized. The enthusiasm with which Mr. Pierce began, con- 
tined through this charge. Resigning in October 1892, Rev. S. G. 
Nelson began his pastoral work in February 1893 and resigned in 


November 1895. The next September 1896, Rev. C. H. Pendleton 
held the pastoral office and was pastor in 1900. 

Twenty-six pastors have served the church. Messrs. McGowan 
and Green each had a second pastoral charge. Pastors Sisty and 
Maylin were licensed and ordained to be pastors. These served the 
church at their own cost. Six members have been licensed to preach. 
Mr. Sisty will ever be remembered for his work at Mount Holly and 
Haddonfield. A business man, he gladly spent his money and time 
for needy fields. 

Only one church has colonized from Mount Holly, Marlton in 
1805, with fifty-five members. The first meeting house in Mount Holly 
was built in 1800, by the Pemberton church and was in use forty-two 
years. In 1843, in an interim of pastors, a larger and better house 
was built and dedicated in Mr. Lincoln's charge. The building has 
undergone many changes and enlargements, and Mount Holly now has 
a house of worship both large and most fitting for church uses. 

The "Friends" (Quakers) had settled in New Jersey in the vicinities 
of Philadelphia, long before William Penn located his colony in Penn- 
sylvania about 1682. This may have influenced him to choose the 
location for his colony. Wealthy Englishmen, "Friends" had bought 
large tracts of land in New Jersey and had sent colonies of their per- 
secuted brethren, who could not pay both, the of emmigration and 
buy their lands, on which to settle. These opulent "Friends" provided 
thus for their afflicted friends early in 1600 and by their financial 
interests in West Jersey, which they acquired in 1676. Anthony 
Sharp of Tedbury, England, then of Dublin, Ireland, planted colonies 
of such "Friends" south of Camden and appointed his son Isaac, its 

The Quakers had shared with Baptists in persecutions for their 
ideas of civil and religious liberty. Fellowship for each other in common 
sufferings, explains the coming of these sects from New England, Vir- 
ginia and Europe, to New Jersey, where, owing to the caste of the 
population, the largest liberty of speech and conduct had been enjoyed 
and where, an instance of restraint and persecution for the exercise 
of one's conviction of truth and duty has never been kno%vn. 

Quakers and Baptists had a positive influence with Charles the 
Second, when he Avas King of England and he was so far, just and 
honorable as to cherish the obligations of his father, Charles the First, 
to Quakers and Baptists, non-combatants in the Civil War of England; 
thus they had security for their personal rights and the sympathy of 
the Royal government in its appointment of Governors and Judges 
of the Courts. These conditions favored both Friends and Baptists, 

MAllLTON 191 

of which tho population of New Jersey and Pennsylvania was so 
largely made up. Baptists also, had more sympathy in a Quaker 
community than other denominations. 

Evesham township, from which Marlton church took its first 
name, was very large, including Marlton village. Peter Wilson of 
Hightstown; Alex. McGowan, Isaac Carlisle and Benjamin Hcdger 
of Pemberton, had preached in Evesham as early as 1788. In 1803, 
some of its residents were so much interested that they sent to Mount 
Holly to arrange with Mr. McGowan to preach among them. He 
did so. Converts were made and baptized; others were impressed 
by the ordinance. Congregations outgrew the old school house. A 
meeting house was a necessity and in 1804, it was decided to build 
one, which was dedicated in September 1805. The building was to 
be a Baptist meeting house, free however, for the use of other denom- 
inations, when not used by Baptists, an instance of Baptist liberality. 
Their fundamental principle of the right of each and all to decide for 
themselves, their religious views and assure to others, eciual right, 
which they claim for themselves not only in opinion, but as much in 

Having a house of worship and distant from Mount Holly, of 
which church they were members, a church organization was desirable. 
Accordingly, on November 16th, 1805, the Evesham Baptist church of 
nine members was recognized. Mr. McGowan, pastor of Pemberton 
church, was called to be pastor and ministered to them for nearly 
nine years, till 1814. (Minutes of New Jersey Association, 1815, page 7). 
Mr. McGowan was a noble minister of the Gospel and was in his day, 
named a "soul winner." His work was ended on earth on his journey 
west by the overturning of a wagon in which he was fatally hurt. He 
died June 8th, 1814. 

The revered John Sisty of Mount Holly took the pastoral office 
in 1815, preaching once each month. Prosperity was enjoyed up to 
March 1819, when he resigned. On June 6th, 1818, nine were dis- 
missed to organize a church at Haddonfield. Mr. Sisty had been 
preaching there for more than a year, and in September 1818, began 
his remarkable charge of Haddonfield church. He always had a large 
place in the hearts of the people where he labored. He will always 
be included among the men whom the King had delighted in and whom 
the churches valued for wisdom, devotion, and sterling integrity in 
any and in all conditions.. 

Peter Powell was another of those quiet, modest men, whose name 
never got in newspapers. They could wait for the indorsement coming 
at the last, from the King of Zion. Three times, Mr. Powell came to 


the help of the chureh. He was one of the ministers ready at their 
owai cost to do what the}- could to help a struggling church. He supplied 
the church continuously at his own cost and for a compensation of 
one dollar and twenty-five cents, each Lord's Day as the funds allowed. 

For five years, from about 1S25, the records are blank and for 
eight years, there were no mentions of a baptism. Nevertheless, 
there "were a few names for they are worthy." The members met 
and prayed and in due time their praters were answered. Rev. 
Joseph Sheppard came to their help in December, 1829, and with great 
self-sacrifice, minist<-red to the church, until June, 1834. In these five 
years, a new era began. Mr. Sheppard may be justly esteemed as 
one of the Fathers to this Israel. A Sunday Scliool was begun. Mr. 
Samuel Hervcy was called to be pastor and was ordained at the close 
of Mr. Sheppard's service. He had been Mr. Sheppard's assistant. 
After nearly four years of acceptable service, Mr. Hervey resigned 
and went west. Rev. Mr. M. S. Earl was pastor for one year, 1838. 
In this year, a re\aval began new life in the church. 

A large number of nearby Baptist residents, members of neigh- 
boring churches joined Marlton church. These additions involved a 
larger church edifice located in the village of Marlton. Among those 
who returned to Marlton, was Charles Kain. He had been dismissed 
to constitute Haddonfield church. His memory will be cherished in 
that region as a sjmonj'm for goodness, enterprise and devotion to 
every interest of the Kingdom of God, not alone on Baptist lines, for 
he was a Baptist of the straightest sort. But everywhere and with 
all, sought first the kingdom of God. In August 1839, the church 
decided to build a house of worship in the A-illage of Marlton and in 
June 31st, 1840, it was dedicated. Rev. J. M. Courtney was called to 
be pastor in connection with Moorestown church. This joint pastorate 
lasted till July 1841. Then the pastor was taken with the "'western 
fever" and went thither. 

Total abstinence from all intoxicants as a beverage, was adopted 
as a condition of membership in 1840. In the fall of the same year, 
mission work was begun at Tansboro, that issued in the organization 
of a church. About the same time, mission work was begun at Med- 
ford and in the 14th of February, 1841, sixteen members were dis- 
missed to constitute the Medford church. A temporary stay by one 
CJilled to the pastorate continued to January 1842. After that, until 
June supplies served the church, when Rev. I. W. Hayhurst entered 
the pastorate. He stayed less than two years. The Tansboro church 
was constituted at the close of January 1844; eighteen being dis- 
missed from Marlton for that purpose. Following Mr. Hayhurst, 


A. M. Tyler was ordained in May 1844. In the next July, 22nd, he 
died. Rev. J. M. Challis entered as pastor of both Marlton and Moores- 
town churches in April 1845 and retained his relation to the churches 
for seven years. The name of the church was changed to Marlton in 
that year. When Pastor Challis resigned, the church decided to main- 
tain its pastor independently. Rev. C. E. Wilson having ministered 
to the church for a year from June 1852, While pastor, a season of 
revival was enjoyed. 

The small salaries and the growing children who ought to be 
educated often made the minister's life a trial to himself and to a 
church. Both, however, endured the hardship. Mercenary motives 
are attributed to pastors, in accepting a larger salary, when in fact, 
it is a duty done at the cost of many a heart ache. 

On October 2nd, 1853, Rev. J. R. Murphy accepted the charge 
of the church and held it for six hears, with great benefit to the church. 
In June 1856, the church suffered a great loss in the death of Deacon 
Charles Kain. His influence and character had been of untold worth 
to Haddonfield church of which he was a constituent. It had been 
also an unspeakable gift to Marlton church. But good men must 
needs die and receive their reward from Him, who knows them and 
their worth. 

In January 1860, Rev. E. M. Barker settled as pastor. A mission 
Sunday school was begun this year at Evesboro; another at Medford 
in 1863. Mr. Barker resigned in 1863. On the next January 1864, 
Rev. R. S. James entered the pastorate. In the winter of 1865-6, 
one hundred and fifteen were added to the church by baptism, a fruit 
of a revival. Mr. James closed his oversight in September 1867 and 
was followed by Rev. M. Jones, who again resigned about 1870. Mr. 
T. L. Bailey was ordained in July 1871 and became pastor. His 
infirmities seriously impaired his ministry. On account of his broken 
health, he closed his labors at Marlton in 1873, but supplied the church 
until June 1874. Then Rev. A. B. Still became pastor. Various 
improvements in the church edifice and in the grounds were effected 
in this pastorate, which continued until December 1877. The next 
April 1878, Pastor Bray entered the pastoral office, holding it till 
January 1884, when Rev. W. W. Bullock followed in 1884, ministering 
until 1887. By the next July, Rev. G. B. Young was pastor for two 
years. Him, Rev. C. W. O. Nyce succeeded in June 1889 and was 
pastor in 1900; a long pastorate for Marlton and corresponding in 
length with the first, Mr. McGowan. 

Marlton is a rural church. Many instances occur in our churches 
of the influence for good of an individiual. Of these, was Deacon 


Charles Kain. Those of us who knew him will ever remember his 
genial, staunch and forceful Christian character. He was an under- 
standing Baptist and such Baptists as he was are always a power for 
good. Positive, bold and yet kind; his memorj' and work will be 
a stimulant to those who knew it, to do and be, the best for Christ and 

Marlton church has had nineteen pastors. Deacon Elijah Bryant 
was licensed, ordained and pastor in two churches that colonized from 
Marlton. The church has had two meeting houses, one built in 1805, 
another erected in Marlton village. Four churches have gone out of 
Marlton, Haddonfield, Medford, Tansboro and Berlin. Chapels were 
built in Medford and in Tansboro and a parsonage in Marlton in 1860. 
The earliest Baptist ministers in this field were from Pemberton and 
by Pastor McGowan, Isaac Carlisle and Benjamin Hedger, licentiates 
of Pemberton, were great helps to their pastor in his work. In the 
decade 1801-10, three Baptist churches were constituted, Burlington, 
Mount Holly, and Marlton. 

A characteristic of the state; Hezekiah Smith in New England; 
John Gano in New York and the West and the numerous appointments 
of New Jersey pastors sent by the Philadelphia Association on Mission- 
ary tours to the South and West, is a sufficient explanation. In their 
earliest movement, the New Jersey churches preferred the whole cause 
to themselves; as is shown by the constitution of the Philadelphia 
Association, made up as it was by three churches in New Jersey, one 
in Delaware and one in Pennsylvania. The new Jersey Baptists 
giving up their choice of name for the good of Baptists in general, 
with the result that the influence of the body was diverted from them 
and their local unity was absorbed in foreign interests. Nevertheless, 
New Jersey Baptists churches retained a majority in that Association 
for forty years. Neither was it until 1811, that there was a concen- 
tration in the state in behalf of home interests. 



Baptist activities at Haddonfield began with a woman. Women 
have been a significant force in the growth of the kingdom of God in 
the world. Malignant contempt for the churches has been expressed 
by assertions that women were a large majority of them. They are. 
For morality and Godliness they always have been a vast majority. 
Men are a vast majority of the drunkards, of criminals and reprobates. 
There was but one Apostle at the cross, but the three Marys were there. 
The crisis in human history was in the reign of Constantino, when the 
question was, whether Paganism or Christianity should be the faith 
of the palace and of the throne. The decision, which changed the 
destinies of humanity and gave to mankind all we have of civilization 
and Christianity worth having, came from the Christian Baptist Welsh 
wife, a princess in her native land, so historians say. 

Few changes in the working economy, both of our churches and m 
our country have been more extreme than that concerning women. 
In 1817, Lettice Evans, a woman living in Haddonfield, requested 
Rev. John Sisty to come to Haddonfield and preach. She offered her 
own house in which to hold the meeting. It seems, however, that on 
May 17th, 1817, he preached in the school house, from Heb. 4:12. So 
much interest was shown that Mr. Sisty made regular appointments 
for two Lord's Days in each month until on the 11th of June 1818, 
when a council met in a grove and ten Baptists were constituted into 
the Haddonfield Baptist church. Nine of these were from Evesham 
(Marlton) church. Rev. H. Holcombe of the first Baptist church of 
Philadelphia preached. Among those from Marlton church, was 
Charles Kain, Sr. He was chosen one of the deacons holding the office 
till his return to Marlton church in 1839. Mr. Sisty was not a con- 
stituent of Haddonfield church. Later, when called to be its pastor, 
he brought his letter from Marlton. Mr. Sisty was a small man, hesi- 
tating and slow of speech. Personally, he reminded one of Paul's 
description of himself in II Cor. 10:10. But he was devoted and an 
able man that won and kept the confidence of every one. He had 
been baptized by Rev. Thomas Ustic, pastor of the first Baptist church 
of Philadelphia. This accounted for his strong and tender sympathy 
with that church and its pastor, H. Holcombe, in its trials with the 
Philadelphia Association. In business in Philadelphia, Mr. Sisty had 


gained a competence which enabled him to give efficient aid to many 
weak churches, bringing them to strength. 

About five months after Mr. Sisty had preached his first sermon 
in May 1817, steps were taken to build a house of worship, anticipating 
an organization of a church. Subscriptions were made to build a 
"Baptist meeting house." The lot was bought and a brick building 
erected which was dedicated November 24, 1818. Rev. H. Holcombe 
preached, Mr. Sisty getting the ablest preacher of the denomination, 
as a representative of it. 

Midway between the organization of the church, the dedication 
of its house, converts were won and baptized and relationship to "them 
that were without, were impressed upon his hearers and collections 
were ordered to be taken to give the Gospel to the destitute." In 
these days, the "laying on of hands" upon the baptized on their ad- 
mission to the church was hotly disputed. Some members claimed that 
this was an ordinance and left the church because Mr. Sisty did not 
observe it. The church refused to be divided on a question so obscure 
and left the matter to "the decision of the pastor and of the con- 
verts." Mr. Sisty was a pastor to whom opportunity was the only 
limitation. An "open door" drew him to Moorestown in 1836, and 
many souls were won there to Christ. After being pastor at Haddon- 
field twenty-one years, Mr. Sisty resigned in 1839. He died in 1863, 
being eighty years old. In these twenty-four years, by his means, 
his counsils and preaching, he was a great blessing to needy and troubled 

Rev. C. C. Park, who followed him at Haddonfield, had the pas- 
toral care there for a year, closing his labors in 1840. In that year, 
Rev. C. E. Wilson settled as pastor and resigned after four years in 
which many were baptized. The next eighteen months, Rev. M. 
Eastwood ministered to the church. In May 1847, Rev. Caprion 
occupied the office of pastor till ill health compelled his resignation. 
Rev. W. H. Brisbane was a supply in Mr. Caprion's illness and suc- 
ceeded him till September 1848. For several months, W. D. Hires 
supplied the church. 

The succession of pastors was A. S. Patton in the spring of 1851. 
Under whose ministry, the congregations outgrew the capacity of the 
church edifice and it was decided to build a larger one. On January 
12th, 1853, the lecture room was occupied. As a fruit of special 
meetings, numerous baptisms were enjoyed. Mr. Patton closed hi 
labors at Haddonfield in 1854. Another annual pastorate by Rev. 
A. Lathem occurred, closing in 1856. A like annual charge followed 


by Rev. J. D. Meeson ending in 1857. Rev. J. E. Wilson was pastor 
1857-61, taking a chaplaincy in the army. 

On January 1st, 1862, Rev. R. F. Young entered on pjistoral 
charge. A new order began with his coming. He included the su- 
rounding country in his field. Within a short time he had five mission 
Sunday schools. The house of worship was improved at large cost 
and the mortgage paid. A parsonage was bought and put in complete 
condition from a work of grace. The pastor baptized eighty-eight. 
Nor was Mr. Young limited to home interests. The benevolence of 
the church increased fourfold. Mr. Young was a member of the State 
Boards of Missions and of Education while a resident of the state. 
He laid the foundations of the remarkable outgrowth of the church 
under his successor. Mr. Young died January 5th, 1884, closing a 
pastorate eminent among eminent pastorates in New Jersey. 

On the ensuing 1st of May, 1884, Rev. H. A. Griesemer entered 
upon the charge of the church. The enlarged congregations made 
necessary for the third time, a larger house of worship. A more central 
site was chosen and the present beautiful sanctuary was built in 1885-6, 
costing forty thousand dollars and opened for worship October 17th. 
A chapel at Ellisburg was built in 1886, costing one thousand dollars 
and paid for. A chapel at Mount Ephraim was put up in 1887 at a 
cost of twenty-five hundred dollars. The parsonage deljt of twenty- 
five hundred dollars was paid in 1888. In 1889, ten members 
were dismissed to constitute a church at Collingswood. Next 
3'ear, 1890, the John Sisty memorial chapel was built on the site of 
the old house of worship at a cost of fifteen hundred dollars, also a 
chapel at Magnolia for twenty-five hundred dollars. In 1891, a chapel 
for fifteen hundred dollars, was erected at Hillman's and in 1893, the 
mortgage debt of ten thousand and six hundred dollars on the new 
church edifice was paid and the house formally dedicated. One 
hundred and four were baptized in 1894. Twenty-five members 
were dismissed to form a church at Mount Ephraim in 1895. A mission 
Sunday school was begun at Haddon Heights in 1897 and in 1898, a 
chapel was built there costing thirty-five hundred dollars and eighteen 
members dismissed to form a church there. Mt. Olivet (colored) 
was established in 1892 and their meeting house was largely built by 
first Haddonfield church. It cost two thousand dollars. A goodly 
number of members have been licensed to preach. Large sums have 
been given for world-wide missions. Pastor Griesemer held his office 
till April, 1900, having been pastor sixteen years. 

Haddonfield has had three houses of worship and has built seven 
chapels for mission schools and the house of worship for Olivet church. 


Seven colonies have gone out from Haddonfield, organizing churches, 
one of which, — in Newton — disbanded. The first house of worship at 
Moorestown, was in part largely paid for by the mother church. No hu- 
man estimate can be made of the value of the pastorate of Mr. Young; 
the Sunday schools he established were the beginning and foundation 
of the colonies, subsequently sent out and Haddonfield church owes a 
vast obligation to him and to Mr. Sisty, its founder. 

The section about Moorestown has several other churches than 
the Baptist church there. On this account, the church in the town 
is limited to the immediate locality. But the town is attractive and 
grows, inviting residents from abroad. Baptist meetings had been 
held long before the church was formed. A daughter of Rev. Mr. 
Ustic, once pastor of the first Baptist church in Philadelphia, lived 
in the village. Her "latch string" was always out for Baptist ministers. 
Her husband, a member of another denomination, cheerfully welcomed 
those of his wife's fellowship. Mr. Sisty had been baptized by this 
lady's father and came often to the town to preach and while pastor at 
Haddonfield, had regular appointments at Moorestown. The first 
man whom he baptized there was Charles Kain, Jr., son of Deacon 
Charles Kain of his church in Haddonfield. Mr. Kain, Jr., later entered 
the ministry. 

Those baptized at Moorestown united at Haddonfield and in 
April 1837, C. Kain, Jr., asked the Haddonfield church for the letters 
of thirty members to constitute a church at Moorestowni. These 
with two others from Marlton church, in all, thirty-two organized 
the Moorestown church on May 6th, 1837. At its first business meet- 
ing, a pledge was adopted to abstain from the habitual use of intoxi- 
cants as a beverage, and required a like pledge from all applying for 
membership in the church. This action was taken early in the tem- 
perance movement. Measures were at once taken to erect a house 
of worship, with such success that it was dedicated in August 1838. 
Rev. J. M. Courtney had aided Mr. Sisty in continuous meetings held 
previous to the organization of the church and when these were closed 
maintained Baptist meetings in the place, relieving Mr. Sisty, who was 
now, nearing seventy 3^ears of age, of the added duties of his charge and 
at the constitution of the church, was its first pastor. Mr. Courtney 
was an able devoted pastor for nearly five years, resigning in 1841. 
For the ensuing months, Rev. J. Wigg supplied the church, also. Rev. 
Ezekiel Sexton served as supply for months. Thus nearly three years 
passed. Mr. Sexton was the same type of man as Mr. Sisty and Mr. 
Powell in being above the necessity of a salary. 

In 1845, Marlton and Moorestowm churches united to obtain the 


joint pastoral charge of Rev. J. M. Challis, an arrangement that 
lasted seven years and was profitable to both churches. Mr. Challis 
thought that each church ought to have its own pastor and resigned 
in 1852; characteristic of all of Mr. Challis's pastorates, the churches 
had grown in all the elements of efficiency. After awhile, Rev. E. D. 
Fendall followed at Moorestown and was pastor for twelve years, 
closing his labors at Moorestown in 1864. Succeeding pastors were, 
Miller Jones, 1864-68; J. E. Bradley. While pastor, the old place 
of worship was torn down and a larger and better one built and the 
basement was in use before Pastor Bradley resigned in 1873. Twenty 
seven members were also dismissed in 1870 to constitute the Fellowship- 
church. That body dissolved in 1875, the members returning to the 
mother church. But a mission was made at the chapel in which the 
Fellowship church had worshiped. J. H. Brittain 1873-82, nine years. 
Pastor E. McMinn entered on his duties in January 1883. A mission 
was begun at Mount Laurel in 1883 and another at Hartford in 1886. 
These included a Sunday school, preaching and devotional meetings. 
In May 1890, Mr. McMinn surrendered his pastoral charge and was 
followed by Rev. W. T. S. Lumbar in 1890, who is pastor in 1900. 

Moorestown church is indebted for its existence to pastor Sisty 
of Haddonfield, to whose labors, C. Kain, Jr., added his efficient efforts 
to perfect the plans of Mr. Sisty. Moorestown has had ten pastors. 
Mr. Lumbar has been in office ten years to 1900. Two church edifices 
have been in use. Several have been licensed to preach; of them were 
C. Kain Jr., two brothers, J. N. and A. H. Folwell; both licensed and 
ordained at Moorestown. The entire region for a circuit of many 
miles in the vicinity of Philadelphia has been settled by "Friends" 
(Quakers). The difference in their ideas of the ordinances and of 
ours, was a hindrance to our growth in their neighborhood, never- 
theless, their consent that the only scriptural baptism was a burial 
in water, put us on a better relation to them than other denominations. 
Besides, they and we had suffered persecutions as the champions of 
religious liberty and of equality before the law and of the right to 
exercise private opinions on any and all subjects and this gave us a 
hold upon them which they recognized and thus there are but few 
towns and Quaker strongholds where we do not have strong churches. 
The writer recalls times in which "Friends" and Baptists were domi- 
nant in West Jersey. The loss of Hopewell and other schools and the 
persistence of Presbyterian educational facilities changed the order of 
past times. 

When Moorestown had been equipped for the offices of a church, 
Haddonfield dismissed eighteen members in May 1843 to form the 


Newlon Baptist church. The man, John Sisty, widely known for his 
helpfulness to young and struggling churches, was pastor at Newton 
the first year of its life. After him, another of the same stamp. Rev. 
C. Sexton, in place of waiting for a call, himself called the church. Soon 
after his settlement the church built a meeting house and reported to 
the .i^^sociation of it: "The expenses of which are mostly paid." No 
doubt there good ministers did their share of this undertaking. Mr. 
Sisty and these Sextons, originally of Jacobstown church, Charles 
and Ezekiel, were noble men, counting nothing, given or suffered for 
Christ loss. They preferred a lowly place wth such churches than 
higher positions They had their reward in the lofty appreciation 
of their brethren and the memory of him who knew their work, and 
now they have the dignities which they enjoy "on high." Mr. Sexton 
was pastor five years, resigning in July 1850. Rev. Mr. Patton followed 
Mr. Sexton closing his labors in 1854. He supplied the church how- 
ever, till the end of 1856. The name of the church disappears from 
the minutes of the Association in 1857. Next year it is stated that the 
church had disbanded. 

Ten members of Haddonfield church Ln August 1889, were dis- 
missed to organize a Baptist church at CoUingswood. Rev. W. F. 
Smith became its pastor in May 1890. A neat and commodious house 
of worship was begun soon after the constitution of the church and 
was dedicated in October 1890. Pastor Smith resigned in September 
1892. Two months later. Rev. G. B. Morse settled as pastor. Again, 
in 1894, Rev. A. D. Nichols entered the pastorate. In 1899, Rev. 
J. M. Ashton accepted a call to be pastor and was in office in 1900. 
Originally, a mission of Hoddonfield church and with a small member- 
ship, they built a fitting sanctuary and increased ninety-eight mem- 
bers in two years, sustaining themselves. A creditable record and 
e\'incing a courage which justified the movement. 

An Afro American church, located in Haddonfield, was instituted 
in 1892. This body received ample aid to build their meeting house 
from the first church. Rev. J. P. Gregory became pastor in 1893 
and in 1900 was still pastor, seven years. There is a lack in the pub- 
lished records of Mount Olivet. Enough however, is known to assure 
confidence in its well being. Its pastor's long settlement is a token for 
good to himself and to the people of his charge. 

A mission of first Haddonfield grew into the Magnolia Baptist 
church in 1894. The mission Sunday school begun in 1880 under 
Pastor Young was nurtured until 1891, when a chapel was built at a 
cost of twenty-five hundred dollars. The Magnolia church was organ- 
ized in 1S94, with thirteen members. Rev. T. R. Rowe was pastor 


from then to August 1896, when sickness made a change of pastors 
necessary. While Mr. Rowe was pastor, the debt on the church 
edifice was paid. S. R. Wood followed as pastor the same year. 
Financial burdens were very serious at this time. But the Camden 
Association gave needful aid to its young churches, effecting thus, 
the chief aim of Association relationship. Pastor Wood's health 
failed and he resigned in 1899. Despite adversities, the members of 
the church increased to fifty-seven and all current expenses were 

Haddonfield sent out another colony in two years, which became 
the Mount Ephraim church. Twenty-three constituents composed 
it. Previously in 1887, a chapel had been erected. Rev. A. E. Finn 
was the first pastor, resigning in 1897 and was followed by Mr. D. E. 
Lewis, who served the church for a year. Then Mr. J. T. Anderson 
settled in 1899 and was pastor in 1900. Since the organization of 
the church its membership has doubled and all debts on the property 
are paid. 

This mission was the first established after Mr. Griesemer followed 
Pastor Young at Haddonfield. Of necessity, the field about Haddon- 
field had been thoroughly occupied by Mr. Young. Haddon Heights, 
however, had grown into a populous location. Since Mr. Young had 
died, a mission Sunday school that had been begun in 1897 and for 
which a modest meeting house was built in 1898, had prospered. 
That year, eighteen members were dismissed to constitute a church 
there. The church lias prospered and is growing. The local mem- 
bership, anticipating increased strength by being an independent 
church, overcame the objections of Pastor Griesemer to an early 
church organization. Mr. T. H. Sprague became pastor in 1898 and 
in 1900 was occupying the place. 



Of the twenty-three constituents of the Medford church, sixteen 
came from Marlton; four from Haddonfield; one from Philadelphia, 
one whom Mr. Sisty had baptized, but had not joined a Baptist church. 
Mr. Sisty was the first Baptist minister to preach at or near to Med- 
ford. Mr. Sisty preached in homes and in the summer of 1839, in a 
grove near Medford. The Medford church was organized on February 
25th, 1841. About two years after the meeting in 1841, a house of 
worship was built. Worthless subscriptions for the building subjected 
the property to a heavy debt and it was sold by the sheriff. James 
Logan and Judge Swain, members of Pemberton church, bought the 
property; by the kindness of these men the church occupied it. 

Years after the death of Judge Swain, Mr. Logan met one of the 
executors of the Judge's estate and asked the executors to join him 
and to transfer the property to the church. They did and the church 
received the property entirely free of all incumbrance, these brethren 
giving both the cost of the property to them as well as the interest of 
the money they bought it for, until they returned it to the church. 

The pastors have been, J. M. Carpenter, 1841-45; jointly with 
Vincentown; George Sleeper, 1847-49; J. M. Cochran, 1850-52; J. 
Thorn, 1853-54; T. W. Sheppard supply to 1857; John Todd, 1858-63. 
Mr. Briant. A colony to form a church went out 1865. Mr. Briant went 
with the colony. He had been a deacon of Marlton and was ordained 
when sixty years old and died February 20th 1867, sLxty-four years 
old. Medford was his first pastorate and was an outgrowth of his 
labors, his second charge. He was a man of real devotion and much 
beloved. Walter Patton, 1868; W. G. Coulter, 1869; J. M. Craner, 
1872-77. In a revival while pastor, many were baptized. L. H. 
Copeland, 1879; E. K. Bailey, 1880-83; W. F. Smith, ordained in the 
spring of 1884-86; W. H. Beach, 1886; J. M. Lyons, 1887-90; W. A. 
Leak, 1890; K. Walling, 1891-95. A lot was bought and a new meeting 
house built and dedicated in 1894. J. W. Francis, 1896-1900. 

Medford has had twenty pastors; one died. Mr. Carpenter, Mr. 
Sleeper and Mr. Briant were very useful at Medford. Mr. Todd had 
the longest pastorate. One colony went out from Medford. Two 
houses of worship have been in use at Medford. Latterly, the church 
has been in financial straits, due to anti-Baptist views. These financial 


difficulties have been removed through the agency of Rev. D. DeWolf, 
superintendent of missions of the State Convention, chiefly by means 
of Rev. J. E. R. Folsom, evangelist and Sunday school missionary of 
the State Convention. 

While David and John Brainerd were missionaries to the Dela- 
ware Indians, a meeting bouse was built for their worship. The tribe 
dwindled to two and had no more use for the sanctuary. The people 
of Vincentown bought it and moved it into the village. Thenceforth, 
it was kno^\^l as the "Free Meeting house" and was used by all denom- 
inations for worship. Pastors of the Pemberton church preached in 
in more than others. Rev. Alexander McGowan of Pemberton, was 
the first Baptist to preach in it. 

Mr. McGowan ha been introduced to Pemberton by Rev. Peter 
Wilson of Hightstown; his successors, especially John Rogers, made 
regular appointments at Vincentown every month. Rev. C. W. 
Mulford, who followed Mr. Rogers, continued to preach at Vincentown 
and Baptists gained rapidly, and within a short time a Baptist church 
became necessary. Accordingly, on September 19th, 1834, twenty- 
nine members of Pemberton were dismissed to constitute a Baptist 
church at Vincentown. Soon after its organization, a committee was 
appointed to build a house of worship, which was duly completed. 
Mr. Mulford was called to be pastor and so far as he could consistently 
with his pastoral duties at Pemberton, supplied the church at Vin- 
centown. After a period of supplies, Rev. WiUiam Smith became 
pastor in 1837, remaining until 1840. Being an eminently good man, 
he enjoyed universal respect and the church prospered under his 
ministries. Rev. J. M. Carpenter followed in January 1841, remaining 
till 1849. Mr. Carpenter had rare gifts as a statistitian and tabulist. 

New Jersey owes him a vast amount for his work on these lines. Addi- 
tional to Vincentown, Mr. Carpenter was the first pastor of Medford Bap- 
tist church, preaching there on the Lord's Day afternoon. The same year 
in which he resigned. Pastor J. S. Miller settled in September, remaining 
till 1855. Mr. Miller was useful not only in promoting spirituality in 
the church, i)ut of relieving it of debts. Rev. J. Thorn followed Mr. 
Miller in 1855-70, nearly fifteen years. His only fault, if fault it was, 
was his extreme modesty and diffidence. A parsonage was bought and 
the church edifice was repaired and improved. Rev. J. Bray was 
pastor 1870-72. Mr. F. O. Ekins was ordained and pastor 1873-75. 
The sympathies of the people went to their old pastor, Rev. James 
Thorn, whom they recalled and he returned in June 1875. Death 
closed his earth work in January 20th, 1881. His two pastorates 
included twenty years. Mr. Thorn was a true man. The succession 


of pastors till 1900 was: T. A. Floyd, 1882-3; A. H. Bliss, 1884-87; 
H. Hill, 1887-91; W. H. Harrison 1892-94; E. D. Shull, 1894-95; W. H. 
Harrson, 1895-1900. Mr Harrison was ordained in his first charge in 
January 1892 and was the second pastor recalled. Both Mr. Thorn 
and Mr. Harrison indicated that their people preferred good things to 
new things. Few can know a pastor's experience amid the plodding 
of farm life and of old people, who if not born tired, grew tired with 
drudgery or his experience amid the aspirations of youth for school 
and part in a busy world and who are replied to "I had no larnin' and 
I have got on; what was good enough for me is good enough for you." 
Pastors wno have been there know the mountains of prej\idice and 
of hindrance, encountered in prevailing in such to adopt ideas of 
progress. It is a satisfaction that changes are happening in rural 
districts. Inquiry, contact, schools are having vast fruitage, diffusing 
culture. In another generation, there will be less change from country 
to town and clergymen in the country will have audiences of culture 
and homes of refinement which will afford congenial companionship 
and an appreciative hearing. Vincentown has had fifteen pastors. 
Two of them have had a second charge. Vincentown is a colony of 
Pemberton and has been a great stay to Medford. 

Berlin is in Camden county, several miles from the sity of Cam- 
den. Deacon Chalkley Haines of Marlton church removed to Berlin 
also Mr. William S. Kain, a member of Marlton church and began a 
Sunday school in the town hall of Berlin on June 23rd, 1867. The 
Sunday school numbered sixty one scholars and ten teachers. Deacon 
Haines was at this time in his ninetieth year. The Sunday school 
grew and in 1869, an unused Methodist building and lot were bought 
and paid for. 

Pastor Miller Jones of Marlton occasionally preached at Berlin, 
until in June 1874, the Berlin Baptist church was organized with 
nineteen constituents under the pastoral care of Rev. A. J. Hires. 
Deacon Haines was the means of the organization of the Fellowship 
church in co-operation with Pastor Sisty and C. Kain. When Mr. 
Hires retired, T. W. Wilkinson, a student, supplied the Berlin church 
and in 1876, was ordained and became pastor. After a little, illness 
compelled him to resign in 1881. 

Mr. Samuel Hughes, a student ministered with great success 
until 1884, when his physician warned him of the nearness of his 
death, and he retired. Loss of pastoral care is rarely made up by 
the best of supplies; as in married life, so in church life. Rev. 
Messrs Powell and Raybold did well and much good resulted from 
their ministries up to 1894. Deacon Coxey of the first Baptist church 


of Canuhai, ;i(l(led Berlin to the long list of young churclies, which 
he delighted to aid and Mr. Simmonds, a student, was secured. lie 
laljored with success for two )fears. Mr. J. R. Murdock, a student 
likev/ise, continued until 1898. Another student, Mr. H. W. Stringer, 
renewed pastoral labors and in 1899 entered the pastorate. 

In 1900, a chapel in West Berlin was dedicated. The old place 
of worship bought in the beginning, has undergone enlargements and 
remodelling so thoroughly that it would not be recognized in its 
originality. Instead of pastors, students have mostly ministered, 
who young and earnest, have had unusual success in their ministries. 




Columbus church was derived from Pemberton Baptist church. 
Not that Pemberton had members there, nor that Pemberton ex- 
pended her resources on the field, but that her pastor, C. W. Mulford, 
saw in the field of which Coulmbus was a center, a section destitute 
of a ministry that called men to repentance. For Mr. Mulford to see 
such a need, was to devise ways and means to make up its lack. Pastor 
L. G. Beck, in his centennial sermon of Pemberton church states, 
"Brother Mulford bestowed much labor on the Columbus field, laid 
the foundation of God's visible church and did much in the erection 
of a house of worship." 

An old carpenter shop was the first place of meeting, which those 
interested fitted up, whose regular service was held once in two weeks. 
Divine blessing attended the place and the people. Converts were 
gathered, uniting at Pemberton church. A larger and better place 
was needed. A lot was secured and a meeting house was built and 
dedicated. At the end of Mr. Mulford's charge at Pemberton, his 
labors at Columbus ended. But the Rev. W. D. Hires, pastor at 
Jacobstown, took up the work and occupied the field, and when Mr. 
Hires removed from Jacobstown, students from the Burlington school 
preached and kept up the services. In 1839, Mr. J. C. Dyer, a licentiate 
of the first Baptist church of Philadelphia, was teaching inVincentown. 
He visited and preached in Columbus. After a little, he was ordained. 
Soon afterwards, he died. 

The next spring, in 18-10, Rev. William Smith moved to Columbus 
and was pastor at Jacobstown, preaching a,t Columbus on alternate 
weeks. On Ferbuary 25th, 1841, nineteen Baptists met, adopted a 
covenant and articles of faith and constituted the Baptist church of 
Columbus. Rev. William Smith supplied the church till March 1845. 
His service included five years. From the middle of July, Rev. B. N. 
Leach, pastor at Bordentown, supplied the church for a few months. 

Rev. Job Gaskill was the first pastor and gave his whole labors 
to the church, from April 1846, Mr. Gaskill was well known in that 
region. His family was an old one and influential and he did not 
need a salary for his suppor . He had, however, coo much religion 
and concern for the church to preach for nothing. The house of 
worship was repaired. Mr. Gaskill taking charge of the work, collecting 


the funds, paid all debts. Two stations were established and two 
places of worship were built, one at Jobsfown and one at Chesterfield. 
A later writer, speaking of Mr. Gaskill says: "Vigor and strength 
characterized his ministry. He served the church in every position; 
was a true friend to succeeding pastors and in him the poor and needy 
had heart sympathy and the penitent sinner was pointed to "the Lamb 
of God who taketh the Sin of the World." At the same time, he com- 
bined honest}^ and firmness in the discharge of known duties." The 
writer knew him well. A man of lofty Christian principle. He resigned 
at Columbus in October 1850 to accept another charge. Ere long, he 
returned to the old homestead and sent his letter to Columbus church, 
broken down in health and never preached any more. He was church 
clerk to the day of his death, April 10th, 1860, only forty-seven years 

Mr. H. C. Putnam was ordained to be pastor on April 20th, 1851-53. 
S. Gale, 1854-55; J. M. Lyons, 1856-59; E. C. Ambler, 1859-60; W. H. 
Jones, ordained 1861 and died December 1862; J. M. Lyons, 1863-65; 
W. D. Sigfried, 1867-68; G. W. Snyder, 1869-71 ; W. B. Tolan, 1871-72; 
a new house and location, H. Wescott, 1873-77; C. A. Babcock, 1877-79; 
R. Cheney, 1879-85; A. S. Flock, 1885-88; W. L. Wurdell, 1889; H. 
Hill, 1890-93; M. C. Alexander, 1893-96; J. F. Jennings, 1896-97; 
W. O. Owens, 1898-1900. 

The church has had twenty pastors. One member has been 
licensed to preach. Two sanctuaries have been built, the first by Mr. 
Mulford long before the church was organized; the second by Rev. H. 
Wescott in 1872 and dedicated in November 1872. One church has 
been colonized in 1871, now Chesterfield. 

In the summer of 1839, two young ladies, members of the first 
Baptist church of Philadelphia, Miss Margaret Burtis and Miss Margaret 
Keen, visited- friends in Recklesstown, (now Chesterfield). They 
were impressed with the lack of the religious activities to which they 
were accustomed at home, neither Sunday school nor church, only 
the quiet uniformity of "Friends meeting," consecrated the Lord's 
day with worship, song and prayer. "Their spirit was stirred within 
them," as was Paul's in Athens (Acts 17:16) and going from house to 
house, they gathered the children in a school house for Sunday school. 
Beside officers and teachers, they began the school with sixty-nine 
youth. Returning home they took the burden of the Sunday school 
with them. When returning, to the village, they took with them a 
student, who, interested the people with expositions of Scripture. 

Miss Keen was a daughter of Deacon Joseph Keen of the first 
Baptist church of Philadelphia and subsequently the wife of Rev. W. 


E. Watkinson, many years pastor of the Hamilton Square Baptist 
church. Miss Burtis was a companion and intimate friend of the writer's 
sisters, all members of the first Baptist church of Philadelphia. These 
families had been under the training of those foremost men of their 
day, Holcombe and Brantly Sr., pastors of the church, who introduced 
a new era of Christian activities among Baptists of the North, who 
were tending to antinomianism. The first Baptist minister on this 
field in New Jersey, was a son of the first Baptist church in Philadelphia, 
T. D. Anderson. The Sunday school which these ladies planted was 
the origin of the Baptist church of Chesterfield. Its scholars founded 

The trustees appointed a committee of three to build a house of 
worship. Two of them were ministers. Revs. J. Gaskill and Christian 
Brinkerhoff. This house w^as dedicated January 25th, 1848. Baptist 
interests were well looked after by Mr. Gaskill, until laid aside by. 

Rev. C, Kain, Jr., pastor at Jacobstowai preached occasionally 
at Chesterfield and in 1867 he had special meeting in the village and 
baptized one hundred and five converts won in them. Himself, lilce 
to Mr. Gaskill and Henry Wescott was not dependent on a salary. But 
he was an eminently spiritual man. A debt left upon the church 
edifice, was eventually paid off by the efforts of Rev. J. M. Carpenter 
in 1865. The Chesterfield Baptist church was organized on January 
28th, 1871. Mr. Kain, Jr., seems to have been the first pastor, the 
Jacobstown church consenting to his preaching at Chesterfieldon the 
afternoon of the Lord's day, when in September 1871, Rev. A. G. 
Thomas became pastor of Jacobstown church. He followed Mr. 
Kain at Chesterfield. 

The later succession of pastors was: M. L. Ferris ordained in 
February 1874-80; L. S. Colburn, 1880-82; R. G. Lamb, 1883-86. 

Rev. C. E. Cordo, hearing of the low condition of the church, 
voluntarily held a series of meetings there with happy results. The 
need of a pastor was felt and the question of a parsonage was intro- 
duced by the offer of a lot for it, by Mrs. Bullock of Chesterfield. A 
parsonage house was built by funds freely offered. These events 
occurred about 1888-89; A. Millington, 1888-92; A. J. Alexander, 
ordained September 1893-94; E. M. Ogden, 1895-99. Ill health 
induced his resignation. The name of the church was changed to 
that of the town in which it was, about this time. Rev. Mr. Miller, 
October 1900. 

Chesterfield has had the usual experience of rural churches, in 
the going to centers of business of the younger population. Nine 


pastors have been in charge of the church. Cultured pastors are apt 
to consent to exchange a small salary that denies education to their 
children, for a larger one that assures to them their right to the best 
help for advance in the world and Avho knows that his wife is breaking 
down under the hardships of daily toil and of the economy necessary 
to "make both ends meet." He is called from home at times and is 
relieved of the trials of home, while the wife endures constantly, the 
routine of managing to save and of a dark future for the children, for 
whom she "dies daily" inspired by a mother's love. 

Chesterfield, while intimately related to Columbus and to Rev. 
Mr. Job Gaskill was more really a child of Jacobstown. Fifty-nine 
members were dismissed from Jacobstown, to constitute it. Rev. 
Mr. Rue, pastor of Jacobtsown, was the means of building its house of 
worship and Mr. Kain, another pastor of Jacobstown, was the first 
pastor of Chesterfield, by the consent of Jacobstown church, to preach 
there, on the afternoon of the Lord's day. (Thus though Pastor 
Gaskill of Columbus cared for the young church, Jacobstown 
is really the mother church.) 




Upper Freehold church is much older in its formal organization 
than the Holmdel church; still it is younger. At Holmdel, the two 
first houses of worship and the two first parsonages owned by Middle- 
town church were built. The first about 1664-5. The debris of the 
original buildings, lay on the site of the structures for about one hundred 
years after their decay and after the building of the third house by 
John Bray in 1 705 and of a parsonage in 1 825 on the Holmes and Law- 
rence tracts, which Mr. Braj' bought in 1688. ( A descendant of Mr. 
Bray of the same name showed the writer the original deed made in 
1688). Mr. Lawrence selling his in anticipating of removing to Upper 
Freehold. The first and second meeting houses and the parsonages 
were on the Holmes tract, facing on the road from Holmdel to Colt's 
Neck, we thus have a clue to the early days of Pastor Ashton's coming 
to Holmdel. 

When, however, Abel Morgan reduced his visits to once in two 
months and John Coward, a licentiate of Middletown, but living at 
LT^pper Freehold, declined preaching in the intervals of Mr. Morgan's 
absence. Baptists felt the need of a church organization and of con- 
trolling the frequence)^ of ministerial supply. If once in two months 
was equivalent to destitution, Mr. Morgan, before this, must have 
been preaching often at Upper Freehold, and the station been an im- 
portant center. About this time, in May 1766, the church was con- 
stituted with forty-seven members dismissed from Middletown. For 
the first seven years, it was knowii as the Crosswicks Baptist church. 
But then it took the name of Upper Freehold Baptist church. Mr. Coward 
was not one of the constituents. His son, John Coward of Borden town, 
was one of the trustees to whom Mr. Borden in 1751, gave the deed 
of the lot on which the Bordento%vn Baptist church stands; fifteen 
years before the L^pper Freehold church was formed. Among the 
constituents of the LTpper Freehold was the name of Holmes. Si.x 
were named Cox. 

The identity of Upper Freehold and Middletown is indicated by 
Baptistto^^'n (Holmdel) and Upper Freehold, being exclusively the 
localities in Middletown, in which the "yearly meetings" were held, 
when Middletown and Piscataway alone held them. They were 
really quarterly meetings, two being held in each church alternately 


every year, three months apart. In these locaUties the bulk of the 
members Uved. In 1766 Middletown had one hundred and twenty- 
six members. Forty-seven besides Mr. Coward and wife, were more 
than one third of them residents at Upper Freehold. More of them 
were doubtless resident at Holmdel thus showing where the heart of 
Middletown church was. Had Baptisttown (Holmdel) and Upper 
Freehold insisted on a division and each retained the original date of 
1668, it would have prevented the misconception, that the body in 
Middletown village was the original Middletown church. 

In historical sketches of Jacobstown and Upper Freehold, the 
impression is given that the families of Cox, Mount and Cheeseman, 
went from Middletown to those parts. Most likely the impression 
grew out of the occurrence of these names among the constit- 
uents of the Middletown Church. It should be remembered, how- 
ever, that the members of that body in its earliest history, in- 
cluded the Baptists in all this part of East Jersey. These families 
settled in vicinities near where their descendants are now so numer- 
ous. The family of Cox, the old maps indicate as having originally 
located near to Upper Freehold. 

James Ashton, the son of the first pastor of Middletown church, 
was not a member of the church, when he first moved to Upper Free- 
hold, but it is beheved that later he was a member of it. He was a 
bachelor and his name is lost from among the residents. It is written 
of him "that he was in high esteem as a citizen, a Christian and a 
Judge," and added " that he was a model man and Christian." Mr. 
Ashton left a legacy to the church. Baptists in early days invited 
ministers to visit them and to preach. The Upper Freehold Baptists 
bought a dwelling house and fitted it up for a place of worship. These 
people evidently had means to spare for spiritual uses. The early 
Baptists of Monmouth county were neither poor nor little. Pastor 
Abel Morgan was not lacking in labor in his field from 1739 to 1761. 
The many calls on him from far and near were enormous. 

The coming of Rev. Samuel Stillman to Upper Freehold, supplied 
Mr. Morgan's place there for two years from 1761. The Hightstown 
church and its pastor also relieved him of care of that vicinity, so that 
he could go abroad from his field oftener than had been previously 
allowed to him. Mr. Stillman retired from Upper Freehold and Rev. 
David Jones took his place in 1763 and later, when the church was 
organized, was its first pastor. Mr. Jones was a student at Hopewell, 
and had studied Theology with Abel Morgan, being a member and 
licentiate of Middletown church, he was a constituent of Upper Free- 
hold and its pastor in 1776. Including three years before the organization 


of tliL" church, he ministcsred at Upper Freehold thii-teen years, resigning 
because bitterly opposed to British tj'ranny and to his intense loyalty 
to the Congress of the colonies. A minute in the church book says: 
"These were troublesome times." 

The people of New Jersey were divided into parties of "Whigs" 
and "Tories." the names designating the parties loyal to Congress and 
to England. An incident illustrates the type of man Mr. Jones was. 
W'alking on the street he heard one calling "Brother Jones, Brother 
Jones!" Looking back he saw a drunken man lying by the side walk, 
who asked "Brother Jones, don't you know me?" "I am one of 
your converts." He replied, "You look like one of my converts; 
if God had converted you, you would not be lying there." The preach- 
ing of such men and the preaching they preached built up our great 
denomination. Quite unlike a modern sort that calls on sinners "to 
open their hearts and let God in." Under which our churches are 
dwindling in character and spirituality. In two years, the church 
called a successor to Mr. Jones, whose devotion to liberty was natural 
to a Welshman and whose consecration to Christ made him a New 
Testament Christian. 

The succession of pastors to 1821 were: W. J. Pitman, 1779-82; 
John Rockwell, 1882-87; J. Stephens, 1789-93; D. Loughboro, 1794; 
A. Harpending, 1797-1800; John Morgan, supply, 1802; S. B. Harris, 
1808-10; John Copper, 1813-21. In this period of the eight pastors, 
four were unworthy men holding office for sixteen years and there were 
nine years of pastoral destitution. Despite these unpromising con- 
ditions, the church preserved unity and the heresies and immoralities 
alleged of these years did not seriously impair its integrity. 

In 1822, Rev. J. M. Challis became pastor. His settlement was 
an era in the history of the church. A new epoch began. His piety was 
diffusive and he had a receptive welcome among his people. He was 
ordained in December 1822 and during sixteen years of happy and 
of appreciated labors, harvcssed continuously for the Kingdom of God, 
averaging annually the baptism of fifteen converts. Considering 
the low estate to which the church had fallen in the long time that 
preceded the coming of Mr. Challis, the odium that attaches to Christians 
and to the minister by the defection of a preacher from the purity of 
truth and duty, the labors of Mr. Challis must be esteemed as an 
especial endowment of the Holy Spirit. Mr. Challis did not limit 
himself to Upper Freeliold church, but did good wherever he could. 
"The Freehold church speaks of him as the founder of it." Unobstru- 
sive, of marked simplicity of character, the impress of his piety was 
felt everywhere. 

Front of the Yellow Meeting House, the Second House on this 
Ground, the First Burned and Rebuilt 


Another true and noble man followed Mr. Challis at Upper Free- 
hold, Rev. L. G. Beck in 1838-43; William A. Roy, 1843-46; A. Arm- 
strong, 1847-51; William J. Nice, 1852-55. Mr. Nice was a man of 
pre-eminent worth. S. Sproul, 1855-57; C. M. Deitz, 1858-66; W. D. 
Hires, 1867-78; E. Loux, 1879-82; D. Silver, 1882 to his death in 
December, 1884. S. L. Cox, 1885-87; J. A. Knowlton, 1888-91; I. N. 
Earle, 1891-92; J. Huffnagle, 1892-96; S. L. Harter, 1896-1904. 

To 1900, the church has had twenty-four pastors. Of the pastors, 
J. M. Challis was pastor sixteen years, David Jones, fourteen years, 
W. D. Hires, eleven and Pastors Cooper and Deitz each eight years. 
Two churches have been colonized from Upper Freehold, Jacobstown 
in 1785 and thirty-two members were dismissed to in.stitute it and in 
1834, ninety members to constitute the Freehold church. The pastors 
maintained regular appointments at both of these places long before 
a church was begun in either. At Jacobstown, some of the constituents 
of Middletown located at Jacobstown. At Freehold, Mr. Challis laid the 
foundations and really originated the church there. Quite likely the 
pastors ministered at Bordentown, as that mission was identified with 
Jacobstown. Two have been licensed to preach, one of them has 
spent life in ministerial work. Upper Freehold was incorporated 
six years before its mother in Middletown. Various of its properties 
were held in trust by its members. A dwelling house was transformed 
to a place of worship, "The Yellow meeting house," the date of its 
building is lost. Another put up in 1737 and one at Jacobstown in 
1767, yet another at Cream Ridge and one at Imlaystown, where the 
parsonage and church grounds consi-st of several acres. The church 
edifice there is large, modern; i:)ut it was burned in 1903. A now 
house was built in 1904, and supplied with all the appliances for 
Christian work and worship, which money and culture command. 
Unhappily, the railroad is a mile distant. 

The church is a rural body, isolated from commercial centers. 
Like Jacobstown, its prospective is limited. Other Baptist churches 
will limit its field yet more. Four hundred and twenty-eight have been 
baptized into the church, more than half of them, were baptized by 
Pastor Challis. 

The constituency of Jacobstown Baptist church allies it to Middle- 
town church. Some of them had been dismissed to constitute Upper 
Freehold church and others were children and grandchildren of the 
constituents of Middletown church, forty years before the Hights- 
to^vn church had been formed. Members of MiddletowTi 
living in Upper Freehold, were among the constituents 
of Hightstown. They had not moved from Middle- 


town, but were living in Upper Freehold, the membership of the old 
church reaching from the Raritan to the ocean and from Atlantic 
Highlands far south of Upper Freehold. The unity of these Baptists 
was not relationship, but companionship in persecution and driven 
in exile to this new land and again driven from their new homes 
rather than deny the faith of the Lord Christ. 

Jacobstown derived its name from a "Friend" (a Quaker) named 
Jacob Andrew, in accord with the custom of calling each other by their 
first name. William Penn addressed King Charles II, as "Charles, 
thee ought, etc.," "Friend Jacob" moved from Little Egg Harbor, 
a "public Friend" or preacher, on a tour in New Jersey and settled 
in the compass of Burlintgon monthly meeting. He made his home on 
the site of Jacobstow^l, where he opened a store, built blacksmith and 
wheelwright shops and began Jacobstown. He died there. Other 
"Friends" settled in the place. Affinities of belief in the right to "civil 
and religious liberty" influenced Baptists to settle there. 

Morgan Edwards says, "There were Baptists in these parts from 
the first settling of the country members at Middletown. In process of 
time they increased and he adds this increase made them think of 
becoming a separate society; the mother church approved and released 
the following persons." These twenty-eight on October 19th, 
1785, constituted a church. Nine of them were Sextons and four were 
Coxes. A house of worship had been put up by Jacobstown in 1767, 
and partly finished the fifth meeting house erected for the use of the 
Upper Freehold Church. The Bordentowm mission went with Jacobs- 
town, Jacobstown being nearer than Upper Freehold and as fully 
identified with the mission, as the mother church. The building at 
Jacobstowai, being incomplete and unplastered, remained unfinished 
for sixteen years. A substitute for a stove was a huge brazier in the 
center of the building, filled with glowing charcoal. Free access of 
winds from without, relieved any danger from the burning coal. No 
doul)t, foot stoves were in free use. Morgan Edwards invariably said; 
if a church edifice had a stove, "and it had a stove." This building 
was completed and used until replaced in 1853 by that now in use. 
The present house of worship was located where it is, at the cemetery, 
by a thousand dollar subscription, affording to the church the best 
opportunity to dwindle into nothingness and be a memorial of what 
mischief a thousand dollars can do to bring naught and to perpetuate 
the shadows of death. 

For several months. Rev. Peter Wilson, pastor of Hightstown 
Baptist church, supplied Jacobstown. His labors were prospered. 
About the end of 1785, Rev. Burgess AUison became pastor, remaining 


twenty-eight years, till 1813. In 1796 he gave his school at Borden- 
town into the charge of W. H. Staughton. Mr. Allison found it necessary 
to resume its care. But he could not restore it. This was the second 
harm which the cause of education suffered in New Jersey. Six other 
schools followed in the colony, illustrating the persistence of New Jersey 
Baptists to provide for themselves the means of culture. 

In 1815, Jacobstown church settled Rev. Richard Proudfoot, 
who was pastor until 1817. In the following twenty years, supplies 
served Jacobstown church. In this long period, Rev. J. M. Challis 
pastor of Upper Freehold church preached at Jacobstown once in each 
month and attended to other pastoral duties. From the beginning, 
of his ministry signs of a spiritual harvest appeared at Jacobstown 
and the best welfare of the church was promoted combining the offices 
of evangelist and pastor. Mr. Challis was a man of rare worth and of 
influence; an inspiration to the attainment of good. His labors at 
Jacobstown continued ten years and when he retired, Rev. W. D. 
Hires was called and at the end of ^he year, when the time of his call 
was expired, the church pressed him earnestly to stay and consenting, 
was ordained April 18th, 1835. To those who knew Mr. Hires, it 
was not strange that he was wanted, a devoted pastor and a preacher 
eminent for saying the most in fewest words and with a simplicity? a 
little child could understand. He was wanted whenever he could be 

Rev. C. J. Hopkins became pastor in 1837. A larger field induced 
him to leave in 1838. His characteristics are referred in the record of 
his pastorates at Camden, Bridgeton and Salem. Baptism was dis- 
cussed by his friends. Mr. Hopkins was a Presbyterian, and unable 
to sustain his views, he appealed to his pastor who said to him: "Charley, 
if your relations are Baptists, I advise you to let them alone for with 
the Bible as their sole guide, they have the best of the argument." 
Amazed at this, he inquired of the Bible and united with the first 
Baptist church of Philadelphia, under Pastor Holcombe and was 
licensed by them. (See History of first Camden church). In 1840, 
Rev. William Smith entered the pastorate and was pastor five years, 
a good and true man. Mr. Smith lived at Columbus and alternated 
preaching at both places. His missionary work was his distinction; 
aggression was the law of his piety. 

Mr. J. E. Rue followed Mr. Smith and was ordained in January 
1845. The meeting houses at Plattsburg and Recklesstown (now 
Chesterfield) were built in Mr. Rue's pastorate. People in these places 
objected to Mr. Rue's Baptist preaching and the trustees at Reckless- 
town locked him out of the house. A gentleman named Reed, an 


Episcopalian, sympathized vnth the persecuted Baptists and he gave 
a lot and a legacy from his estate to build a Baptist church edifice in 
RecklesstowTi. Mr. Rue was pastor two years and in the year of his 
resignation, Rev. C. Brinkerhoff became pastor at Jacobstown in 1847, 
continuing till 1851. These were years of blessing and of harv^ 

Rev. J. M. Carpenter followed immediately with scarcely an inter- 
mission. Great gaps have stared at the historian in the past. 
With untiring pertinacity this good man gathered and classified 
data and fact of invaluable historic material. Errors occur in his 
work, but what human effort is perfect! It has been .said of Mr. Car- 
penter "that he was a walking biography of the men of his times and a 
store house of things worth knowing about Baptists and of their con- 
cerns in New Jersey and in its vicinities." He was a careful wise and 
intelligent secretary of the New Jersey Baptist State Convention for 
sixteen years, a longer period than any other had held the office. Pastor 
at Jacobstown for thirteen years; revivals of special power were enjoyed 
and a new substantial brick meeting house of modern type was built 
and paid for. The only question of dissent about it, was the folly 
of its location, which means either the extinction of the church or 
another location and a new house in the village. Mr. Carpenter 
resigned in 1864. He lived to be eighty-five years old and up to his 
last illness of a few weeks continued the active duties of his bu,sy life. 

Rev. C. Kain, Jr., became pastor in October 1864, and for seven 
years enjoyed tokens of Divine blessing, baptizing one hundred and 
five in one year. While pastor, a parsonage was bought and paid 
for. In January 1871, fifty-nine members were dismissed to organize 
the Recklesstown church. Pastor Kain resigned to resume charge of 
the church at MuUica Hill which he had left to come to Jacobstown; 
without the intermission of a Lord's day. 

Rev. A. G. Thomas accepted the call to be pa.stor, on October 1 , 
1871. Mr. Thomas held a special meeting at Hornerstown. One 
hundred and eighteen were baptized in the winter of 1873 and 4. This 
pastorate like that of Mr. Kain was fruitful in enlargement and in 
blessing. Mr. Thomas resigned in 1877. A succession of pastors was: 
Rev. Mr. Hay, who ministered 1878-85; Rev. William Warlow, 1885-88; 
Rev. W. E. Cornell, 1889-1904. 

HornerstowTi church was recognized in 1897, wth thirty-two 
members. Jacobstown is a rural church and has an exchange of 
natives for unsympathetic foreigners. These old churches may become 
mission fields unless endowed and the tide of population is turned by 
means of the trolley roads and the conveniences of town houses are 
introduced into the country. 


If the names of "supplies" arc omitted, the church has had twelve 
pastors. Mr. Burgess Allison, twenty-sLx years; Mr. Carpenter, thirteen 
years and Mr. Cornwell, fifteen years. Two meeting houses liave been 
built, one in 1767, another in 1853, to which has been added the applian- 
ces and conveniences adapting it to modern life. 

April 14th, 1821, is a misleading date of early Baptist interests 
in Bordentown. The Baptist house of worship was built in 1752, 
on a lot, the deed of which is dated August 5th, 1751, the fourth meeting 
house used by the Upper Freehold Baptist church and erected fourteen 
years before the mother church, of which it was a mission, was 
constituted Bordentown was a mission of Upper Freehold 
church, and then, when Jacobstown church was constituted, was 
identified with that body. It might have been the mother, rather than 
the daughter of these churches and the fourth daughter of the original 

The deed of the lot was given to John Coward, Jr., Thomas Cox 
and Joseph Borden, Jr. John Coward Jr., was the son of a licentiate 
of Middletown, who was living in Imlaystown, who had been licensed in 
1738, to relieve Abel Morgan, as had been Mr. Carman licensed to preach 
at Cranbury and Jonathan Holmes of Holmdel (who died at sea and 
left a legacy of four hundred pounds to Middletown church). Thus if 
Mr. Morgan should be hindered from reaching these distant meetings, 
the regular service would go on and those who had come a long distance 
would not be disappointed, and discouraged at another time from coming 
to the House of God. Thomas Cox was a descendant of a constituent 
of Middletown church. Joseph Broden, Jr., is believed to be a son of 
Joseph Borden, Sr., who gave the ground for the place of worship and 
who presumably was a Baptist. The deed says of Borden, Cox and 
Coward, "who act as agents for several religious person, residing in 
Bordentown, aforesaid, and ye parts adjacent, who are members of 
Christian congregations, baptized by immersion upon a profession of 
faith." It also speaks of "Certain well wishers who come to hear ye 
Baptist ministers, when they preach in Bordentown and holding those 
wholesome principles contained in a confession of faith, set forth by the 
ministers and elders of above, one hundred congregations in England and 
Wales, met in London, Anno Dom. 1G89." This description allows no 
doubt of the kind of religious persons there were, nor of their doctri- 
nal ideas. 

Evidently, there was considerable Baptist element in Bordentown, 
in and near Borden-" o^\'n one hundred and fifty years ago. They were 
also people of means and of enterprise. The house they built is de- 
scribed by a later pastor as "a grand edifice in its day; its roof hipped 


in imposing grandeur; its walls stout enough for a fortress; in its external 
appearance beautiful in plainness; its internal arrangements a model 
of convenience for those days; its pulpit decently elevated to a dizzy 

There is a lapse of local information about Baptist matters in 
Bordentown for several years. Some events happened however, 
of very considerable moment. One was, that Burgess Allison, born in 
Bordentowni in August 1753, became, eventually, an important char- 
acter 1753. When sixteen years old, he united with the Upper Freehold 
church by baptism. At once, he began religious meetings in Borden- 
tO'ftTi. This seems to be the origin of the mission there. 

Preparing for college he entered Browai University and was aided 
by the Hubb's legacy, (of Hopewell). "Graduating from college, he 
returned to Bordentown and opened a school about 1778 or 79. Stu- 
dents from every colony and state, from Spain, France, West Indies 
and South America flocked to his school. Young men preparing for 
the ministry and for professional life were drawn to Bordentown as 
a center of choice, culture and advantage, crowding the halls of the 
large building he had erected." Mr. Allison was a natural genius of 
studious habits. Teaching was his calling. His wide reputation and 
the eminence of his school gave him a commanding position in all 
educational circles. Having been ordained in 1781, he was called to 
be pastor at Jacobstown, about the end of 1785. This, virtually was the 
end of his career. Although retaining connection with his school and 
devoting his energies to it. Both the church and himself made a 
mistake in his becoming a pastor. Had he given himself to the work 
for which he was fitted, he might have remedied the crime of the removal 
of Hopewell school and accomplished for Baptists in New Jersey, Penn- 
sylvania and New York, what Princeton has wrought for Presbyterian 
in this country. The congregations Mr. Allison gathered in Bordentown 
and the converts he baptized are gone and nothing remains of his work 
there, other than the valuable site of the Baptist church and that was 
gotten before he was born. 

Mr. Allison was an instance of the wasteage of choice gifts of mind, 
of heart, of comprehension of himself and of culture by a mistaken 
directon; and yet there must not be a misapprehension of his motive or 
of his purpose to do the most good and to accomplish the most for God 
humanity. He was truly a Godly man of the highest aims and thorough- 
ly Christian endeavors. Men of his own times ought to have influenced 
him to take the place for which he was qualified by both nature and 
culture. However, educated men often lack acquaintance with the 
world and men, that impairs their judgement of things, outside of 


their routine. Strange things occurred in the pastoral care by Mr. 
Allison of Jacobstown church. One, the membership of Staughton 
and his wife in Jacobstown church, distant twelve miles from Borden- 
town, without either a "letter of dismission" or an "experience"and 
despite a rule of that body "that all business was to be done at Jacobs- 
town." It was in Mr. Allison, the same lack of judgement as made 
Jacobstown the center of his work, instead of Bordentown. To us it 
is a wonder that a Baptist church had not been constituted at Bordentown 
rather than at Jacobstown. The pastor lived there; the finished house 
was there; there too, were the converts the congregations which Mr. 
Allison had gathered and the school also. As it was, he was com- 
pelled to sacrifice his home work; divert his influence to Jacobstown. 
Jacobstown gained but little from his long pastorate of twenty-eight 
years and Bordentown so much, that it was written in 1813, the 
year of Mr. Allison's resignation at Jacobstown, "The Baptist interest 
in Bordentown had evidently died away." Despite Mr. Allison's splen- 
did natural gifts and his eminent qualities for usefulness, his life was 
a comparative loss, wholly by his own failure to recognize his native 

Not only in 1813, but in 1818, there is added testimony of the low 
condition of Baptist affairs at Bordentown. Howard Malcom, being 
a student at Princeton, visited the place and preached. His diary in 
October has this entry: "Bordentown is proverbial for neglect of re- 
ligion. Found matters deplorable. Baptist is the only house of 
worship except Friends (Quakers), very small, in bad repair, seldom 
used, only five or six Baptists in the place. The only two male mem- 
bers take no active part. I suggested a Sunday school in town but 
found no encouragement." Up to 1789, Mr. Allison had baptized 
sixty-two persons. What a magnificent opportunity he had thrown 
away! Mr. Malcom took collections in the next November to repair the 
house of worship. He aranged for regular services, in October organized 
a Sunday school. A Sunday school in 1819 was a great rarity, some 
esteemed it the "Devil's net." Not only antinomians but good men and 
women; good pastors opposed them as dangerous. Mr. Malcom 
served in his outlay of time, of travel, of labor without a penny of 
compensation. Since then, he has had his reward in the companion- 
ship of the Master. 

Another student, S. W. Lynd followed, gathered twenty Baptists 
who on April 14th, 1821, constituted themselves the Baptist church of 
Bordentown. Mr. Lynd was called to be pastor and was ordained. 
He was pastor for three years, resigning in February' 1824. In that 
year, Rev. Thomas Larcombe was settled as pastor continuing till 


1827. His worth as a man and his able ministn' won a large place for 
him in the hearts of his brethren. 

M. J. Rhees was jointly pastor of first Trenton and of Borden- 
town, for three or four years. The dates are indefinite. Bordentown 
made a strong effort to secure his undixdded ser\'ices. A like con- 
dition prevailed at Trenton. With the end of 1833, he decided to 
limit himself to Trenton. He was a staunch temperance advocate. 
At Bordento'mi in 1838, the church made total abstinence a test 
of membership and included members added before the adoption of 
the rule. 

Immediately, Rev. J. C. Harrison settled at Bordentown on April 
1st, 1834 and was pastor ten years. In person and manner, Mr. Harri- 
son was a fac-similie of President Washington's portraits. The ten 
years of Mr. Harrison's charge were years of growth on all lines. He 
held that a pure church was an absolute condition to its welfare. He 
believed that discipline was the line of righteousness with a small 
mixture of mercy. A wealthy member was guilty of gross sin. An 
allusion to the effect of his exclusion on the pastor's salary startled Mr. 
Harrison, whereupon, he thundered, "Exclude him. I'U pay his 
part of the salary m3^seK." Another case was the exclusion of a 
woman for getting into a passion with her husband and sending for 
laudunum and threatening to kill herself; many protestations of 
penitence were necessary before she was restored. 

Pastor Harrison was a close reader of carefully written sermons. 
He and Rev. C. W. Mulford were in\ated to conduct their "yearly 
meeting." Both were in the pulpit and Mr. Harrison was to preach 
on Lord's Day morning taking his manuscript and laying it on the 
seat in the pulpit. The hymn before the sermon was being sung and 
Mr. Harrison turned to get his manuscript, but it was gone and not 
to be found. Mr. Harrison demanded it of Mr. Mulford and he protested 
his ignorance of it. Their altercation reached "fever heat." The song 
was done and the congregation waiting. There was no alternative 
and Mr. Harrison had to go on. Word has come to us that it was one 
of the best sermons Mr. Harrison ever preached. Search was made 
for the document and it was found in a crack, made by the seat that 
had shrunk from the wall. Mr. Mulford's honor was ^^ndicated and 
Mr. Harrison learned something he had not known of his strength. A 
moral is: "Let preachers not depend on 'paper wings.' " 

In 1834, the old meeting house which had been in use for eighty- 
two years was torn down and a new building erected. The basement 
of the new house was ready for use in December 1834. The upper 


room wa3 dedicated in July 1836. Special revivals wore enjoyed in 
1839, 1840, and 1842. 

In thi.s pastorate, one was licensed. Another member was or- 
dained. A new sanctuary was built and the membership was doubled. 
Mr. Harrison's resignation was declined, but as he insisted on it, it 
was accepted. Since Mr. Harrison's charge, the Bordentown church 
has constantly climbed to a higher plain. Has his maintenance of a 
rigid discipline any relation to its future growth on all right lines. 

The succession of pastors has been: B. N. Leach, 1844-46; W. D. 
Hires, 1846-49; S. Sproul, 1849-52; B. H. Lincoln, 1852-54; W. S. 
Goodno, 1855-57; A. P. Buel, 1857-67. While pastor, a beautiful 
and spacious sanctuary was built and dedicated in March 1861. Many 
were added to the church by baptism. J. W. Custis, 1867-70; L. 
Burrows, 1871-76. Debts were cancelled and an annual average of 
twenty-eight baptisms. H. W. Jones, 1877-80; W. L. Kolb, 1880-84; 
C. E. Cordo, 1885-91. In this pastorate, a parsonage was bought. A 
chapel was built at "White Hill," and a mission begun. The Park 
street mission was also maintained; a chapel at Fieldsboro mission 
was dedicated and an annual average of twenty persons baptized. 
Rev. J. Lisk, 1892-1900. The varied interests of the church have had 
effective development. In May, 1892, their beautiful church edifice 
was destroyed by fire. It was shortly replaced by a larger, more stately 
and substantial meeting house, comparing favorably with others in the 
state; which was dedicated in 1895. The benevolence of the church 
has been maintained despite the large outlay for their church edifice. 

The church has had sixteen pastors. The work of Howard Malcom 
recovering Baptist interests in Bordentown must not be overlooked. 
The foundations he laid in 1821 are still built on. Two pastors, Messrs. 
Harrison and Buel each stayed ten years. Both were eras in its history. 
Four houses of worship have been in use. One built in 1752, when or 
soon after, the Bordentown church ought to have been formed. Another 
in 1836, a third in 1861 and the fourth in 1892-5, to take the place of 
the third burned. These buildings by their larger size and appoint- 
ments marked the growth of the church. Mr. Allison was a man of 
brilliant parts, but he was deficient in executive ability and foresight. 
An average man of practical common sense would not have allowed 
Bordento-\\Ti Baptist interests to have come to the utter ruin which Mr. 
Malcom found them in, especially after the promise of Mr. Allison's 
young manhood. 



Mr. David Jones, a licentiate of the original Middletown church, 
occasionally preached at Freehold to relieve Aljel Morgan in charge 
of that part of his field and tradition asserts that he estaljlished a 
mission at Freehold in 1762 and after the organization of LTpper Free- 
hold church with Mr. Jones, as its first pastor, he maintained the station 
at Freehold. It is believed that under his administration a house of 
worship was built in an isolated place about a mile from Freehold. It 
is also affirmed by tradition that Abel Morgan often preached at Free- 
hold, a number of members of Middletown church living in its vicinity. 
Clusters of members of that church and stations for preaching were all 
over "East Jersey" and pastors were often absent from home for months 
responding to calls of the kind and usually had some licentiate to supply 
their pulpit while absent. Rev. J. M. Challis afterwards pastor at 
Upper Freehold, alluding to Freehold said: "This neighborhood 
was left awfully destitute of Baptist preaching." 

Rev. John Cooper in 1813, settled at Upper Freehold and in the 
eight years of his charge, preached once a month on a week day in the 
Baptist house near Freehold. Some converts were made and baptized. 
Rev. Mr. Challis followed in 1822 and continued the regular monthly 
week appointment. He writes of this period: "I found in the neigh- 
borhood of Freehold, a very feeble and disorganized state." There 
was but "one male member and a few feeble, but pious sisters. The 
meeting house was almost in ruins and the congregation scattered and 
pealed." This statement is not a surprise, considering the location 
of the place of worship, a mile from the town, up a long lane away from 
anywhere in which a monthly week day meeting was held and the house 
repulsive within and without. Very soon Mr. Challis had the house 
repaired, converts increased, the monthly meetings were multiplied 
and Baptists grew to number one hundred. Mr. Challis continued 
these labors for twelve years. 

In 1834, ninety-two members of Upper Freehold were dismissed 
to constitute the Freehold Baptist church. Two others made the 
number ninety-four, who in November 1834, constituted themselves 
the Baptist church of Freehold. These disciples adopted a pledge of 
"entire abstinence from making, vending or using ardent spirits as an 
article of luxury or living." In March, 1835, Mr. Challis resigned. 


disappointing the P'ruehold Baptists, who anticipated retaining his 
services jointly with Upper Freehold. 

A succession of pastors was C. J. Hopkins, 1835-37; P. Simonson, 
1837-8; William Maul, 1838-43; J. Beldon, 1844-54. His pastorate 
wrought a great change in the present and the future outlook of the 
church. From seclusion and limitation it came to be a power and 
to have influence in the community. This change was effected by u 
new, large and suitable sanctuary in the town of Freehold. The writer 
invited an exchange with Pastor Beldon purposely to preach in the 
old house and thus to know it and the vast change from the old to the 
new. The highest evidence of the noble manhood and piety of Pastor 
Challis was his courage to endure and his faith in God to prosper his 
word in the long service in a field where he had so great discourage- 
ments. The new house was a fitting temple for worship, modern, con- 
venient and quite equal to any other in the town. Mr. Beldon was a 
happy pastor to accomplish this change to gather a large congregation 
and to develop the church along the lines of Christian work and service. 
Going to Freehold, under the existing conditions, meant failure for 
himself and an almost useless strife of the church for life. Leaving 
Freehold, the church and its large congregation was the equal of any 
other in its social and spiritual influences. Mr. Beldon was brought 
up in the first Baptist church of Philadelphia under such pastors as 
Henry Holcombe, and W. T. Brantley, St., and it was not strange that 
he proved his training. An unpretentious man, not a great preacher, 
but a good and true man in whom confidence was safely reposed, his 
personal worth gave him hold on the community and crowned his 
ministry with success. 

Succeeding pastors were W. D. Hires, 1855-59; T. R. Taylor, 1859- 
62. The nation was undergoing the throes anticipating the Civil War. 
The slavery question was a dynamite bomb when mooted. Monmouth 
County of which Freehold was the county seat was a warming place 
for politicians of a certain type. Mr. Taylor had opinions and none 
knew that he had ever been afraid to do or to speak as his conscience 
enjoined, and on the Sunday morning, before John Brown was hung, 
Mr. Taylor prayed for him. A proper thing to do for one about to die. 
But, "it was the last feather" and an unpardonable sin to the kind 
of politicians that then influenced public opinion in Monmouth county. 
Soon after his prayer, Mr. Taylor resigned, having accepted a call 
elsewhere and was able to announce at his resignation: "that having 
accepted a call he resigned his charge at Freehold." Nevertheless, 
there were many loyal men who heartily sympathized with Mr. Taylor 
in Monmouth County, but they were in the minority. While pastor 


for three years, Mr. Taylor enjoyed unusual prosperity in winning 

On the same day in which Mr. Taylor rel ired from Freehold, Pastor 
D. S. Parmelee began his charge. Pastor Parmelee was true to his 
convictions of truth and duty. But he chose times for speech, having 
respect for conditions. While pastor, the house of worship was en- 
larged and conveniences for worship were added. lie had the longest 
pastorate in the histor}' of the church only excepting that of Mr. Jones, 
chat of Mr. Jones being before the constitution of the Freehold church. 
Mr. Parmelee closed his pastorate in ^hc fall of 1875. Rev. H. G. 
Mason, 1875-80; L. B. Chase, 1881-1883; H. F. Stillwell, ordained in 
1884, continued till 1894; a new house of worship supplanted the old 
one; the member-ship increased rapidly; Theodore Hcisig, 1894-1902. 

The church has had eleven pastors. Of them, Mr. Beldon served 
ten years; Mr. Parmelee, thirteen 3'ears; Mr. Stillwell, ten years. Mr. 
Challis of his twelve years was pastor after the church organized only 
five months and Mr. Jones preached at Freehold 1762-1813, about 
fifty years, once each month. Virtually, four meeting houses have 
been erected. When the first was built is unknown, only that it was 
erected while Mr. Jones was pastor at Upper Freehold, probably before 
1766, and was in use for nearly eighty years. The second building 
was put up under Mr. Beldon in about 1845. The third house was 
built under Mr. Parmelee and was an extension and a great improve- 
ment on the former structure. The fourth, under Mr. Stillwell was 
dedicated in 1890. 

No history of Freehold church is complete without allusion to 
Deacon H. Ely. When he resigned his Treasurership, he had held the 
office for forty years and at his death been a deacon of the church 
forty-five years. His mother was a remarkable woman. (See under 
Holmdel incidents of this wonderful woman). Her sons were men of 
lofty spiritual statu. Having had six sons and one daughter, three 
brothers married three sisters, each sister was identified with another 
denomination, and each became Baptists. Their pre-eminence in good 
things is known to the pastors and churches with which they were 
associated. The daughter was like to her mother and her husband 
was an officer of the church when he died. As was almost universal in 
early times there was a distillery on the farm near Freehold. Its 
machinery was taken to the Holmdel farm, but it rotted where first 
laid, the mother's plea prevailing against its use. Of one of these sons, 
(said to the pastor) by a profane godless neighbor: "If I had a million 
dollars, I would not hesitate to put it in his hands for keeping, without 
a scrap of paper or security, sure that when I wanted it, I would get it." 


Thia aon had Ijceu a deacon for thirty years and in that time had not 
missed a communion till his last illness. When one of these brothers 
died insolvent, and widows and orphans would have lost their all, 
another brother mortgaged his estate and paid the indebtedness of 
that brother. Surely, these were giants of honor, godliness and truth. 
Deacon H. Ely of Freehold was as noble, godly and true as others of 
his brothers as the writer well knows by personal knowledge and had 
experience of his rare worth and devotion to the best interests of 
humanity, justifying the higliest appreciation of man. 

The Howell church (now Ardcna) was named after the township. 
Pastors of the Upper Freehold church had a station at Howell many 
years since. Rev. D. Jones, the first pastor of Upper Freehold preached 
at Howell, several years before 1766. Results of his labors must have 
justified the including of Howell in their field. There may have been 
Baptists among the early settlers, members of Middletown church and 
the early converts joined there; when Upper Freehold was organized 
and Freehold was identified with it, converts united there. Howell 
is about six miles east of Freehold. 

As population increased, a Sunday school and social meetings 
were begun in 1860. Twenty-five members of Freehold Baptist church 
were dismissed in 1860 to constitute the Howell church. Rev. H. 
Wescott was the first pastor remaining five years. A work of grace 
was enjoyed and a house of worship begun which was completed in 1861. 
When he resigned, the membership of the church was one himdred 
and five and all debts were paid. Brought up to business habits and 
having a private income, he gave the benefit of these to churches, of 
which he was pastor and ordinarily preferred young and needy churches. 
For such, lie usually secured a house of worship and the payment of all 
debts against them. Judging by his course in a long, ministerial 
career of sixty and more years, it is doubtful if he would have accepted 
a call to be pastor of a church able to care for itself. 

Pastors following were: D. B. Jutton, 1865-69; A. J. Wilcox, 1870; 
C. G. Gurr, 1871-74; E. S. Browe, 1874-79; William Archer, 1880-82; 
H. Wescott, 1882-1904. A second pastorate of eighteen years at Howell 
was had. Mr. Wescott was ordained in 1842. The writer then a licen- 
tiate, recalls that himself is the only survivor of the ministers present. 
Mr. Wescott is still (r904) in the active discharge of the duties of pastor 
at Howell, at an age of ninety or more years. 

Rev. W. D. Hires settled at Holmdel in 1836, (the "Upper Con- 
gregation", as the church minute book styles it), while the "Lower 
Congregation" (as it is styled in the miruite book of the church) kept 
"Father Roberts" for pastor. Mr. Hires made stations at Keyport, 


Matawau and Marlboro until churches Avere organized at Keyport and 
at Matawan. His successors continued preaching at Marlboro jointly 
with the pastors at Freehold. Miss Ella G. Herbert, a member of the 
Freehold Baptist church gave a legacy of five hundred dollars for the 
building of a house of worship at Marlboro. The bequest was not 
used till 1865, when her brother, O. C. Herbert, bought a shop in Marl- 
boro and moving it to a suitable place, fitted it for a select school. 

In June, 1865, Rev. Mr. Parmelee, pa.stor of the Baptist church in 
Freehold formed a Sunday school in this building. At its opening, it 
had fourteen scholars and six teachers. Mr. Parmelee provided all 
needful appliances for the school and made a monthly appointment for 
preaching. Mr. C. D. Warner, a licentiate of Holmdel chur h also made 
a monthly appointment to preach. In the fall of 1865, plans were 
adopted to build a house of worship. Mr. O. C. Herbert of Marlboro, 
one from Freehold, two from Holmdel, were appointed a building com- 
mittee and limited to an expenditure of two thousand dollars for the 
edifice. Pastors Wilson of Holmdel, and Slater of Matawan preached 
on the vacant afternoons, making a daily service. On February, 
1867, the meetings were removed to the basement of the new house 
of wor-ship and on the 16th of May, 1869, thirty-one Baptists constituted 
the Marlboro Baptist church. The dedication of the house of worship 
and of the recognition of the church occurred on May 25th, 1869. In 
October 26th, 1869, Mr. E. C. Romine was ordained as an evangelist. 
The occasion of the ordination being a series of meetings conducted by 
Mr. Romine, and some of the converts wished him to baptize them. 
The one house of worship is now in use. 

The order of pastors have been: George Johnson, 1870-71; Laid 
aside by illness. S. L. Cox, 1872-73; J. Thorn, 1873-74; B. C. Morse, 
1874-76; died in April, 1876; S. L. Cox, second pastorate, 1876-78; 
J. J. Baker, 1879-87; L. G. Appleby, 1888-9; L. G. Appleby, second 
pastorate, 1891-92; W. N. Smith, 1894-98; C. H. Sherman, 1899-1900. 
Two of these have had a second charge and one has died while pastor. 
One retired on account of illness. Another died on account of age and 
this was his longest pastorate. The outlook is not more inspiring 
than other country churches. Foreigners are supplanting Americans in 
rural districts and superstition and ignorance ensnares and blinds 

Hornerstown Baptist church was an outgrowth of Jacobstown 
church. Pastor Hires of Upper Freehold had begun a mission there in 
1872. Mrs. Deacon Goldy, living in the village had previously 
begun a Sunday school, which may have led to the mission. Rev. Mr. 
Thomas of Jacobstown in 1873, took hold of the mission, being nearer 


to Jacobstown than to Upper Freehold and held a series of meetings 
in the school house and sevent(!en were baptized and joined Jacobstown 
Churcli. The scliool house was locked and the meetings ended. It 
was not objected to, that the people were converted, but to their being 
Baptists. When thus shut out of the school house. Deacon J. Goldy 
opened his house for the meetings. 

Later, the resident Baptists bought a store house, the connnunity 
uniting and paying for the property. Meetings were held there until 
the church edifice was completed. In 1890, a local "mite society" 
was formed to build a house of worship. The society began the house 
in May, 1891, and completed the unique and beautiful sanctuary in 
September, 1894. It was a rare instance of enterprise and of piety in 
so few Baptists undertaking so noble a work. But little financial aid 
from abroad was received. Credit for the success of the movement 
is wholly due to the "mite society," the officers of which were: B. II. 
Harker, president; Miss Belle Harker, secretary; Miss Ida Quicksill, 
treasurer; William Harker, Jr., William L. Hopkins and A. E. Harker 
were the building committee. 

The church was organized in March 1897, nearly three years after 
the dedication of the house of worship. Twenty-nine members, twenty- 
eight of them from Jacobstown church constituted the church. Rev. 
C. M. Sherman was the first pastor for one year, from October 1897. 
Rev. A. E. Harker settled in 1898. Both of these were ordained at 
Hornerstown at the same time. Rev. A. E. Harker was one of the 
building committee that erected the church edifice and a brother to 
the other Harker on that committee and to Miss Harker, secretary of 
the "Mite Society" and organist in the choir. The old time practice of 
our churches calling one of their members weis thus modernized. Mr. 
Harker was paslor through 1900, and (1904) is pastor in Camden. - 

These men, known and proved, were good and useful pastors. 
Ashton and Burrows of Middletown, Stelle and Runyan of Piscataway, 
Tomkins and Walton at Moristown, Benjamin Miller of Scotch Plains, 
Moses Edwards of Northfield, Robert Kelsay, Job Sheppard at Cohansie 
and Salem, Carman and Wilson at Hightstown, Southworth at Wan- 
tage, Boswell and Allen at Burlington verify the wisdom of the choice 
of these men. Necessarily, the Hornerstown church will be a feeder 
to cities, to manufacturing and commercial centers, sharing with rural 
churches, the experiences of parting with the active and efficient mem- 
bers that mean development and excite inspiration. There is the 
greatest need of such in the country churches for the training of the 
foreign element, Christianizing and Americanizing it. 



The Pittsgrove Church owes its early organization to the cultivation 
of its field by Cohansie church. Morgan Edwards writes: "Some of 
the first settlers in this part of the country were Baptists. Particularly 
the Reeds, the Elwells, the Paulins, the Wallings, the Churchmans; 
some from New England. These were visited by the ministers of 
Cohansie and some others, particularly since they became a branch of 
that church." 

In 1742, a house by thirty by twenty-six feet wa« built on a lot 
of one acre given by Henry Paulin. The deed is dated February 12th, 
1742. It is well finished and the communion is administered the 
fourth Sunday in every other month. The families belonging to the 
congregation are about seventy-two, whereof, eighty-one persons are 
baptized " The church had also a plantation of about sixty acres, with 
a good house on it. The deed bears date May 12th, 1762. 

This colony is said to have been companions of Sir Robert Carr in 
1665, settling at Old Man's Creek. These companies joined Cohansie 
church. The mother church made preaching stations and formed 
branches in these localities. Nathaniel Jenkins, pastor at Cohansie, 
especially interested himself in cherishing the Pittsgrove branch, which 
included Baptists for miles distant. In 1741, Pastor Kelsay devoted 
himself to Pittsgrove and built a meeting house the next year. He 
was not ordained until 1750. Immediately after the death of Pastor 
Jenkins and in compliance with his dying request, the Cohansie church 
called Mr. Kelsay to be pastor. He had been twelve years at Pittsgrove 
and was living in his own liouse. His attachment to the people and 
to the place where he had labored so long, were very strong and he 
declined the call. Besides, he was anxious that Rev. Job Sheppard 
should be pastor at Cohansie. A fire consumed his dwelling and again, 
Cohansie renewed the call and Mr. Kelsay yielded and was pastor 
thirty-three 5^cars, till he died at seventy-eight years old. 

In 1771, seventeen members of Cohansie received letters to con- 
stitute Pittsgrove church. On the 15th of May, four pastors, Mr. 
Stelle, Mr. Kelsay, Mr. Griffiths and Mr. Heaton of Dividing Creek, 
met with the brethren and sisters who constituted Pittsgrove church 
on the articles of faith and covenant which Mr. Kelsay had prepared 
for them. The next day, May 16th, 1771, William Worth was ordained 


their pastor. There was prosperity in the first ten years of his charge. 
Many were added to the church by Unity and spirituality 
marked the years. Mr. Worth evidently had a strong hold on the 
community, judging from his record of the number of funerals and 
marriages and from the number of his congregations. Mr. Worth 
went to the extremes of dishonor and by the removal of members to 
other churches and the discouragement of others, had a majority and 
kept the house for himself and his co-conspirators, excluding Baptists 
from their house of worship. 

At the end of twenty years from the settlement of Mr. Worth, 
only thirteen women remained true to Christ. In the black night of 
apostacy, they continued true to righteousness. These women held 
meetings in groves and in private houses. Once, when Mr. Smalley, 
pastor of Cohansie was preaching from an open wagon near the meeting 
house, every hearer of Mr. Worth left him alone and went to hear Mr. 
Smalley. In 1803, Mr. Worth and his two deacons were expelled from 
the house and the "wolf in sheep's clothing" was deposed from the 
ministry. Mr. Worth held fast to his universalism while in good health, 
but when dying, repudiated it as false and a lie. 

The names of these women ought to be kept. They were: "Sus- 
anna El well, Catharine Harris, Reuhama Austin, Anna Robinson, 
Tabitha Mayhew, Mary Nichols, Susanna Garrison, Lovica Elwell, 
Elizabeth Atkinson, Priscilla Blue, Abigal Joslin, Reuhama Moore and 
Rachel Brick, Reuhama Moore and Rachel Brick being the only con- 
stituent members living." The writer recalls that when a resident 
near Pittsgrove, being told that certain women members at Pittsgrove 
maintained a weekly femalejjprayer meeting^at^their homes for fifty 

Upon the excision of the element of untruth from their midst, 
a spiritual era set in. The same month in which Mr. Worth and his 
adherents were excluded, three offered themselves for baptism and 
ten others followed next month. An administration of the Lord's 
Supper was enjoyed, the first observance of it in ten years. Mr. Oliver 
Leonard supplied the church after Mr. Worth's removal for six months 
and was ordained in June 1811. Up to 1827, the dire influence of the 
past, hindered spiritual growth. Then William Bacon, M. D., of 
Salem joined the church and supplied the church till August 1829, 
when he was ordained and became pastor. Dr. Bacon's coming was 
Providential. His character of high-toned Christian completeness and 
cultured intelligence was an unanswerable appeal against the seeds of 
evil, which Mr. Worth had sown everywhere. In 1831, Dr. Bacon 
included Woodstown in his field and in 1833, he began the exclusive 


pastorate of Woodstown church, closing in 1833, seven years of labor 
at Pittsgrove. 

Rev. William Pollard settled at Pittsgrove in June 1833. Allusion 
to "increasing congregations" and an encouraging condition of affairs 
in the letters of the church to the Association is the only clue to the 
work of Mr. Pollard, the church records of that time being lost. In 
October, 1837, Mr. J. S. Eisenbrey was called and ordained that year. 
He stayed nearly five years, was a true pastor and did much mission 
work in near by localities, often riding twenty miles into the "Pines." 
He was a staunch advocate of temperance. His salary was but one 
hundred dollars and the parsonage farm. He also taught the district 
school and instructed music classes and was a very busy man. He 
was not singular in this. Salaries were very small and the fields large. 
Four or five sermons each week, beside social meetings and many long 
rides to stations and to visit distant members. Seldom less than three 
and four sermons on the Lord's Day and a ride of fifteen to twenty 
miles. Sympathetic and appreciative church members valued these 
things by their frequent gifts to the larder, the barn and to the family 
and home. The salary nominally, a pittance was enlarged and the 
pastor had daily evidence of a kind and thoughtful people. Rev. 
G. S. W'ebb said to the writer: "He had noticed that the country pastors 
always had an ample store laid up for old age." 

The time of favor for the Pittsgrove flock came; Rev. Charles 
Kain, Jr., son of Deacon Charles Kain of Marlton, the father and the 
son men of noblest worth, settled at Pittsgrove in the spring of 1842. 
At once, tokens of Divine favor appeared. Old and young had a sudden 
and great concern for their spiritual welfare. Mr. Kain, Jr., having been 
ordained in September, scores were baptized. Ere long, a modern 
and spacious brick sanctuary was built in the place of where the old 
house stood. Mr. Kain stayed only four or five years, choosing another 
field where he had previously labored. 

In 1847, Mr. W. F. Brown entered as pastor and was ordained. 
While pastor, a parsonage was built. His stay was only three years 
Rev. Abel Philbrook followed for three years till February 1854. In 
May, Rev. Daniel Kelsay became pastor. Mr. Kelsay was the grandson 
of Robert Kelsay of Cohansie, who began his ministry and was ordained 
at Pi tsgrove. Like to his grandfather, he was a man of rare worth. 
Without sentimentalism and clap trap notions, he was wholly indifferent 
whether his doctrinal views hurt Daniel Kelsay or not. In days when 
it cost position and repute, he was an Abolitionist and a high toned 
temperance man. At the Civil War he was on the right side and gave 
a son and that son gave his life to preserve the Union and to destroy 


slavery. Pittsgrove church prospered under his labors. Many also 
came into the kingdom of Christ and were added to the church. Three 
young men were licensed to preach. One of them, his son. Pastor 
Kelsay held his pastorate ten years, closing it in 1863. As at Mana- 
hawkin, so at Pittsgrove his service was of great value. 

Rev. A. B. Still entered the pastorate in October 1864. Despite 
his earnest and faithful service, the distractions through the Civil 
War were serious hindrances. Many converts were a happy fruitage 
of his labors. From November, 1867, to April, 1871, Rev. Levi Morse 
ministered as pastor. Within these nearly four years, Mr. Morse 
preached eight hundred and sixty-six sermons and baptized one hundred 
converts into the church. The parsonage was much improved and a 
mission chapel costing two thousand dollars was built at an out station. 
Having accepted a call elsewhere the church yielded to his removal in 
August 1871. 

Mr. Mott came from the Seminary, was ordained, was pastor till 
April 1874. The next August, Rev. Morgan Edwards became pastor. 
Morgan Edwards is a name widely known among Baptists, as even 
Roger Williams or Obadiah Holmes, Sr. The first Morgan Edwards 
whose "Materials for Baptist History" are invaluable, was pastor of 
the first Baptist church in Philadelphia. He has been styled "the 
Princely Edwards." The Morgan Edwards who settled at Pittsgrove 
in 1877, was a lineal descendant of Morgan Edwards the historian, and 
named for him and as "mighty a man in the Scriptures." and as a 
preacher as any living man. How he ever settled at Pittsgrove is 
imaginary and was one of his idiosyncrasies of which he had many. 
The writer has knowTi him for forty years. He heard him preach for 
weeks continuously. He has listened to Richard Fuller, W. T. Brantly, 
Sr., John Hall and others said to have no superiors, but has never heard 
a greater preacher than M. Edwards, Jr. Mr. Edwards did not stay 
long at Pittsgrove. The eccentricities characteristic of the man may 
be a reason. Whatever his peculiarities, he was eminently a godly 
man, conscientious, benevolent. His company was a charm. Himself 
and family were often cold and hungry for he emptied his pockets to 
give to others what himself and his were suffering for. 

Rev. L. Morse was recalled to be pastor in 1875 and his second 
pastorate lasted till 1878. Many were baptized. Extensive improve- 
ments were made on the church edifice. The old parsonage was sold 
and another built near the meeting house. Rev. J. J. Reeder became 
pastor in July 1878. Only pleasant things are said of him and of his 
work b}' the church and l)y those familiar with his pastorate. He 
resigned about 1881. From then till 1900, six pastors followed. T. G. 


Denchfield, one j'ear; J. W. Taj'lor, months; C. D. Parker, three years; 
E. B. Morris, one year; L. Myers, eight years; F. H. Farley, 1897-1900. 
A new house of worship was built in a better location, under Mr. Myers, 
which was dedicated in December 1893. The same year the church 
received a legac)' of two thousand dollars. 

The constancy of Pittsgrove under great adversities maintaining 
the truth despite the defection of its pastor and of his purpose to destroy 
the church. The integrity of thirteen women for ten long, weary years 
saving the church is memorable and later, one man. Deacon John Combs, 
for many years, steadied the trembling ark. The writer knew him 
well. While the many said, "Give it up," he kept right on as if the sun 
was just rising. 

We can scarce realize the difference between the comforts and 
convenience of our sanctuaries and those in which our ancestors wor- 
shipped. The cabin home of the new settler with its small and only 
window, dirt floor, its uncouth attic, access to which was by a rude 
ladder is no greater contrast to the spacious residence of to-day, with 
its conveniences of light and heat and furniture and baths, than is the 
contrast of the comforts and appliances for enjoyable worship that we 
have, with those of an hundred and more years ago. 

Since Pittsgrove was organized, the church has had twenty pastors, 
of whom, seven have been ordained. Mr. Worth was pastor eighteen 
years. Mr. Daniel Kelsay, nine years; Mr. Myers, eight years. Three 
meeting houses have been in use by the church. The first was built 
in 1742 and was in use one hundred and three years. The second 
house was built in 1845; the third in 1893 and is now in use. Two 
parsonages have been built. A house of worship was built at "Old 
Man's Creek" in 1773. Evincing a purpose to hold for the future the 
ground they then occupied. These early Baptists were enterprising 
and did not spare either their money or their labor to build up the 
Kingdom. They held truths well worth maintaining at the cost of 
work, persecution and life. 

Manahawken is on the southeast shore coast of New Jersey. 
There stood there an old meeting house, twenty-four feet square, 
which Morgan Edwards says was built in 1764, on an acre lot, the 
gift of John Haywood. Mr. Edwards had been misinformed as to 
the date of the building of the house, for the date of the deed 
of the lot is August 24th, 1758, and the lot is described as be- 
ginning at a stake two hundred and sixty-five links northwest 
from the meeting house, so that the house was there at the date of the 
deed. It had also been built before the date of the deed. How long 
before, none can tell. It was a Baptist meeting house built by 


Baptists chiefly by John Haywood. This church edifice was the first 
house of worship built in Ocean county. 

The scarcity of houses for worship made it a convenient center 
for all denominations. Baptists not having a pastor, enjoyed like 
other good people hearing the Gospel from ministers of other denom- 
inations. Quakers, Presbyterians, Methodists and other evangelical 
people were welcome to it. Thus Baptists answered the repeated 
assertion of Baptist bigotry and closeness. Baptists thus verified the 
fact that they had less sectarianism than other professed disciples, 
insisting as we do, on our fundamental principal, that everyone has a 
right to think and to speak his opinions and must be his own judge 
of his conscience. 

Mr. Haywood was from Coventry, England. In a letter written 
I)y John Brainerd in 1761, he names Mr. Haywood and Randolph as 
Baptists who entertained ministers of all denominations and that they 
believed in toleration. Beside (John or James, the name varies in 
authorities) Haywood, "Benjamin Reuben and Joseph Randolph from 
Piscataway settled in this neighborhood. They were visited by Rev. 
Mr. Blackwell in 1764, of Hopewell (?) who preached and baptized 
five." Four Baptists from Scotch Plains joined the colony about this 
time and they numbered nine Baptists (ought not this to be nineteen, 
or, at least, sixteen?). Rev. Benjamin Miller of Scotch Plains visited 
them and in 1770, constituted them a church. Isaac Stelle of Piscata- 
way and Peter Wilson of Hightstown, each of these three men accounted 
the whole world their field. Comprehending in their sympathies and 
consciousness the needs of lost men for salvation. Nathaniel Jenkins 
of first Cape May and Robert Kelsay of Cohansie were men of the same 
kind. Though limited by their field on the peninsula of southern New 
Jersey, to comparatively narrow surroundings. These however, were 
well looked after. 

Rev. H. Crossley was the first pastor of Manahawken church and 
settled there in 1774. Next year, Mr. I. Bonnell, a licentiate of the 
church was called to be pastor and was ordained. He also continued 
only a year. With his resignation, a cloud overcast the church till 
1799. The Association then propo.sed to drop the name of the church. 
But a few members of the Association claimed that if Rev. J. P. Peck- 
worth of Philadelphia could visit them, he might be the means of 
recovery. He did so, and found only five women members of the 
church. Not the only instance where a few women saved the life of 
a church, as at Pittsgrove, Eatontown and others, of whom it could be 
written: "I know thy works and has borne and hast patience and for 
my name's sake hast labored and hast not fainted." 


Mr. Peckworth's visits and those of others whom he influenced to 
go to Manahawken, resulted in the conversion of many who were bap- 
tized. In the meantime, two of the five women died and could three 
women constitute a church, was questioned. It was decided, "Yes." 
In accord with the words of Christ: "Where two or three of you are 
met, there am I, etc.," The two or three was decided to be enough to 
constitute a church. Pastor Magowan and Benjamin Hedges of Pem- 
berton visited the church and at the request of the three sisters, Sarah 
Perrine, Mary Sprague and Elizabeth Sharp, gave the hand of fellow- 
ship to twenty persons, who had recently been baptized. In the same 
year, four more were baptized and the next year, seven were baptized 
and in 1805, forty-four were baptized and the membership of the church 
increased to sixty-eight. Mr. Carlisle, a licentiate of Pemberton often 
visited Manahawken. Rev. Benjamin Hedges of Pemberton is said 
to have been pastor prior to 1823. 

The many gaps in the church records make it impossible to give 
a consecutive account of the church. Rev. Ezekiel Sexton was pastor 
1834-39. He was an efficient pastor, as also a most lovely man. From 
1839-40, Rev. Daniel Kelsay was pastor. He was the son of Robert 
Kelsay of Cohansie. Lacking the brilliant qualities of his father, he 
was a standard man of rare worth; the longer and better known, the 
more valued for his integrity and intelligence. While pastor, some 
sixty to seventy united with the church. A successor writes of him: 
"He exerted an influence intellectually and religiously on the community 
which is still felt." Part of this time he was principal of the Public 
school and sustained the reputation of being one of the best teachers 
in the country and many were sent from a distance to enjoy the benefit 
of his instructions. Mr. Kelsay had been at Mr. Aaron's school and 
had caught some of the incomparable teaching gift of that wonderful 

The Manahawken church has had twenty-three pastors, two of 
whom died while pastors. John Todd was licensed to preach, while 
Mr. Kelsay was pastor and later was ordained. Mr. Todd was one of 
the most devoted and indefatigable missionaries of the New Jersey 
Baptist State Convention, travelling on foot from Cape May to Long 
Branch in the "Pines" carrying the lamp of life to thousands, who 
but for him would not have known the way of life. After Mr. Kelsay, 
other pastors were: L. S. Griswold, Rev. Mr. Philbrook, James Thorn, 
J. Perry, A. H. Folwell, S. Semour, A. H. Folwell, second charge; E. S. 
Browe, C. A. Mott, C. P. DeCamp, E. L. Stager, who died in the third 
year of his pastorate. J. F. Bender, W. II. Eldridge, under whom a 
parsonage was bought; W. N. Walden, who died in 1893 in the ninth 


year of his pastorate; G. C. Horter, G. C. Ewart, E. F. Partridg;c, H. 
Stager, 1900. 

The small salary accounts for most of these changes. Manahawkin 
is an isolated field. Distant from business centers and until a "resort 
by the sea," will not have a large population. Still such churches 
give the Ganos, Peter Wilson, Benjamin Miller, Kelsays and South- 
worths to our churches and are the mountain springs which thousands 
of miles inland, nourish the oceans. 

The large share which some of our oldest churches have had in this 
distant locality is noteworthy. Piscataway and Scotch Plains con- 
tributed a majority of the constituents and Pastor Miller was its voucher. 
Pemberton also came to its aid in the days of extremity. Its Pastor 
Magowan did anew the service Pastor Miller had rendered. Of the 
first meeting house we had an account. It was a memorial of a good 
man, the lone Baptist, who did "what he could" for Christ and for 
his adopted country. When it had fallen into decay. Rev. C. W. 
Mulford, pastor at Pemberton, was piincipally instrumental in having 
a second house of worship built. Another instance of the worth of 
that good man to coming generations. The third house of worship, 
now in use, was begun under Pastor A. H. FolweU in 1865, and was 
completed in 1867, the first year of Mr. Browe's service. 

When in 1876, fifty-eight members were dismissed to form the 
West Creek church under Pastor C. A. Mott; they say referring to the 
organization of that body: "We have transferred to them the church 
property there." That property was an old Methodist church edifice, 
bought and repaired, through Dr. T. T. Price of Tuckerton. In the 
winter of 1875-6, sixty-nine converts had been baptized at West Creek, 
These were constituted the West Creek church and joined Manahawkin 
church as being the nearest Baptist church. 

To have sent John Todd on his mission of love to the destitute 
in the "Pines" justified the one hundred and thirty years of struggling 
church life and the early attempt of Mr. Haywood to minister the 
word of life, and built a house of worship, nearly two hundred years 
since, compensated a thousand fold for the costs of maintaining 
the church. The constituents of West Creek church, though dismissed 
from Manahawkin church, very rarely worshipped at Manahawken, 
the link to Manahawkin was exclusively the pastor, Mr. Mott, who 
preached at West Creek on the afternoon of the Lord's Day. 



Keyport is on the shore of the Raritan Bay in Monmouth county, 
six miles from Middletown village. At the time of the organization 
of the Baptist church, in 1840, it was a small village of late origin. 
The pastors of Middletown, Holmdel and Jacksonville had appoint- 
ments there for several years before the Baptist church was formed. 
Thus Baptists increased until their number justified an organization 
of a Baptist church. Rev. J. M. Carpenter of Jacksonville, first made 
a regular appointment. Mr. S. Sproul, a licentiate of Middletown, 
a resident at Keyport was active in maintaining social devotional 
meetings there. Providentially, Rev. F. Ketchum, an evangelist 
came to Middletown. Hundreds of converts were a result of the 

A proposal to found a branch at Keyport was rejected and a 
Baptist church of eleven constituents was organized in August 1840. 
On the same day, Mr. Ketchum baptized twelve converts into its 
fellowship. The Board of the State Convention appointed Mr. Jackson 
Smith, a licentiate of Middletown church its missionary at Keyport. 
Mr. Smith gave up the field and in February 1841, the Board was asked 
to appoint Mr. William V. Wilson to Keyport. They did so. Mr. 
Wilson was ordained in May 1841. Rev. Mr. Wilson has lived and his 
ministry has been exclusively in Monmouth county. New Jersey, where 
he has been pastor of three Baptist churches, Keyport, Navesink and 
Port Monmouth, closing his pastoral work January 1, 1892, of fifty-one 
years, being past his eightieth year and pastor of the third church to 
which he ministered thirty-eight years. These fifty years of pastoral 
labor within so narrow a circuit is an indication of the worth of the 
man and of his influence. Himself financially able, churches, missions 
and education were quietly uplifted from depths. 

A meeting house was built at Keyport the first year of Mr. Wilson's 
pastorate. Originally, Keyport church had been constituted as the 
third church of Middletown. Holmdel being the second Middletown. 
But in 1850, the name was changed to first Baptist church of Keyport. 
Soon after settling at Keyport, Pastor Wilson made a regular appoint- 
ment at Middleto-wn point, (now Matawan). He also administered the 
Lord's Supper in school for the convenience of the Baptists 
scattered in the (now Marlboro township). In 1850, Mr. Wilson 


secured the erection of a very neat and conimodius house of worshij) 
in Matuwan. Mr. Wilson resigned in August 1853, after being pastor 
more than twelve years. The growth of the church had been constant 
and the increase was such that a larger and better church edifice was 
necessary and measures were taken to build it. 

In June 1854, Rev. J. Q. Adams entered the pastorate. In little 
more tlian a year, he gave up his charge. Mr. Wilson was called but 
declined to return. After a long interval in the pastorate. Rev. F. A. 
Slater accepted the pastoral charge in the latter part of 1856. The 
resignation of Mr. Wilson delayed the plans for a new house of worship, 
but earnest plans were adopted at the coming of Mr. Slater and the 
meeting house was nearly finished when he resigned in 1862. Next 
December, Rev. A. P. Greaves became pastor; the new church edifice 
was dedicated while he was ministering to the church. His resignation 
took effect in 1864. 

On the next June 1865, Rev. F. F. Cailhopper was called and soon 
after settled as pastor. His stay was but four years. A long interval 
occurred in the pastoral office and the church prospered as much as 
the conditions allowed. Rev. J. K. Manning entered the pastorate in 
October, 1870; held the longest pastoral charge the church enjoyed. 
Resigning in 1883, about thirteen years. The succession of pastors 
since hji,s been: S. K. Dexter, 1883-89; J. D. Crumley, 1890-99. Up to 
1900, the church has had nine pastors, two of whom remained twelve 
and more years each. Several members have been licensed to preach. 
The church has not been disturbed with discord. Deacon Thomas 
Burrowes has been an efficient co-worker with the church and the 
pastors. Equally active in all missions in the vicintiy of the church 
and the Association missions. One church, Matawan has been colonized 
from Keyport church. 

Although Matawan Baptist church is closely related to Keyport 
Baptist church. Baptist interests there antidated the beginnings of 
Baptist movements at Keyport. Before 1830, Pastor Roberts of first 
Middletown church preached in the house of Mrs. Elizabeth Bent at 
Matawan. Pastors J. M. Carpenter and J. Goble of Jacksonville also, 
preached in Matawan. Mr. Carpenter lived in Matawan two years. 
Rev. William V. Wilson, while pastor at Keyport preached regularly 
at Matawan for nearly nine years. Converts there were baptized into 
the membership of Keyport church. Of the thirty-two Baptists who 
constituted the Matawan Baptist church on October 22nd, 1850, twenty 
were from Keyport and a church edifice was built for them by Pastor 
Wilson of Keyport the same year. It would not surprise those who 
know Mr. Wilson if they learned that he was the largest donor for its cost. 


The Matawan church chose Rev. Job Gaskill of Columbus for 
their pastor. Mr. Gaskill was a missionary of the Board of the State 
Convention at work about Matawan. Mr. Gaskill was one of the most 
devotedly godly men and Mrs. Gaskill one of the most active and 
earnest among Christian women. Both of them had ample private 
means and relieved the church of wholly caring for them. Mr. Gaskill 
was a very frail man, though he had immense courage. Only a few 
months sufficed to lay him aside and he was compelled to return home 
Additions to the church greatly strengthened it. Mr. D. F. Twiss 
followed as pastor. But like to his predecessor, he was very frail. 
Sad affiictions befell him. Death claimed his four children. Disease 
preyed upon his companion and hemhorrages warned him of his own 
early death and in October 1853, he resigned to the grief of the church 
and community. He died June 30th, 1857, and entered into his re- 

In June 1854, Rev. J. W. Crumb became pastor. For four years 
he wholly served the chriu'ch. In the last year of his charge a great 
calamity befell the church : their church edifice was burned in February 
1858. The insurance policy had expired days before and the loss was 
total. The loss of the pastor and the burning of their house of wor- 
ship was a concurrence of disappointments, nearly fatal to the church. 
But a conference of neighboring pastors pledged them help in their 
need. Pastor Crumb closed his labors at Matawan in May, 1858. A 
hall was rented and a "permanent supply" obtained. Pastor Slater 
of Keyport assured them of an afternoon Lord's Day service till they 
had a pastor. 

Rev. J. E. Barnes settled as pastor in November 1859, remaining 
two and more years. These years had ample returns. Large con- 
gregations waited on his ministry and his executive gifts wrought to 
complete a new house of worship. A graduate, Mr. R. G. Farley, 
came within a year and was ordained. In the next four years, their 
ncAV church edifice was paid for. The hardships of short and new 
pastorships and of the fire, caused a decline of the membership and of 
the financial and spiritual strength. However, Rev. F. A. Slater 
entered the pastorate in October 1866. In a few years, harvests of 
converts and renewed vigor confirmed the choice of the pastor. Mr. 
Slater was pjistor for twenty-three years. Resigning in September 
1889, on account of increasing infirmities, suffered several years since 
in a railroad accident. 

'vv In January 1890, Rev. C. L. Percy became pastor and closed his 
charge in October 1894. Two members of the church (women) sailed 
in 1892, for mission work in India. Pastor H. J. Whalen settled in 


Junuiiry 1895 and resigned in January 1S99. On the next June, Kev. 
J. Y. Irving accepted a call to be pastor. 

While the church has hopeful prospects, the commercial and 
business future of the town does not indicate an extensive growth. If 
William V. Wilson is included as pastor, the church has had ten pastors. 
Two houses of worship have been in use. The first built in 1850 and 
burned in 1858; another now in use. There is not a published state- 
ment of members having been licensed to preach and yet, two female 
members are in India as missionaries. 




Shrewsbury in which Red Bank is located had been for many 
years, an unkno^\ai land to Baptists. Red Bank was a small village 
in 1843. Since the ministry of Samuel Morgan, nephew of Abel 
Morgan, who followed his uncle Abel Morgan when he had died, as 
pastor of first Middletown, there had not been Baptist preaching in 
Shrewsbury, except the monthly service by Ptistor D. B. Stout of first 
iNIiddletown at Red Bank. Abel Morgan went everywhere preaching 
and if doors were shut, he opened them, going in without invitation. 
Long Branch(East) was one of his stations. Samuel Morgan kept up 
the appointment and gathered many converts. 

Mr. Bennett, who followed Samuel Morgan as pastor of Middle- 
town church dropped all the out appointments of his predecessors and 
attended to his farm, more than to cultivating spiritual fields. AVith- 
out meaning to misrepresent him, he looked after himself rather than 
after the Kingdom of God. Politics ended his ministerial career and 
thus it happened that Shrewsbury was lost to the Baptists and the 
covetous greed of a preacher, also lost the labors of more than fifty 

The first pastor and missionary at Red Bank renewed the appoint- 
ment of the Morgans at Long Branch, and meeting descendants of the 
early Baptists, was glad to hear the ministries of their fathers and 
mothers, who had told him that their ancestors were Baptists, but 
being "left out in the cold," had nowhere else to go than to other 

The MiddletowTi shore of the Navesink river was lined with Baptist 
families, but on this side of the river only nine Baptists lived in Red 
Bank, and two east of here. The Episcopal and Presbyterian churches 
were in the village of Shrewsbury, also the "Friends' Meeting." A 
Methodist church was in Rumson; another below Long Branch; and a 
houseless interest of the Methodist family below Red Bank. Pastor 
Stout of Middletowm preached here in the "Forum" once in each month; 
also Mr. Taylor of Shrewsbury monthly. These were the only regular 
religious services in Red Bank up to November, 1843. 

At the meeting of the Board of the New Jersey Baptist State 
Convention with the New Jersey Baptist A.ssociation in Jacobstown, 
September 12th, 1843, Pastors Stout of Middletown, Hires of Holmdel, 


and Wilson of Kcyport, called attention to Red Bank and Shrewsbury 
as a mission field. Unbeknown to one another, each of them asked a 
young man to visit Red Bank and vicinity. Impressed with this 
concurrent request the yoimg man whom they asked, invited a mutual 
conference, when it was arranged for him to visit Red Bank. 

God was in this thing. For many months he had been looking 
for a place. He had traversed a large part of eastern Pennsylvania 
and middle and west Jersey; not for a church, — for he had from the 
first determined that he would not follow any one in the pastoral office, 
and would therefore settle in a new and unoccupied field and have 
only the one life-long settlement. He had also a choice of locality, 
and a decided preference like to that of John the Baptist — a place where 
there "was much water." As yet he had not seen the place to suit 
him. When, however, he came here, saw these hills and plain and 
people and river he said to himself: "I have found it. Here I come 
and stay and die." 

In October, 1843, the Board of the State Convention appointed 
him, T. S. Griffiths, their missionary in this region for six months. 
Returning to Red Bank, he began his ministry on the evening of No- 
vember 17th, 1843, with a congregation of thirty-three persons. 

Prior to his coming back our Methodist brethren had suddenly 
awakened to the great importance of this field. It is usually so. How- 
ever long a place is left desolate, if Baptists enter it other names of the 
Christian family quickly discover the need of its people of their 
doctrinal ideas. There may be two reasons for this — first, the Baptists 
are good leaders; second, they are safe to follow. 

The pastor's salary was about two hunderd dollars, and he must 
needs keep a horse. And yet he not only did not lack any needful 
thing, but always had great abundance and avoided the plague of debt. 

Large salaries were not given nor expected by pastors in New 
Jersey till later years. But the salary was not an index of income. 
Really, the pastors then had larger revenues than now, and those 
who remained long in the state rarely failed to lay by a store for retired 
life. The longer settlements of former days were due largely to the bond 
of mutual interest and love which these tokens expressed. The brisiness 
feature of pastoral settlements in these times is the most satisfactory 
explanation of their short and uncertain tenure. It will always be, 
that pastors who impress the people that their "living" is secondary 
to their "service" will have a place in their hearts and a share of their 
substance, which very practically verifies the Scripture. "The laborer 
is worthy of his reward." 

The early settlers of Shrewsbury differed from those in other parts 



of Monmouth County, chiefly Quakers. They gave caste to the religious 
ideas of the people. Other denominations made but little progress. 
When Hicksitism absorbed Quakerism, but few remained of the Ortho- 
dox "Friends." The door was opened at the widest for infidelity, 
especially in communities. Red Bank, although having 
neither a house of worship, nor a church organization was leavened 
with evangelical sentiment. Numerous members of neighboring 
churches being residents in the place. 

The missionary of the convention labored almost a year before 
the Baptist church was organized. This delay was caused by the 
opposition of the Baptist household across the river. Generous offers 
were made to the missionary if he would leave the field, it being insisted 
that a Baptist church in Red Bank would seriously impair the member- 
ship and influence of first Middletown church. Neither did all of the 
resident Baptists approve the movement. Nevertheless, a Baptist 
church was formed of fourteen constituents on August 7th, 1844. The 
missionary was also, at a later date, ordained as pastor. Lots were 
bought and the walls of the basement were built and paid for. The 
house, however, was not completed and dedicated until 1849. The 
same opposition to the completion of the building delayed it, as had 
hindered the organization of the church. For some time, the Secretary 
of the American Baptist Home Mission Societ)^ had been impressing 
the pastor with the duty of going West and take charge of the first 
Baptist church at Milwaukee, Wis. He prevailed in January, 1850, 
when the pastor resigned to go on this mission; very much against his 
own convictions. The labors of this first pastorate were in Inying 
foundations. Usually in winter, he preached at Red Bank seven times 
in the week. In summer, four and five times on the Lord's Day, riding 
twenty miles to different appointments. The church edifice at Red 
Bank was crowded on the Lord's Day. A clergyman of another dt nom- 
ination was baptized and others, active officers in Christian denomina- 
tions were baptized. 

When first constituted, the church was known as the Shrewsbury 
Baptist church, later the name was changed to Red Bank. In August 
1850, Rev. R. T. Middleditch became pastor and held the office for 
sixteen years. Large accessions by baptism and letter from first 
Middletown were received in the winter of 1850-1; those last mentioned 
would have been constituents, but for the opposition made to the 
forming of a Baptist church. Concord and discord occurred at the 
close of Mr. Middleditch's t«rm of office and he resigned. Seventeen 
members were dismissed in 1853 to found a Baptist church at Eaton- 
town, about four miles from Red Bank. Mr. Middleditch giving as a 


reason for this unwise step, his inaljility to occupy the field. Additions 
and improvements were made in the meeting house as occasion required. 
Following Mr. Middleditch, Rev. C. W. Clark settled as pastor in 1868. 
A chapel was built at Leedville an out station in Middlctown in 1869. 
The succession of pastors was: Mr. C. W. Clark, 1868-71; E. J. Foote, 
1871-75; B. F. Leipsner, 1875-82; J. K. Manning, 1883-97; W. B. Matte- 
son, 1897-1904. 

Five members have been licensed to preach. One church, Eaton- 
town, has been colonized from Red Bank. The first of worship 
cost, under the superintendence of Mr. C. G. Allen and with rare econ- 
omy, three thousand dollars. The second, built in the pastorate of 
Rev. J. K. Manning cost thirty thousand dollars. The difference 
indicates growth. Two deacons of first Middletown were among the 
constituents of Red Bank church, father and son, the venerable 
Daniel Smith and Joseph M. Smith. A brother of Joseph was also a 
deacon at Red Bank later. Another Smith, also a deacon in no wise 
related to the former family, had it written of him: 

"Deacon Sidney T. Smith was a very modest man. But he was 
never known to be missing when time or money or hardship was in 
demand. In the torrid heat of summer, or the slush and snow and 
cold of wnter, he walked miles to be in his place, superintendent of the 
mission Sunday-school. 

And of Joseph M., it was truly said: 

"Deacon Joseph M. Smith was a gentle spirit; a man of reading 
and of intelligence and of eminent devotion — a rock; always found 
where you would look for him, and when wanted within call." 

Red Bank has had seven pastors, one of whom served sixteen 
years; another fourteen years. 

Eatonto^Ti was originally a Quaker village. The planting of a 
Baptist church there as early as it was, was a mistake. It began a 
lingering life of disappointment. Had a branch of Red Bank been 
formed and the pastor preached there monthly and social meetings on 
other Lord's Days, in connection with the Sunday school, all would 
have been well. But two male members were identified with the church 
and none of the members had been baptists long. The first sermon 
preached by a Baptist in the town was by a missionary of the New 
Jersey Baptist State Convention in 1843. Religious meeting was not 
remembered by the oldest inhabitant ever to have been held there, 
except a funeral service. Only two church members lived in the place, 
a hu.sband, Methodist, and his wife, Presbyterian. Occasionally they 
went to their o-\vn church. 

A club of men took the "Infidel Investigator," of Boston. As 


colportcirs they distributed the paper. When the missionary asked 
for the school house for preaching, there was a long list of ol:)jcctions, 
most of them, silly, one that other ministers would ask the same liberty. 
They did. Baptists coming to a town opens the eyes of Pedo Baptists 
to their pernicious teaching, and it must have an antidote. Consent 
was given and if "no harm was done the trustees would see." They 
saw and continuous appointments were made. In the winter of 1845 
and 6, consent was given for evening meetings. These continued for 
four months. The missionary riding four miles and back to Red 
Bank every night through storm and mud. Divine power was manifest 
in the meetings. One of the proudest men and chief of the club kneeled 
publicly and confessed his need of Christ. A large number came into 
the new life and the religious caste of the place was wholly changed. 

Ten or twelve years after the building of the meeting house, it was 
to be sold by the sheriff. But seven women, the first baptized of the 
meeting of 1845 and '46, the only members of the church left, pledged 
each other to save it from sale. Other denominations wished to buy 
it. But these women would not sell. One of them rented the house 
and kept up worship in it. About 1871, the pastor of the Holmdel 
church sent word to these women and to certain Baptists living at and 
^near to Red Bank, to meet him in the church at Eatontown on a given 
afternoon of a Lord's Day. A crowded house met him and six hundred 
dollars was raised to support a pastor at Eatontown. 

In 1872, Rev. W. D. Seigfried was secured and the members in- 
creased from seven to sixty in a short time. One of the seven women 
was a grand-mother. While young she was converted. Kindred 
and friends urged her to unite with them, with the Methodist church, 
but she said, "No, the New Testament makes me a Baptist." But 
they said: "There is not a Baptist church in all of this section." "There 
will be before I die and I will wait till a Baptist minister comes along. " 
Youth, middle life, children and grand children came. The venerable 
woman passed, it may be, her seventieth year, was one of the four 
whom the missionary baptized at Eatontown. He welcomed her 
children and her grandchildren and two of her grandsons are Baptist 

Seventeen members united to forni the Eatontown church in 
1853. The pastors were: C. A. Votey, 1853-55; J. Teed, 1856-7, or- 
dained; H. B. Raybold, 1862; W. D. Seigfried, 1872; S. V. Marsh, 1873- 
76; J. Marshall, 1876-80; A. N. Whitemarsh, 1880-84; W. G. Russell, 
1884-86; S. L. Cox, 1887; M. L. Ferris, 1889-93; F. Gardner, 1894-98; 
M. R. Thompson ordained in 1898; O. Barchwitz, 1899-1900. Mr. 
Seigfried became the subject of discipline and was excluded. Numerous 


converts were added under pastors Marsli, Whitomarsh and Marshall 
and expansions at the expense of Eatontown church were begun, chiefly 
by the Trenton Association, a chapel was built at Long Branch on a 
lot the Association had bought in 1874. 

Pastor W. G. Russell of Eatontown resigned in 1886 to accept 
the charge of the Long Branch church, formed by a large colony from 
Eatontown, and Eatontown that had grown strong was again depleted, 
into comparative weakness. An unsolved problem is: the gain of 
pulling down one church to found another. From its organization, 
the Eatontown church has had a struggle for life. Only the pious 
tenacity of a few women has saved it from extinction. While the 
population of Eatontown is as healthful in its habits and as intelligent 
as are other localities, some of its pastors have been bad; which the 
eminent worthiness of others has been essential to redeem the church 
from the condemnation of those "without." Thirteen pastors have 
served the church. Changes in the pastorate have been due to a 
limited salary and is not a fault of theirs. The Eatontown church 
colonized the Long Branch in 1886. 

The rapid increase of population on the sea shore of New Jersey 
from the interior of the country, called attention to the destitution of 
Baptist churches of that section. Between South Amboy and first 
Cape May, there were but two Baptist churches on the sea coast before 
1865, Manasquan and Manahawkin. True, Osbornville and Cape 
May City near by. But Osbornville was back in the "Pines" and 
Cape Island City is on an island at the extreme point of Cape May. 
The Trenton Association formed in 1865, inaugurated a new feature of 
Associational missions for waste places, within its bounds. Pastor S. 
V. Marsh of Eatontown, called the attention of the Missionary Commit- 
tee of the Association to certain lots at Long Branch and they were 
bought by the committee in anticipation of building on them a Baptist 
meeting house. A statement in the sketch of the Long Branch church 
in the minutes of 1891, that Rev. William V. Wilson bought the lots 
in 1873, is a mistake. He loaned to the committee two hundred dollars 
to buy the lots, giving time to collect it. The Association paid for 

Ten years later, 1883, steps were adopted by the Association to 
build a house on the lots. With the generous co-operation of the 
community, the funds were collected and in July 1886, the house was 
dedicated under pastor William G. Russell of Eatontown. To the 
churches of the Trenton Association, is due the credit of buying the 
lots and to building the church edifice at Long Branch. There are 
on the sea shore of New Jersey, now, about twenty Baptist churches, 


all having houses of worship built within its limits through the Trenton 

On February 10th, 1886, thirteen Baptist residents in and near 
Long Branch met and organized the Long Branch Baptist church. 
For months, Pastor Russell of Eatontown was their supply and be- 
came pastor July 1st, 1886. In that summer, plans for a parsonage 
and a baptistry in the church edifice were adopted. Mr. Russell 
resigned in 1891. Succeeding pastors were: C. P. P. Fox, 1891-94. 
The house of worship was nearly destroyed by fire in March 1892. 
But in two years, a larger and better house was in readiness for the 
church. G. B. Lawson followed, 1894-96; George Williams, 1896-99; 
W. H. Marshall, 1899-1900. The pastors at EatontowTi endorsed the 
Long Branch movement and Mr. Russell was the first pastor there. 
Five pastors have served the church. It is but just to credit the Bap- 
tist brethren, sojourners from New York and from other places, 
with generously aiding the church with both their financial means and 
by their active Christian influence alike in building the material temple, 
and in the support of the church, fully sharing in its current expenses. 




Second Middletown is a misleading name . Holmdel was originally 
second Middletown and Keyport was organized as third Middletown. 
This body was fourth Middletown. In 1877, the misnomen was cor- 
rected and Navesink, substituted for second Middletown. The church 
was located in Riceville amid the Navesink hills, south and east of 
Atlantic Highlands. Before 1850, first Middletown built a chapel in 
Riceville in which the pastor preached and where devotional meetings 
were held. Mr. Roberts, the predecessor of Mr. Stout in first Middle- 
town had done much mission work in that vicinity about six or seven 
miles from Middletown village. Intemperance was a universal curse 
along shore of both Navesink river and of the Raritan bay. Pastor 
Roberts had been a pioneer in the temperance cause. 

There was a family of Leonards in this section; Baptists of the 
wide awake active and godly sort. A son, Richard A. Leonard was a 
man of the highest type of practical active piety. He was a deacon of 
first Middletown as his father had been. The son's benevolence was 
very real. It is known to the writer, that in a year, when his crops 
on his farm failed, in place of having nothing to give, he had a note 
discounted in bank for the full sum of his contributions at home and 
abroad and paid them as usual. He was an industrious man, not having 
time for gossip on the -pros and cons of benevolence. A brother called 
upon him for help to build their meeting house, being told where he 
was, the man drove thither and hearing him coming, plowing corn, 
waited till Mr. Leonard was near and calling and telling his business, 
Mr. Leonard exclaimed: "Put me down a hundred dollars," and 
called to his horse "Get up, Bess." His friend was amused; had a 
lesson on not losing time. The writer had also an experience of Mr. 
Leonard's way, at the meetings in Eatontown in the winter of 1845 and 
1846. Though living twelve miles distant, Mr. Leonard would drive to 
the village, with the pastor, visited and prayed with every family in 
the town. It is known to the writer, that a company of fishermen 
were on the shore of the Navesink river talking on the faults of Chris- 
tians. When Mr. Leonard suddenly came from a defile in the hills. 
Seeing him, they exclaimed: "There comes a good man," and he was 
a good man 


The organization of the Navesink church arose from certain in- 
fluences. Two parties were in first Middletown church, positive tem- 
perance men and anti-temperance men: i. e. under given conditions 
they used intoxicants and opposed total abstinence as a condition of 
church membership. The Leonards, a large and influential family 
were very outspoken on the subject of temperance. A serious division 
of the church impended and was only hindered by the organization 
of the Navesink church by the temperance party. In July, fifty-five 
members were dismissed from first Middletown to constitute the Nave- 
sink church. Among the number was Rev. Thomas Roberts, a former 
pastor of Middletown. Mr. Roberts consented to supply the young 
church tiU a pastor was obtained. The arrangement deferred a call 
for a pastor till the infirmities of age, demanded the relief of Pastor 
Roberts, who had ministered to the Navesink church for four years. 
Mr. Roberts died in 1865, eighty-two years old. 

Pastors who followed were: E. S. Browe, 1858-62; W. B. Harris, 
1862-67; J. J. Baker, 1868-79; C. T. Douglass, 1879-85; W. B. Harris, 
1889-93. The location of the church was not congenial to growrh and 
yet, nearly one hundred were added to the church by baptism in its 
years at Riceville. During Mr. Baker's charge, the old parsonage, a long 
distance from the church edifice was sold and another bought near the 
meeting house. This year, also, the name of the church was changed 
to Navesink. Deacon R. A. Leonard died in this pastorate, having 
held the office from the organization of the church till his death in May, 
1877. He was superintendent of Middletown Sunday school and 
then of Navesink till he died, forty-two years. While Mr. Douglass 
was pastor, a new house of worship was built and occupied inl883. 

Important changes were taking place in Atlantic Highlands, in- 
volving the absorption of Navesink Church by one or more Baptist 
churches in centers of increasing population. These interests took 
shape in 1888. It was decided in that year, to divide the church into 
two branches, wdth the expectation that the Highland Branch (now 
first Atlantic Highlands) would soon be constituted a church. Several 
families of the Leonards had already moved there and a very creditable 
house of worship had been built. The Lord's Day morning service 
had also been transferred from RiceviUe to that branch and Rev. W. 
B. Harris, an old pastor, had charge of the Navesink branch church 
till the organization of the "Central Atlantic Highlands," church in 
1893. Thus the Navesink church conserved Baptist interests in this 
field of first Middletown church and l^ecame two Baptist churches. 

In 1889, one hundred and seven were dismissed to constitute first 
Atlantic Highlands church. Four years later, in 1893, "the Central 


Atlantic Highlands churcli". Riceville has thus become the field of the 
Central Atlantic Highlands church. 

First Atlantic Highlands and Central Atlantic Highlands are so 
identified with Navesink church and with each other, that their history 
is involved in that of Naves'nk. A church edifice for first Atlantic 
Highlands was built in 1884. In July, 1888, the Navesink church 
divided itself into two branches and observed the Lord's Day morning 
service and the house of the first Atlantic church. But the incon- 
veniences of this arrangement were so real that morning worship was 
returned to Navesink and the Atlantic Highland branch provided 
supplies for itself. Rev. E. Loux was engaged for that office. The 
Divine blessing was upon his labors and many converts were baptized 
into the fellowship of that "Branch." 

Eventually, one hundred and seven members of the Navesink 
church were dismissed to constitute the first Atlantic Highlands Bap- 
tist church. These and those whom Mr. Loux had baptized were in 
all, one hundred and twenty-six, and the first Atlantic Highlands 
Baptist church was recognized in the ensuing February. In March, 
1890, Mr. Loux was called to be pastor. He resigned for special reasons 
in April 1893. The reasons are given in the history of the Central 
BaptLst church of Atlantic Highlands. Rev. H. W. Hillier followed 
Mr. Loux in 1893, remaining till 1900. Rev. H. S. Quillen settled in 
1899, and was pastor in 1900. The church has not grown as antici- 
pated since its organization and i* is due to two reasons. One, location. 
Family interests determined the choice, rather than the convenience 
of residents. Another, the organization of the Central Atlantic High- 
lands church. To this body the First church contributed forty-nine 
of its members before the resignation of Pastor Loux, indicating the 
better location of the "Central" church. 

The preference of Mr. Loux for the location of the "Central church" 
induced his resignation of the pastorate of the first church. The 
churches are not far apart, but are not convenient to each other. A 
malarial space cutting off the first church from the picturesque and 
healthier resident part of the Highlands. This may, however, be in 
time removed. 

Central Atlantic Highlands Baptist church was constituted in 
April 1893, with ninety-eight members. Pastor Loux of first Atlantic 
Highlands church, preferred tha+ the first church remove to the site 
chosen for the Central church, than that forty-nine members be dis- 
missed from the first church to unite in the constitution of the Central 
church. Inasmuch, as this could not be done unanimously, the other 
alternative was to dismiss the forty-nine who, with one other Baptist 


numbered fifty, making a coustituency of ninety-eight for the Central 
church. With the organization of the Central church, the Navesink 
church disappears, its property was transferred to the Central church. 
Pastors of the Navesink body and all other members are on the register 
of the "Central" church and it is the Navesink church, including its 

In 1893, Rev. F. C. Colby became pastor and a large and costly 
house was begun. It is said to seat more than a thousand persons 
and to have cost many thousand dollars. There is scarcely more evi- 
dence of incapacity than the folly of such an enterprise. The pastor 
ought to have had weight enough to prevent this blunder. There 
was not need of such a house and of its vast cost. The church has been 
burdened by its debt, which but for this mistake, might have been a 
large and efficient body. Mr. Colby resigned in 1897 and escaped from 
a coming woe, a debt that if it did not swamp the church, it was saved 
by a successor at vast cost. The people deserved a better leadership. 
Rev. W. H. Shermer en, ered the pastorate in 1897. Death terminated 
his usefuUness the same year. He was a true and good man. Whether 
hopeless of bringing relief to the church had aught to do with his death 
is not stated. In 1898, Rev. J. S. Russell became pastor and is now 
(1900) ministering to the church. While only nine years have gone 
since the church was organized, three pastors have served the church. 
One of whom died in the year of his settlement. 

Rev. A. B. MacLaurin became pastor in 1901. Under his able 
leadership the large outstanding debt was wiped out. May 1903. 

Much the same causes originated the New Monmouth church as 
originated Navesink church. All of the temperance element had not 
gone into the Navesink church. Many older men and women, who 
in practice, were in sympathy with "Total Abstinence" still thought 
that a "little" for some people as allowable. They had been accustomed 
to its use and to the habits of a former generation. Neither was the 
pastor as outspoken as Mr. Roberts had been and such sheltered under 
his neutrality. Mr. Stout, personally, was right in his views and 
practice. But he loved peace and thus there was a temperance and an 
anti-temperance party in the church. An unhappy condition in a 
church on a moral question. In another body, there would have been 
dissention. Thus it was, that north of Middletown village, sixty-three 
members called for letters of dismission and on April 28th, 1854, organ- 
ized Port Monmouth Baptist church. Rev. William V. Wilson had 
been pastor at Navesink in 1853. Resigning there at the end of 'one 
year, he accepted a call to Port Monmouth in 1854. A house of wor- 
ship was built immediately, on a lot at New Monmouth and in 1899 


the name of the church was changed from Port Monmouth to "New 
Monmouth." The meeting house was opened for worship in January 
1856. An active Christian hfe was early developed. A chapel was 
built at Port Monmouth in 1855. The nearness of New Monmouth 
to first Middletown and if Pastor Wilson had accepted a proposal to 
succeed Mr. Stout, when he had died, in 1875, a return of New Mon- 
mouth church to the mother church would have been effected. Pastor 
Wilson resigned in 1892, having been pastor about thirty-eight years. 

Rev. C. E. Weeks became pastor in March 1892; his stay was 
short. In October 1894, Rev. P. A. H. Kline settled as pastor. But 
he died in the next June, 1895. Mr. Kline was a devoted and emi- 
nently useful minister of the Gospel. With their venerated minister 
living among them, they were in no haste to get a pastor. However, 
in February 1896, Rev. G. C. Williams entered the pastorate. But 
there was a vacancy at the end of a year, when Rev. M. M. Finch took 
charge of the church in December 1898 and was pastor in 1900. New 
Monmouth has a small field, and could be consolidated with first 
Middletown, especially as the cause of its separation in 1854, has wholly 
disappeared and the mother church can as well as not occupy the 
field where two churches exist. 




Many of the settlers in the locaUty of Piseataway were from Pis- 
cataway river dividing the provinces of Maine and New Hampshire 
and they called their Jersey home by that of their New England home. 
Linking thus the memories of persecution and of escape from bondage 
and of freedom. The colonists were usually Baptists and presumably 
had been identified with a Baptist church before their coming to New 
Jersey. Piseataway and Baptists are synomonous. Their early 
history is obscure. Maine was an appendage of Massachusetts, and 
Puritan intolerance could as well reach them in their hiding in the wilds 
as in the nearer dwellings. New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Rhode 
Island were the only colonies in which free speech and free confession 
of God was allowed despite New England's Uttleness and conceit. New 
Jersey by its charter and its colonists assured to its settlers not only 
civil equality and religious liberty, but special educational advantages 
were accorded there only in North America. The first free public 
school was in New Jersey in 1668. (Report of State Board of Educa- 
tion, August 31st, 1879.) 

The charter of Bergen of September 22nd, 1668, granted by Sir 
Philip Carteret, governor of the colony province of New Jersey, "stipu- 
lated that all persons should contribute according to their estates and 
proportions of land for the keeping of a free school for the education 
of our youth." (xn Literature Co., 94, Page 201. See also. Page 191.) 
Prof. Newman in his invaluable history of Baptists in the United 
States says: "It is one of the marvels of history that such a king as 
Charles II. should have sold to such a man as WiUiam Penn, so large 
and so valuable a territory as Pennsylvania on terms so highly favor- 
able to religious freedom and with the certainty that it would be used 
for the freest development of what was then regarded as one of the 
worst forms of radical Christianity." But Pennsylvania and New 
Jersey had pre^'iously been largely settled by the Hollanders, who 
had enjoyed for years, the liberties they guaranteed to their colonies. 
No other colonies had larger freedom. Rhode Island Charter might be 
revoked at any time. 

But the charters of Pennsylvania and New Jersey held Charles II 
and the "Stewarts" under obligations, which even Charles II. dared 
not ignore. William Penn was the son of Admiral Penn, who had 


rendered services to Charles I in the Civil War, which Charles II wa« 
glad to remunerate. William Penn was a "Friend." The Quakers 
stood aloof from the Parliament party and aided friends and foes in 
their need. Anthony Sharp the (writer's maternal ancester) gralu- 
ously clothed the ragged army of Charles I. The Welsh also, were not 
of the Parliament party. These and the Quakers were the chief colonists 
of Pennsylvania and of New Jersey. Anthony Sharp and other wealthy 
Quakers had bought large tracts of land in New Jersey, whither they 
sent their persecuted and needy "Friends" giving them a home. Thus 
the "Stewarts" were under obligations they dared not deny and these 
colonies had claims above any other. At this time, it was well known 
in court and in the kingdom that wealth and position were valueless 
to men who preferred their "rights" to their lives and w^ere ready to 
endure any wrong than deny their Faith; men who knew that conscience, 
duty and liberty arc Divine gifts, which God only may Hmit. 

The thoughtful will note how thus, the minutia of Jehovah's plan 
affects and effects the mightiest forces for the betterment of mankind. 
A lowly, unkno-mi man confers a good upon the hunted Loyalis*^,wlio 
expiates on the scaffold, the wrongs he had committed against the 
"rights" of humanity and a fugitive son regaining a throne, recalls 
the ministry of the lowly man and uses his power to restore to mankind 
the "rights" the Father had denied. 

Judging by their names, the pioneer settlers of New Jersey were 
of various nations. Holland, France, England, Ireland, Scotland and 
Germany were among them, reminding us of the early and constant 
mission of the Gospel "to all men." Neither wife or child is mentioned 
as included in the emigrant company; there were such however. The 
names of but six men are said to have constituted Piscataway church 
in 1686. A year before 1685, a town house was built and the Baptists 
are stated to have swarmed into it and preached. The building com- 
mittee was composed largely of Baptists. Hugh Dunn, a constituent 
of the church, came to the place in 1666; Drake in 1669-70. Dunham 
was of age in 1682 and assumed the leadership. Each of these three 
were lay preachers. John Drake was the finst ordained pastor. In- 
stead of the constitution of the church having been in 1689, Mr. O. B. 
Leonard, authority in such case, states that it was in 1686. The 
same mistake occurs. in the date of the origin of Middletown church, 
commonly, it is said to have been in 1688, it was known to have been 
twenty, if not more years earlier, in 1668. Pastor Stelle wrote a history 
of the Piscataway church in 1746; states that it was organized in 1686. 
Mr. Killingsworth is known to have been in Piscataway in 1686, "being 
a witness to a will" that year, and Mr. Stelle says: "Mr. Killings- 


worth first settled this church about 1686 and preached the Gospel 
to them a considerable time." 

Pastor Drake was ordained 1710-15 and was pastor until 1729 and 
then on account of old age ceased preaching being seventy-five years 
old. He died in 1741, having been pastor nearly fifty-five years, but 
administered the ordinances till his last illness. These data were given 
by Mr. O. B. Leonard whose familiarity with the wills and deeds and 
original sources of information endow him as an authority on all items 
of earlj^ history. The lack of mention of wives and daughters was not 
because of depreciation of them, as this extract shows: 

"The old Constitution of New Jersej', adopted in 1776, provided 
that "All inhabitants of this Colony, of full age, who are worth fifty 
l>ounds proclamation mone}', clear estate in the same, and have resided 
within the coimty in which they claim a vote for 12 months immediately 
preceding the election, shall be entitled to vote," etc. 

"This was construed literally, as admitting all persons, male and 
female, white or colored, having otherwise the proper qualifications, 
to the privilege of voting. When, in 1797, John Condit, of Newark, 
and WiUiam Crane of Elizabeth Town, were rival candidates for the 
Legislative Council, seventj'-five women's votes were polled in Eliza- 
beth Town for Mr. Crane; but Mr. Condit was elected. In the Presi- 
dential canvass of 1800, the partisans of John Adams and Thomas 
Jefferson availed themselves alike of this provision; and females, es- 
pecially where the Society of Friends were in strength, voted in con- 
siderable numbers throughout the State. The precedent was sustained 
year by year. At first only single women voted; afterwards married 
women also, colored as well as white. In Hunterdon county a citizen 
was chosen to the Legislature by a majority of two or three votes, and 
these were cast by colored females. 

"The circumstance which led to the abolition of this custom was 
the gross abuse of the franchise parctised in the contest over the bridge 
at Elizabeth Town in 1807, a bridge from Elizabeth Point to Bergen 
Point across Newark Bay. This bridge would open a route from New 
York to Philadelphia through Elizabeth Town, to the detriment of 
Newark, and, therefore, the Newark people hotly opposed it. When 
the day for deciding the contest arrived (Feb. 10) the excitement was 
intense. Everybody who could pssibly claim a vote was brought to 
the polls — not males only, but females, both white and colored. It 
was charged that not a few of these, by change of dress, voted more 
than once, and this whether worth £50 or not. The population of 
Essex county was computed to be 22,139. Never before had more 
than 4,500 votes been cast in the county at any one election. On this 


occasion the votes polled were 13,857 more than half of the whole 
population. So glaring were the frauds parcticcd that the election was 
set Jiside by the Legislature, November 28th, 1807, and the law author- 
izing it annulled. Tne qualifications of voters also were more strictly 
defined, and none but free white males, of 21 years, worth £50, were 
allowed the elective franchise " 

There were a great army of martyrs who died rather than deny 
Christ. They were an efficient force in our churches were essential 
to the Christian activities of modern times. After Cohansic, their 
names appear as constituents, beginning with first Cape May in 1712. 
The names of the early settlers in Piscataway are multiplied into legions 
and are scattered over nine counties. 

In 1709, the membership of the church was reduced to twenty. 
The secession of Mr. Dunham and whom he could influence to accept 
the Seventh Day theory; the discord growing out of division and the 
activity of the seceders, explain this low estate. Even under the most 
hopeful conditions; the sparse population, the newness of the people 
to each other and to the country allowed small room for church work. 
After the ordination of Mr. Drake, however, a great improvement 
came. The financial ability of the church must have been limited. 
Probably he cared for himself, as the custom was, when pastors lived 
on their own farms or having a parsonage farm, derived their support 
from it. Ordinarily, pastors then acquired a competencey for their 
old age. Some of them had large estates. Missions and benevolences 
were few, the minister shared in abundant benefactions from their 
people. Then too, the habits of living were very plain. Preachers 
were not easily distinguished from their neighbors in either manners 
or dress. Rev. Benjamin Stelle followed Rev. Mr. Drake. He was 
born in New York City and was the son of a French Huguenot. Mr. 
Stelle was ordained when fifty-six years old in 1739. Mr. Stelle was 
an eminent pastor and judge in the courts. Even though one hundred 
years have gone by, his name is revered. While pastor for twenty 
years, until his death in 1759, at the age of seventy-six years, the church 
had continuous enlargement. 

Under his ministry, Scotch Plains, in 1747, was constituted. His 
son, Isaac Stelle succeeded his father in 1752. Seven years before 
his father's death, he was assistant pastor to his father. Immediately 
upon his father's departure, he became pastor, continuing twenty-two 
years till his death in 1781, including the seven years in which he was 
assistant pastor, his pastorate was twenty-nine years. He died at 
the age of sixty-three years. Mr. Stelle was a remarkable man. Pre- 
eminent as a preacher, pastor and missionary to distant parts of the 


country. Morgan Edwards said of him, and he was a most competent 
witness; "I need not pubHsh the goodness of the man or the excellency 
of his preaching. He was remarkable for his travels among the American 
churches in company with his other self, Rev. Benjamin Miller of 
Scotch Plains church, lovety and pleasant were they in life and in 
death they were not much divided. The one, Pastor Miller, having 
survived Mr. Stelle but thirty-five days." 

Rev. Reune Runyan followed Mr. Stelle. He also was of French 
descent; was born in Piscataway; was baptized and was licensed by 
the church in 1771. Mr. Runyan was a great grandson of the first 
pastor, Rev. John Drake. Called to Morristown, he was ordained 
pastor of that body in 1772, serving as pastor there, eight years, re- 
turning to Piscataway in 1780 and became pastor of Piscataway in 1783. 
Morgan Edwards says: "His ministry was -with credit and success." 

The colonies suffered in the Revolutionary War and long after its 
end a constant depletion of men and of means. Middleto\vai by an 
inheritance of thousands of dollars from Jonathan Holmes, a grandson 
of Obadiah Holmes, Sr., alone escaped the exhaustion which imperilled 
our other churches. Piscataway on the line of travel and marches 
between Philadelphia and New York was ravaged by both armies as 
was all New Jersey in the line of their marches. Pastors and churches 
could do little more than "hold on." In 1785, the membership of Pis- 
cataway was only thirty-nine, one less than when he settled as pastor 
in 1783. Next year,however, a special revival was enjoyed in which 
seventy-eight were baptized and the year after, twenty-two were 
added to the church by baptism. In 1786, Henry Smalley Avas licensed 
to preach. Mr. Smalley became pastor at Cohansie and held the second 
longest pastorate charge of a Baptist church in New Jersey. 

Pastor Runyan's oversight of Piscataway was the dividing line 
between periods of weakness and of growth. Up to and after 1800, 
the religious state of the nation was chaotic. A tide of continental 
infidelity that reached its flood in the French Revolution,overflowed 
into America. Jacobin clubs were formed among the people and 
Washington dismissed the French Ambassador, Genet, on account 
of his meddling with the Christian interests of the nation and pur- 
posing to introduce the infidelities of France. All the moral stamina 
of Presidents W^ashington and of John Adams was necessary to over- 
come the influence of France on our new nation. It was a period of 
the Divine keeping of the Christianity of the country, for what it was 
to be, in the relations of the nation to humanity. We cannot be too 
grateful for the elevation of the two presidents, George Washington 
and John Adams, in our early history, especially in their precedence 


of Thomas Jeffcrrfon. Tho tone they gave to the country had matured 
so positively as to have continued in subsequent generations. 

There was an intermission of the growth of spirituality in Piscata- 
way church; when in 1795, the church observed four days of special 
prayer "on account of the coldness and barrenness of the affairs of 
religion." Following this special season of prayer, refreshing showers 
of grace visited the people and this pjistorate of twenty-eight years 
closed amid revival blessings. Mr. Runyan died in 1811, seventy 
years old. Previous to his death, a house of worship was built in 
New Brunswick in 1810, where many members of Piscataway church 
lived and to whom Pastor Runyan ministered as often as his years 
and strength allowed. It must be remembered that pastors in these 
days were hard working men on their own, or on a parsonage farm 
and at seventy years, with pastoral duties and farm work, their 
natural strength was impaired as later, relieved of farm work they 
were not. These mission movements indicate aggression that the 
crises of recovery from the Re\'olutionary War and the anticipation 
of the war of 1812, which bespeaks the reality of vital piety and 
of financial ability. 

On October 12th, 1812, Rev. J. McLaughlin. He was the first 
pastor of Piscataway who resigned before "God took him." Mr. 
McLaughlin lived in New Bnmswick and made another change quite 
important. Preaching in the morning at Piscataway and in the evening 
at New Brunswick. Baptists in the town were thus associated with 
each other and having waited four years, organized a church in the 
city in 1816, composed of at least twenty constituents. Mr. McLaughlin 
supplied the church till the spring of 1817. His measures originated 
the New Brunswick church earlier than it probably would have been 
and is really the chief agency of its constitution. The necessity of a 
pastor wholly devoting himself to the church in the city induced Mr. 
McLaughlin to limit himself to Piscataway, and doing so, remained 
but a few months longer. A contemporary and deacon of Piscataway 
said of him: "He was a man of eminent piety, a good minister of 
Jesus Christ, grave in his deportment and unusually solemn in pulpit 
address." A successor wrote of him: "The memory of his many 
virtues and faithful labors, is still fondly cherished by those who were 
his contemporaries in the church." 

Daniel Dodge became pastor about a year after Mr. McLaughlin 
resigned, entering on his duties October 18th, 1818. Pastor Dodge 
while actively in the ministry, was a foremost man. Not on accaunt 
of being an eloquent preacher, nor educated or endowed with natural 
gifts of foresight and wisdom, but because "sound in faith," and having 


II certain dignity of manner, which impressed people that he was not 
to be trifled with. The first 3'car was a season of special blessing and 
many were baptized into the church. 

But his pastorate, almost thirteen years, was full of troubles. 
Questions, questionable were insisted on by him. One, the lawful- 
ness of marrying a deceased wife's sister. Another, the laying of hands 
after baptism, a Gospel ordinance. These were contrary to the usage 
of the church and greivous to many of the members. Mr. Dodge 
was not disposed to give up his opinions or to assent to any compromise 
with those who differed with him. He was a high-toned Calvinist, 
a pious man and in every way a consistent pastor and preacher. His 
manner and speech expressed self-sufficiency and while neither wholly 
conceited or arrogant, he was certain that he was right. Appeals to 
the Association were his dislikes and finally, by advise of a "council" 
the church yielded in the matter of "laying on of hands after baptism." 
The later years of his stay were peaceful. In fact, the people were 
amiable and consented to harmless traditions, rather than quarrel. 
Mr. Dodge was highly esteemed on account of his integrity. He ans- 
wered to the Apostle's exhortation to be steadfast, immovable, always 
abounding in the work of the Lord, as he understood it. Mr. Dodge 
closed his labors at Piscataway in 1832. 

Rev. D. Lewis settled as pastor in June, 1883. Good men difTer 
on things essential to church membership. Mr. Lewis objected to 
"the laying on of hands after baptism" and to, "that the marriage to a 
sister of a deceased wife was incestuous." Discontent involved in these 
differences induced a spiritual drouth for the time. But in two or 
three years, seasons of refreshing cleared the skies, and showers of 
blessing were renewed. More than one hundred were baptized in an 
associational year. The beloved pastor died in 1849, at the age of 
seventy-three years, having served the church seventeen years. One 
who enjoyed his ministry said of him: "A plain man, unpretentious 
to learning or eloquence, modest and retiring, sound in the faith, seeking 
the honor of his Divine Master and the peace and harmony of his people.' 
The writer knew him well. It could be justly said of him: "A good 
man and full of the Holy Ghost." 

Pastor Lewis lived in Piscataway. After his death, the church 
bought a parsonage lot, some two miles distant from the church edifice 
and built a fitting residence for the pastor. It was occupied by them 
until 1869, when it was sold and a larger and much better one built 
near the house of worship. 

In 1850, Rev. H. V. Jones late pastor of 1st Newark began as 
pastor in April. Mr. Jones was noted for his executive ability. With 


his settlement, dawned an era of lia-ptistic life. At his coming, a new 
era began, realized not only relationship to the whole world, but the 
home field was infused with great activity. Seemingly, a calamity 
occurred on January 1st, 1851. The congregation was gathered for 
morning worship, when fire consumed the sanctuary. While the 
burning was in progress, a meeting was held and most of the money to 
build a larger and modern church edifice was pledged and within a few 
months the building was completed and dedicated at a cost of seven 
thousand dollars. A later pastor writing of Mr. Jones and of his pastor- 
ate says: 

"The ministry of Mr. Jones was greatly honored of the Lord, both 
in adding souls to the church and in raising the membership to a higher 
standard of spiritual life and activity. At no time in its history had 
so much been accomplished towards awakening the spirit of benevolence 
and securing systematic contributions to the cause of Christ. Mission- 
ary societies were formed, and the whole parish was divided into dis- 
tricts with solicitors and collectors in each, so as to secure the co-oper- 
ation of every member. 

"Some time before the close of Mr. Jones's pastorate his health 
so greatly declined as to disqualify him for much of the labor incident 
to so large a field. The Church, cherishing a most hearty appreciation 
of his ministry, granted him from time to time indefinite periods of 
rest, in the hope that he might recoevr his strength and for many years 
continue to go in and out before them, but in this both he and they 
were disappointed, and in March, 1856, he bade a tearful farewell to a 
deeply attached people. 

The first parsonage was completed in the first year of the settle- 
ment of Mr. Jones and a new church edifice was built in the second 
year of his coming and was paid for. 

On October 1st, 1856, Rev. C. J. Page settled as pastor and con- 
tinued for eleven years. His ministry was a continuous blessing. 
One hundred were baptized as the fruit of one revival. The patriotism 
of his people was shown in 1862, when the church voted to allow him 
to serve as chaplain in the Civil War for nine months and continued his 
salary while chaplain. Pteturning home, refreshings were enjoyed to 
the end of his charge in March 1867. 

In March 1868, Rev. J. F. Brown entered the pastoral office. 
Physical prostration and not an appearance of recovery induced his 
resignation in September, 1878. Each year of his pastorate bore fruit 
of his labors, excepting the last, when he was so enfeebled as to be 
almost entirely laid aside' by prostration. Mr. BrowTi was living in 


retirement in 1900 at Mullica Hill, honored and valued, for both his 
work and for his personal worth. 

From 1879 to 1895, Rev. J. W. Sarles held the pastoral office, 
sixteen years. The activities of the church were maintained; the 
Sunday schools were increased; the benevolence of the church was 
enlarged and with rare exceptions, converts were annually added to 
the church. 

This second Baptist church that survives its planting, south of 
Rhode Island, has existed two hundred and fourteen years and has 
had twelve pastors. Four of them had been members of the church, 
converted, baptized, licensed and three were licensed and ordained 
for the pastoral office at their home. Four were pastors respectively, 
fifty, and twenty, and twenty-nine and twenty-eight years. The 
intervals of pastorates rarely exceeded a year and often only months; 
so that the church has had almost continuous pastoral oversight, a 
fact peculiar to itself and to Cohansie. When it is considered that in 
this period was included the settlement of the country; Indian troubles; 
the American Revolution; the flood of French infidelity; the War of 
1812 and the Civil War, the appreciation by these people of the Gospel 
and of their Baptist faith, the wonderment is beyond expression. The 
like is equally true of Middletown and of Cohansie and it is not a surprise 
that such disciples should have endured persecutions, emigrant life, 
more than once, involving the loss of home and country for the truth 
of God and their faith; "not counting their lives dear unto them." 

Including the pastors, whom they licensed and ordained to serve 
themselves, sixteen members have been licensed to preach, one of whom, 
Henry Smalley, was pastor at Cohansie forty-nine years and thus had 
the second longest Baptist pastoral oversight in New Jersey, which 
like to that of John Drake at Piscataway, for fifty years terminated 
only at his death. 

The first House in which the Church worshipped, was built by 
the early settlers of the township. This appears from an item in the 
town records, taken from the official record at Trenton, Liber, 4, which 
we copy verbatim; "January 18, 1685-6. Att the Towne Meetinge then 
agreed yt there should be a meetinge-house built forthwith, the di- 
mensions as followcth: Twenty foot wide, thirty foot Longe and Ten 
foot between joynts." This house stood in a small village now called 
Piscataway town, about one mile south-east of the present house of 
worship, and near the Raritan river. The village was for a long period 
of colonial times the seat of justice for a large extent of territory, ex- 
tending over Middlesex and considerable portions of the counties now 
known as Union and Somerset, It was, doubtless, in this humble 


building that the Church worshipped from its organization in 1686 
till 1748. In the latter year, a house, 40 by 36, was built on a lot of 
four and six-tenths acres, bought of Alexander McDowell in April, 
1731. Morgan Edwards speaks of this house as "a well-finished house, 
but wanting the necessary convenience of a stove." The records of 
the church do not state when this "convenience" was introduced. 
The house stood till 1825, the first year of Mr. Dodge's ministry, when 
it was taken down, and a new and more spacious one erected on the 
same site at a cost of $3, 000. Its size was 52 by 42. This house, 
as already stated, was entirely consumed on the first day of January, 
1851, and on the same spot was erected the present house. Its size 
is 68 by 52, having a gallery on three sides, three aisles, and a recess 
pulpit, with an addition for social meetings and the home Sunday school. 
These four sanctuaries, each larger and better, indicate the growth of 
the church. 

Many efficient churches have gone from Piscataway and they 
have multiplied by scores. Houses of worship were built at Scotch 
Plains and at Samptown before churches were organized at these places. 
Piscataway has been a fruitful vine. Far back in the eighteenth 
century, members migrated into South Jersey, taking their Baptist 
ideas with them and there to they have had fruitage. Essex, Union, 
Morris, Middlesex and New York City may congratulate themselves 
on their Baptist relationship to this venerable body. 

Even the far south shared in its benefactions, through Benjamin 
Miller and Isaac Stelle, who sowed Baptist seed in its wide fields, where 
in the Eatons and Hart of Hopewell, shared. New Hampshire Baptists 
lived anew at Piscataway ; Piscataway renewed herself on the sea shore 
in South Jersey, as did Middletown at Cohansie and at Hopewell and 
in North Jersey, in the south and in New England. These Baptists 
of old times valued their convictions of truth and were vigorous in 
their dissemination, as the best and the only truth of the Christ and 
which the world must know to "inherit eternal life." 

Scotch Plains was the first-born of Piscataway church, organized 
in 1747. Local mission work had developed Baptist strength in the 
neighborhood. Its name was given to the locality in 1685. A few 
Scotch families had moved there in 1684-5 and stayed a short time 
and the name has clung to it since. But few names characteristic of 
Piscataway are among the constituents of Scotch Plains. 

At the organization of 1st Cape May church in 1712, an innovation 
is the names of women as constituents of the church. This was the 
first mention of women as constituents. Since then, there has been 
no exception of the names of wives and daughters as constituents. At 


Scotch Plains, there were seven women and eight men and of them 
were the uncle and aunt of Rev. James Manning, the first President 
and founder of Brown University. Later, he was a member of the 
ehurch, also, the immediate relatives of the five Suttons, brothers, 
all licentiates of Scotch Plains'and students for the ministry as was 
Manning. John Sutton, one of ;the brothers, was an associate with Mr. 
Manning founding Brown University and a foremost man of his day. 
In 1847, Rev. Mr. Locke, pastor preached a historical sermon in which 
he names only thirteen of the fifteen dismissed from Piscataway to 
form Scotch Plains church. 

In 1742, Baptists agitated the question of putting up a house of 
worship at the Plains, though the movement was local, it had the co- 
operation of the mother church. The plan was carried out in 1743. 
Tradition reports that "Scotch Plains lent a hand" to put up the build- 
ing and that it was enlarged in 1758. Were young churches "set up in 
house keeping," the enthusiasm of their first love would be economized 
for growth and the wretched dwarf age, so often realized in the bitter 
struggle of sacrifice to live would be avoided. The Scotch Plains Baptist 
church accepted a fundamental Baptist doctrine of individual libertj' 
to interpret the Scripture. Accordingly, at the first church meeting 
they chose deacons and"Ruling Elders." 

Many Baptist churches in earlier days, held that "Ruling Elders" 
was a legitimate Scriptural office for churches. Since then, views 
have changed and churches manage their own affairs. "Ruling Elders" 
and the pastor was an executive committee, a kind of session, or con- 
sistory, doing business for the church. The notion was a graft from 
Presbyterian or Dutch Reformed churches. The church adopted two 
rules: I. That the office should be perpetual. II. Its duties were 
stated to be: To agree with the pastor about his annual salary; on 
his removal or death to call another on trial; to approve a gifted brother 
who may be a candidate for the ministry; to settle any differences 
among the brethren; to have the oversight of the meeting house and 
parsonage lot; to reser^^e, sue for, or recover any gift made at any 
time for the use of the church. Later the duties were increased for 
a time, to receive or dismiss members. Good people, these were and 
they must have had great confidence in their vestry and enjoyed some 
of the most vexatious business done for them and the church, must 
have been thankful that they had so many good men to trust these 
things to. 

This plan continued for many years. Then, trustees were chosen 
for the conduct of the financial affairs. The "permanent council" 
is akin to the 'Ruling Eldership." This "order" reached to 


and was in Pastor Millers day. His many and long absences from 
home on misson tours may have induced him to assent to this arrange- 
ment for the relief of his anxieties when away. 

The house built in 1743, was in use for fifteen years. It was too 
small for the congregation and was enlarged in 1758 and destroyed 
by fire in the winter of 1816-17. Soon after it was replaced by a larger 
and better sanctuary, wihch again was too small and in 1871, a beauti- 
ful building including all modern appliances for aggressive work and 
adapted in architectural furnishings and musical appointments, needed 
by refined taste and culture. Four houses of worship have been in 
use since 1743. A parsonage property was bought in 1775. The 
dwelling house on it was burned in 1786. Another, built of stone, a 
great improvement in all respects was built immediately. Through an 
increase of population and improvement in lines of travel to centers 
of trade the parsonage property became valuable. The sale of part of 
it made possible the large cost of the new church edifice built in 1871, 
judged necessary if the church would hold its place and command the 
influence essential to its best welfare. 

The church has shared largely with other Baptist churches in the 
labors of eminent pastors, both as respects their culture, intelligence 
and spirituality. Rev. Mr. Miller, the first pastor, when a young 
man was said to be "wild and forward," which means that he was a 
forceful man and had in him the making of a man and all of his later 
life proved him to be a man among men. His career, young and old, 
shows that he had a "mind of his own." While yet "wild and forward," 
he heard a sermon by Rev. G. Tennent, stopped; turned about and 
was made a new creature. Morgan Edwards says: "Mr. Tennent 
christened him, encouraged him to study for the ministry." "But a 
sermon at the christening of a child set him to thinking and to Bible 
searching for authority for Infant baptism. He searched in vain. 
As do all. He became a Baptist, offering himself to Piscataway church 
in 1740; was buried with Christ in baptism." When twenty-five years 
old, the Scotch Plains church called him to be pastor and he was or- 
dained in February 1748. 

Mr. Miller was originally from East Hampton, where his family 
settled. After the English conquest, it declared for no taxationwithout 
representation. The first of the Millers in East Jersey was in 1700, 
coming from east end of Long Island in 1686. Under Whitfield, he 
was converted in the first Presbyterian church, New Brunswick. 

This interim when baptized, in 1740, and his call to be pastor in 
1748, was probably spent in preparatory studies, which he had begun 
before joining Piscataway church. He may have preached for Rev. 


Benjamin Stelle at his out stations. His early associations with Isaac 
Stolle, son of Benjamin Stelle, of Piscataway began in this interval. 
It was a devotion so mutvial, and real as bound the two men for life 
and death. If one left his home the other accompanied him. Living 
for and unto each other, and when death came to one, the other quickly 
followed. Scotch Plains was Mr. Miller's only pastorate, as was Pis- 
cataway Mr. Stella's only charge. Mr. Miller was pastor thirty-four 
years. Mr. Stelle was pastor twenty-nine years. Mr. Miller was 
sixty-five years old when he died. Mr. Stelle was sixtj^-three years 
old at his death. A stone tablet covers Mr. Miller's grave. His people 
loved him and had this inscription graven on the stone: 

If grace and worth and usefulness 

Could mortals screen from Death's arrest 

Miller had never lain in dust 

Though characters inferior must 
The minutes of the Philadelphia Association attest his earnest, 
missionary labors going far, and for months from home on tours assigned 
to him. Isaac Stelle of Piscataway usually accompanied him on these 
trips. The love of these men, begun in early days was wonderful. 
Said Morgan Edwards of them: "Lovely and pleasant were they in 
their lives and in their death, they were not much divided, the one 
having survived the other but thirty-five da3's. Mr. Miller's character 
is hard to be delineated for want of originality (in Mr. Edwards): all 
that hath been said of a good, laborious, and successful minister will 
apply to him." Appointed with Mr. Van Horn of Penepack, Pa., by 
the Philadelphia Association, to visit the Armenian Baptist churches 
of N. C, to have them come into our fellowship. Their visit was a 

John Gano and Mr. Miller were dear friends. Mr. Gano was a 
chaplain in the army and after the surrender of Cornwallis, at York- 
town, Va., he heard of the death of Pastor Miller and said: "Never 
did I esteem a ministering brother so much as I did Mr. Miller, nor 
feel so sensibly a like bereavement." His labors at Scotch Plains 
were very successful. Forty were baptized the first year of its organ- 
ization, sixty-eight in the next year. 

Inasmuch as Mr. Miller had an intimate relation to the beginning 
of the first Baptist church of New York City, it is fitting to quote from 
a historical sermon preached on January 1st, 1813, by its pastor. Rev. 
William Parkinson. Mr. Parkinson says: "Jeremiah Dodge, (originally 
of Fishkill Baptist church, later of New Brunswick, N. J.) settled in 
this city and opened a pra5'^er-meeting in his own house. In 1745, 
(Error in date. Church of S. P., not organized nor Mr. M. ordained. 


Mr. Carman possibly was first in N. Y., after 1745). Rev. Mr. Miller 
of Scotch Plains, N. J., visited the city (possibly on the invitation of 
Mr. Dodge, who had heard of him in his residence at New Brunswick, 
N. J.), and baptized Joseph Meeks. The prayer meeting was thereafter 
held alternately at the house of Mr. Weeks and of Mr. Dodge. 

After 1750, Rev. J. Carman of Cranbury (Hightstown) visited 
them and baptized till their number was thirteen, when they were ad- 
vised (by Mr. Carman?) to unite themselves to the church at Scotch 
Plains, so as to be considered a "branch" of that church and to have 
Mr. Miller preach and administer the Lord's supper once a quarter; 
that was in 1753." 

LTnder Mr. Miller's labors, congregations grew, and they rented a 
"rigging loft on Cart and Horse streets (now William street) which they 
fitted up for worship and used for three or four years. The place was 
sold and as many as could be accomodated worshipped in Mr. J. Meek's 
dwelling for a year. Buying a lot, where the house stood in 1813, 
(Mr. Ayer's house in which Mr. Whitman, the Armenian Baptist minister 
preached) they built a small house of worship and opened it for worship 
March, 14th, 1760 and increased to twenty-seven members. Letters 
of dismission were asked for from Scotch Plains in June 12th, 1762 
and they were constituted a Baptist church on June 19th, following 
Rev. Mr. Miller of Scotch Plains and Rev. John Gano of Morristown 
being present." 

Virtually, Mr. Miller had been pastor in New York City for ten 
years and the place of worship was the second in which they had 
worshipped and if the house built by the Armenian Baptists is included, 
it was the third Baptist place of worship in New York City. For 
four years, after the death of Pastor Miller, "supplies" served Scotch 
Plains church. 

W. Van Horn began as pastor in December, 1785. He w^as a man 
of recognized legal position and of social influence. He was a member 
of the convention to form the first constitution of Pennsylvania and 
had been a chaplain in the army of the American Revolution and thus, 
a suitable pastor to follow Mr. Miller. His pastorate of twenty-one 
years was happy and useful. Not alone in accessions of baptized 
converts, but in the re-organization of the internal affairs of the church. 
The "Ruling Elders" and the "vestry" were supplanted by "trustees." 
The parsonage was rebuilt and better adapted to the pastor's use. 
Once each month for fifteen years, Mr. Van Horn took long and lonely 
rides on bridle paths and preached at Morristown, maintaining the life 
of the church there, so that the Morristown people said of him: "that 
he was the father of the church." At last, broken in health, the pastor 


yielded to necessity and resigned. Having bought a homestead in 
Ohio, he began the exacting, weary journey to it. But he did not 
reach it. He died in Pittsburg in October 1807, and had an abiding 
homestead in the Heavens. 

After another widowhood of a year, the church welcomed Rev. 
Thomas Brown to be pastor. His relation to the church was a con- 
tinuous blessing. His pastoral care was twenty years and his going 
away was a sorrowful parting. Only that he had committed himself, 
it is said that he would have reconsidered his resignation. Mr. Brown 
had been a member of the first Presbyterian church of Newark, his 
native place. As is so universal, the comparison of his Pre.sbyterian 
views with the New Testament, left no alternative but to be a Baptist 
and united with the first Baptist church of Newark. 

Nearly a year went by ere the church found in Rev. John Rogers, 
one, in whom they centered their convictions of his inestimable worth. 
A characteristic of the early churches was their wisdom in the choice 
of pastors. Mr. Rogers was a native of North Ireland altogether 
Presbyterianized from Scotland. Mr. Rogers was pastor of a Presby- 
terian church, succeeding his father in its charge. The New Testament, 
however, had "Baptist chapters." (See Pemberton history for an 
account of the coming of Mr. Rogers to the light. Page — ). In 
the twelve years of his charge at Scotch Plains, the church shared largel}' 
in revival power. The pastor was in heartfelt sympathy with every 
good thing. Home and Foreign Missions were his delight and he was 
one of the constituents of the New Jersey Baptist State Convention. 
New Jersey and New York were united in the New York Association 
and Pastor Rogers was appointed to preach the first missionary sermon 
before the Association. His influence and ministry always developed 
Christian activity. The mantle of his benevolence and active piety 
has fallen upon his son, A. W. Rogers, M. D., of Paterson, N. J., than 
whom few excel in wise plans both for home and abroad. 

When Pastor Rogers resigned , Scotch Plains had a new experience 
The Divine Teacher himself had warned us against deceivers. A man 
who had been Methodist, Presbyterian, and now Baptist, won the 
office of pastor. Tried, exposed, and excluded, he ended a ministerial 
career of a "wolf in sheep's clothing." The independency of Baptist 
churches hastens the exposure of bad men. There is neither bishop, 
conference, or Presbytery to appeal to and delay judgement. Such 
are judged by "laymen," who are neither a class or an order, having 
dignities to maintain. Christians want to believe the best of the bad 
and are easily imposed on, and this explains why they often are. 

Rev. W. E. Locke was pastor 1844-49. Affairs in the church were 


disarranged by the disappointments and discipline of his predecessor. 
He was helped by his self confidence. His estimate of W. E. Locke 
and of his scholarship was sufficiently high. An illustration of his 
Rhetoric occurred in a sermon the writer heard before an association. 
Referring to the office of the Holy Spirit, he exclaimed with enthusiasm 
"and the still small voice of the Holy Spirit will come to him with the 
roar of a lion." A historical discourse at the centennial of the church 
was a creditable history of the one hundred years it memorialized. 
Prior to his resignation, he preached on baptism and disposed of the 
errors of our Pedo Baptist brethren effectively and settled all questions 
of mode and subjects of baptism. Later he resigned and united with 
the Presbyterian Church. His sommersault following his assertion 
of conscientious conviction, had the effect at Scotch Plains, of regret 
that he had not first united with another denomination and then 
preached on baptism. 

Rev. J. E. Rue, who followed Mr. Locke, settled in 1850. In the 
midst of a gracious revival, Mr. Rue was smitten with illness and only 
enough recovered to follow his companion to her burial. Both sickness 
and death, after four years of active and to the church, profitable 
service compelled him to resign and to seek a home in a mild climate, and 
some years later, when visiting near Hightstown, he was called higher. 

Pastor J. F. Brown became pastor in April 1854. He had been 
bom in Scotch Plains in the pastorate of his father. This was the 
second time he had followed his father. The ensuing si.x years were 
gladdened with many returns of his efficient labor. 

On the eve of the Civil War, in December 1860, Rev. William 
Luke entered on charge of the church. All social and religious interests 
were affected injuriously by the excitements of the day. In the six 
years of his pastoral care, Mr. Luke was true to the calls of humanity 
and of country. Alienation due to the political conviction of the 
people pervaded every interest and it was most trying to endure and 
be faithful. On January 1st, 1867, Mr. Luke resigned and two years 
after entered on his reward on high. 

Mr. J. C. Buchanan had graduated from college in 1866 and on 
July 1st, 1867, accepted the charge of the church in Scotch Plains and 
was ordained the next October. His father had been for many years 
an honored deacon of the Cherryville church. The new pastor was 
greeted with tokens of revival blessings. Since the end of the Civil 
War, time had soothed the animosities gendered by it; the way was 
opening for the activities of piety and the drouth induced by the strifes 
of former years was yielding to the hallowed influence of peace. In 
1870, a large and beautiful house of worship was built. It was ded- 


icated in 1872 and included modern appliances. Mr. Buchanan accept- 
ed a call to another church and resigned in 1878. 

The succession of pastors to 1900 is: U. B. Guiscard, 1879-83; 
J. H. Parks, 1883-93; J. S. Breaker, 1894-98; G. M. Shott, 1899-1904. 

Many members have been licensed to preach, mostly in the first 
seventy-seven years of the life of the church. Of these were five broth- 
ers, Suttons, descendants of a constitutent of the church. Two of 
them, David and John, were licensed in 1758 and they were ordained 
at the same time in 1761. John was a foremost man and was appointed 
with James Manning, also of Scotch Plains, by a committee of the 
Philadelphia Association to go to Rhode Island to arrange for the 
founding of BrowTi University. James Manning, first President of 
Brown University was a son of a constituent of the church. Jacob 
F. Randolph was a deacon of the church and licensed in 1791. He 
was pastor at Mt. Bethel, then at Samptown, led out a colony that 
became first Plainfield and was its pastor till he died. O. B. Brown, 
another licentiate, was pastor of the first Baptist church, Washington, 
D. C. In fact there ought to be no distinction by the mention of these 
names. All of them were most worthy men, who "hazarded their lives 
for Christ," and who counted not the cost of sacrifice and service 
for Christ. 

This isolated country church has a large place in the educational 
records of our denomination in America. Two of her sons have had 
committed to them, the question of time, of place, of what and of how, 
the foundations of the educational interests of coming millions should 
be laid. In this particular, the Hopewell church only can be named 
in the same category. That church, having had first committed to 
her the same charge, which was so WTetchedly wrecked for Baptist 
educational interests wrested by a foreign body, from the only colony 
that showed her concern for education, both by her institution of 
schools and by her legacies in and for their support and developement. 


By 0. B. Leonard. 

James Manning comes first into public notice during 1756, as a 
pupil at Hopewell. It will be remembered that this pioneer Seminary 
of learning, founded that year by Rev. Isaac Eaton, under the direction 
of the Philadelphia Association, was the first Baptist school in America 
for training young men in denominational lines for the ministry. Man- 

Dr. Manning 


ning was then a youth in his eighteenth year. His father, for whom 
he was named lived at the time on a farm a few miles south of Plainfield. 
AH early references to Manning's birthplace were made as of "Eliza- 
bethtown," The playground of his childhood was on the level fields 
watered by Green Brook, Cedar Brook and Ambrose Brook, emptying 
into the Raritan at the town of Bound Brook. The associates of 
Manning's youth were children of Baptist neighbors, Fitz Randolph, 
Drake, Dunn, Laing, Martin, Stelle, Smalley and others. 

From the day he commenced his preparatory course of mental 
training at Hopewell till he finished his classical studies at Princeton 
College, Manning was surrounded with excellent instructors and many 
eearnest devoted students, who in after years attained prominent 
positions in church and state. 

Besides these, and foremost of all helpful environments, was the 
spiritual influence of a religious home. His parents were James Man- 
ning and Grace Fitz Randolph. Both were worthy descendants of 
early pioneer settlers of Piscataway and connected with those who 
generations before planted the old Piscataway Baptist church 1686-89. 
The subject of this sketch was led to a serious religious life under the 
pious teaching and example of his instructor. Rev. Isaac Eaton, at 
Hopewell. At the time of his conversion about the close of his Academ- 
ic studies, several of his relatives and family friends were connected 
with the newly organized Baptist church at Scotch Plains. 

From his Academic studies he went to the College at Princeton. 
He graduated in 1762 with second honors in a class of twenty-one men. 
The next year on the 23rd, of March, 1763, he married Margaret Stites, 
a sister of Mrs. John Gano. The Stites homestead was a little hamlet 
four miles from Elizabeth City 

Manning had been authoritatively licensed to preach the Gospel in 
February preceding his marriage. On April nineteenth, a month 
after being married, he was officially ordained to the Gospel ministry. 
Both ceremonies were observed at Scotch Plains. His ordination 
services were participated in by his brother-in-law. Rev. John Gano, 
and Rev. Isaac Eaton, his first instructor, assisted by Rev. Isaac Stelle, 
pastor of Piscataway and by pastor Miller of the "Plains Church" where 
Mrs. Manning's parents were influential members. 

Manning was connected with this church, probably from the date 
of his baptism until the winter of 1764, Nov. 25th, when he transferred 
his membership to Warren in R. I. Here he was instrumental in or- 
ganizing a Baptist church and became its first pastor for six years. 
James Manning was never separated from his New Jersey relations of 
family and church. He remained identified with the Philadelphia 


Association and nearly every year was in attendance at its anniversaries. 

During the summer of 1763, Manning had introduced to several 
prominent Baptists in Rliodc Island the proposition to found in the 
colon}' a "Seminary of Polite Literature" subject to the government 
of the denomination. After some opposition to the project from 
members of the established church order in New England, the Rhode 
Island Legislature granted a charter in February, 1764. 

To James Manning more than to any other one person, should be 
awarded the distinguished honor of being the founder of "Brown Uni- 
versity." While the scheme may be said to have originated in the 
Philadelphia Association, of which Mr. Manning was then a member, 
its development and full realization must be traced directly to his per- 
sistent and untiring efforts. 

In 1770, Mr. Manning moved to Providence, where the college 
was transferred, and the following year he assumed the additional 
duties of pastor of the Old First Baptist church, "preaching with great 
acceptance to an increasing congregation with good satisfaction and 
success." For a period of twenty years he continued the stated min- 
ister of this church, while at the same time he discharged his varied 
and arduous duties in connection with the Presidency of the College. 
That he was able to perform such an unusual amount of labor is account- 
ed for by the fact that he was gifted with a versatility and readiness 
which enabled him to accommodate himself with great facility to every 
variety of circumstance. Rhode Island honored herself in sending him 
as her representative to the U. S. Congress in 1786, at a time when the 
old confederation was about adopting the new constitution. 

Dr. Manning represented the Baptist denomination, on that mem- 
orable occasion several years before in Carpenter's Hall, Philadelphia, 
to which all friends of religious liberty were invited. The convention 
was held October 14, 1774, for the purpose of preparing a memorial 
to Congress for relief from oppression for conscience sake and for the 
legal establishment of ecclesiastical liberty. 

In the midst of his usefulness and at the prime of life he was stricken 
down by apoplexy. He died July 29, 1791, at the age of fifty-three 
years. His wife survived him twenty-four years, and died in her 
seventy-fifth year. They never had any children. Both lie buried 
at Providence, R. I. 

He was symmetrical in form, with a commanding physique, grace- 
ful as a public speaker, with a melodius voice, and though weighing 
nearly three hundred pounds, his large proportions were not noticeable 
in the easy delivery of his full rounded sentences. In a memorial 
sermon preached by his successor, Rev. Dr. Maxcy, is this eulogy of 


his character: "The loss of this worthy man will be felt by the com- 
munity at large. Nature had given him distinguished abilities. His 
address was manly and engaging, his manners easy without negligence, 
and polite without affectation. His eloquence was forcible and spon- 
taneous. His life was a scene of anxious labor for the benefit of others. 
He lived much beloved and died much lamented." Judge Howell, 
of Providence, who was an intimate friend of Dr. Manning, expressed 
as his opinion that the good order, learning and respectability of the 
Baptist church in the colonies were much indebted to his assiduous 
attention to their welfare. The credit of his name and personal in- 
fluence among the denomination had never been exceeded by any 
other person. 

Seven churches have been colonized by Scotch Plains,: first, 
New York City in 1762; Mt. Bethel in 1767; Lyon's Farms 1769; Mana- 
hawkin, 1770; Samptown, 1792; Westfield, 1866. Another colony 
planted a church in Kentucky. In 1748, the year after the organization 
of the church, it was resolved, "That any brother belonging to this 
church and not praying in his family, shall be admonished and if he 
will reclaim well, and if otherwise, he shall be suspended." Has the 
vaunted life and progress of the nineteenth century bettered home 
life? The use of intoxicants at f\mcrals was denounced in 1768. No 
councils have ever been called to settle troubles in Scotch Plains 
church, neither has any serious difficulty occurred. Nine hundred and 
forty have been baptized into the fellowship of the church. 



According to Morgan Edwards, Baptists settled near Morristown 
in 1717. He says: "The Baptist interest in this part of the country 
had its beginning in the following: "About the year 1717, one David 
Goble and family emigrated from Charleston, S. C, They being Bap- 
tists invited Baptist ministers to preach at their house; particularly 
Rev. Isaac Stelle of Piscataway. By his labors and the labors of some 
others, several were turned from darkness to light and went to Pis- 
cataway for baptism. Mr. Stelle and others continued their visits 
and began to have many hearers. To accommodate them the Gobies 
built a meeting house at their own expense, which was converted 
to another use when the present one was raised. The persons baptized 
who had joined Piscataway, were: John, Daniel and Isaac Sutton, 
Jonas and Robert and Malatia and Mercy Goble, Daniel Walling, 
Ichabod Tompkins, Sarah and Jemima Wiggins and Sarah Wiggins, Jr., 
Naomi Allen, Elizabeth Estell, Elizabeth Lines and Sarah Osborn. 
These sixteen persons, after being rele;ised from Piscataway were 
formed into a distinct church, July 11th, 1752." 

Issac Stelle of Piscataway, B. Miller of Scotch Plains, Isaac Eaton 
of Hopewell endorsed their mutual fellowship and constitution as a 
Baptist church. What a wonderful trio of men! Their mark on the 
ages will never be effaced and their memory will ever be associated 
with the Nazarene. Like him is their memorial. The first meeting 
house was built by the Gobies and was located to accommodate the 
constituent members, who all lived on farms in the immediate neigh- 
borhood; none living in the village. In fact, the locality in question 
held at least as many inhabitants as Morristown itself, though a little 
more scattered. Not till a quarter of a century later could Morris- 
town boast of more than fifty dwellings and a population of two hun- 
dred and fifty. 

Pastors Stelle of Piscataway and Miller of Scotch Plains supplied 
the Morristown church for two years until a pastor settled in 1754. 
The church worshipped in the original meeting house for seventy years. 
But it was isolated from Morristown, with the result that its Baptist 
and spiritual influence was dissipated and more; Baptist teaching of 


an open Bible and of the right of each person to think and to teach 
his own convictions of truth and of duty. 

Rev. John Gano of Hopewell and graduate of its school was the 
first pastor of Morristown church, settling in 1754 and remaining three 
or four years, then removing to New York City and becoming pastor 
of the first Baptist church. Could Mr. Gano have remained at Morris- 
town, its early history would have been different from what it is. Abel 
Morgan, Isaac Stelle, Benjamin Miller, Robert Kelsay and others lived 
and died in more retired places and God only can estimate their life 
work and so with Mr. Gano. All that region would have felt the in- 
fluence of his presence. 

The writer copied these minutes from the old minute book of first 
Hopewell church: "John Gano called to exercise his gifts, November 
19th, 1752. He did so, January 20th, 1753. Licensed April, 14th, 
1753, and ordained (at Hopewell) May 29th 1754." The secret of 
the abnormal condition of our Baptist churches in the earlj' days was 
their steadfastness. Their contentions for the "faith once delivered 
to the saints;" sermons and disputations on baptism and on the terms 
of coming to the Lord's table were frequent and had the largest publicity 
whether in Rhode Island in Penepack, or in Charleston, S. C. Rev. 
J. M. Carpenter preserved these incidents of Mr. Gano. He knew 
them as facts. 

Baptist churches, especially guarded against the admission of 
unconverted persons. The first happening at Morristown in Mr. Gano's 
charge was: An old colored woman asked membership in the church. 
Being very ignorant, her case was deferred and thus for six times. The 
last time, going down the aisle, she muttered, "Well, Kate is a Christian. 
By and by, she will die and then she knows she will go to Heaven and 
Jesus will meet her at the gate and say: 'Kate, where do you come from? 
'From Morristown.' 'Have you been baptized?' No, I went to John 
Gano repeatedly and he refused me." Overhearing her, Mr. Gano called 
out: "Stop, Kate, come back here! You are not going to Heaven 
with such a story as that, about me." He baptized her and she was 
an ornament to her profession. Another was: Going from Jersey 
City to New York, crossing the river in an open boat, deeply laden with 
passengers in a fierce storm, the peril of sinking was great. The oars- 
men were most profane cursing because a priest was aboard. Mr. 
Gano was quiet. Landing safely, he turned to the boatman, said: 
"Thank God, there is a Hell for sinners." At midnight, he was awaken- 
ed by the man begging him to pray for him. In six weeks, he baptized 
the man near the place where he had been cursed. These preachers 
were not mealy-mouthed. They used language that signified the 


coming doom of the unsaved. Our great denomination was not built 
up on platitudes of the Fatherhood of God and the choices of the natiiral 

The first candidate Mr. Gano baptized was Hezekiah Smith, the 
New England Baptist Apostle. Later Mr. Smith removed to Hope- 
well and Mr. Gano was a chaplain in the American Revolutionary 
army and heard General Washington say at Newburg, in 1783, that 
''Baptist chaplains were the most prominent and useful in the army." 
A legend in the Gano family is, that: Mr. Gano baptized General Wash- 
ington at Valley Forge in the presence of forty-two witnesses, about 
1780. Later he moved to Hopewell, united with the church there 
and entered the school. The writer copied from the old minute book 
of the church as follows: "Hezekiah Smith, licensed October 22nd, 

In the spring of 1758, Mr. I. Tomkins, who had been a constituent 
of the church and had been licensed to preach, became pastor. These 
early churches frequently licensed and ordained one of their members 
for the pastorate, evincing that they had foremost men among them, 
men of culture and of intelligence. This also had illustration in the 
administration of colonial, congressional and military affairs. In 
fact, the better sort of people, both for intelligence and education 
emigrated to and constituted the masses of the nations settling in 
North America. Baptists had their full share of men competent in 
all respects to manage and develope a nation, whether Huguenots 
of the South, English and Hollanders in the Middle States and 
Puritans of the North. Everywhere from the St. Lawrence, to the 
Gulf, the need developed the men. Mr. Tomkins served as pastor 
till he died, three years. It has been written of him "that he was a 
true man and an efficient pastor. 

Six years passed ere the church called another pastor. Then again, 
one of the members was called to be pastor, whom it licensed and 
ordained for its service; John Walton, entered the pastorate in 1767. 
Rev. Samuel Jones, in his century historical sermon, preached before 
the Philadelphia Association, in 1807, names Mr. Walton as one of 
the eight pre-eminent men of the denomination, who, he says: "was a 
man of superior abilities, of refinement, of winning manners and exer- 
cised an influence of a high character." The type of the members of 
Morristo\\'n may be judged of from these men, chosen for their worth, 
from themselves. Like to his predecessor, Mr. Walton lived only three 
years and was called to his reward in three years, in 1770. Of great 
personal worth as a citizen and Christian, he wisely saw an imperative 
condition to the welfare of the church. While pastor, a lot was bought 


in Morristown and a suitable house of worsliip built on it. He did not 
live to see it completed. It was dedicated in May 1771. 

Six months after Mr. Walton's death, a licentiate of Piscataway 
was called to be pastor, Mr. lleune Runyon. He was ordained in 
1771, and served the church eight years. In the American Revolution, 
there was not any report of the church for several years. But in those 
reported, thirty-four were baptized. While Mr. Runyon was pastor, 
the church doubled its membership. There was a kind of alliance 
between Schooley's Mountain church and Morristown in Mr. Runyon's 
charge, which was equivalent to a suspension at Schooley's Mountain. 
The matter is quite obscure. 

After Mr. Runyon resigned, supplies ministered for the next eight 
years. Then, Rev. D. Loof burrow settled closing his charge in 1789. 
From then, until 1809, twenty years, the church had only monthly 
preaching. Rev. D. Jayne serving one year of that period, and Rev. 
Van Horn of Scotch Plains preaching for sixteen years, each month, 
till he died. Pastor Ellis of Mt. Bethel supplied Morristown two years 
of this time. In 1811, Rev. John Lamb settled for one year. At its 
end, Mr. Samuel Trott, a member of the church was licensed and or- 
dained for the pastoral office in 1812. He continued pastor for three 
years. Then there was an interval in pastoral ministration for two 
years, when in 1817, Rev. John Boozer settled and was pastor for four 
years. Rev. S. Trott having returned from the West, was recalled in 
1821, continuing till 1826. He was pastor at Morristown twice. 

Mr. Trott's pastorate was an unhappy event. He was a Hyper 
Calvinist of an antinomian type. Positive and an absolutist as con- 
cerned his opinions. Like to other antinomians he knew all worth 
knowing about the secret purposes of Jehovah. The poison with which 
he infected the church caused a paralysis lasting eight years. Later, 
he was a leader in the Antinomian movement. 

The "next eight years was a time of trial to the faithful few. It 
seemed as if the visibility of the church would end. The member- 
ship was reduced to thirty-five and these wide scattered. But Deacons 
John Ball, Ezekiel Howell, J. Hill and William Martin, four of the only 
six male members with some noble women" preserved the church. 
Deacon Ezekiel Howell was clerk of the church, thirty-six years and 
its deacon, twenty-nine years, until his death. His son, Edward 
was clerk forty years and deacon, forty-two years, closing his Avork 
at death. This son, Edward, was the only active male member of the 
church for several years. Deacon Ezekiel Howell withstood division 
and disaster as long as he lived and his son Edward, took his place 
with like courage and saved the life of the church until he was called 


up higher, leaving children, who since lift on high, the banner of a New 
Testament church. The document appended, was found among the 
papers of Deacon Ezekiel Howell and indicates the man of God. It 
was sent to the writer by his son, Edward, but with no intent of this 
publicity. His own handwriting styles it "Covenant, August 11th, 
1782," and signed ''Ezekiel Howell." 

"Eternal and ever blessed God, I desire to present myself before 
Thee with the deepest humiliation and abasement of Soul, sensible 
how unworthy Such a sinful Worm is to appear before the Holy Majesty 
of Heaven, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and especially on Such 
an occasion as this, eA'en to enter into a Covenant Transaction with Thee. 
But the Scheme and the Plan is thine own, thine Infinite condescension 
hath offered it by thy Son, and thy Grace hath inclined my Heart to 
accept of it. 

"I come, therefore, acknowledging myself to have been a great 
offender, smiting my breast and Saying with the humble Publican, 
"God be merciful to me a Sirmer." I come invited by the Name of 
Thy Son, and wholly trusting in his perfect Righteousness intreating 
that for his Sake thou wilt be merciful to my Unrighteousness and wilt 
no more remember my sins. Receive, I beseech thee, Thy revolted 
Creature, who is now convinced of thy right to him and desires nothing 
so much as that he may be thine. 

"This Day do I with the Utmost Solemnity Surrender myself to 
Thee. I renounce all former Lord's that have had Dominion over me; 
and I consecrate to thee all that I am and all that I have; the Faculties 
of my mind, the members of my Body, my worldly possessions, my time, 
and my Influence over others; to be all used entirely for thy Glory, and 
resolutely employed in oljedience to thy Commands as long as thou 
continuest me in life; with an ardent Desire and humble Resolution to 
continue thine thro all the endless ages of Eternity; Ever holding 
myself in an attentive Posture to observe the First Intimations of thy 
will, and ready to spring forward with Zeal and Joy to the immediate 
execution of it. To thy direction I resign myself and all I am a nd have 
to be disposed of by thee in such manner as thou shalt in thine infinite 
Wisdom judge most subservient to the purposes of thy Glory; to thee 
I leave the management of all Events & Say without reserve "Not my 
will, but thine, be done," rejoicing with a loyal heart in thine unlimited 
government what ought to be the Delight of the Whole Rational Creait- 
ation. Use me, O, Lord, I beseech thee as an instrument of thy service. 
Number me among thy peculiar people let me be washed in the blood 
of thy dear Son, let me be Clothed with his Righteousness, let me be 
Sanctified by his Spirit Transform me more & more into his Image, 


impart to me thro him all needful Influences of the purifying, cheering 
& comforting Spirit, And let my life be spent under those Influences 
and in the light of thy Gracious Countenance as my Father and my 

"And when the Solemn Hour of Death shall come, may I remember 
this thy Covenant well ordered in all things & sure, as all my Salvation 
and all my Desire, tho every other hope & enjoyment is perishing; and 
do thou, O. Lord, remember it too. Look down with pity O my heaven- 
ly Father on thy languishing Dying Child, Embrace me in the Ever- 
lasting Arms, put strength and Confidence into my departing Spirit, 
And receive into the abodes of them that Sleep in Jesus peacefully 
and joyfully to wait the Accomplishment of thy great Promise To all 
thy people, even that of a glorious Resurrection, and of Eternal Happi- 
ness in thine Heavenly Glory. 

"And if any surviving friend Should when I am in the dust meet 
with this Memorial of my Solemn Transactions with thee, may he make 
the Same Engagements his own, & do thou graciously admit him to 
partake In all the Blessings of Thy Covenant through Jesus the great 
Mediator of it; 

"To whom with Thee O Father and Thy Holy Spirit be Everlasting 
Praises ascribed by all the Millions who are thus Saved by thee and by 
all those other Celestial Spirits in whose Work and Blessedness thou 
shalt call them to share. " 

Amen, So be it. 

"May the Covenant that I have made on Earth be Ratified in 

August nth, 1782. 

This covenant was made by Mr. Howell before he united with the 

Toward the close of 1834, Rev. William Sym became pastor. An 
immediate change occurred in the church. From the outside, universal 
respect was given to it; the congregations grew; converts were added 
and life infused into the church. Mr. Sym was called to Newark and 
closed his work in Morristown in 1839. His pastorate gave an abiding 
impetus to the church. Antinomianism was cast out not by con- 
tention, for Mr. Sym was a high toned Calvinistic preacher, but he gave 
direction to the currents; faith in God, supplanted fatalism; his sover- 
eignty inspired cheer in efforts for him. Thus as Bancroft has said of 
Calvinism what has been accomplished for the spiritual betterment of 
mankind and for progress of civilization has been done by men of 
Calvinistic ideas. 


A call was given in 1839, tc Rev. W. H. Turton. Ere long, he 
gathered a harvest at an outstation. At this time, came a complication, 
nearly fatal to the existence of the Morristown church. Most of the 
members were scattered in the country. It was proposed to move 
and locate the church in a village four miles distant from Morristown. 
The property in Morristown was ordered to be sold and a church in 
the town had arranged to buy it. But Deacon Edward Howell, living 
in the village where the church was to be located almost alone opposed 
going from Morristown. "A catch" about the lines of the proposed 
lot, gave Deacon Howell an occasion to balk the sale. President of 
the Board of Trustees, he withdrew the Morristown property from sale 
and spent the night driving to the homes of members in the country 
to get a church meeting to reconsider the vote to sell. The plan was 
dropped and the Morristown church is where it is. The meeting house 
had been in use about seventy years and was unfit for use. Another 
was built and dedicated in 1845. Two years after, in October 1847, 
Mr. Turton resigned. In the eight years of his pastorate, the church 
had made substantial growth. A new church edifice had been built. 
Mr. Turton was a very modest and unassuming of sterling worth and of 
"good common sense." 

Months passed, and in 1848, Rev. W. B. Toland settled as pastor. 
He was useful and numbers were added to the church. He closed his 
pastoral care at the end of five years. An unhappy pastorate of eight 
months followed. 

The next pastor's coming. Rev. Josiah Hatt, was a kind Providence. 
An amiable man, intensely earnest, of devoted piety, he soon won the 
confidence of even objectors. For three years he ministered and then 
a dark cloud overhung him and them and Mr. Hatt went into the wor- 
ship of the Upper Sanctuary, on June 16th, 1857. The succession 
of pastors was: C. D. W. Bridgeman, 1857-00; J. B. Morse, 1861-63; 
A. Pinney, 1864-68; E. B. Bently, 1868-73; J. H. Gunning, 1874-77; 
J. V. Stratton, 1878-80. (These many short pastorates had one happy 
result, that of unifying the church by sinking individual preferences.) 
A. Parker, 1881-89; I. M. B. Thomp.son, 1889-95 ;S. Z. Batten, 

In 1857-1858, the house of worship was enlarged and improved. 
The agitation for a larger and better metting house was begun 
under the pastorate of Mr. Parker was accomplished under the 
pastoral care of Rev. I. M. B. Thomson. A change of location was 
effected. The new sanctuary was in entire accord, both with the ma- 
terials of construction within and without, and in architectural beauty 
and adaptation to public worship. In size it corresponded to the 


growth of the church and to the incerased population of the town and 
country. The place was dedicated in November, 1893. "The little 
one had become a thousand." Mr. Thompson closed his laljors at 
Morristown in February, 1895, and was followed that year by S. Z. 

Lessons of moment occur in the record of Morristown church. 
One, the ill effects of short pastorates. Another, the malaria of anti- 
nomianism. A third, the cheer of those who wait and have faith in 
God. A fourth the power of the individual for good. Ezekiol Howell 
and his son Edward are instances. What if the Morristown had been 
swept from its mooring on the Gospel by anti-nomianism! What if 
it had gone to a village four miles away from the center of population 
and business! 

The year in which "the Gobels built at their own expense" the first 
meeting house is not known. The second in Morristown unnder Mr. 
Walton was dedicated in May, 1771. The third was built in Pastor 
Turton's charge in 1845. This building underwent several enlargements 
and improvements. The first house may have cost several hundred 
of dollars. The last edifice cost sixty -six thousand dollars and this 
was the measure of growth and of increase. Three pastors were mem- 
bers of the church, licensed and ordained at its call, Tompkins, Walton 
and Trott. Four pastors closed their ministry at death. One pastor 
had a second pastorate. 

Rev. J. M. Carpenter gave to me the accompanying facts, which he 
caused to be published after Mr. Ford had died. I have the original 
letter of Mr. Welsh, which he wrote to Mr. Carpenter, containing facts 
as published. Mr. Ford was a resident of Morris county, and therefore 
the statement is made in connection with the Morristown church; also 
the obituary notice of Mr. Ford. 

papers of Newark, N. J., there appeared some months ago an appre- 
ciative article upon the talents and worth of Rev. John Ford, for many 
years pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Parsipany, N. J. He was 
a man of abundant labor, of original genius, an intense student of 
Scripture, perfectly familiar with the inspired originals, and a profound 

The circumstances of his baptism are related in a letter to Rev. J. 
M. Carpenter from the administrator, Rev. James E. Welch, now of 

He says As agent of the American Sunday-school Union I preach- 
ed at Boon ton and Parsipany in November, 1839, and spent the even- 
ing with Bro. Ford. At family worship he read his Greek Testament 


with such facihty, that I said to him, "Why, Brother Ford, you seem 
to understand the Greek language thoroughly," He answered, "Yes, 
I think I understand it as well as I do my owai tongue." 

"Well, Brother P., I believe you are a candid man, and will you allow 
me to ask you what you regard as the primary meaning of Baptize?" 
Said he, "It means to dip — to immerse, and nothing else." 
"How do you reconcile your convictions with j^our practice of sprink- 
ling children?" 

"Oh, I have not baptised any children for years. When I learned 
any were expected for baptism, I made it a rule to change pulpits with 
some neighboring pastor, and get him to do the baptizing; and. Brother 
Welch, I have longed for an opportunity to get some Baptist brother 
to baptize me privately." 

"Why, my brother, I could not consent to do that 'as in a corner.' " 
"Then, had you been in Philip's place you would not have baptized 
the Eunuch?" 

"Yes I would; were I traveling in the mountains and fell in company 
with a stranger who should tell me his Christian experience, and con- 
vince me that he was a converted man, and demand baptism, I would 
baptize him; but I would not sneak into the mountain for the purpose 
of doing it privately." 

On Saturday morning, November 17, 1839, I left his house for the 
purpose of meeting my appointment at Whippany and Hanover, when 
he said to me, "I believe I will ride with you a few miles, as I to 
go to the shoemaker's," without intimating to me any expectation 
of being baptized. After we had rode a few miles we came to a stream 
of water. He looked me fully in the face and said. "See, here is water. 
WTiat doth hinder me from being baptized? And / demand baptism 
at your hands." 

"Well, I'll carry out my creed; I'll baptize you." 
"But Brother W., I hope you won't say anything about it." 
"I can make no promises; like as not I shall tell it." 
"I leave it to your Christian kindness not to speak of it for a season 
at least." 

"We alighted, and in preparing I found that he had an under pair 
of pants and shirt on. I rolled up my pants and shirt sleeves as far as 
I could, and into the water we went, and I baptized him." 

After a time the transaction became kno-mi, there was a stir in the 
congregation and the Presbytery, but he continued in the same pastor- 
ate until over seventy years of age, when, according to a long settled 
purpose he resigned. His name is a household word, and his memory is 
cherished by many who knew him. 


The incident is thought worthy of record among the materials 
of New Jersey Baptist History. 

Mr Carpenter writes, "I communicated the baptism to The 
National Baptist (Philadelphia) July, 1876." 

REV. JOHN FORD OF PARSIPANY .—ThAs venerable octo- 
genarian died on the evening of the 31st ult., and deserves more than 
a passing notice. He was a native of Morris county. He entered 
Princeton College, as we have been told, in the Senior year, and 
was regarded as the first in his class. He was graduated in 
1812 with the second honor, missing the first because of his 
recent connection with the college. A few years after this he was 
installed pa.stor of the Presbyterian church of Parsipany, and remained 
in that position until he was seventy years of age, when according to 
a purpose, long before made, he retired from that pulpit. His mind 
was as vigorous at his resignation as it ever was, and he at once began 
to preach wherever there was an opening. His laboi's through life 
and until he was eighty years old were very abundant. It was for 
years his custom to preach four times each Sabbath, and occasion- 
ally five, at points widely distant. He was a rare scholar, having 
made great proficiency in the classical languages, as also in the French 
and Hebrew. When past seventy years of age he studied German 
with great interest and success. With the Scriptures in the original 
tongues he was very familiar, reading and quoting both Hebrew and 
Greek Testaments with entire ease. He was also a mathematician of 
no mean attainments. 

He was a man of original genius often dashing away from the beaten 
track and delighting his hearers with new and brilliant thoughts. An 
intense student of the Holy Scriptures and of the Science of Theology, 
and at the same time not hampered with the manuscript in the pulpit, 
he often soared into the higher regions of true eloquence. He was a 
man of tender affections. There was no kindlier heart than his among 
all the contemporaries, who with him illumined the pulpits of New 
Jersey during the first half of the present century. His sympathies 
were as quick and responsive as those of children and they knew no 
abatement even down to old age. He was a remarkable man, a scholar, 
a preacher, a theologian, a Christian"man, whose decease, although 
occurring when he was in his eighty-sixth year, will cause many hearts 
to feel sad. He did a great work and ho did it well. 
— Sentinel of Freedom, of Newark, January 7, 1873. 

On the twenty-ninth of October, 1767, eighteen Baptists (ten wom- 
en and eight men) were dismissed from Scotch Plains church to consti- 
tute themselves the Mount Bethel Baptist church, Somerset county. 


These Baptists, Morgan Edwards states, "Members of Scotch Plains 
had settled here in early times." A meeting house had been built in 
1761. Their genealogical relation to Piscataway and Scotch Plains is 
indicated by their names. Of them many were Buttons. The house 
of worship was moved in 1768 to a plot the joint gift of George Cooper, 
William Alward and Benjamin Euyart. Mr. Edwards continues: 
In "twenty-two years the church hath increased from eighteen 
to one hundred and one" adding, "It has been a nursery of 
ministers: Rev. Messrs. William Worth, Abner and James Sutton 
sprang up here." The extraordinary rev-ival in 1786 began here 
and spread to neighboring churches. Pastors of Piscataway and 
Scotch Plains preached here very early. In truth, the early settlers 
here abouts were Piscataway and Scotch Plains people. 

Rev. H. Crosslej' was the first pastor for two years; having removed 
and served another church, Mr. Crossley returned to Mount Bethel. 
Of the length of his stay in his second charge, we have no data. His 
successor was Rev. Abner Sutton. Mr. Sutton was a constituent of 
the church and was ordained in January, 1775. Mr. Edwards says of 
him: "He was a solid divine. The Sutton family were remarkable for 
producing ministers. There are five of the Suttons now extant, 
viz., Isaac, John, David, James and Abner. Their progenitor, William 
Sutton was one of the first settlers of Piscataway. He is mentioned 
in the town book as early as 1682." Again there is no data from which 
to know how long Mr. Sutton stayed at Mount Bethel. Pastor in other 
churches, he returned to Mount Bethel; died young, but forty-nine 
years old on Februray 26th, 1791. A great work of grace occured at 
Mount Bethel under his labors in 1786. Seventy-six were baptized that 
year. Considering the sparseness of the population, this was a great 
many. Still pastor in 1786, his pastorate must have been many years. 
Possibly his death terminated both his life and his pastorate. 

J. Fritz Randolph followed Mr. Sutton and was ordained in 1791. 
Mr. Randolph had been licen.sed and baptized at Scotch Plains, where 
he was a deacon also. Mr. Randolph was a pre-eminently useful 
man. His remarkable career of blessing is written in connection with 
the histories of Samptown and First Plainfield of both of which he 
was the first pastor. Mr. Randolph stayed at Mount Bethel three years, 
accepting a call to Samptown his native place in the fall of 1793. 

A succession of pastors was: L. Lathrop, 1794-1805; John Ellis, 
1805-13; when a vacancy of three years occured; Mr. Elliott, 1816-18; 
J. Watson, 1818-26; M. R. Cox (ordained in 1827), 1827-48; E. C. Am- 
bler, 1849-1851. 


In the winter of 1850-51, a remarkable work of grace developed. 
Mr. Ambler baptized one hundred and fourteen into the membership 
of the church. Mount Bethel is isolated and a rural church. Distant 
from a large town, almost a mountainous region and this was an amaz- 
ing work. In May, 1851, eighty members were dismissed to found a 
church at Millington, and having set their house in order called Pastor 
Ambler, who accepted the call. However, Mount Bethel church, in 
December, 1851, called Mr. Timberman and he was ordained in Jan- 
uary, 1852. But Mr. Timberman closed his work the next year. Rev. 
T. H. Haynes settled in 1855, remaining till 1859. Several "supplies" 
ministered at Mount Bethel and a joint pastorate w4th Millington church 
filled up a period of many years till 1900. The location of Mount Bethel 
does not justify the expectation of a large congregation. There have 
been marked seasons of revival and refreshing. Such churches must 
be cared for by the stronger churches and the waste places supplied 
with means of grace. Mount Bethel has had sixteen pastors. Mr. 
Cox was pastor twenty-one years, and Mr. Gibb, the present pastor, 
is in his twenty-ninth year (in 1900). An early rule was that one 
member should not sue another without notifying the church of the 
facts. Another imposed displine for the neglect of the monthh' 
meetings. At first the church edifice was located near Plainfield on 
the land of Captain Dunn. But later was removed to a more central 
site. The life of the church has been peaceful. Independence implies 
the right of private opinion and yet means the best plans and various 
ideas of policy and plan does not imply intolerance, but the cheerful 
assent of a minority. Thus it is that congregational churches have 
more concord and harmony than hierarchical forms of government. 

Nine members of Mount Bethel have been licensed to preach. If 
Mr. Carpenter's tables are correct, five hundred and fifty-seven have 
been baptized into the church. It may be that the mission of the Mount 
Bethel church may be to feed the city and town churches, not alone 
to keep them alive, but to make them efficient and benevolent. 

The Millington Baptist Church was constituted with eighty mem- 
bers dismissed from Mount Bethel Baptist Church in May, 1851. Rev. 
E. C. Ambler being pastor. Millington is in Somerset county, near to 
the line of Morris county. Among those dismissed from Mount Bethel 
were seven Stelles, seven Runyons, seven Dunns, six Smalleys, and 
three Randolphs. These names link these people to Piscataway. 
The first meeting house built for use of Mount Bethel Church was on 
land of Captain Dunn, about three miles from Plainfield. Their Baptist 
faith and religious convictions have come down to present generations. 


Rev. E. C. Ambler, pastor of Mount Bethel Church when Milling- 
ton Church was formed, was the first pastor of Millington Church. 
Immediately after its organization he was called to be pastor and en- 
tered on its charge in May, 1851. Next year a house of worship was 
was Ijegun and dedicated. Mr. Ambler resigned at Millington in 1855 
and was followed the same year by Rev. A. Hopper, serving as pastor 
till 1865. In 1858 a special work of grace was enjoyed. The venerable 
and beloved Z. Crenelle became pastor in April, 1865, continuing until 
January, 1871. 

After him Rev. P. Gibb settled as pastor, in 1871, and was pastor 
in 1900 — twenty-nina years. Affairs have moved on kindly and usefully 
in these twenty-nine years. Seasons of revival have been enjoyed, 
needful improvements to the house of worship made and a parsonage 



At a meeting in Elizabeth on June fifth, 1843, fifteen memljers of 
the Baptist Churches of Scotch Plains, Mount Bethel and Rah way 
assembled and constituted themselves the First Baptist Church of Eli- 
zabeth. Elkanah Drake, a member of Mount Bethel church, was the 
first Baptist resident in Elizabeth, who gathered Baptists into the 
town into a distinctively Baptist meeting, having in mind the organi- 
zation of a Baptist Church. 

Mr. Drake was one of those men, who impelled with the love of God 
and of his truth do not wait for some others to develop Baptist interests. 
Such experiences are an inspiration to seek out those of a like faith and 
to devise "ways and means" whereby they can establish their convic- 
tions of truth and duty. These Baptists met in a "select school room" 
on Union Street. Rev. John Wivill is believed to have preached at 
their first meeting to a congregation of seven or eight persons. When 
a church had been formed, the congregation numbered from twelve to 
twenty individuals, and these engaged "supplies" for regular worship. 
Steps were taken to obtain a place in which to meet. Eventually the 
"select school room" property was bought and reconstructed for a place 
of worship and was dedicated in 1843. 

These Baptists do not seem to have been of the waiting sort. Al- 
ready, Rev. C. Cox, Jr., was called and ordained in 1844, to serve as 
pastor. He continued one year, in which the membership of the church 
was doubled. Rev. E. Conover followed for a year, being predisposed 
to Arminianism his minisry was unacceptable, Mr. Tibbals, a 
licentiate succeeded. He became antinomian and was as uncon- 
genial as his predecessor. These people knew the difference of 
arminianism and antinomianism and did not accept the teachings 
of the pulpit nor were led by their minister hither and thither. It has 
been true of Baptist churches that they know New Testament truth and 
accept it, but repudiate tradition and personal conviction, certain 
that Christ and His truth are of more worth than human opinions. 

A safe, patient and good man, a Baptist, became pastor in 1848, 
and remained to 1850. Financial arrearages were paid; unity was 
realized, and wholesome influences were exerted and Mr. Turton's 
oversight was a period of growth in the elements of strength. Rev. 
J. H. Waterbury settled in March, 1850, and was pastor till 1855. Ill 


with a sickness that laid him aside from his piustoral duties he resigned. 
But the church hopeful of his recovery, declined to accept it and retain- 
ed him as pa.stor till his death in January, 1855. Previous to his illness 
Mr. Watorbury bought and paid for lots in a central location on which 
to build a larger and more suitable meeting house. His sickness, how- 
ever, broke up the plans which had been arranged for with the Board of 
the New Jersey Baptist State Convention and they were laid aside. 

By an arrangement with the Lyons P'arms church, First Elizabeth 
united with that church in a joint pastorate of Rev. T. S. Rogers. This 
arrangement lasted two years and was marked by financial straits and 
discord, so much so that propositions of disbanding in Elizabeth were 
entertained. Rev. I. N. Hill entered the pastoral office in June, 1857, 
Premonitions of a harvest in the winter of 1857-8 cheered all and de- 
ferred action growing out of former fears. Christians of different names 
sympathised with each other in concerted plans. There was not a 
suggestion of the surrender of denominational convictions, but a mutual 
concession of the integrity of the views of each by the others and thus 
there was concert and mutual helpfulness, Mr. Hill became pastor at 
this time. Amid large and strong churches of different Christian names 
they gaA-e welcome and co-operation and words of cheer for the new 
pastor and the disheartened Baptists. The Second Presbyterian 
Church offered the free use of their lecture room in the center of the 
town, to Baptists for their meetings and they shared in the universal 
revival interest. Several were added to the Baptist Church. Spirit- 
ual sunshine and refreshing showers of grace gladdened it. Later, 
a spacious lecture room was built and a house remodeled for a parsonage, 
etc., on the lots Mr. Waterbury had bought. 

After two years of sucessful labor, Mr. Hill resigned and was suc- 
ceeded by Rev. G. W. Clark in 1859, who was pastor for nine years. 
Despite the revival and the refreshing of the former years, affairs were 
uninviting. A debt had been incurred by the erection of the chapel 
and parsonage of nearly their cost, besides the parsonage was a small 
and indifferent building. In fact the outlook of the church was dis- 
couraging. The President of the convention advised Mr. Clark not 
to settle in Elizabeth because the church was at an adverse crisis. 
Nevertheless, he did become pastor. In his charge the membership 
increased, the debt was paid and the first general revival the church had 
known was enjoyed. A mission was established at Elizabethport in 
1862, where weekly social meetings and later in 1877, Lords day after- 
noon preaching was established. The Broad Street Baptist Church 
was constituted in 1866 of forty-eight members dismissed from the 
Firrt Elizabeth church. Pastor Clark resigned in 1869. Under his 


pastorate, Baptist interests in Elizabeth were put on a firm foundation. 

Rev. T. A. K. Gessler took pastoral charge of First Elizabeth in 
1869, continuing until 1880. A larger and better church edifice had 
become a necessity. The position and influence of the church had for 
a long time been impaired by lack of a house of worship, corresponding 
to those of other denominations and becoming the city in which the 
church was located. Through the offer of Deacon Amory of the grounds 
and of a generous subscription for its building, a church edifice was 
built costing scores of thousands of dollars, nearly half of which was a 
debt, imperiling the property and a bar to the prosperity of the church. 
The location, in a suburb, was a mistake. The congregation was 
virtually ostracised. The house was dedicated in January, 1872. 
In 1871, thirteen were dismissed to constitute the Elizabethport Church. 
The mission had been established by Pastor Clark in 1862, and a Sunday 
School later by Mr. Peter Amory. 

After Mr. Gessler resigned Rev. J. C. Allen settled in February, 
1880. In his second year the entire debt, forty-five thousand dollars, 
was paid, indicating the great change that had come in the financial 
resources of the church. Having served the church nearly six years, 
to its satisfaction and profit, Mr. Allen closed his labors in Elizabeth 
in 1886. 

The same year in which Mr. Allen resigned. Rev. C. H. Jones 
entered on the pastoral duties. In three years he retired from the 
pastorate and within a short time Rev. W. H. Shermer held the 
pastoral office. He also gave up his charge at the end of three years. 
In April, 1894, Rev. W, E. Staub accepted a call to be pastor and is 
now (1900) serving in the office. 

Thirteen pastors have ministered to the church. The longest 
charge was ten years, another nine years. Two were errative in doctrine, 
and one, while he may be blameless for a temper with which he was 
born, was thereby disqualified for the largest usefulness. Three church 
edifices have been in use. A property remodeled for its use; second, 
one built in 1858 and a parsonage; third, that now in use. Three 
churches have been colonized from the home body: Broad Street in 
1866, with forty-eight membership; Elizabethport, in 1874, with thir- 
teen members. This body was known as East Elizabeth. Central 
Elizabeth was constituted in 1877. Its relationship is, however, 
indefinite. Central Elizabeth being composed of the debris of the 
Broad Street Church, when it was scattered, and some other Baptists 
living in the city. The original elements of the Central Church were 
really and truly Baptists, men and women to whom misfortune had 
come, entirely independent of their personality or relationship. 


The rail roads from NewYork City in New Jersey brought the 
families and business men in large numbers to the towns and villages 
within reasonable access of business in the city. Some of them had 
accumulated fortunes; a sudden revulsion, lost as quickly as made the 
wealth that had been gained. Elizabeth shared in the gains and losses 
of the other localities to which families came. Various denominations 
had their proportion of these migrations. The Broad Street Baptist 
Church originated with such influences. Men with sudden large wealth 
part with it easily and for schemes that appeal unexpectedly and has 
a promise of ample returns, the more so, if being good men they seek 
opportunity to do good. 

The First Baptist Church was said to be "slow." It may be their 
experience had taught them its value. Fortj'-eight of their members 
caught the infection of "push," not having as yet learned that motion 
is not progress. Receiving letters of dismission they organized the 
Broad Street Baptist Church. A brother doing business in New York 
identified himself with them and gave choice lots and a house of worship 
which with its grounds claimed to have cost one hundred thousand 
dollars was built. Other expenses corresponding were also incurred. 
For a time money was as in Solomon's day when "the King made 
silver to be in Jerusalem as stones." Ere long the straits came, mort- 
gages were put on the property, and the end soon came. A Baptist in 
Newark bought the proprety to hold it for the church for redemption. 
But that time did not come and it was traded for some cheap church 

In 1867, Rev. D. H. Miller became pastor of Broad Street Church 
and was such to April, 1872. On the next October, Rev. H. M. Gall- 
aher was thrust under the load. His call was a dernier resort. It was 
hoped that his peculiar pulpit gifts could command financial resources. 
Temporary relief justified the hope, but with his retirement in 1876, 
the end came and in 1877 the church disbanded. 

In the order of age or beginnings, Elizabethport is entitled to be 
considered. But as inasmuch as "Central Elizabeth" inherits a kind 
of succession to Broad Street probably it may follow with its history. 
There is some confusion of dates, when Broad Street v/as disbanded. 
It was not represented in the Association after 1872 and it is supposed 
to have had a nominal existence until about the time of the organzia- 
tion of the Central Church, in 1877. 

Elizabethport mission was begun in 1862 by the First Baptist 
Church, while Rev. G. W. Clark was its pastor. Deacon Peter B. 
Amory of thelFirst Elizabeth Baptist Church in 1870 built a chapel 
there in memory of his daughter. For this reason the chapel was called 


the memorial chapel. Deacon Ainory before his death had been snared 
in a financial panic that involved his estate including the chapel, so 
that it had to be redeemed at nearly its original cost. 

In 1872, a renaming or reorganization occured in which members 
of Elizabethport Church took part, involving confusion of dates and of 
organizations and obscurity overhangs Baptist movements in Eliza- 
bethport. Rev. H. W. Jones became pastor, and accomplished happy 
results, retiring from the field in 1876. The church edifice proved too 
small to meet the needs of the congregations and the membership 
increased from thirty-six to one hundred and fifty-six. Within a year 
W. H. Marshall settled as pastor. On account of the death of Mr. 
Amory in 1878 and the nontransfer of the "deed" of the chapel property 
to the church, serious trouijle arose and marked changes occured. 

Rev. A. Chambers succeeded Mr. Marshall. At this time a new 
name for the church is supposed to have been chosen, Elizabeth East, 
and a reorganization about 1881 also; a virtual suspension for about two 
years. Two or three, however, held fast and maintained the visibility 
of the church. Rev. T. Outwater settled as pastor in 1883 and the 
new meeting house was furnished in 1885. Mr. Outwater closed his 
work at East Elizabeth in 1888, after a happy and successful pastorate. 

A call to be pastor was given to J. M. Hare in 1888. He held the 
office two years and was followed by F. Gardner in 1890. A work of 
grace adding many by baptism to the church and the payment of all 
indebtedness for their new house were characteristics of 1891 and 1892. 
Mr. Gardner resigned in 1893 and the next Lord's day, W. H. Shermer 
took the pastoral charge, which he gave up in October, 1896. D. B. 
Patterson followed, 1897-99; J. V. Ellison, 1899-1900. Deacon Amory's 
neglect to give the "deed" of the property to the church, having built 
the house of worship, nearh' proved to be a blight on it, and changed its 
prosperity to discouragement. 

Two houses of worship were built by East Elizabeth Church: 
The first designed to be a gift, but redemeed by them; a second, built 
by themselves and paid for. Nine pastors have served the church 
under its various names. 

In its last public statement of its membership, in 1872, Broad 
Street Church reported one hundred and seventy-two members. 
Central Elizabeth in 1878 reported sixty constituents. Letters of 
dismission no doubt were granted to its members when Broad 
Street Church disbanded. Some may have united with the First 
church, others joined Elizabethport, some united with churches of 
other denominations, and as is usual, the indifferent to church 
membership stood aloof; in the event of one-half having thus associ- 


ated themselves and probably others, waited to see if the Central 
Elizabeth Church would sustain itself, and presuming that in five years 
discouragement would largely reduce the members of Broad Street 

There is evidently an intelligent integrity to Baptist convictions 
of truth and to duty, both in those who constitiuted the Central Eliza- 
beth Church and in Broad Street membership, since nearly the entire 
membership of that bodj' is reasonably accounted for. It speaks well 
for the conscientious piety of these Baptists, that so many under the 
depression of the conditions and disappointments were ready to begin 
anew and to lay foundations in Central Elizabeth for a Baptist Church. 
They knew the cost of the patience, self-denial and devotion to build 
up a Baptist Church in a staunchly pedo-baptist communtiy, both by 
the denominational caste of the first settlers and in the centuries of 
education in which the children had been trained in the faith of their 

At the sale of the Broad Street property another church property 
had been exchanged in part paj-ment for it. A Sunday-school had been 
formed in the old building months before the Central Church was con- 
stituted and the Simday-school was called the Central Baptist Sunday- 
school. The Central Baptist Church met for worship in the same old 
structure. At a meeting in this house on June 13th, 1877, steps were 
taken to get the names of those who would constitute the new church. 
In another meeting, sixty names were reported and in this meeting 
Mr. John McKinney was called to be pastor of the church and a council 
was called to recognize the church and to ordain Mr. McKinney, 
who entered on his pastoral duties in October 19th, 1877. 

Few things in Elizabeth Baptist history have happened in which 
God's hand was more manifest than in the coming of Mr. McKinney 
at this juncture to Elizabeth. Young, winsome, intelligent, prudent 
he left an indellible mark on Baptist interests. In 1882 the church 
bought and paid for the propertj' they occupied. He continued Pas- 
tor ten years. Uunder his oversight the church attained a high posi- 
tion, the membership grew,, the mistakes of former years were forgotten. 

It is doubtful if a better choice to follow Mr. McKinney could have 
been made than the choice in July, 1888, of Rev. E. T. Tomlinson, who 
in 1900, is filling the office of pastor. As much as in the first pastorate, 
the Divine hand was directing in the choice of a pastor, so also in the 
second pastorate-, few instances occur in which there is more Providen- 
tial direction. Strength and wisdom have characterized the second 
pastorate and the church has reached an enviable position of influence. 
The house of worship that had been the home of the church since its 


orgaization, was in use until the last Lord's day in 1900, then the 
church moved into the new and the foremost sanctuary in the City of 
Elizabeth. Other houses of worship were larger. Another was vener- 
ated for its antiquity and preserved beauty of former ages, but this 
new Baptist house of praise, with its massive stone walls and choice 
architecture, its multitudinous comforts and conveniences and adap- 
tations for worship was a "thing of joy and a beauty forever." and 
indicated the flight from youth to maturity. The dedicatory service 
being deferred until all indebtedness for its erection was paid. This 
sanctuary is in the central of the city and notifies all that Baptists are 
in Elizabeth, not an adjunct, but in the forefront. Under Pastor 
Waterbury in 1854, this had been an aim, but his death disappointed 
it. The Board of the New Jersey Baptist State Convention had co- 
operated with him in putting our denominational interests on a broad, 
safe and sure basis and though disappointed, the true men and women 
on the field preserved their Baptist integrity and despite adversity, 
and discouragements rarely equalled, have attained their end. A 
lesson is, that there is no field so hard but that Baptists will take perma- 
nant root and stay. Nor a "creed" so fixed and universal that the 
New Testament teaching will not overcome and make Baptists despite 
education annd prejudice. Eight houses of worship have been in use 
by Baptists in Elizabeth and twenty-five pastors have ministered in 
the several Baptist places of worship. 

Two Africo-American Baptist Churches have also grown up in 
Elizabeth: Shiloh, ogranized in 1879, and Union, organized in 1891. 
Both own their houses of worship with large membership. Pastors 
(1900) N. A. Mackey of Shiloh; J. H. Bailey of Union. 




Eleven members of Scotch Plains Church i-cceived letters of dis- 
mission to form the Lyons Farms Church. One other, a member in 
New York City, united with them, making twelve constituents, who 
on the 16th of April, 1769, organized the Lyons Farms Baptist Church. 
Of these, four were women and eight were men. 

A house of worship had been built in 1768. A constitutent of the 
church, Ezekiel Crane, gave the lot on which the meeting house was 
built. The church took its name from the owners of the tract of land 
on which the meeting house v/as built. At the end of twenty years, 
the members had increased to but three more than at the first. Two 
reasons were given for this small growth: One, that a colony of thir- 
teen had been dismissed in 1786 to constitute the Canoebrook Church 
(now Northfield) . Another, that the church was destitute of a minister 
depending on Scotch Plains and converts were added to that church. 

Rev. Ebenezer Ward was the first pastor at Lyons Farms and was 
ordained at Canoebrook in May, 1779. Morgan Edwards says: "and 
on the same year entered on the pastorate at Lyons Farms." Mr. 
Ward resigned in 1782. For the next seven or eight years. Pastors 
Miller of Scotch Plains and Gano of New York City and John Walton 
of MorristoNvn occasionally visited the church . Jacob Hutton was ap- 
parently pastor at Lyons Farms. He is spoken of as in charge in 1783. 
How long he was pastor is unknown. Several years passed when he 
removed before a pastor settled. It is not sure that Rev. Mr. Guthrie 
was pastor at L}'ons Farms. He taught school at Canoebrook and of- 
ten preached at Lj'ons Farms. I'nder his labors there were baptized 
accessions to the church. 

From March, 1792, Mr. P. Bryant supplied the church for six 
months and was ordained in Septemper, 1792, and was pastor for six- 
teen years. His impaired health compelled his resignation in April, 
1808. But the Church was unwilling to part with him and employed 
an assistant pastor, Deacon James Wilcox, whom Mr. Bryant had 
baptized in 1793. The pastor's health failed rapidly and he prevailed 
with the church to have Mr. Wilcox ordained in July, 1808. There is 
no record of when Pastor Bryant died. He was a man of intelligence 
and of culture. While pastor he did some important literary work. 


"Father Wilcox" as he became to be known by his loving people was a 
flitting successor of Mr. Bryant, who nominated him to succeed him. 
Mr. Wilcox was a farmer and continued to be while pastor for the en- 
suing thirteen years, till August, 1821, when oppressed with infirmitives 
he resigned. The title by which he was known, "Father Wilcox", 
indicated the place he had in the love of his people. Having means 
of his own he ministered to the church "at his own costs." This was a 
great mistake, palliated, however, by the limited resources of the 
church. "Mr. Wilcox was a pillar in the church and dearly beloved. 
He died in 1843." 

The succession of pastors was: Thomas Winter, 1821-26; Peter 
Spark (ordained September, 1827,), 1826-36; James Stickney (ordained. 
May, 1836,), 1836-38: B. C. Morse (ordained March, 1839,), 1839-41; 
Jackson Smith (ordained April, 1841,), 1841-43; (An extensive revival 
under Mr. Smith's labors.); William Leach, 1842-46; E. Tibbals, 1846 
(three months, till November); Rev. Jos. Perry, March 7, 1847 to Janu- 
ary 16, 1848; then Rev. Thomas Rogers labored as "supply;" R. T. 
Middleditch (ordained, September, 1848,), 1848-50; J. E. Chesshire, 
1851; J. W. Gibbs, 1853-55 (Mr. Gibb's second pastorate.); 1857-58; 
B. Sleight, 1861-63. A long period of discourgaement. 

But for the interest of Rev. D. T. Morrell of Newark and a licen- 
tiate of his church, W. H. Bergfells, the church might have dis- 
banded. In the winter of 1866, several young people of Lyons Farms 
had been converted and baptized in a revival in the First Baptist Church 
of Elizabeth. In April, at a meeting called to decide the future of the 
church, two converts offered themselves for baptism, in a few days 
others offered themselves for baptism. Letters from residents were 
given in from Elizabeth and other baptisms occured, with the result 
that Mr. Bergfells was called and ordained in November, 1866. While 
pastor a new house of worship was built. The frail constitution of 
Mr. Bergfells, however, made it necessary for him to take long intervals 
and at last to give up pastoral work, which he did in June, 1872, having 
won a "good report during the nearly six years of his pastorate. 

More than a year passed when Rev. S. L. Cox became pastor in 
June, 1873. Inability to support a pastor led to his resignation in 
1874. Next year, in February, Mr. J. G. Dyer was called to be pastor 
and was ordained. He continued two years, to 1877. 

Rev. Mr. Bergfells entered the pastoral office the second time in 
1878, and remaining to 1887, when again his health failed. A vacancy 
in the pastoral office occured for two years and in 1891, Rev. G. C. 
Shirk accepted a call for a year and for the same period Rev. J. W. 
Turner was pastor till 1894. For the third time, Mr. Bergfells. But 


in the third year of this third charge of the same church his health gave 
way and he closed his work in 1896. The church owes an immense 
debt to this devoted man and he is an instance of how real the love of 
God is in a converted soul. The Lyons Farms Church had not in any 
of Mr. Bergfells pastorates been able to give their pastor a "living 

In 1897, Rev. T. E. Vasser became pastor. The successful min- 
istry of Br. Bergfells continues in Mr. Yasser's labors up to 1900. A 
brighter and happier outlook cheers the people. Few churches have 
had a more severe test of their faith and a longer endurance of hardship 
and more discouraging. Their history is an instance of "the persever- 
ance of the saints and their geneology, Piscataway, Scotch Plains 
and Lyons Farms explains in part their tenacity of life and their un- 
yielding maintenance of their Baptist integrity. 

Three houses of worship have been in the use of the church : One 
built in 1768; the second in 1792; a third in the second charge of Mr. 
Bergfells. They speak of the aid given to them by the churches of 
Newark with special appreciation. First Newark was a colony from 
Lyons Farms and though an exception to the apostolic rule (2 Cor. 
12: 14.), it is fitting in church life that the children should lay up for 
their parents. 

Lyons Farms Church has had, excepting pastors of Piscataway, 
Scotch Plains and Morristown, twenty-seven or twenty-eight pastors, 
one has had two charges, another has been pastor three times. Lyons 
Farms has been pastorless many years. Rev. Mr. Bryant had the long- 
est oversight, his successor thirteen years. Pastors Bryant and Wilcox 
served at their own "cost." A gospel that costs nothing is usually 
the most expensive and exhausting. It is not said that other of the 
church members had been licensed than "Father.' Wilcox. Two colo- 
nies have gone out of Lyons Farms, Canoebrook, 1786; (Northfield) ; 
and First Newark, 1801. 

We are indebted to Morgan Edwards for an early account of North- 
field. First known as Canookrook as stated by Morgan Edwards, who 
adds: "The familes are about thirty whereof thirty-five persons are 
baptized and in the communion, here administered the third Sunday 
in every month. No temporality, no rich persons, no minister; salary 
uncertain, but they talk of raising twenty or thirty pounds could 
they get a minister to reside among them. They meet in a school house 
ha\-ing as yet no meeting house. The above is the present state of 
Canoobrook, December 14th, 1789." and adds: 

"The rise of Baptist interests in this part of Essex was as follows: 
About the year 1780, Mr. Obed Durham moved hither from Lyons Farms 


(where he was a member) and invited Rev. Reune Runyon and others 
to preach at his house. After him succeeded Rev. Messrs. Guthrie, 
Grummon, etc., the means took effect and the following persons were 
baptized in Canoebrook, viz.: Moses Edwards, Timothy Meeker, Thos- 
Force, Timothy Ward, Desire Edwards, Sarah Cook, Mary Cory and 
Cantrell Edwards. They joined the church at Lyons Farms, but 
finding the distance too great to attend the mother church, they 
obtained a dismission and leave to become a distinct society. In the 
dismission was included the said Obed Dunham and wife. These eleven 
persons were constituted a Gospel church, April 19th, 1786. One of 
the constituents was a soldier in the American revolution. He and 
his nine sons and two sons-in-law were soldiers in the war. Another 
constituent, Moses Edwards, was a deacon from the organization of 
the church for twelve years and was called then to be pastor and held 
the office seventeen years, until he removed to the West. 

Mr. J. Price was the first pastor of the church, from 1787. His 
successsor preached at Lyons Farms. There is a contradiction of dates 
relative to these pastors and it is vain to try to reconcile them. At first 
the church worsphipped in a school house, later a property was bought 
on which was a dwelling house that was remodeled into a place of worship. 
When this was done is not written. After this it was voted "whereas, 
three places have been proposed in which to build a meeting house; 
Resolved, that three subscriptions be circulated for a building at each 
locality and that the house be built at the place for which the largest 
sum is subscribed and the other subscriptions be void." This structure 
was dedicated in December, 1801. Deacon Ball was making ready to 
build a house for himself at this time and he gave the material he had 
provided for himself. This house was in use till 1868. 

Rev. C. C. Jones was pastor, 1792-94; Messrs. Bryant and E. Jayne 
are said to have ministered, 1794-98; then, Deacon Moses Edwards 
was called to be pastor and he is said by some authorities to have been 
the first pastor of the church. A successor has said of Moses Edwards: 
" He had little learning, read but few books, except the Bible, but 
posses.sed eminent natural gifts; working in the week at his double 
calling of farmer and blacksmith, and on the Lord's day, preached. 
The prosperity of the church under his labors and the warm affection 
with which he was regarded, has not been equaled since" He had no 
stated salary, believed to be a man of ample "means." An instance 
is not recalled in which this policy was not a success. Silas South- 


worth, Peter Wilson, Robert Kelsay, Job Sheppard, Isaac Stelle, Ben- 
jamin Miller, Reune Runyan, James Carman, and John Walton and 
others are instances. 

In 1815, John Watson, having been called, was ordained and 
became pastor for three years. Mr. Watson stood very high abroad 
and at home. Rev. A. Elliot followed in 1821 and was in charge to 
1834. Mr. Elliot was seventy j'ears old at his resignation. Elisha Gill 
settled in the pastoral office in 1835, holding it till 1838. An unworthy 
man was pastor for one year and was followed in January, 1842, by Rev. 
Rev. I. M. Church. 

A remarkable work of grace occured in the first year of Mr. Church's 
settlement from which ninety-six were added to the church by baptism. 
Mr. Church remained four years in this, his first, charge at Northfield. 
In the interim of five years of his first and second settlements at North- 
field, Rev. J. F. Jones and Rev. J. H. Waterbury ministered to the 
church. In 1851. Pastor Church returned and closed his second charge 
in 1853. William Hind ministered, 1855-65, whose infirmities com- 
pelled his resignation and who died September, 1871, seventy-six years 
old. The following pastors served the church: J. T. Craig, ordained, 
September, 1867-70; J. L. Davis, supply, 1870-75; A. C. Knowlton, 
1877-80; A. S. Bastain, 1881-93; E. B. Hughes, 1894; M. F. Lee, 1895- 
96; W. H. Gardener, 1896-1900. 

Mr. Davis began an identity of interests and mutual pastorates 
between Northfield and Livingston churches, serving both churches. 
Rev. William Hind united with Northfield, was licensed and ordained 
in 1855, and pastor ten years. On account of age and sickness, he closed 
his work at Northfield in 1865. Matters are mixed in the historical 
remnants of Northfield and Livingston churches. Pastor Craig 
erected a new house of worship which was dedicated in 1868. 

There is an indifference to dates that discourages attempts to under- 
stand events. Nineteen pastors have ministered to Northfield Church. 
One had been a deacon of the church twelve years and pastor seven- 
teen years. Mr. Elliot gave up his because of his advanced years. Mr. 
Hind also for illness and age. Before the institution of LiAangston 
Church, Northfield was somewhat isolated and of limited resources 
inducing a change of pastors not congenial to the people. Had the 
members been able to care for a pastor, there is no question but that 
his needs would have been fully met. Instance of this is that Mr. 
Edwards received only the "gifts" which his kindly people insisted upon 
as a testimonial of their love for him. Two licentiates of the church 
were called to be its pastors. Deacon Edwards and Mr. Hind. These 
held long pastorates. 


Northfield has sent out throe colonies. In 1810, sixteen were dis- 
missed to constitute a church in Jefferson village, which disbanded in 
1848. Seventeen members were dismissed in 1851 to form the church 
at Livingston. The church formed at Milhurn, constituted in 1858, 
received eight or ten members from Northfield. The account of North- 
fiield nuist not be dismissed as that of a small and out of the way place. 
Its membership included some of the noble and most devoted men and 
women. Such as Obed Dunham, Moses Edwards and Deacon A. Ball 
have few compeers and belong to the companionship of Richard Leonard, 
Henry Ely, Matthew Morrison, Enoch Allen, the Wilsons, Runyons 
and others, whom the AU-Seeing-Eye has noted as those whose five 
talents have won the other five. G. W. Clark, though a licentiate of 
the First Baptist Church of Newark, was baptized at Northfield in 1843 
and for nine years was a member of this church. 

Jefferson Village Baptist Church was a colony of Northfield Church 
constituted in 1810 with sixteen members. It survived thirty-eight 
years. It had two pastors according to associational report, and two 
others not reported. One of whom. Rev. Joseph Gildersleeve seems to 
have served them for a number of years. They had a good house of 
worship. If in their early days they had had foreign help, as a "State 
Convention," to have supplied the means of sustaining a pastor of the 
church could it possibly have survived. Some are reported baptized 
among them. The largest number (if we are correctly informed by 
the minutes of the New York Association) reported in one year was 
twenty-five. The Jefferson Village Church was disbanded in 1848. 
Very often the minutes of the Association said, "no report." The house 
of worship a few years later passed into Methodist hands and was re- 
moved to Maplewood and enlarged. 

A colony from the Northfield church constituted the Livingston 
Church in June 1851 . Seventeen were dismissed from the mother body. 
Rev. J. B. Waterbury first ministered to them, then G. G. Gleason was 
called to be pastor and later was ordained. His stay was six months. 
The church built a meeting house which was dedicated in October, 

In that year Rev. Thomas Davis became pastor in April, 1853. 
Mr. Davis was widely known in New Jesey and was eminently adapted 
to new fields. Northfield and Livingston united under his ministry, 
the pastor preaching alternately in these churches and afterwards had 
a common pastorate. The succession of pastors has been: G. G" 
Gleason, six months; T. Davis, 1853-55; William Hind, 1855; T. M. 
Grenelle, 185G-7; H. W. Webber, 1859; J. B. Hutchiason, 1860-62; 
S. C. Moore, 1865-67; J. T. Craig, 1868-69; J. L. Davis, 1870-78; A. C. 


Knowlton, 1879-80; A. S. Bastian, 1881-92; E. B. Hughes, 1893-95; 
M. F. Lee, 1895-96; W. H. Gardner, 1896-1900. 

There have been fourteen pastors. Nine of them pastors of both 
Northfield and Livingtson churches. One of them was licensed, or- 
dained and minister to both churches. A parsonage was built in 1872. 
Northfield and Livingston are each in Livingston township and not far 

On October 18th, 1858, the Milburn Church was constituted with 
nine members and, inasmuch as Northfield Church dismissed eight to 
ten to unite with others in its organization, Milburn is included as 
having maternity in Northfield Church. In the next December, Mr. 
H. C. Townley was ordained and became pastor. A Sunday School 
was begun in May, 1859. Usually worship was in a hall, but the large 
congregations in suitable weather made it necessary to hold the Lord's 
Day meetings in a grove, so that a church edifice was a necessity. Mr. 
Townley resigned in 1860, having prospered in his labors. 

In October, 1861, Rev. Kelsay Walling settled and labored under 
great discouragement on account of the large indebtness on the church 
property. The house of worship was dedicated in October, 1861. 
On the next December, Mr. Walling resigned to take effect February 
first, 1863, but the church prevailed with him to remain till September, 

In 1865, Rev. J. D. Merrell became pastor and occupied the office 
till 1869. Under Pastor Merrell a work of grace occurred and ninety 
converts were baptized. In January, 1870, Rev. A. Chambers entered 
the pastoral office continuing until June, 1873. Pastors following 
were: A. B. Woodward, 1873-76; C. A. Babcock, 1876-77 (ordained 
in October, 1876). A colony was dismissed to unite with others to 
form the church at Summit. 

H. Wescott settled as pastor in 1877-82. Happily he did not 
depend on a salary and thus was a relief to the church. The improba- 
bility of the church meeting their financial obligations, led the church 
to transfer its property to North Orange Baptist Church by which the 
debt was paid. W. E. Bogart was pastor one year, 1883 ; I. M. B. Thomp- 
son, 1884-89. The house of worship in this term was thoroughly re- 
paired at its original cost and paid for. Rev. F. E. Osborne became 
pastor in 1890 to 1900. The Milburn congregation is in full o-mier- 
sihp of its house of worship, which is unencumbered with debt. 



On June 6th, 1801, nine members of the Lyons Farms Baptist 
Church, resident in Newark were dismissed from that body to consti- 
tute the First Baptist Church in Newark. The minute of the Lyons 
Farms Church was: "At a church meeting held at the Lyons Farms, 
July 24, 1800, we whose names are undersigned, being members of the 
church at Lyons Farms and residing at Newark, obtained liberty of 
that church to open a place of worship there in the town of Newark and 
to attend the same at all times, except on their communion seasons, 
and to consider ourselves a branch of that church." William Ovington, 
John Ransley, Kipps Baldwin, George Hobdey, Michael Law, Mrs. 
Ransley and Mrs. Law, five men and two women. 

An inkling of the ideas of those days in this record is that these 
seven say that they have obtained "liberty of that church." We would 
hardly ask "liberty" to do a good thing. The liberty to do for Christ 
is conceded as an inalienable right of every disciple. A most commend- 
able feature of the above asking was liberty to attend the mission ser- 
vice at "all times" and thus avoid the appearance of harming the 
mother church by absence from its worship, save at its communion 
seasons. These seven disciples had a clear sense of both their obligation 
to the church of which they were members, as well also to the locality 
where they lived. Evidently they were of the right stock to lay found- 

There was nothing to encourage them in the religious predilections 
of Newark. It had been settled by a colony of Connecticut Congrega- 
tionalists, whose anti-Baptist views had expression of the intollerance 
of New England Puritans. The proprietors of Newark patent resolved 
that "none should be admitted freemen or free burgesses save such as 
were members of one or the other of the Congregational chtirches." And 
they determined as a fundamental agreement and order that "any who 
might differ in religion from them and who would not keep their views 
to themseh'es, should be compelled to leave the place." 

The Presbyterians by 1801 had supplanted the Congregationalists 
and got possession of their properties. They did not like Baptists more 
than the Puritans. A leader among them said in 1644 : "Of all heretics 
and schismatics the American Baptists ought to be most carefully looked 


unto and severely punished, if not utterly extcrmininated and banished 
out of the church and Kingdom." (Cramp's Baptist History, page 
306.) The prosepct was not cheering to the seven Baptists proposing 
to plant a Baptist Church in Newark. However, Baptists had secured 
a guarantee of civil and religious liberty in the Constitution of the 
United States that made it safe for Baptists even in Xewark. These 
seven Baptists hired a school house for one year, agreeing to repair the 
plastering and finish painting "ye gable end," as compensation for the 
use of the building. In June, 1801, two women, Joanna Grummon 
and Phoebe Hadden joined to the seven and these nine constituted the 
First Baptist Church of Xewark. The growing town implied increase 
not only from nearby churches, but by converts. Added numbers and 
corresponding strength forced upon the church the necessity of a 
meeting house. Lots were bought in 1805 and in September, 1806, a 
house of worship was dedicated. 

Rev. Charles Lahatt supplied the church soon after its organiza- 
tion. In 1802, he was called to be pastor, remaining until 1806, hav-ing 
the confidence of the church and a happy pastorate. "Supplies" 
ministered until March, 1808, when Rev. P. Thurston became pastor. 
Under his charge numbers of converts were added to the church. Rev. 
Daniel Sharp settled as pastor and was ordained on April 9th, 1809. 
His oversight continued two years and more. A larger house of worship 
was built while Mr. Sharp was pastor and his pastorate was shortened 
by dissentions on account of which he resigned. With his removal, 
the troubles developed very seriously and in the next two years the 
church was brought to a low estate by factional differences. In 1812, 
Rev. John Lamb was chosen pastor and for a year had very little of a 
"lamb-like" experience. 

In 1814, Rev. David Jones entered the pastorate. His coming was 
a benediction to the church. Harmony was restored, converts were 
multiplied and the membership was increased. The seven years of his 
charge was a period of loving and prosperous service. Mr. Jones is 
more widely known by his pastorate of Lower Dublin ( Penepack ) 
Church, near Philadelphia, and the high place he had in the councils of 
the denomination. His successor for two years was Rev. D. Putman 
and after him for six months. Rev. E. Loomis. 

Trouble and sorrow again befell the church. The causes of its 
adversities have not wisely been made public. Larger towns then as 
now absorbed the disorderly element in the churches. Baptists emi- 
grated to America unfamiliar to our ways and quite naturally suggested 
their ways as an improvement and with a persistence that involved 
trouble. Their ideas of religious liberties also were very crude. To 


many it meant license to ha\e their own way and a limitation of their 
liberty to do and to teach their notions was accounted an infringement 
of their "rights," ignorant that "rights" had their limitations of truth 
duty and honor. 

That day was also an era of change. Antinomians and Armi- 
nians were each in search for a crevice in which to get hold. Missions, 
Sunday Schools, temperance, education and religious activities inspired 
opposing parties with great concern for the glory of God and the w^elfare 
of the church. Few of our churches but have had these contending 
elements in either country towns and cities,. Of necessity, therefore, 
they were brought face to face with sharp disagreements. It is a sur- 
prise not that so many of our churches had troubles, but that so few 
had and that when they arose, they were so quickly removed. 

Two years passed ere another pastor settled. In 1828, Rev. J. S. 
C. P. Frey was ordained to the pastorate. He remained two years. 
Mr. Frey had become a Christian among Pedo Baptists, but the New 
Testament made him a Baptist. He published a book on baptism in 
1829. In its preface he states: "At the christening of one of my chil- 
dren, the minister exhorted us, observing: 'These children are now 
members of the church, adopted into the family of God, etc., etc' These 
declarations appeared to me at that moment inconsistent. * * * 
I resolved not to present another child of my own, nor to baptize the 
children of any others before I had investigated the subject, comparing 
the best books on both sides of the question with the word of God. 
I came to the conviction that believers are the only subjects and im- 
mersion is the only Scriptural mode of baptism. Therefore, I offered 
myself to the Baptist Church in New York under the care of Rev. A. 
MacClay, by whom I was baptized August 28, 1827." 

Rev. P. L. Piatt followed Mr. Frey in 1830 and at the end of the 
year went with a colony to form another church, which movement 
proved a failure. For more than six years from August, 1832, Rev. 
Daniel Dodge was pastor. Under his labors the membership of the 
church was nearly doubled. Concord and mutual confidence were re- 
stored. Mr. Dodge was a man of influence in Newark, both in his 
church and in the city, and eminently useful. After he resigned. Rev. 
William Sym entered the pastorate in April, 1839. He was the same 
type of man as Mr. Dodge. The church grew in number and in influence. 
Revivals characterized his pastorate, one of which was of especial power. 
The house of worship was much improved at the cost of thousands 
of dollars. Both of these pastors were men of high toned Calvinistic 
preachers and proved that Calvinism built up strong and active 
churches. It was feared that both of them would slip into the night 


of antinomianism. but they were graciously kept. Neither of them 
made pretense to collegiate study, nor even to academic. They were 
Bible students and knew experimental piety. Their lives accorded 
with their preaching of "temperance, righteousness and a judgment to 
come" and "knowing the terrors of the Lord persuaded men," alike the 
old and the young. Preaching of its kind won men and formed a reli- 
gious character in the Pews which was "salt" and "light" of piety. 

Rev. H. V. Jones succeeded Mr. Sym. Pastor Jones was a man of 
sterling good sence and had a clear idea of the needs of the Baptist 
cause in Newark and of the means essential to its largest development. 
The church clerk in an historical sketch in 1876, having summed the 
data of the growth of the church at the end of the second quarter of 
the centennial period says, "The secret of this advance was a more 
correct idea of the mission of the church, it was, when this body partic- 
ularly under the ministry of Rev. H. V. Jones in the colonization of 
the South church in February, 1850, reaUy apprehended and began to 
act upon the Gospel idea of enlargement by activity, that it began to 
grow." A fitting recognition of the special service of Pastor Jones in 
Newark. Under the wise administration of Pastors Dodge and Sym the 
church had accumulated strength, both in men and in "means," and 
needed most of all a man capable of developing its efficiency. Mr. 
Jones comprehended the people and their opportunity. He was an in- 
spiration and his plans commended him to the strong men of his church 
as a wise and safe leader. His pastorate was from September, 1843, 
to April, 1850. During that time three hundred were added to the 
church, among whom were foremost men in the city, men of wealth 
of large business pursuits, masters in professional and in political circles. 
As the roots of trees in the Spring send out shoots, so to a vital church. 

In the fall of 1849, he (Mr. Jones) said to the writer: "The mother 
church should build and pay for a becoming house of worship and then 
appoint some of her strongest and best members to go out with a colonj' 
that in its beginning could care for itself and be an aid to the First 
Church to do city work." As he said this, we came to the building now 
occupied by the South Church, then enarly finished, and added: "We 
do not propose to establish a "mission" here, but a church which will 
be our helper in like enterprises." Those familiar with the constituency 
of the South Church and its record in Baptist city missions of Newark, 
well know how practically Mr. Jones carried out his ideas of church 
expansion and whether the South church has justified his policy. 
Conducting the writer thence to a comer on Broad street, and pointing 
to an angle^on that street, seen for a long distance, Mr. Jones said: 
'That is the most prominent place in Newark. We are assured that 


when its title is perfected we will own it. The meeting house of the 
First Baptist Church will be built there." It has been said to the writer 
that the Peddie memorial building is on that site. If so, the forecast 
of Mr. Jones was remarkable. The historian of the First Baptist Church 
of Newark has truly said, that Mr. Jones left the church" harmonious 
and highly prosperous." His removal would be a mysterious provi- 
dence did we not know that Rev. H. C. Fish would follow him, whosa 
memory and work will be an everlasting remembrance at home in 
New Jersey. 

The same year in which Mr. Jones resigned, 1850, Rev. E. E. Cum- 
mings became pastor, remaining only a year and resigned for the same 
reason as had Mr. Jones, ill health. Rev. H. C. Fish began his charge 
in 1851 with eminently favorable conditions. Under Pastor Jones 
foundations had been laid, inspiration acquired, direction of local 
activities attained, men of power, of wealth and of appreciation had 
been added to the church, all of which under the executive force of and 
direction of such a man as H. C. Fish would be put to the highest and 
best use. The event proved that the right man had been put in the 
right place. 

Rev. G. W. Clark was asked by the writer to prepare a memorial 
of Mr. Fish, and with some abbreviations is inserted: "H. C. Fish was 
born in Vermont, his father. Rev. Samuel Fish was pastor for more 
than forty years, of the Baptist church in the town in which he and 
his son, H. C. Fish, were born. When sixteen years old, the son united 
with his father's church in 1836. Of studious habits and academic 
training for teaching, the son came to New Jersey in 1840 and taught 
for two years. Impressed that he ought to preach, Mr. Fish entered 
Union Theological Seminary in 1842. Graduating in 1845, the next 
day he was ordained for the pastorate at Somerville on June 26th, 1845. 
The church at Somerville prospered under his labors at and the end 
of five years, first Newark called hbn, (Mr. Cummings having resigned) 
and Mr. Fish became pastor there in January, 1851. His intense 
activity had a result that in almost every month of his long pas,torate 
converts were baptized and great revivals were enjoyed in 1854, 1858 
1864, 1866, 1876, in these revivals there were baptized 106, 236, 125 
152, 224. In other years, scores were baptized. In the nearly 
twenty-seven years of his charge in Newark, more than fourteen hundred 
were baptized and the membership was increased from 340 to 1199. 

In 1851, there were three Baptist churches in Newark (one a Ger- 
man Baptist, the other the South church, both originated under Mr. 
Jones). These three had a membership of five hundred and thirty- 
five in 1877, the year in which Mr. Fish died there were ten churches 


with three thousand and fifty-five members. Mr. Fish had a large 
part in the origin of these churches, that were located in the central 
points of the growing cit)'. 

Pastor Fish's plan of increase differed widely from that of Pastor 
Jones. Mr. Jones would build a substantial roomy house of worship 
as in the case of the South church and colonize a strong church that 
would be an immediate helper in evangelization. Mr. Fish proposed 
cheap chapels for temporary use, to be supplanted by a substantial 
meting house. The first plan commanded attention; invited mem- 
bership and returns were immediate. The last involved delay, repelled 
membenship by the prospect of large future cost. The South church 
was quite as efficient at the first church, in the promotion of Baptist 
interests in Newark, if not more so. 

The increase of the membership and of its congregation of the first 
church required a larger church edifice. A new location was bought 
in 1858 and the house begun. It was dedicated in 1860 and paid for 
in 1863. During the Civil War, 1861-65, the first church was a center 
of patriotic interest. Mass meetings were held in its house and one 
hundred and seventy-two of its members and congregation enlisted in 
the armies. The pastor was drafted and the church sent a substitute 
in his place. 

The denominational, educational interests of the state had a large 
place in the work of Pastor Fish. He was secretary of the New Jersey 
Education Society for twenty-three years and had a primary part in 
founding the German department of Rochester University. Denom- 
inational schools in the state shared fully in his labors. He was one of 
the most devoted friends of Peddle Institute and in the last twelve 
years of his life gave to it, his best thoughts and plans. Through him, 
the foremost members of his church were identified with the school. 
Two deacons, D. M. Wilson and Hon, T. B. Peddle, were presidents 
of its Board. To Mr. Wilson is due the erection of the spacious and 
beautiful building Peddle Institute occupies. Mr. Peddle followed 
as President at Mr. Wilson's death, from whom also, its endowments 
of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars came, having previously 
given to cancel arrearages fifty thousand dollars. The nearly last 
words of Mr. Fish were said to Jlr. Peddle: "Brother Peddle, take care 
of Hight^town." 

Pastor Fish was a busy writer, publishing as many as nine volumes. 
Some were prize essays, published by the Boards of other denominations. 
He contributed also, frequent articles to the daily and religious press. 
The two last years of his life were intense in their activities. In July, 
1877, physical prostration compelled him to stop. His last hours 


corresponded with his life. ''Don't say death," he exclaimed: "I shall 
soon be on the other side. H. C. Fish is nothing; the grace of God is 
everything." Of the service at his funeral he said: "Let it be a plan of 
victory, the shout of him that overcometh through the Blood of the 
Lamb." As passing away, friends could only catch in broken words, 
"I have fought," and he was gone October 3rd, 1877, in his 58th year. 
The sense of loss in Newark was universal. It is stated that ten thous- 
and people looked upon the silent one. More than one hundred clergy- 
men were present at the burial. Mr. Fish had preached over four 
thousand sermons and addresses, and had made twenty thousand visits. 
We know that the fruitage of these labors, none of it will be lost. 

Rev. Thomas Rambaut entered the pastorate in 1878 and re- 
mained three years. He was an able preacher and had attained a high 
place in the mmistry. But whoso follows a successful pastor, enters 
on a serious task. Reaction invariably follows. Unfavorable contrasts 
are made and disgruntled ones talk, if perchance the new pastor makes 
a misstep or in any wise gives occasion for remark. In 1883, Rev. E. G. 
Taylor became pastor. His labors for three years were profitable for 
the church. 

After him. Rev. W. W. Boyd settled as pastor in 1887, and closed 
his labors in 1894. The spacious house of worship, which had been 
dedicated in 1860, was sold and lots in a more public place bought and 
a new edifice built. The church edifice is a nondescript affair. It 
cost about two hundred thousand dolars, of which Mr. Peddle was 
the chief donor. Soon after, the name of the church was changed to 
Peddle memorial. It is said that Mr. Boyd had more to do with the 
change of name than Mr. Peddle. Mr Peddle was a verj^ modest man, 
upon whom such a name must needs be thrust. The house sacrificed 
convenience and comfort for display and the man who planned and 
built would be surely asked for and his folly would be his memorial. 
Happily, the structure is never likely to be imitated. Pastors and 
churches preferring convenience and suitability to show\ This 
was dedicated in 1890. 

Within a short time after Mr. Boyd's resignation, Rev. C. H. Dodd 
was called to be pastor and is now (1900) holding the office. First 
Newark church and first Paterson church have been much alike in their 
aggressive work in the cities in which they are. In Newark, the pastors 
were the inciting force. At Paterson the membership did not wait 
for pastoral impulse. But, A. W. Rogers, M. D., son of the revered 
Rev. John Rogers, lived in Paterson and was an impelling influence. 
There was however, mutual co-operation in both places. 


First Newark is not credited with colonizing others than the "South 
church" and the First Gennan Baptist, and yet, all of the Baptist 
churches there owe their existence substantially to the mission work 
which was sustained by the first and by the South churches of Newark. 
Especially Pastor William Hague and Deacons J. M. Davies, at whose 
home, the Newark city Mission was formed, and H. M. Baldwin, all of 
the South church, were constant and devoted in sustaining local mis- 

First Newark has had eighteen pastors, of whom H. C. Fish con- 
tinued twenty-six and more years. Three, David Jones, D. Dodge, 
and H. V. Jones served the church, each about seven 3'ears. Four 
meeting houses, one in 1805; a second in 1810 or 11 ; a third in 1860 and 
a fourth in 1890. Twelve members have been licensed to preach. 
Two thousand, six hundred and forty-four have been baptized into 
the membership of the church. 

The conditions under which the South Church originated have been 
given in the history of the First church, while Rev. H. V. Jones was 
pastor of it. The house of worship had been built and paid for by the 
First church before the South church was formed. Then a colony was 
appointed by the mother church to compose the South church of 
sufficient strength to take an equal place with itself and to sustain a 
pastor quite equal in all respects to any other in the city. An estimate 
of the strength of this body may be made by the fact that from its 
organization up to 1883 the average of its benevolent contributions was 
seven thousand dollars annully and in 1870, its benevolent gifts abroad 
were eleven thousand, eight hundred and sixty-six dollars. 

The Baptist City Mission of Newark was formed in December 
1851, at the home of a member of South Newark (J. M. Davies), deacon 
H. M. Baldwin was also a constituent. W^hether in social life, in 
spiritual and church relations or in financial, he was foremost in 
Baptist growth in Newark, until his death in January 1882. Every 
newly organized Baptist church in the city shared in his counsels and 
in his generous gifts. In the effort to found the school at HightstowTi 
(now Peddie Institute), he was the first donor and then (unsolicited) 
of one thousand dollars for it. Deacon Baldwin did not need the 
example of others to comprehend his opportunity nor his duty. An 
immediate resultant benefit of this action to the mother church was 
an increase of the salary of its pastor to a sum more befitting his position 
and the dignity of the church. Another benefit was, the general wel- 
fare of the cause of righteousness especially in its local promotion, the 
means of its advancement being doubled. 


Only occasionally pastors propose to their churches the removal 
of their best and most influential members to build up another church, 
as did Mr. Jones, who himself was a man of rare type. The policy 
which originated the South church is a marked contrast to that usually 
followed. Commonly a few devoted disciples longing to do more for 
the cause of Christ, take upon them the responsibility of founding a 
church, with great sacrifices, and self denials, known only to those 
who have had experience in such an undertaking. The end is at last 
attained; not, however, in many cases till most of those who began 
the enterprise have gone to their reward on high. Few appeals to our 
helpfulness have a better claim to it: coming from a little company, 
who having done what they could ask help, not for themselves, but for 
a common cause. 

The South Baptist church was oganized on February 18th, 1850 
with forty-five constituents. Their house of worship was so nearly 
completed, that on the 14th of April, they worshipped in the basement 
and in the next July dedicated the sanctuary worshipping in the upper 
room. Pastor William Hague had previously accepted a call to be 
pastor. He was one of the foremost men of the denomination. At 
the end of the first year, the membership had grown to one hundred 
and twenty-eight, verifying the wisdom of the mother church, as also, 
attesting the efficiency of the new body and giving assurance that it 
would be a helper in every good work. Pastor Hague closed his min- 
istry in Newark in 1854, in accord with his life long habit of short 
pastorates. Despite the protests of his people, Mr. Hague persisted 
in his resignation. 

Rev. O. S. Stearns followed, remaining two years; whom Rev. E. M. 
Levy succeeded and broke the record of short pastorates, continuing 
until 1869, more than ten years. After Mr. Levy came Rev. John 
Dowling for three years. Mr. Dowling was known as a champion of 
Protestantism. Rev. G. A. Peltz succeeded Mr. Dowling and was 
pastor of the church four years until 1876. Months later, Rev. C. Y. 
Swan became pastor. His labors were attended with constant and 
large blessing. In about four years, an illness cut short his earthly 
work. He died in August 1880, Mr. Swan was beloved. He had many 
of the lofty qualities of his father. Rev. Jabez Swan, a remarkable man 
as an evangelist in New York and contemporary with Jacob Knapp, 
evangelist as widely known. To hear Mr. Swan pray or preach was an 
everlasting remembrance. Illustrative of the fervency and piquancy 
of Mr. Swan's preaching: preaching on the evidences of conversion, he 
said: "Put a hog out of his pen and he will go to his wallow. Put a 
sheep out of the fold and he will bleat around its walls and gates till, he 


gets in " The son and pastor in Newark, having had the pohsh of 
college training was in manner and speech, unUke his father. 

In November 1880, Rev. T. E. Vassar became pastor and until 
1888, had a happy and welcome ministr}' to the church and congre- 
gation. Mr. Vassar was followed by Rev. J. B. English for one 
year. Next year 1890, Rev. R. M. Luther settled as pastor. During 
the coming eight years, he ministered to the entire satisfaction of the 
people of his charge, closing his pastorate in August 1899. On the 
first of January, 1900, Rev. W. G. P'ennell entered the pastorate and is 
now holding its trusts. 

The house of worship, with needed renovation and enlargement 
is the same as that originally built by the first church in 1849. Those- 
who subsequently constituted the South church in Newark will be 
understood as having borne their full share of the cost of its erection. 
Some clearer judgement of the policy of sending out the South church 
may be gathered from these data. Pastor Hague suggested that the 
Lord's Day morning collection be devoted to some special benevolence 
Since its organization up to 1900, the benevolence of the church sums 
up one hundred and eighty thousand, nine hundred and sixty-five 
dollars. The number of licentiates is not stated publicly. While Mr. 
Vassar was pastor, one member was ordained and two others were 
licensed to preach. Many churches, north, south, east and west, have 
had such men as constituted South Newark. Only the detail of church 
life reveals them. Those who look at Christianity in the gross, have 
but little conception of its power over the whole man. 

The Noahs, Abrahams, Daniels, Pauls and Barnabases still live in 
the men and women, who illustrate the higher and holier consecration of 
ones's self to the King Immanuel, with which he endows them. 

North Newark Baptist church deri^'es its name from the North 
ward, where it is located. Originally, it was a mission, established by 
the Newark Baptist city Mission, when that society was formed in 
December 1851. On the eveining of its first meeting at the home of J. 
M. Davies of the South church. The society resolved to begin two 
missions, one in the North ward and one in the Fifth ward and to 
employ a missionary to look after the missions. At the next meeting 
of the Society a Board consisting of an equal number from each of the 
churches, the first and the south church, was appointed. Rev. C. W. 
Waterhouse was secured as a missionary and meetings were appointed 
in a room over a store in the North ward and in a hall in the Fifth ward. 
Thus the date of the organization of the church does not indicate the 
beginning of work on the field. 


In April 1S52, a company of disciples united themselves for special 
service in the North ward mission. They had so much encouragement 
that m 1853, a chapel was built for their use. Desiring to effect perma- 
nent results, these Christians decided on the 10th of July 1854, to call 
a council to organize and to recognize them as a Baptist church. The 
Council met on July 26th, 1854, and recognized the church as the 
"North Baptist church," having forty-nine constituents. 

Before this, however. Rev. Mr. Waterhouse had retired from the 
North ward mission and Rev. Mr. Wright supplied his place until 
illness compelled him to retire from the field. The Rev. L. Morse was 
the first pastor, beginning his labors November 1st, 1854. Under his 
charge, the church prospered. He closed his work as pastor Api-il, 1858. 
The membership had increased from fortv-nine to one hundred and 
forty-two, seventy-four of whom were added by baptism. 

Rev. Robert Atkinson followed on May 10th, 1858. Ground 
was bought in December, 1859, for a larger meeting house, but only 
about 1862-3 was the building undertaken, the City Mission Society 
giving the church efficient aid to effect their aim. Mr. Atkinson closed 
his labors January 1st, 1868, nearly nine years. A new church edifice 
had been built and three hundred and ten persons had been baptized. 
Rev. G. E. Horr became pastor in November, 1868, and resigned about 
the end of 1871, withdrawing with twenty members, who with ftthers, 
organized the Roseville church in 1871. 

In October 1872, Rev. J. Day was called to be pastor. The church 
had undergone serious losses. Propositions were made for consolidation 
with another church, but the North church declined these changes. 
In fact, the Baptist city mission Society had undertaken too much 
for their resources. Under Pastor Day, a marked change came to the 
North church. Both the congregations and the membership grew so 
large that it was necessary to enlarge the house of worship, which was 
completed in November 1874. Mr. Day resigned in 1876. His charge 
proved to be a turning era in the history of the church. After Mr. Day 
Rev. Lansing Burrows settled as pastor in June 1876. His ministry 
renewed the prosperity enjoyed while Mr. Day was pastor. In the 
spring of 1879, he resigned. 

The next six years, December 1880, to 1886, Rev. H. H. Barbour 
was pastor. Almost immediately in December, 1886, that great helper 
of needy churches, Rev. S. J. Knapp became pastor and while pastor 
for four years, large congregations and plenteous prosperity were 
enjoyed. In this time, the meeting house was partly burned up. The 
damage was speedily repaired and the financial loss was fully met. Mr. 
Knapp closed his pastorate in February 1890. The next June, Rev. 


D. T. MacClaymont entered on his pastoral fservice. After nearly 
six years of successful labor, he resigned, at the end of 1896. Rev. A. 
MacGeorge followed in April 1897 and now (1900) ministers to the 

Interests at home and abroad are cared for. The house of worship 
has been renovated. Two missions have been established, one of which, 
Harrison, begun in September 1868, has long since become a church. 
Another at Port Morris, where a missionary is in charge, who has been 
licensed by the church. Numerous debts have been paid and all 
indications point to continued prosperity. A colony of the pastor and 
twenty members with other Baptists of other churches went out in 
1886 to form the Roseville church. 

Besides the two missionaries employed by the city Mission Society, 
nine pastors have served the church. The North church has grown 
into an efficient helper in mission enterprises characteristic of 
Newark. Special mention is due to J. M. Davies and H. M. Baldwin of 
South Newark church for their large helpfulness in financial needs and 
for their council and cheer, to the members of North church. 

Fifth Newark Baptist church is in the Fifth Ward and is therefore 
known as the Fifth Baptist church. Its beginning was contemporary 
with the North church. The Baptist City Mission Society started 
Sunday Schools in both wards at the same time in 1852. Rev. C. M. 
Waterhouse was put in charge of both fields, and the immense work 
involved in his labors was too great for one man. His health failed 
and he retired. Rev. T. G. Wright took the North Ward in 1853 and 
preached in the Fifth Ward on the Lord's Day afternoon. It was, 
however, decided to employ Mr. D. T. Morrill for the Fifth Ward and he 
was ordained on March 23rd, 1854. 

Tokens of the Divine blessing appeared in the next winter. Fifty- 
six Baptists, thirty-one members of the First church and twenty-five 
members of the South church, united and agreed to constitute the 
Fifth church. These Baptists pledged five hundred dollars toward the 
support of a pastor and on the 23rd of March, organized the church. 
On the first Lord's Day of the meeting of the new church, six were 

In August, 1855, steps were taken to build a house of worship. 
Deacon H. M. Baldwin gave two lots on condition that a meeting house, 
costing at least ten thousand dollars should be built and paid for. An 
attempt to comply with these conditions was made at once. The 
City Mission Society pledged its aid, and on July 5th, 1857, the lecture 
room was dedicated. A work of grace broke out and one hundred and 
twenty-three converts were baptized into the church. The house itself 


was dedicated in April 1858. All arrearages on the cost of the church 
edifice were paid by the City Mission Society in January 1860 and 
Mr. Baldwin transferred the lots to the church with the payment of all 
claims due from them, the church assumed its own support and since, 
has done its part in co-operating with the city Mission Society. Mr. 
Morrill closed his labors on the field in October 1862; resigning to be- 
come a chaplain in the Civil War. For nine years, he had been a 
faithful missionary and pastor and his labors had been continuously 
accompanied with tokens of Divine blessing. His resignation was 
"laid on the table" until the time of his chaplaincy expired. 

In 1863, he was called back, and returned to his charge. Refresh- 
ings from on high, sealed his return. Within two years, one hundred 
and twenty converts were added to the church. A parsonage was built 
in 1867 and 8. Again Mr. Morrill resigned in April 1869, having been 
called West. His people parted with their only pastor with great grief, 
whose ministry for fifteen years, had been signally crowned with Divine 

In the next June 1869, Rev. D. C. Hughes became pastor, remain- 
ing till 1874. Rev. G. A. Simonson followed in May 1874 and served 
the church for eight years, baptizing while pastor, one hundred and 
forty-two converts. His resignation took effect in April 1882. A 
successor. Rev. H. B. Warring settled as pastor in January 1883. A 
debt incurred by the former renovation of the house of worship was a 
serious burden. Deacon H. M. Baldwin had left a legacy to the church, 
conditioned upon the payment of the debt, within a given time. Col. 
Morgan L. Smith of the South church assured its payment by subscribing 
one thousand dollars toward its payment. Mr. Warring held the pas- 
torate seyen years, closing his ministry as pastor of the chruch in Feb- 
ruary 1891. 

In 1891 Rev. C. E. Lapp settled as pastor, who resigned in February 
1895. Special seasons of revival were enjoyed while Mr. Lapp was 
pastor and there were many baptized additions to the church. Three 
months later, Rev. T. A. Hughes entered the pastorate. Needed 
repairs were done on the meeting house and a spiritual cheer was diffused 
on church and congregation. But the next year, a change came. The 
pastor removed and clouds cast shadows upon the church. An im- 
provement occurred in the summer and fall of 1898 under the temporary 
ministry of Rev. C. C. Luther. 

In February 1899, Rev. C. F. Stanley became pastor, cheering 
indications inspired the church with hope. A general financial crisis 
in business circles had passed and Newark being a manufacturing cen- 
ter was sensitive to commercial variations: the employment or non- 


employment of its masses affected for better or worse its masses. 

Seven pastors have served the church in its life of forty-five years. 
Mr. Morrill the first pastor, held the office one third of the time. Pastor 
Simonson, eight years; Mr. Warring, seven years; the two included 
another third of the period. One member has been licensed to preach, 
worshipping first in a hall. One meeting house has been erected 
and if the renovations and enlargements are included the number 
may be said to be two. An item of note in Newark is the 
large number of men of ample means, loyal to Baptist convictions in 
the First and South churches in Newark; chiefly under the pastorate 
of Rev. H. V. Jones, who made possible the gains, through the Newark 
Baptist City Mission Society. The influence in the pulpits to draw 
and hold such men is to be recognized as a special feature of Newark 
City Mission work. 

There was in western Newark, an empty chapel that another 
denomination had used for mission purposes. A member of the Fifth 
church, Samuel Clark, called the attention of his pastor. Rev. Mr. 
Morrill and of Pastor Fish, to the religious need of the locality and the 
opening for Baptists in the unused chapel. Such men as Pastors 
Morrill and Fish only needed to know of an opening for work for Christ, 
to enter upon it at once. They brought the matter to the Board of 
the City Mission Society and they immediately investigated the con- 
ditions of the case. Afternoon meetings were begun in May 1859. A 
Sunday school was opened on the next Lord's Day and preaching 
appointed by the Baptist pastors of the City in the afternoon. 

In August 1859, a student, Mr. Charles W. Clark, was engaged to 
preach, whom the City Mission Board, later appointed their missionary. 
He began his work there, that fall and in January 1860, was ordained. 
Converts were multiplied. On June 29th, 1860, a church of forty-four 
constituents was organized, which named itself, the Fairmount Baptist 
church. Mr. Clark became pastor. A work of grace was enjoyed in 
the winter of 1860-61, and seventy-three joined, forty-eight of whom 
whom were baptized. 

The growth of this new church induced the Board of the city 
Mission Society to advise them to build a larger house of worship. A 
more central site was bought and in May 1867, the lecture room was 
opened. That year, the pastor resigned and the membership that had 
increased from forty-four to one hundred and sixty, were left at a 
critical period. Since his coming in 1859 to 67, was eight years. The 
succession of pastors has been: W. D. Siegfried, 1868-70; J. D. Barnes, 
1870-72; H. Angel, 1872-75; J. C. Allen, 1875-79; G. F. Warren, 1881-86; 
H. F. Barnes, 1887-92; E. J. Millington, 1893-96; C. S. Tinker, 1897-1904. 


Mr. Siegfried lost his liealth and retired. The new church edifice 
was dedicated in September 1868. Mr. Siegfried and Mr. Barnes were 
very successful in winning souls. Mr. Angel's health made his resig- 
nation necessary. Mr. Allen also was eminently useful. Unity and 
efficiency were restored under Mr. Warren. The church suffered a 
great trial in Mr. Millington; his removal was essential to its welfare 
and his name has disappeared from among us. A great change in the 
population of the locality, from a home and congenial class, to one 
foreign and strange in its sympathies to the church, came in at this 
time. Many of its stanch members removed elsewhere. The house 
of worship was larger than was needed and was encumbered with a 
heavy debt. Besides these discouragements, was a vacant pastorate. 
Happily, Rev. G. F. Warren became pastor; unity was restored- the 
debt was paid and a work of grace enjoyed. Amid uninviting and 
unfertile surroundings. Pastor Warren did a good and essential work in 
maintaining the church from extinction. Mr. Tinker is very useful. 

An unquestioning faith is required to hold fast in some localities 
in our large cities, where a foreign population locates; speaks an un- 
known tongue and is alien to Protestant and American ideas and 
occupying the homes to which we had free access, but from which we 
are excluded. The church in its forty years of life has had nine pastors 
and with a single exception, good and true men. This body of Bap- 
tists does not claim maternity of either of its sister churches in 
Newark; but relationship to all. 

At a meeting of the Baptist City Mission Society, in November 

1865, a mission for the eighth ward was considered. Brother W. S 
Hedenburg made a statement of the interests there. A committee 
was appointed to buy a lot for a chapel. They did this in January 

1866, and in the next November, the chapel was dedcated. A Sunday- 
school wasbegun in December. Rev. C. E. Wilson was appointed by 
the Board of the City Mission Society to the new field. 

In November, 1867, thirty-three Baptists were constituted 
Mount Pleasant Baptist church. Twelve were members of the First 
church, twelve of the North church and others of distant Baptist 
churches. Mr. Wilson was called to be pastor and remained as mission- 
ary and pastor for two years. Other pastors were: Rev. S. Siegfried, 
from 1869 to 1872; Rev. William Rollinson, from 1872 to 1874; Rev. 
B. F. Bowen from 1875 to 1876; G. Guirey, 1876 to 1878, who welcomed 
many converts; Rev. A. B. Woodward, 1879 to 83; Rev. F. C. A. Jones, 
1883 to 1898. 

The outlook for the future was bright and it led to an outlay far 
beyond the ability of the church and involved it in serious financial 


difficulty; the nation was also suffering from a panic that cut off the 
resources of the City Mission Society and other denominations had 
located in the ward and built attractive houses of worship. Their 
unattractive chapel put the church at great disadvantage and the 
financial depression made the future very dark. 

In 1886, however, a member of the North church, Mrs. Sarah E. 
Morgan, left a legacy of one thousand dollars to the church for a new 
house of worship. Two years later, 1888, the chapel property was 
sold, and subscriptions were made by which a new location was bought 
and a new church edifice was begun in July 1889 and was opened for 
worship in October 1890. These events transpired in the pastorate of 
Rev. F. C. A. Jones. But despite these years of tax upon the resources 
of the church, there was a surplus in the treasury for current expenses 
and the benevolent gifts were the largest in the past history of the 

Two members have been licensed to preach and two women have 
gone one to the West and the other to Burma, on mission work. Two 
missions were established, one on "Prospect Hill," where a chapel was 
built, and a church is organized. Another, known as "The Garside 
Mission," where also a chapel was built. Pastor Jones resigned in 
1898, having served the church more than fourteen years. In Decem- 
ber 1898, Rev. E. A" Hainer became pastor, and is now (1900) pastor. 
The church has had eight pastors. It has had two meeting houses. 
Two chapels were also built, one for each of the missions. 

For the origin of the Clinton Avenue Baptist Church, we quote from 
The History of the Newark Baptist City Mission Society: "In the spring 
of 1800, members of the Fifth Church canvassed the tenth ward to 
gather children into their Sunday school." They were affected by the 
moral waste they met and were led to devise ways for its remedy. 
Accordingly, they hired a small room in a private house and on May 
27th, 1860, opened a Sunday-school. Eight scholars were present. 
When the school was closed, the teachers remained for prayer. The 
hour for which the room was hired having pas.sed, they went to the 
street and under the shade of a tree, elected officers. An increase of 
number made necessary another room. Other helpers from the South 
church offered their services. At the monthly meeting of the City Mis- 
sion Board, the mission was reported to be approved; to secure funds 
for its support and put it under the supervision of the Board. 

The influence of the school was seen in the personal cleanliness of 
the scholars and the good order of the vicinity. Sabbath breaking and 
other forms of evil diminished and souls were converted. The lowly 
accommodations of the Mission limited its usefulness. But the laborers 


in it, pressed its claims on the Board. At length, Deacon H. M. Bald- 
win of the South church bought the house in which the school was held 
and also, the adjoining lots and gave to the Board of Missions so much 
of the property as was needed for a chapel, adding a large sum for the 
chapel. Other collections were made and the chapel was dedicated in 
July 1864. 

Preaching was begun on the Lord's Day morning and the day 
devoted to religious service. Social meetings were also held in week 
evenings. Mr. Samuel Baxter, who had been active at the mission, 
was a member of the South church and was licensed by that body to 
preach. The City Mission Society appointed him to that field and 
appropriated five hundred dollars to carry on the work for a year. 

On the eighth of March 1868, the Pilgrim Baptist church was 
constituted with twenty-eight members of the South church, five 
of the Fifth church and two of the Fairmount church, in all thirty-five. 
Mr. Baxter was pastor until 1870. Active in the mission and as pastor 
about eight to ten years. In 1870, Mr. McGonegal ministered to the 

The location of the chapel was a hindrance to the church. A 
foreign element had occupied the vicinity and the native population 
were leaving. The Pilgrim church changed its place and built a new 
church edifice on Sherman avenue, near to a Baptist Mission. The 
union of the two interests was effected and the Pilgrim church changed 
its name on December 28th, 1871 to Sherman avenue Baptist church. 
Rev. F. Johnson settled as pastor in May 1872, from which he retired 
in May 1875. 

In February 1877, Mr. A. W. Bourne became actively pastor. He 
had been called nine months previously, but illness detained him. In 
the meantime, the church obtained a supply, paid his salary and that 
of the supply. On Mr. Bourne's return, he was ordained in April 1877. 
Pastor Bourne served the church eight years and was followed by Rev. 
F. E. Osborne in March 1885, remaining till March 1889. 

In 1888, an agitation arose for a change of location and lots were 
bought on Clinton Avenue. Rev. B. D. Hahn is reported to be pastor 
in 1891. Measures anticipating the new house of worship occupied 
the people during Pastor Halm's short term. Closing early in 1893, 
his labors are referred to as very acceptable. On September 1st, 1893, 
Rev. J. B. L'Hommedieu entered the pastorate. The building of the 
new sanctuary engaged the interest of the church as of chief moment. 
The lecture and Sunday schools were occupied in 1896 and the audience 
room in 1897. A change of location involved a change of name to that 
of Clinton Avenue. By this second pilgrimage it is hoped the church 


has reached the "Promised Land." However, in a growing city, there 
is no assurance that any location is abiding. At the end of the year 
1899, Pastor L'Hommedieu terminated his charge of the church, which 
was more than seven years. Only shorter than that of Mr. Bourne. 
Why each had not been longer is an unsolved enigma. 

Clinton Avenue church has thus had three names, three houses of 
worship, eight pastors, of whom Mr. Bourne remained longest, eight 

A natural succession to the history of the North Baptist church of 
Newark, is that of Roseville Baptist church. Not that it was an 
exclusive gift of the North church to the world and to its native city. 
Since nearly as many constituents were from other Baptist churches in 
Newark, as from the North church. But that body spared at least half 
of them, yielded its pastor, Rev. G. E. Horr and his family to become 
pastor of Roseville. Pastor Horr was universally beloved. He and 
his companion were a "host" of themselves, bringing with them assur- 
ance, fitness, wisdom, strength and influence. 

Few young churches could have secured a pastor more eminent for 
choice gifts of mind, character and piety. Roseville could well con- 
gratulate itself, both upon their pastor, and on an appreciative people 
amid whom they were located. No less, also, in having, as they say: 
"The business ability of D. M. Wilson, President of the New Jersey 
Baptist State Convention, also of the Board of Peddle Institute and 
prince of Newark Baptist working men." Companies of Baptists, 
resident in the district of which Ro-seville church was a center. 

Baptists had been maintaining cottage prayer meetings. An 
unexpected of two of these bands at one place, led to a concert and to 
the establishing of a Sunday school and to preaching. These services 
lasted eight months until March 26th, 1871. On that day the Sunday 
school and congregation were locked out of their place of meeting. 
After a street prayer meeting, the Presbyterians of the vicinity offered 
the Baptists the use of their chapel; even changing the hours of their 
service to accommodate their Baptist friends. This arrangement 
continued for six months. Evincing thus, the verity of Christian 
sympathy. In the meantime, ground had been bought by the city 
Mission Board and funds collected to build a place of worship. 

On October 18th, 1872, the Roseville Baptist church was organized 
with forty-four constituents. The services being in the meetig house 
of the North Baptist church. Rev. Mr. Horr, previously pastor of the 
North Baptist church at once became pastor and when he resigned, six 
years after, the membership had increased to two hundred and fifty- 


The succession of pastors since has been: J. E. Gault, December 
3, 1887 to December 31, 1881. A. J. Steelman, Jamiary 27th, 1882 to 
1887; C. M. Brink, 1888-1891. Supplies ministered until the settle- 
ment of Rev. A. P^oster, July 1st, 1892. Mr. Foster is now (1904) 
pastor. The church has grown into a large and efficient body where 
many worship and are glad. 

In later years, a mission Sunday school has usually born the fruit 
of an organized church, when established in a community where there 
was room for a Baptist church. It was so with the Mission Sunday 
school planted in Harrison. Harrison lay across the river from Newark. 
The river being the boundary of the corporate limits of Newark. Al- 
though thus separated from the city, Harrison was really a suburb of 
Newark and naturally a mission field of its Baptist churches. Mr. 
Burton was a member of the North church and looking for a field to do 
good in. Harrison caught his attention as affording room for a mission 
Sunday school. Halls, were not to be had, but finding a room in a 
factory, he got consent to use it, and in September 1868, started a 
Sunday school there. 

Mr. Hagell of the same church succeeded Mr. Burton in the super- 
intendency and he was followed by Mr. Peloubet in charge of the school. 
An explanation of these changes is not given, nor is one needed. The 
mission was in the hands of good men, who care most of all to do good, 
at any needed cost for the spiritual welfare of those whom they would 
uplift and save. Growth made it necessary to build a chapel and G. W. 
Lawrence of the first church became superintendent, indicating the 
interest of the Newark City Mission Society in the mission at Harrison. 
In 1884, Mr. Lawrence asked his pastor. Rev. E. G. Taylor, to find a 
missionary for Harrison and he sent a student, J. E. Beach. Mr. 
Beach could spare only his vacations on the field, but continuous labor 
had become necessary and upon insistence Mr. Beach consented to be 
present each Lord's Day and hold evening service. 

The organization of a church forced itself upon the men and women 
at work on the field and on October 10th, 1886, a council met and 
advised the organization of a church in Harrison. There were fourteen 
constituents. A neat building was erected and dedicated in May 1888. 
Mr. Beach was called to be pastor and was ordained on June 17th, 1889. 
His health compelled him to resign in March 1894. Returning from 
the West apparently restored, consumption closed his work at Harrison 
in 1897, having spent thirteen years on the field to which he had come 
in 1884, and upon which he had been most useful. 

Rev. J. H. Dudley was pastor for six months from June 1st, 1894, 
In January 1895, the present pastor, Rev. Robert Holmes, (1900) 


entered on his duties. Enlargement of the meeting house was needful 
and the work was accomplished in the fall of 1896 and paid for within 
a few dollars. This young interest has had but little financial help 
from abroad and maintains itself. 

In July 1892, Rev. O. Von Barchwitz of the South church, Newark, 
began a mission at Fairmount Avenue. It had unwonted prosperity. 
"A tent sufficed temporarily for worship, when, on account of the 
season it was necessary, a building was secured, into which the mission 
service was removed on October 1st. On the 23rd of December 1892, 
the Tabernacle Baptist church was organized with supposedly forty-nine 
constituents to which twenty-five were added by ]:)aptism and eleven by 
letter and within six months had increased to eighty-five members. 
They had amission elsewhere in Newark, to which an industrial depart- 
ment was attached and in which fallen men and prisoners released from 
jails are employed. They employ eighteen people; two trained women 
missionaries are constantly engaged. All the money for the support of 
the enterprise comes from voluntary contributions. Lots are bought 
and paid for on which to build a church edifice." 

This is a remarkable record, illustrating how much can be accom- 
plished when the heart is set on it. In 1894, the church property is 
reported to be valued at ten thousand dollars and an arrearage of four 
thousand dollars. During the winter of 1893, and 4, the church had 
provided, seven thousand, two hundred lodgings and three thousand, 
eight hundred meals for the needy. Later the church suffered with others 
in the financial crisis, which cut off their resources. The pastor resigned 
in 1895 or 6. Rev. O. Von Barchwitz' plans and ideas were not con- 
genial to some and involved a cost not wholly approved. 

Rev. W. W. Ludwig followed in 1896, remaining about two years, 
and was succeeded by Rev. A. E. Harris, who is now (1900) pastor. 
There have been three pastors since the organization of the church. 
A house of worship, it is supposed, has been built. The church has 
been conducted on some European plan of special adaption of ministry 
to the needy and dependent.. 

Data of Emanuel church, Newark, is very meagre. It was organ- 
ized in 1894. Associational digests give but little information of its 
origin, agency and outlook. Its first pastor is only kno^vn by allusion 
to his death. Rev. H. G. Mason, who, it is said, died while pastor. 
They occupied their own meeting house in 1895. Whether encumbered 
with debt or not is not stated. In 1896, the membership was eighty- 
five, almost double that of 1895. Their pastor then, was Rev. W. G. 
Thomas. Mr. Thomas resigned in 1898, having had a useful pastorate 
of two years. After Mr. Thomas, was Mr. E. O. Wilson, who preached 


for them while a student and was welcomed to be pastor after gradu- 
ating in 1899, and is now (1900) ministering to the church. 

There are in Newark, two German Baptist churches and five 
Afro- American churches, in all, seventeen Baptist churches. The 
First German was organized in 1849; the second German in 1875; of 
the Afro-American Bethany was organized 1871; Mt. Zion, 1878; 
Galilee, 1896; Bethsaida, 1898 and Christian Tabernacle, 1895. 




As earl}' as 1666, New Englanders emigrated to a tract of country 
lying between Rahwa}' and the Raritan river, including the section in 
and around Samptown. The motive of this emigration was to get 
away from the intolerance and persecution of the "church order" of 
New England, especially that of Massachusetts and of Connecticut. 
A motive of coming to New Jersey was the guarantee in this province 
of unrestricted freedom in religion and of political opinions. Pro- 
vision for education was also in advance of all other American colonies. 
The first free school on the continent wfts in New Jersey and ordained 
by its Governor. 

The West India Company of Holland, chartered in 1629, enjoined 
on their colonists here and in New York State ''in the speediest manner 
to find out ways and means whereby they might support a minister and 
a school master." Quite unlike the "English East India Company" 
which forbade missionaries to enter their territory or to distribute 
Bibles in them, compelled Carey to be clerk and drove Judson to the 
protection of a heathen King. The "Friends" (Quakers) built first 
a meeting house and built a school house adjoining it. These early 
settlers were largely Baptists, as the rolls of Piscataway, Scotch Plains 
and Samptown plainly show. 

In 1742, a house of worship was built at Scotch Plains, which 
mitigated the inconvenience of those who were far distant. A house 
of worship was built at Samptown in 1792. Twenty-one members of 
Scotch Plains were dismissed in August of 1792 to constitute the Samp- 
town church. Supplies ministered tiU the fall of 1793, when Rev. J. 
Fitz Randolph became pastor for half the time. Mr. Randolph was a 
native of Samptown. An older brother was a "ruling elder" (a custom 
of some early Baptist churches) and a younger brother wiis a physician 
and a deacon of the church. Mr. Randolph was called annually until 
1798; when he was chosen "permanent pastor as long as was mutually 
agreeable." He was pastor till 1818, almost twenty-five years. 

The meeting house was enlarged in 1812 and in that year R. F. 
Randolph, M. D., the pastor's brother, was ordained. The pastor was 
the means of the conversion of many. At nearly every church meeting 
for thirteen years, some were added by baptism. Fifty-three adults 

SAMPTcnVN 321 

were baptized in 1808. On October 7th, 1818, Mr. Randolph notified 
the church that his pastorate would close on November 1st. At the 
same time he asked for letters of dismission for himself and thirty-one 
others to form the First Baptist church of Plainfield. Mr. Randolph 
had been baptized and licensed at Scotch Plains, where he was a deacon. 
He was one of the most useful of men. His career of blessing is written 
in connection with histories of Samptown and first Plainfield of both 
of which he was the first pastor. 

The outgoing of the pastor with a colony resulted in Rev. Leljcous 
Latlirop settled as pastor on February 14th, 1819 at a salary of tAvo 
hundred fifty dollars per annum and his firewood. In the meantime, 
the meeting house was repaired, enlarged and another stove put in it. 
On the 4th of March, 1840, Mr. Lathrop having been pastor twenty-one 
years and then seventy-nine years old, resigned. Even though so old, 
his people protested against his retirement. 

Mr. Lathrop had come from an earlier era, in which hyper- Cal- 
vinism was dominant. He had the courage of his convictions, but did 
not know that his day was a period of change from the radicalism of 
high-toned Calvinism to that more tempered offer of the Gospel, which 
called sinners to "repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus 
Christ." He did not accept the doctrine of the great sermon of Pastor 
Holcombe on the "attainableness of faith" with which Mr. Holcombe 
had startled the Baptist world of his times. 

The caste of Mr. Lathrop maj' be known by these incidents, which 
the writer has verified. The pastor, who followed him, visited him in 
his illness, before his death and asked: "If he was consciously ready for 
the change so near?" Turning his keen black eyes on the questioner, he 
sharply exclaimed: "Do you think I have been preaching the Gospel 
for fifty years and don't know where I am going when I am dying?" 
Assurance is a characteristic of such men. Being an extreme Calvinist, 
a young minister preached for him and expressed liberal ideas. Asking 
Mr. Lathrop to pray after the sermon, whereupon he said in a loud 
voice: "Pray for your own stuff." A young pastor was preaching at 
an Association. Mr. Lathrop was in the pulpit, rising he said to the 
preacher: "Stop! Sit down! and called to Pastor R. next to Mr. W.: 
"Come up here and finish this sermon." Each declined; then Mr. 
Lathrop said: "I will do it myself." Still there was in Mr. Lathrop a 
residuum of lowly piety, which despite his stern ideas of truth, con- 
formed him to the mind of the Son of God. 

These facts illustrate the bitterness of opposition to men of the 
stamp of Zelotes Crenelle, G. S. Webb, the Teasdales, Barrass brothers, 
M. J. Rheese, J. M. Challis, C. Bartolette, John Rogers, Peter Wilson and. 


a host of men raised up in the missionary era, who endured the ex- 
travagance of good men, rather than drive them into Antinomianism, 
which then threatened to sweep the state; men who by a quiet Christian 
influence shut the Antinomian tendencies into narrowing bounds. Only 
those who have gone through the fire can have any conception of the 
worth of the men who saved our churches from the on coming flood. 

There is a vast difference in the men and in their preaching, seventy 
years ago, and in the men and in their preaching of to-day. Not in 
brains, nor moral stamina nor spirituality. It is only evil to impeach 
the integrity and piety of the men of to-day or of those of former times, 
by comparisons injurious to either. We esteem alike, those whose 
memories come to us from amid the shadows of the past and our own 
associates, with them, as with us, there are wide differences in person- 
alities and in associations. It is perhaps, natural for us, familiar with 
the wider thinking, the larger speech and the free dealing with the 
standards of truth, an outgrowth of our free institutions, to be pessi- 
mistic in our opinions of our contemporaries. In the former age, men 
had a positiveness of doctrinal conviction; an absoluteness in their 
assurance of Divine truth; boldness in the assertion of denominational 
belief, a sui Genesis of character that showed them self-poised and not 
ashamed if called bigots, if they insisted on the limitation of opinions 
to the Bible and yet none more sternly asserted the absolute right of 
every one to the unmolested enjoyment of his own opinions of truth 
and of duty. It is not claimed that the many sects in the centuries 
since Pentecost were Baptists because they had adopted our view 
of the mode and subjects of baptism; but it is insisted that they recog- 
nized the Scriptures as the only authority for a religious duty and for 
an article of faith and also that it was their distinction to claim the 
right of men and women to their opinions and to disseminate them. 

Rev. E. M. Barker followed Mr. Lathrop in about a year. Pastor 
Barker's settlement was most suitable. Kind, patient, "sound in 
the faith." Prosperity attended him and his ministry in the eight years 
he was pastor. In a special work of grace he baptized one hundred 
and the church was responsive to every good cause despite Mr. Becbe's 
influence. Mr. Barker had fanciful notions of home amusements. 
Once he came upon a mother amusing her flock of little ones with croquet 
balls and checkers, affording them pleasure and herself relief. Months 
later he alluded to that mother as training her children for evil. At 
the earliest moment after that sermon, he hasted to the rear of the 
church edifice and lighted his pipe\ None of us are perfect and some 
of us are inconsistent though with the best intentions. When Mr. 
Barker had resigned, Rev, W. D. Hires followed. 


Again the church had a renewal of their experience with tlieir 
first pastor. Pastor Hires and a number of members constituted the 
New Market church in March 1852, with fifty members and built a 
house of worship which they occupied in 1854. 

Samptown church called Rev. William Maul in 1853, who remained 
until 1858. The succession of pastors was: J. J. Baker, 1858-68; C. G. 
Gurr removed after several months' stay; S. L. Cox, 1869-71; W. H. 
Burlew, 1873-78; was ordained. The location of the meeting house 
was such that first Plainfield and New Market churches reduced the 
congregations so seriously that disbanding or removal to a central 
place was a question of life. In 1876, it was decided to remove the 
church edifice to New Brooklyn. 

In August 1878, Rev. A. Armstrong became pastor. A spark 
from a passing engine on a near by railroad, kindled a fire and the 
house of worship was burned. A beautiful house of worship was 
built in a village of New Brooklyn, entirely free from debt and was 
dedicated in January 1880. Congregations were renewed. The 
Samptown church took a new departure. A parsonage was built in 
18S1 and the name of the church changed to New Brooklyn. Mr. 
Armstrong resigned in December 1890. 

The name of the church was again changed to South Plainfield in 
1891-3, and Rev. E Thompson settled as pastor in 1891-95. Toward 
the end of 1895, Rev. J. A. Cubbcrley became pastor and is now (1904) 
ministering as pastor. A neighboring city has absorbed the church, 
but it is no less a vigorous body. Its loss of strength was not by ex- 
haustion but by giving. The going out of two strong colonies had 
the full assent of those who remained to bear added burdens. How 
many meeting houses Samptown has had part in is not known. Not 
less than four. As many as three members have been licensed to 
preach. Twelve pastors have served the church. The first for twenty- 
five years; the second, twenty-one years. Two colonies have become 
strong and influential bodies, first Plainfield and New Market. 

Baptist families identified with Piscataway and Scotch Plains 
churches distributed themselves far and wide and impressed their 
faith upon people far from their home centers and Baptists were numer- 
ous in many rural districts and in the later centers of population. 
First Plainfield instances this. Pastors of these churches were men of 
large mould and made a lasting impression wherever they appeared. 
In a country so new, instead of villages and towns, settlements took 
their place. The first house built in Plainfield, was in 1735, amid 
Indian wigwams. At the organization of the First Baptist church, 
in 1818, there were about two hundred and fifty residents in the place. 


Samptown, a Baptist settlement, was more or less two miles away and 
a convenient locality for a Baptist church. 

In 1812, Baptist families in Plainfield met for worship in their 
homes. But an Academy was built that year and Baptists worshipped 
in a hall there for several years. Rev. Mr. Randolph, pastor of Samp- 
town church lived in Plainfield. A meeting was called at the hall, in 
January 1818, to discuss the organization of a Baptist church. They 
decided to constitute a Baptist church. A subscription was made and 
nearly twenty-five hundred dollars pledged for a meeting house. Dur- 
ing the next summer, 1818, a house of worship was built on the site 
where the first Baptist church is now, and later it was decided that 
certain members of the Samptown Baptist church be allowed to occupy 
it and the house was dedicated at the end of October, or beginning 
of November. Baptists dismissed from Samptown and Piscataway 
met at the home of Rev. J. F. Randolph on November 7th, and con- 
stituted the first Baptist church of Plainfield. Rev. Mr. Randolph, 
pastor of Samptown church was elected pastor. At a later meeting 
November 25th, 1818, the church was dul}^ recognized. In December 
the salary of Mr. Randolph was fixed at two hundred and fifty dollars 
per annum. 

The constituents numbered thirty-four. The growth of the church 
was slow. Its increase was but to forty-one to 1819, and in 1822, 
reported fifty-two members. Mr. Randolph died January 18, 1828, 
having been laid aside the year before, with paralysis. When licensed 
to preach he was thirty-five years old and when he became pastor at 
Plainfield, was sixtj'-two years old and was pastor for nearly ten years, 
till he was seventy-two years old, and left the memory of a good 
name and the fruits of a devoted life. 

Rev. D. T. Hill became pastor in August 1828, resigning aft«r 
eleven years, in 1839. Mr. Hill was an aggressive preacher. Strangers 
knew that he was a Baptist. The people appreciated a man of con- 
victions. The house was packed and converts knew what they were 
converted from and what to. Under his charge, the church increased 
to two hundred and seventy-four members. A Sunday school was 
established in the second year of Mr. Hill's charge (1829), to which 
many members objected as an innovation on the estalslished means of 
grace. The house was enlarged and yet too small. In 1837, one hun- 
dred and ten were baptized and the first Plainfield Baptist church be- 
came the foremost church in numbers and in influence in the town in 
which it was. 

In May 1839, Rev. S. J. Drake was called. He began his pastoral 
care in August 1839. Special seasons of religious interest frequently 


occurred under his ministry of twenty-three years. The house of 
worship was enlarged and vastly improved. Pastor Drake was called 
from active business life into the ministry. True, while he lacked 
book knowledge and the training of a college, he had the Bible, and 
more, the teaching of the Divine Spirit. Converts were constantly 
added to the church. The wavering were stayed; the unlearned were 
taught; mission schools were established. Pastor Drake was a blessing 
to all, in his personal life, his ministry and by his business habits, until 
"God took him" in April, 1862. Mention of Mr. Drake's duties of 
Secretary of the New Jersey Baptist State Convention for fourteen 
years ought not to be overlooked. He brought to this office the busi- 
ness tact and judgement that characterized the man in all departments 
of his life and of his pastoral affairs. 

A year passed till a new pastor was chosen, D. J. Yerkes, who 
entered on his duties in the fall of 1863 and retained his pastorate till 
and later than 1900. Shortly after Mr. Yerkes settled, a new sanctuary 
became a necessity. Accordingly, the lot or ground on which it must 
be located was arranged for its accommodation, and the new 
house of praise was begun and completed and was dedicated on Nov- 
ember 25th 1869. The edifice, sixty by one hundred feet of Roman- 
esque architectural design and costing seventy-five thousand dollars, 
constitutes one of the most beautiful and complete church edifices in 
the state. 

The church beginning with thirty-four members, numbers now, 
nearly one thousand members. Pastor Yerkes to 1900 has with un- 
flinching fidelity, maintained for thirty-seven years, the position 
of his church as foremost in the city and is, himself, deservedl)' 
revered and honored in all the churches and by all of the Baptist pastors 
and ministers in the state. A most remarkable fact of first Plainfield, 
is that it has been eighty-two years since it was founded and yet, that 
it has had only four pastors. The shortest term was ten years and 
closed with the death of the pastor at the age of seventy-two years. 
The second pastor served the church eleven years. The third pastor 
closed his labors at death in 1862 and the fourth, lasting almost forty 
years. Two houses of worship have been in use. Repeated enlarge- 
ments and amendments were made to the first meeting house. Of 
the first pastor it is due to state that he had mini.stered in Plainfield 
for some time before the constitution of the church. How long is not 

In 1842, on the first of September, the second Baptist church was 
formed with fifty-six constituents. Rev. D. T. Hill returned to Plain- 
field in 1842 and used his influence as an old and successful pastor, who 


had baptized verj' many into the church, to constitute a second church. 
His adherents in that year, built a good and spacious house of worship 
and called Mr. Hill to be pastor. The Association in 1843, appointed a 
committee to reconcile the difficulty caused by Mr. Hill's return to 
Plainfield and the organization of the second church. A settlement 
of the trouble was claimed by the second church. Mr. Hill resigned in 
1852, having been patsor ten years. He was the first pastor of the 
second church. The succession of pastors of the second church was: 
C. C. Williams, 1852-56; H. G. Mason, 1856-59; J. Duer, 1859-68; C. E. 
Young, 1869-70; T. R. Howlitt, 1871-75. This year the second church 

It was said another church was to be formed of which the second 
was to be a nucleous. Subsequently, data reveals that the second 
Plainfield church was absorbed in the Park Avenue Baptist church, 
which was constituted in March 1876. Piscataway, Cohansie, and 
Scotch Plains alone can compare with first Plainfield the length of 
their early pastorates. 

Central Plainfield or Park Avenue church organized in 1876, was 
naturally an outgrowth of first Plainfield. Pastor D. T. Hill had en- 
joyed wonderful prosperity in Plainfield and is believed to have had 
assurances of like successes upon his return. But he had been mis- 
informed of the temper of the people, of their unwillingness to forsake 
a pastor of their choice for an old friend, whose plans did not commend 
them to either their judgement or to their piety. Besides they knew 
that their old pastor was impulsive; while Mr. Drake could be depended 
upon as not subject to "fits and starts." 

In the digest of the letters of the Eas tAssociation for 1875, page 23, 
Plainfield second says: "Initiatory steps are in progress looking to the 
organization of a new church, of which th's shall be a nucleus." Under 
the leadership of Rev. Robert Lowrey, (resident at Plainfield) meetings 
were held in the Seventh Day Baptist house of worship at the beginning 
of 1896 in anticipation of such a movement. Second Plainfield dis- 
appears from the minutes of the Association after 1876 and the Central 
Plainfield Church organized on March 15th, 1876 is represented in the 
Association in 1877 and Rev. Robert Lowrey as pastor with having 
one hundred and twentj^-four constituents. Elsewhere, it is learned 
that ninety-five of these were from the second Plainfield Baptist church, 
fifteen from the first church and the others of other Baptist churches. 
Thus the forecast of the letter of second Plainfield church had a real 
basis and the second church of Plainfield endorsed the new arrange- 
ment. The removal of Mr. Howlett made the way clear for the trans- 
formation of the Second Church into the Central, 


On Marcli 15th, 1876, when the Central church was constituted, 
steps were taken to secure Mr. Lowrey as pastor of the Central church. 
Worship continued for several years in the Seventh Day Baptist church 
edifice; but the growth of the Central church made it needful to build 
a house of worship for itself. At this time, a citizen, Mr. James E. 
Martin offered the gift of a lot to the church and the house of worship 
now in use was built at the cost of forty thousand dollars. Begun on 
October 4th, 1879, it was dedicated in December 1880. This house 
is a memorial of Pastor Lowrey, having worshipped four years in a 
rented place. In Mr. Lowrey's pastoral care, two members were 
licensed to preach. One, the pastor's son. Mr. Lowrey resigned in 
February 1885, having been pastor nine years. A constituent of the 
church, he continued a member of it till his death, November 25th, 
1899. Then he exchanged his own sweet songs of earth for that of 
redemption in the upper sanctuary. Rev. A. R. Dilts became pastor 
in October 1885. An event of this pastorate was the reduction of the 
debt on the house of worship from fifteen thousand dollars, to three 
thousand dollars. In other things it was a useful pastorate. Mr. Dilts 
resigned in April 1892. A third pastor. Rev. J. W. Richardson entered 
on liis official duties in November 1892, and is now (1900) in charge. 
One member has been licensed and ordained. The church is a substitute 
for .second Plainfield and for union of Baptist interests in Plainfield. 
A change of location of the church edifice involved a change of name 
from Central to Park Avenue effected about 1880. The church has had 
three pastors, each of them very acceptable. Their resignation, which 
was wholly voluntary with themselves. Each pastorate was useful 
and happy. 

New Market Baptist church originated under much the same 
conditions as did first Plainfield. The going out from Samptown 
church of a pastor and a colony to constitute it. A minute of the Samp- 
town church book reads: "With the cordial consent of the Samptown 
church forty-five of its members were granted a general letter of dis- 
mission for the purpose of forming a separate and independent church 
at New Market on the 25th of February 1852." The New Market 
church was subsequently recognized at Samptown in the meeting 
house of the Samptown church. Rev. William D. Hires, pastor at 
Samptown, led out the colony. A house of worship was built the first 
year of the constitution of the church and soon after paid for. Large 
additions were made by baptism in the two years in which Mr. Hires 
was pastor. 

Rev. G. W. Clark was ordained for the pastoral charge of the church in 
October 1855. Mr. Clark was pastor four years and enjoyed a happy 


and useful pastorate. For five years, from the fall of 1859, Rev. I. N. 
Hill was pastor. The nation was preoccupied with the issues of the 
Civil War in the period of ^Ir. Hill's charge of the church. Despite 
its diversion, the church grew and enjoyed a good measure of prosperity. 
Rev. L. Grenelle settled as pastor m November 1865 and resigned in 
September 1872. As was his usual pastoral care, the church improved 
in all lines in his charge. On April 1st 1873, Pastor E. E. Jones settled 
His charge was the longest the church had known, nearly ten years. 
The succeeding pastors were: A. C. Lyon, 1882; J. A. Cubberley, 1885- 
93, while pastor, the meeting house was improved; F. Fletcher, 1893- 
1900. New Market has had eight pastors. The first house is still in 
use, but has undergone several amendments and improvements and 
serves its use weU. The mother church has been constrained by the 
churches planted in Plainfield and New Market to change her location 
and her name, but retains her vigor amid her prosperous children. 


Dr. Webb 



New Brunswick is about two miles from tlie Piscataway Baptist 
church. Why did not the mother church phmt a Baptist church in the 
city of New Brunswick much earher than 181G is, to us, a marvel. But 
the trend of population in earlier days was to the country, as now it is, 
to the city. Then too, distance was not as now made of much account. 
Also the city was built along the river and the ground was low. The 
town was known as "Prigmore's Swamp." Only when the canal and 
the railroad brought travel and business to the town, was there assurance 
of its future. 

Members of Piscataway, however, were resident in the 
town and when about 1810, the Hon. J. Parker of Perth Amboy, 
offered a lot to a denomination that would erect a house of worship on 
it, Baptists, members of Piscataway seized on the offer and collecting 
funds from Piscataway, Scotch Plains and Samptown, built a meeting 
house, which in the fall of 1812, was opened for worship. Additional 
grounds were bought. The congregation was known as a "branch of 
Piscataway." War with England in 1812 was in progress and the 
financial outlook was dark. In September 1812, Piscataway church 
called Rev. J. McLaughlin with an arrangement to preach in Piscataway 
in the morning and in the afternoon in New Brunswick. This order 
continued till September 1817. 

Mr. McLaughlin residing in New Brunswick, Baptists multiplied 
in the town. Deacon Asa Runyan of Piscataway church lived in New 
Brunswick, where he was a foremost citizen, and more, a devoted and 
active Christian. Before the erection of the meeting house, he held 
Baptist prayer meetings in his home. His business tact and large gifts 
assured the building of the first Baptist church edifice. How great 
results come from the apparently small doings of a man of God! First 
New Bnmswick Baptist church grew out of Deacon Runyan's prayer 
meeting. Jeremiah Dodge, a Baptist attended them, and when he 
moved to New York City, doubtless influenced by the proceedings 
in New Brunswick, he also began a prayer meeting in his house and 
the first Baptist church in New York City grew out of that prayer meet- 

Deacon Uria Smith of Central New York visited his children settled 


near Milwaukee, Wis. During his stay, he gathered a few Baptists 
into a prayer meeting and hiid the foundation of the first Baptist church 
in Milwaukee. Deacon Crosbey of Freedonia, N. Y., emigra;ted about 
1837 to Northern 111., waiting only to get a roof over the heads of his 
wife and children; he went from house to house for miles on the prairie 
and said to them: "Our community will be what we make it; moral, 
honest, kind and desirable to live in; or Sabbath-breaking, horse racing, 
swearing, drunken, dishonest, one which we would not live in. Which 
shall it be?" Giving notice of a meeting at his house for prayer on 
each Lord's Day, he laid the foundation of the Belvidere church and 
other large churches, within a radius of ten or more miles, additional 
to this, he gave moral and religious taste to all that section from Chicago 
to west of the Rock river far north into Wisconsin and as far south in 

The New Brunswick church has an influence for good not only 
in New Jersey and is a limitless blessing to the world. Mr. Asa Runyon 
was the first choice of the church for a deacon. Asa Runyan and the 
meeting in his house, may to men and the world be insignificant. Yet 
like to the river in Ezekiel's vision "every thing lived whithersoever 
the river came." In September 1816, twenty-four members of Pis- 
cataway constituted themselves the first Baptist church of New Bruns- 
wick. They retained the pastoral oversight of Mr. McLaughlin one 
year. Mr. J. Johnson followed, falling into disrepute, he closed his 
work in August 1819. Supplies served the church for nearly two 

In 1820, Rev. G. S. Webb was called to be pastor, but he declined. 
The next December, negotiations were renewed, resulting in his be- 
coming pastor in April 1821. Mr. Webb's coming to New Jersey was 
a special blessing to the state as well as to New Brunswick. He was 
pastor in the city more than twenty-two years and but for a summons 
for special work in behalf of one of our national societies, would doubt- 
less have continued to the limit of his natural strength. His charge 
of the church was a constant harvest. Accessions to it were numerous, 
including men and women of social and financial strength and of spirit- 
ual power. Church and pastor were pre-eminent in good things. 

In 1836, the railroad was located in front of the meeting house, 
so as to cut off safe access to it and extensive improvements in it had 
just been completed at large cost. The railroad company needed and 
bought the property involving the removal of the dead from the ceme- 
tery about the house and the erection of a new church edifice. Rail- 
roads then were a new thing and not as generous as now, in allowing 
for all possible losses. The new house of worship was dedicated early 


^ -^^ 

Judge P. P. Runyan 


in 1838. In the interim of a removal, a remarkable work of grace 
occurred which spread to each church and to nearly every house in the 
city. One hundred and sixty additions to the Baptist church was an 
immediate result of this refreshing. 

Pastor Webb resigned in 1843 and Prof. G. R. Bliss entered the 
pastoral office the same year; later was ordained and in six years after, 
resigned. Pastors following were: S. S. Parker, 1849-51; G. Kempton, 
1853-58; T. R. Howlett, 1858-60; ordained in 1858. M. S. Riddell, 
1860-68; unable longer to preach. T. T. Devan, 1868, became stated 
supply. H. F. Smith, 1869-82. He was .secretary of New Jersey 
Baptist state convention, 1865-79; H. C. Applegarth, Jr., 1883-90; 
M. H. Pogson, 1891-94; L. H. Wheeler, 1894-1904. Rev. G. S. Webb 
having completed his engagement, returned to New Brunswick and 
made it his home till he died in 1886, nearly 97 years old. Deacon 
Asa Runyon has been alluded to, as an original Baptist. A deacon of 
Piscataway before New Brunswick church was constituted and the 
first choice of the New Brunswick church for its deacon. 

Judge P. P. Runyon has a large place in the history of New Jersey 
Baptists. He was the first superintendent of the Sunday school in 
New Brunswick Baptist church. He was a constituent of the New 
Jersey Baptist State Convention till his death in December, 1871, 
1830-1871, forty-one years. Mr. Runyon was absent from only one 
annual meeting and one quarterly Board meeting in forty-one years, 
on account of illness. He was also treasurer seventeen years of The 
New Jersey Education Society. In New Brunswick he had held nearly 
all important offices and for thirteen years had been a judge in the 
town. He was a peace maker. Parties coming to him in suits were 
reasoned with and if possible prevailed upon to settle their differences 
out of court. His last birth-day, when eighty-four years old, was 
spent in Chicago in his duties as a member of the Board of the American 
Baptist Missionary Union. In the service of his Lord, no place was 
too small nor work too lowly. The missionaries of the State convention 
always had a sympathetic counselor in him. 

Another member of first New Brunswick church, whose practical 
piety and large giving put him in a foremost place in New Jersey, was 
Simon Van Wickle, who succeeded Judge Runyon as treasurer of the 
State Convention. It is known of Mr. Van Wickle that when the treas- 
ury of the State Convention was in arrears five hundred dollars he paid it 
himself. Such were the men whom G. S. Webb trained for God and 
humanity. It may, however, be said of them that they had it in them 
to train and they had. Of Pastor G. W. Webb, it must suffice here to 
say: that as Esther came to the throne in the emergency of captive 


Israel, even so G. S. Webb came to New Jersey under Divine influence 
to effect the great change in which he had so eminent a part. The change 
in the temper of the State from then to the present order and unity 
is inconceivable to one who has not known both regime. 

North and East Jersey; and south and West Jersey drawing apart 
as two foreign peoples. Divergence instead of concert, seemingly a 
fixed law unlike any other of the thirteen colonies. The process of 
divorcement in all Baptist affairs was in full progress. It was for the 
oneness that now exists which Mr. Webb wrought so efficiently and 
was so nobly sustained by his church and by Piscataway. Four churches 
have come out of First New Brunswick church and have shared in her 
sympathies and care. 

In 1843, the George's Road church was constituted. At South 
River, the Tabernacle church was established in 1871. The Living- 
ston Avenue church was organized, as Remson Avenue church, in 1872. 
An Afro American church was formed in 1876 in the city. There is 
a reasonable assurance that the First New Brunswick Baptist church 
maintains its foremost place as a fountain of hallowed good, not merely 
in New Jersey and as a local center of power and of blessing; recalling 
its venerable mother, Piscataway, to which a large cluster of churches 
will ever look with reverence and gratitude. For itself, the church 
has had two houses of worship, both of which have undergone repairs 
and improvements involving very considerable cost. 

The churches that have gone from it, have had generous aid in 
the erection of the buildings from the mother church. That at South 
River and the house for Ebenezer church were erected chiefly by the 
First church. Twelve pastors have ministered to the church. Of 
these, one only was a disappointment; evil reports about him led to his 
resignation. Mr. Webb remained twenty- two years and in his relation 
to the church, in its destitution of a pastor, in 1857 and 8, one or two 
years may be added to his pastoral charge. H. F. Smith was pastor 
thirteen years. Mr. Riddell continued eight years in charge as pastor. 
Mr. McLaughlin was joint pastor of Piscataway and of New Brunswick. 
His resignation at Piscataway terminated his pastorate at each place. 
Under his charge, the Baptist church in New Brunswick was con- 

Of the Ebenezer Afro American church, special mention is made 
of it in the chapter of such churches. A lot for its house of worship 
was given to them by S. C. Ballard and the meeting house was chiefly 
built by the First church. Rev. William Wallace was its first pastor 
and served several years and resigned in 1880. A. G. Young followed 
in 1880 and was pastor in 1900. 


George's Roads is a hamlet about five niiles south and east of 
New Brunswick in Middlesex County. Possibly from its proximity 
to Washington, South River, there were resident Baptists in its vicinity, 
inducing the New Jersey State Convention to appoint Rev. J. li.Case 
its missionary on the field. The first Baptist church of New Brunswick 
also took interest in the locality. Pastor Webb and some of his members 
held social meetings; sustained a Sunday school and Mr. Webb preached 
there, long before a church was formed, converts were added to New 
Brunswick church. An interest may have been quickened on account 
of the antinomian element there. Some of the sisters used to walk 
to the city to attend service. At last, a meeting was held at the house 
of Mr. J. T. Bennett on January 20th, 1843 to organize a Baptist church 
and on January 23rd, a council met and recognized the associated mem- 
bers as a Baptist church. 

Thirty-three constituents, of whom thirty were from First New 
Brunswick church. Mr. J. B. Case became pastor, remaining two 
years. The subsequent pastors were: D. P. Purdun, 1845-47. Mr. 
Purdun was a man of limited means, but he left a legacy of three hun- 
dred dollars to the church, which proved to be of far more worth than 
the sum, both as a memorial of his love and as an inspiration to 
others. Mr. Purdun was wholly uneducated and saved out of a pittance 
of a salary, the great sum he left to the church. For great it was, to a 
man who had never owned a thousand dollars. In the two years of 
his pastorate, Mr. Purdun baptized fifty persons into the church. The 
house of worship was built in the first year of his charge and dedicated 
in March 1847. 

Rev. B. Steele followed Mr. Purdun and resigned in 1853. Other 
pastors were: Morgan Cox, 1854-60; C. E. Cordo, 1862-63; C. Brinkerhoff 
1865-68; L. Selleck, 1869-74. In his charge a parsonage was built. 
J. Babbage, 1875-83; A. Millington, 1884. Many baptisms in this 
charge. G. T* McNair, 1886-89; when he died in March, aged fifty-nine 
years; C. J. Wilson, 1890-92; G. F. Love, 1892-98; M. T. Shelford, 1899- 
1900. Twelve pastors have ministered to the church. One of whom 
died. On account of the location of the church it is never likely to be 
strong. It must needs be a feeder to towns and cities. The worth of 
rural churches for the men and women they give to the world cannot 
be estimated. Not only ministers, but deacons and business men, whose 
benevolence and influence for good is beyond estimate. Women, also, 
whose influence for good is a limitless blessing to humanity. Such 
fruits pay a thousandfold for an expenditure of mission funds to sus- 
tain them. 

The following is a minute extract from the Hightstown church 


book: "Persons principally members of our church, were regularly 
dismissed and constituted into churches at the following places: Squan, 
October 20, 1804; South village, Washington, September 21, 1805; 
Lamberton (First Trenton) November 9, 1805." The church at Wash- 
ington, South River was thus formed in 1805. Baptists had settled 
there in an early day. As evidence of their strength, Peter Wilson of 
Hightstown was their pastor in 1820-23. J. C. Goble, an apostle of 
Antinomianism was pastor from 1826 to 1839, with the usual result, 
a withering life. The name of the church and those of three other 
churches disappears from the minutes of the Central Association in 
1835. All infected with the plague of Antinomianism. Mr. Goble was 
a taking man and an able preacher till he became a captive to drink. 

Thirteen of the members of South River, withdrew in 1840 and 
constituted the Herbertsville (Old Bridge) church. Others, residents, 
quietly repudiated the teaching of Mr. Goble and waited for help from 
without. The First Baptist church of New Brunswick built a meeting 
house in Washington, South River, in 1870. Anticipating that the 
time for a regular Baptist church was not afar off. When the house 
was built in 1870, other Baptists repudiated the antinomian church 
and other Baptists at a distance, uniting with the Baptist elements at 
South River, composed a strong force, and first New Brunswick Baptist 
church made arrangements to constitute a regular Baptist church. 
This was effected in 1871, with thirteen constituents to whom thirteen 
others united themselves. 

Rev. M. Johnston was the first pastor who gave up his charge in 
1874. H. D. Doolittle became pastor in 1875, and retired from the 
pastorship in 1878; C. H. Woolston settled as pastor in 1880 and closed 
his labors with the church in 1885. F. C. Overbaugh entered as pastor 
in 1885 and closed his ministry in South River in 1886. G. H. Gardner 
was ordained in February 1888 and gave up his charge at South River 
in 1896. S. D. Sammis followed in 1896 and removed in 1898 and E. I. 
Case accepted a call in the same year and was pastor in 1900. 

The church has had seven pastors. Cloud and sunshine have 
interchanged in the history of the church. Growth where antinomian- 
ism has root is slow and emigration from abroad is not expected 
in such retired sections; ruthless and bitter opposition is a sweet morsel 
to antinomianism and the South River church has had it abundantly. 
The house of worship has been enlarged and improved as occasion 
demanded and a parsonage has added comfort to the pastor. 

Livingston Avenue church was first known as Remson Avenue 
church. A change of name occurring, as it often does in cities, by 
change of location. This was the third church that had colonized from 


the first Baptist church. A second Baptist church in the city had long 
been under consideration. Positive action, however, did not take 
place till 1870, when Deacon Simon Van Wickle offered the gift of 
three lots on Remson avenue on which to erect a church edifice for 
the use of a second Baptist church in the city. A building committee 
was appointed by the First church of which Deacon Van Wickle was 

In March, 1872, the lecture room of the new building was ready 
for use and was dedicated. On the next day, the 17th of March, the 
Sunday school was organized and on the 9th of April, eighty constituents 
nearly all of them dismissed from the First church, became the Remson 
Avenue church. For almost a year. Rev. T. T. Devan, M. D., a con- 
stituent of the new church, ministered as pastor. Already, the house 
proved to be too small and it was decided to enlarge it. The enlarged 
building was dedicated on the 29th of May, 1873. Mr. A. E. Waffle 
had been called to be pastor and was ordained on the day in which the 
house was re-dedicated. 1874 was a year of revival influences. One 
hundred and thirty-five persons were baptized into the church. In 
1880, Mr. Waffle retired. 

W. H. H. Marsh on the ensuing December settled in 1880, and 
resigned in 1885. M. V. McDuffie became pastor in 1886 and in 1895, 
removed. Plans for a new house of worship involving a change of 
location and of name, on Livingston Avenue were perfected in the 
pastorate of Mr. McDuffie and the new house was dedicated in 1894. 
Rev. C. A. Jenkins entered the pastoral office in 1895 and closed his 
labors at Livingston Avenue in the middle of 1900. The church has 
occupied two houses of worship, the first built by the first church; the 
second by itself. It has had five pastors, if the labors of Rev. Mr. 
Devan is included. Special mention may be made of the superintend- 
ent of the Sunday school, Mr. John T. Morgan, chosen in 1872 and re- 
maining until 1899, twenty-seven years. No public statement is made 
of his resignation, death or infirmities compelling his retirement. 



In 1883, Deckertown was adopted as a substitute for Wantage 
which was the name of the church since 1790. In 1756, the church 
was named Newtown. These changes of name were caused by change 
of location of its house of worship. The first and second names were 
those of the township. The third that of the village. The Newtown 
church built two meeting houses, one in the vicinity of Hamburg, 
another, near to or at Augusta, both in the same township. That 
near Hamburg was taken down in 1772 and rebuilt in Wantage town- 
ship and hence the second name. But the new name did not appear 
in the minutes of the Philadelphia Association till 1790. 

When Rev. L. O. Grenclle was pastor of the Wantage church, 
despite fierce opposition, he succeeded in getting a house of worship 
built in Deckertown. Centers of poulation change often. Churches 
that grow must needs be where the people are. In the early times 
the population was from all nations. Emigrants flocked to New 
Jersey, because of its pre-eminence in civil and religious freedom and 
its foremost educational advantages. It had the distinction of a 
high-toned and cultured class of settlers. So that from New England 
and from the south, the better sort of residents sought and found in 
the colony the companionship of refinement, wealth and culture. 
Clannishness disappeared. Centers of trade were begun and churches 
had the alternative of change or die. 

New Jersey became like to Pennsylvania, a refuge for all peoples 
and all religions. Even citizens of Rhode Island, par excellence, 
a colony of civil and religious freedom, preferred a home here, to re- 
maining there. Colonists from Pennsylvania where a Baptist judge, 
the second son of Obadiah Holmes, the Massachusetts martyr had 
protected people from persecuting Quakers. Another reason influenced 
men and women. Every foot of land had been bought from the Indians 
on their own terms. The Indians had reserved the right to fish in the 
waters of the state and to hunt in the enclosed lands. They had gone 
west and they sent their chief in 1832 to ask the legislature to buy their 
reserv'ed rights for two thousand dollars. In acknowledging the 
receipt of the money the chief said: "Not a drop of our blood have 
you"spilled in battle; not an acre of our land have you taken but by 
our consent." 


Is there a parallel to sueh a transaction in any colony or nation 
past or present? Other colonics have their dreadful record of massacre , 
of burned homes, of fleeing settlers and their flight hastened by the 
midnight war whoop. But the colonists in New Jersey laid down to 
sleep in security; went unarmed to their fields and into the faraway 
woods, unfearing for themselves, their homes, wives and children. 
An added reason for assurance, was, that "the House of the Stewarts" 
was imder obligations to the Quakers and to the Welsh for kindnesses 
shown to Charles I. which Charles II. dared not ignore and repaid in 
part to William Penn and to his own brother, the Duke of York for 
New Jersey. Injustice and evil doing is charged against the Stewarts, 
and there was much of it. It is to their credit, that when returned to 
power, they remembered the friends who had befriended them in 

The charter of New Jersey guaranteed special and religious liberties. 
True, this was a right under the Dutch rule in Eastern New Jersey. 
But it became universal and once enjoyed, could not be denied; thus 
safe from the savage, safe from the whipping post, safe from the gail 
and safe from the unhallowed taxes for the support of a state hierarchy; 
why should not the feet of such aggrieved people gladly come to a haven 
of rest and of freedom? 

. All the world knows the story of Roger Williams and of the liaptism 
he received of Ezekiel Hollimen and of the baptism by Roger Williams 
of Hollimen and of eleven others. This was repeated in the winter of 
1752-3 in the township of Newtown, Sussex County, New Jersey. 
Elkanah Fuller baptized Rev. William Marsh and others. 

The history of this church will be, partly, the history of an inde- 
pendent church; partly of a church consisting of pedobaptists and 
adultbaptists; and partly of a church that is altogether Baptist; under 
the first distinction, it originated in Mansfield, in Connecticut, about 
the end of 1749 or the beginning of 1750: the constituents were William 
Marsh and wife, Joseph Pomeroy and wife, Wiliam South worth and 
wife, Joshua Engard and wife, John Slate and wife, Elizabeth 
Lathrop, Mary Nicholas, Elkanah Fuller, Rudolphus Fuller and David 
Chapman and wife: These withdrew from the established worship of 
Mansfield, and therefore were called separates. The above sixteen 
persons were formed into an independent church at said Mansfield as 
above specified. 

As soon as they were pronounced a gospel church, they proceeded 

to choose Mr. Marsh for their pastor, who was ordained the same time , 

by two separate ministers whose names are not remembered. But 

the next year (1751) they agreed to quit Mansfield, Conn., and go in 



a body to New Jersey. The part they pitched upon for residence was 
the said Newtown, in the north border of Sussex County. They had 
not been long in their new settlement before some (who had scruples 
about infant baptism at Mansfield) declared openly for the baptism of 
believers. But now the same question puzzled them which had puzzled 
others in both England and Germany, etc., viz: "Whether baptism 
administered by an unbaptized person, be valid?" for they considered 
infant baptism a nullity: however, they resolved the question in the 
affirmative from the consideration of necessity; accordingly Mr. Marsh 
was baptized by Mr. Elkana Fuller, and then Elkana Fuller was bap- 
tized by Mr. Marsh; this was in the winter of 1752; for it is remembered 
that the ice was broken for the purpose, in the form of a coffin. 

Next year, were baptized by Mr. Marsh, Joshua Cole, Capt. Roe, 
Daniel Roberts, Hezekiah Smith and wife, and Rudolphus Fuller. 
These eight persons were, November 14, 1756, formed into a Baptist 
church bj' a new covenant which is still extant, though the records of 
prior transactions have perished. Two years, after, they joined the 

We have mentioned some remarkable things already; to which 
may be added (1) That Newtown may be considered as an original 
church, having sprung from no other Baptist church. (2) It has in- 
creased in 34 years from eight to seventy-four. (3) Mixed communion 
continued in this church after it became Baptist, which the Baptists 
excused from the consideration of necessity. (4) In 1761, Mr. Marsh 
took it into his head to introduce the economy of the Moravians, viz : 
to have all things in common. About thirty-six persons came into 
his measure, but being chiefly poor people, the project failed in less 
than two years. What, with this project, and Mr. Marsh's altering 
his preaching to the manner of the Separati-sts and his turning speculator 
in traffic and quitting them in 1763, the church had well nigh come to 
nothing, for when Mr. Cox came among them in 1771, there were but 
seven members remaining. 

Some of the lay brethren used frequently to stand up for prophe- 
sying or exhortation, while the spirit of the New England separaters 
was warm at Newtown. But the first minister of the church was Rev. 
William Marsh. 

We have said much of him already, to which mav be added, that 
he was born at Wrentham in Connecticut; ordained at Mansfield in the 
same state, by ministers of the separate order, which ordination served 
him when he became a Baptist; that he left the church in 1763, and 
went to Wyoming, where he was murdered by Indians. He (as before 
observed) turned his attention to traffic, buying horses, cattle etc., 


and selling thcni for gain. The last drove mined him and hurt his 
neighbors. AMien he had turned his drove into money, he was re- 
turning home;, but had occasion to stop on Societ}' Hill in Philadelphia. 
When he came out of his friend's house, his saddle-bags and money 
were gone. 

The idiosyncrasies of Mr. Marsh reduced the membership to seven 
and the church was nearly extinct. But Mr. Constant Hart, one of 
those from Connecticut and a constituent of the church, became an 
exhorter and leader. Under his labors, there was a recovery from 
its low condition. After a little while, Mr Hart went to New England 
and was ordained. The nearest Baptist church was Scotch Plains, 
a vast distance in these early days. On the return of Mr. Hart to New- 
town, about 1769, a reorganization of the church was made and its 
name was changed to Baptist church of Hardiston, Wantage and 
Newtown. Its members living in each of these localities. 

Mr. Hart was pastor, the last time, from 1770 to 1777 and the 
church grew in number and compactness and became a thorough 
Baptist church. A house of worship was partially built near the site 
of Hamburg. Rev. N. Cox settled as pastor in 1777. Already many 
members had removed to Wantage and the unfinished building near 
to where Hamburg is, was taken down and rebuilt in Wantage which 
name the church eventually adopted. The meeting house near Augusta 
accommodated that part of the church and congregation resident nearer 
there. The pastor preaching alternately in these houses. Mr. Cox 
resigned in 1783. In his pastorate the membership increased to one 
hundred. Mr. James Finn followed and was ordained in 1783. He 
resigned in two years. Mr. Silas Southworth succeeded and was 
ordained in 1786. He was pastor till he died on P'ebruary 20th, 1814, 
more than twenty-seven years. He was brought an infant of months 
to Sussex County, by his parents, who were constituents of the church. 
Mr. Southworth was licensed, ordained and pastor of the only church 
of which he had been a member. His charge was one of eminent use- 
fulness and the church grew rapidly and enjoyed great prosperity. 
In 1809, Mr. Southworth resigned, but next year was recalled. In 
1804, the church voted to raise one hundred dollars for the pastor and 
that "the money he levied on the male members, according to their abil- 
ity ^ 

When recalled in 1810, the salary was increased to one hundred 
and twenty-five dollars annually. Twenty-three members were dis- 
missed in 1797 to form the church in Westtown, afterwards second 
Wantage. In 1800, Baptists living in Newfoundland, asked that the 
Lord's Supper be observed there twice a year. The request was granted 


and thereafter Mr. Soutliworth preached in Newfoundland, each month. 
Four years after, Baptists in Newfoundland received letters of dis- 
mission and the Newfoundland church was constituted in 1804. Pas- 
tor Southworth has come down to us, and is known by the fruits of his 
ministry and is deservedly esteemed as one of those worthies entitled 
to a foremost place in our memories as one of the men who laid the 
foundations of our denomination on the basis of the New Testament. 

Rev. L. Hall became pastor in November 1815 and had a successful 
service for six years, when in August 1821, he entered on the reward 
of the righteous on high. (Warwick Association, 1822, Page 7, item 17). 

From March 1822 till in 1824, Rev. John Hagan was pastor. Under 
his labors the membership of the church was largely increased. Data 
written by Deacon S. McCoy in 1841-54 gives us an insight of the move- 
ments of years previous. Rev. L. Fletcher in 1825 was laid aside by 
illness in Sussex and preached in March, 1825. Later, he was called 
to be pastor that year. The deacon writes: "A thorough reformation 
took place and Antinomianism was voted out. First it was moved 
to withdraw from the Warwick Association." In the winter 1829-30, 
a revival crowned the labors of pastor and people. One hundred were 
baptized into the fellowi^hip of the church. A new house of worship 
was built in 1830 on the old site. Three members were licensed to 

Two of them, John and Thomas C. Teasdale in 1828 and 1829. 
These brothers were associated with Zelotes Crenelle and were an 
irresistable force for truth and righteousness against the miasm of 
antinomianism. In the great revival in the winter of 1829-30, Deacon 
McCoy says: "It was common at the prayer meetings to see and hear 
the venerable father. Deacon H. Martin, his son, his grand son, and his 
great grand sons, all engage in prayer. Four generations." Deacon 
Martin filled his place at all meetings of the church till the end of the 
summer of 1853, when his great age and infirmities prevented him from 
going to the sanctuary. Nearly an hundred years old, his name is in 
the minutes of the Association in 1858. 

Mr. Fletcher closed his pastoral charge at Wantage in December 
1831. Rev. T. Jackson followed for three years resigning in 1835. 
Pastor I. Moore was in charge, 1836-40. One hundred nearly were 
baptized in his ministry at Wantage. William Fay was pastor, 
1841-42. Rev. Sandford Leach was pastor about this time. 
Mr. D. F. Twiss settled in 1845 and was ordained, resigning in 1849. 
Rev. Thomas Da\ds entered the pastoral office in 1850, resigning in 
1854. He was recalled in 1855, serving the church nearly ten years. 
The succession of pastors was: J. Beldon, eighteen months; J. F. Love, 


1861-65; D. T. Hill, 1865-69; J. F. Love, second charge, 1870-73; E. 
Jewett, 1874-77; I. G. Dyer, 1878-82; L. O. Grenelle, 1882-1885. This 
period was a crisis period. Movements had been made to build a new 
house of worship and a parsonage. A strong and active element 
wanted to build in Deckertown, but failed in their object. The meeting 
house built in 1830 was a mile or more from the village, uninviting, out 
of repair and discreditable within and without. 

Other denominations honored God in the use of modern places 
of worship where the people were and were growing, while Baptists 
were losing place in the sympathies of the people and hold, on their 
convictions of truth and duty. Pastor L. O. Grenelle, like to his father, 
Zelotes Grenelle, was endowed with the gift of "bringing things to pass." 
To the surprise of onlookers and to the chagrin of opposers who had 
previously blocked all former attempts to reach an end essential to the 
existence and prosperity of the church; ground was bought and a house 
of worship, built in Deckertown, with his usual tact and management. 
The success of this measure aroused bitter hostility to the pastor and 
having accomplished his object in going to Wantage, wisely resigned, 
showing thus, both his intelligence and his love for the cause of Christ; 
leaving the church a unit and by going away, removed the only cause of 

Mr. A. B. Wilson settled in 1885 and resigned in 1887. His erratic 
course excited comparison to the wisdom of his predecessor to the harm 
of Mr. Wilson. Rev. C. C. Lathrop followed in 1887. Mr. Lathrop 
was a remarkable man. Few stood higher in the opinion of the U. S. 
government and of President Lincoln for his political and religious 
integrity. President Lincoln gave to him, very important interests in 
the South, during the Civil War. While a member of the New Jersey 
legislature, he secured the most important temperance legislation ever 
enacted into law. which has the endorsement of all political parties. 
Mr. Lathrop was ordained when sixty-seven years old and became 
pastor of Wantage church when sixty-nine years of age. A Presby- 
terian from his youth, he obeyed the convictions of truth and duty 
and joined a Baptist chuJch, when fifty-five years old. Pastor of 
Wantage church for eleven years, he died December 23, 1897, within 
two months of being eighty years old. His pastorate at Wantage was 
a continuous blessing. Physically and intellectually, it could be said 
of him, as of Moses: "His eye was not dim, nor his natural force a- 

Rev. J. Bristow entered the pastorate in March 1898 and is now in 
1900, holding the trust. The church has had four names. Newtown, 
1756, Hardiston of Newtown and Wantage about 1770; Wantage, 1790; 


Deckertown, 1883. Twenty-three pastors have ministered to the 
church. Two of them have been pastors twice and two of them 
have closed their work in death. One pastor, Mr. Southworth, 
served twenty-seven years. He was the son of a constituent; was 
baptized, licensed and ordained by the church in which he was 
brought up. 

Morgan Edwards had quite an indifferent opinion of Mr. South- 
worth, saying of him: "He is one of those lay ministers, whothink they 
may be wiser than they already (studious) or that ordination and 
Reverend Sir, have made them." (Mr. Edwards is mixed in this ex- 
pression). How mistaken human judgements are! How educated 
men stumble in their conceits! It is wise to suspend judgement of men 
whom God calls into the ministry; till we have seen the use he has for 
them and the use he makes of them. 

As many as eight members were licensed to preach. Among them 
not only Silas Southworth, but John and Thomas Teasdale, both of 
whom accomplished vast good for Christ and truth in a day when 
coveteousness and antinomianism were allied to war on the Kingdom 
of God. The Newtown church, under its several names has built for 
itself, five meeting houses. Two, one near Hamburg and at Augusta; 
two in Wantage and one at Deckertown. Two colonies have gone out 
and constituted churches. In 1797, a colony of twenty-three members 
organized Westtown church. Baptists in Newfoundland were united 
with Wantage in New Jersey and with Warwick church in New York 
State. Those connected with Wantage received letters of dismission 
and united with those of Warwick and constituted in 1804 the New- 
foundland church. The Wantage church through Pastor Fletcher and 
the brothers, John and Thomas Teasdale, brought to naught, the 
antinomian efforts to sweep the Baptist churches in Sussex County 
into antinomianism. The Warwick Association accepted antinomian- 
ism in 1833. Wantage was one of the three churches that withdrew 
and formed the Second Sussex Association. Lafayette and Newton 
churches derived their elementary strength from the original Newtown 
church. Nor only these, but Vernon that was absorbed in Hamburg. 
Hamburg also, Delaware and Mansfield. Were the facts attainable. 
Baptist interests in Warren County would also be identified with the 
original Newtown church. 

The church originally known as Westtown, afterwards changed its 
name in 1804, to second Wantage; was constituted with twenty-three 
members dismissed from first Wantage. Among them was Thomas 
Casad. He was licensed by first Wantage to preach. When Westtown 
was organized, Mr. Casad was ordained for its first pastor. At the 


end of ten years, he ended his labors in death, in 1808. There was a 
vacancy in the pastoral office until 1811 when a member of the church 
was called to be piistor, Mr. Winter Mote, who was ordained. He 
was pastor six years and baptized one hundred and forty-seven. In 

1818, Zelotes Grenelle was called and ordained in August 1819. Mr. 
Grenelle wrote an account of his ordination, a part of which is incor- 
porated here. He says: "The examination was in a room in a shell 
of a meeting house in a place called Meadville and the ordination was 
on a Sunday afternoon. A two horse lumber wagon was drawn into 
a large grove near the meeting house. This wagon served as a pulpit 
and contained all the ministers present. The congregation, about one 
thousand, were seated around." The ordination of Zelotes Grenelle 
out doors illustrated the career of this wonderful man. A man of 
assured health and force, he was foremost every where in the champion- 
ship of truth and duty and though universally esteemed by the anti- 
nomian leaders, he was the most feared by them as an opponent of 
their theories. 

Mr. Grenelle wore a loose fitting jacket of Calvinism and yet none 
more fully maintained the doctrine of the Divine Sovereignty; total 
depravity; regeneration essential and the blood of the cross the only 
way of salvation. Mr. Grenelle was pastor of second Wantage till 
1822. That year, one hundred and twenty-three members, including 
the pastor, were dismissed to form the Orange church in the state of 
New York. This withdrawal resulted in the extinction of Second 
Wantage church. 

Still three pastors served the church after the dismission of so large 
a number of its members. In 1870, the name of the church was dropped 
from the list of churches. A letter from the church not having been 
received since 1865. A house of worship was built while Mr. Casad 
was pastor. Its pulpit had longer vacancies than supplies. 

1798 is claimed as the date of the organization of the Hamburg 
church. August 181 1 , would be a more exact statement of its beginning 
The Vernon church formed in 1798, was six miles from Hamburg and 
its pastor was Rev. Thomas Teasdale. Members of Vernon church 
lived in Hamburg and decided in 1811 to constitute a church in that 
village; an organization was made in 1811. Mr. Teasdale was pastor 
of both of these churches, of Hamburg tiU 1814, and of Vernon till 

1819. Then, Vernon church disbanded and its membership united at 
Hamburg. The Hamburg church formed originally of members of 
Vernon and later, absorbing that body adopted the date of the mother 
body. One good of this action is that the history of early Baptist 
movements in Sussex County is preserved. 


Some of the longest settled Baptists in Vernon township have lately 
said that they did not knov,' of any other Baptist church in the towns- 
ship than the Glenwood church, organized in 1862. The Hamburg 
church is virtually the Vernon church in a changed location. A house 
of worship was built in Hamburg on a lot given by Mr. Ryerson for the 
use of all denominations. Baptists and Presbyterians, chiefly occupied 
it. Pastor Thomas Teasdale died in 1827, seventy-four years old. 
He had been pastor at Vernon since 1811. How long before that is 
unwritten. It is believed that he was the first pastor at Hamburg, 
retaining his charge in the removal of the church to Hamburg and 
died while pastor. He was greatly lamented by the church and com- 
munity. Himself and his brother John did a great work for the King- 
dom of God in North New Jersey. The Teasdales and Zelotes Grenelle 
were strangers to schools but they had one teacher, the Holy Spirit, 
and one class book, the Bible. Rev. L. Fletcher was called to be pastor 
in 1827, while pastor at first Wantage and preached for three years 
part of the time. In March 1831, Rev. John Teasdale first as supply, 
then as pastor, minstered to the church. His labors had reward in 
the ensuing winter by the addition to the church of eighty baptized 
converts. Mr. Teasdale closed his pastoral care in. 1833. Rev. C. C. 
Park followed in November, 1833, and resigned in 1835. Rev. James 
Spencer was called and was ordained in December 1837. The minute 
book of the church speaks of him as an "humble, earnest and devoted 
minister of Christ.' ' In the autumn of 1837 began what is called "the 
great revival," One hundred and thirty-six were baptized that year 
and in three years, two hundred and seventy-three were added to the 
church by baptism. Since the great Teacher preached, it has been that 
"Many from that day went back from following him." Thus also, it 
was that many drifted with the religious current and were deceived 
in themselves. In the summer of 1838 Rev. William H. Spencer settled 
as pastor and concluded his ministry at Hamburg in October 1845. 

Next month. Rev. John Davis entered the pastoral office and con- 
tinued till 1849. His ministry of instruction and training the lately 
added disciples for usefulness, was a great blessing to them and to the 
church. Upon his removal, a temporary arrangement was made with 
Rev. J. M. Hope to preach as his health permitted. This lasted till 
the spring of 1851, when his health failed. Then, Rev. Thomas Davis, 
pastor of first Wantage, consented to preach in an afternoon service 
which continued one year. A call was given to J. S. Christine as pastor 
and that lasted three years. Rev. J. M. Hope had recovered his health 
and in 185G, became pastor. The church edifice was out of repair, 
and Mr. Hope set about its improvement and the house was rededicated 

Zelotes Grenelle 


in 1858. Mr. Hope also secured a parsonage. Eight years were occup- 
pied on lines of labor essential to the permanent usefulness of the 
church. In 1864, he resigned. Next year, 1865, Rev. D. Silver settled 
as pastor and was ordained in February 1865, and was pastor fifteen 
years. The succession of pastors is: A. Millington from 1881, three 
years; E. D. Shull, from 1884, two years; E. J. Cooper, 1889, two years; 
E. J. O. Millington, 1891, two years; A. S. Bastian, 1894, two years; 
A. S. Thompson, 1895, three years; H. J. Roberts, 1900. Five mem- 
bers have been licensed to preach. The first of these, M. Quin, in 1831, 
was one of the most efficient ministers. He gave himself to labor in 
destitute fields and in weak churches. He and John Todd of Cedarville 
were favorite missionaries of the Board of the New Jersey Baptist 
State Convention. In 1823, the antinomian element in Hamljurg, 
numbering twenty-two, called for letters of dismission. Instead of 
complying, the church called a council for advice. Upon its recom- 
mendation, the applicants were excluded. These, constituted them- 
selves into an antinomian church and located in the village of Franklin. 
This body has long since become extinct. There has not been colonies 
from Hamburg church. The church has had eighteen pastors. One, 
A. Millington, has been pastor twice. One, the first, has died, having 
been pastor seventeen years and another six or seven years. How 
many houses of worship, if more than one, does not appear. Two 
parsonages: the first outside of the village, was sold; the second was 
build a few years ago in the village. 




Morgan Edwards says of First Cape May Baptist church, that it 
may be deemed an original church, having sprung from none other, but 
having originated in the place where it exists. "For the origin of this 
church, we must take a retrospect of affairs to 1675, in which year 
a vessel with emigrants in Delaware (river or bay) from England who 
settled some at the cape and some elsewhere. Among those at the 
cape, were two Baptists; viz: George Taylor and Philip Hill. Taylor 
kept a meeting in his o-rni house and with his exhortations, reading 
the Bible and expounding and enlightened some in the article of Believer 
baptism. After his death in 1702, Mr. Hill continued the meetings 
till 1704, when he died. 

Soon after, George Eaglesfield visited the Cape and made more 
proselytes. These went to Philadelphia to receive Holy baptism (60 
miles distant) as appears by the Association book." "In 1688, Elias 
Keach visited these parts and ordained one Ashton. In the fall of 171 1 
Rev. Thomas Griffiths of "Welsh tract" Del., went to the Cape with 
the view to purchase land and settle among the people for life. But 
failing in his design, he quitted them, the next spring and recommended 
to them, Rev. Nathaniel Jenkins, who had just arrived in the country 
from Wales. Mr. Jenkins came and pleased the people and on June 
24th, 1712, he and they were constituted a Baptist church by Rev. 
T. Brooks of Cohansie and his Elders were thirty-seven constituents, 
of whom twenty were women and seventeen men." A noteworthy 

Baptists and their long vigil of twenty-nine years, each true to the 
Divine Word, no doubt ofttimes discouraged, and yet, "for Christ's 
sake" was a sufficient motive. First Cape May was the fourth Baptist 
church established in New Jersey and it was the first to recognize wives 
and daughters as equally entitled with husbands and sons to be enrolled 
as constituents of a Gospel church. How much Mr. Jenkin had to do 
with this is un-wTitten. In Wales, his native land, for centuries married 
women were entitled to vote. Welsh women were not inferiors. Mr. 
Edwards adds this additional information of this church: "In 1715, 
they built their first meeting house on land of a man whose title being 
naught they lost both the house and land. In 1742-3, religion was 
raised high at the Cape, owing partly to the preaching of Baptist min- 


isters and partly to the labors of the Presbyterian ministers of the 
Newlight order, but many of the disciples of the latter joining the 
Baptists caused much grumbling and a public dispute and polemic 

This was the occasion of the public debate on baptism in which 
Abel Morgan of Middletown had a part with the President of Princeton 
College. Rev. N. Jenkins was the first pastor for eighteen years, going 
from Cape May to Cohansie. Mr. Jenkins had previously been preaching 
at Cohansie once each month for six years, while pastor at Cape May. 
This was in the interim of the death of Mr. William Butcher, pastor of 
Cohansie and the coming of Mr. Jenkins to be pastor at Cohansie. Mr. 
Edwards, speaking of Mr. Jenkins, says of him: "He became their minis 
ter at the constitution of the church in 1712, first Cape May. He was 
a Welshman and arrived in America in 1710. He was a man of good 
parts and a tolerable education and quitted himself with honor in the 
loan office, London, England (whereof he was a trustee and also in the 
Assembly, the Governor's Legislature or Council) particularly in 1721 
when a bill was brought in to punish such as denied the Doctrine ol 
the Trinity; the Divinity of Christ; the inspiration of the scriptures etc." 
In opposition to which, Mr. Jenkins stood up and with the warmth and 
accent of a Welshman said: "I believe the doctrines in question, as 
firmly as the promoters of that ill designed bill; but will never consent 
to oppose the opposers with law, or with any other weapon, save that 
of argument." The bill was quashed to the great mortification of them 
who wanted to raise in New Jersey, the spirit which waged in New 

Mr. Jenkins was educated much better than the average of his 
times, he had high business qualities and commanded the best places 
in commercial and political life. Like to other Welshmen he was 
imbued with the great principal of soul liberty characteristic of Wales 
for centuries. Mr. Jenkins was succeeded at Cape May by his son. 
The son was ordained in 1747 at the age of thirty-seven. Owing to 
his ill health, his pastorate was short; about seven years. It is said of 
him that he was a man superior, both in mind and cultrue. The uni- 
versal habit of, intoxicating drink ensnared him and he fell into a 
premature dotage, dying in 1769, fifty-nine years old. In 1756, Mr. 
Samuel Heaton settled as pastor, but in 1760, he removed to Dividing 
Creek, where he gathered a church and was its pastor. Mr. Heaton was 
a Presbyterian. His experience in becoming a Baptist is in the history 
of Schooley's Mountaiji church, now known as Mount Olive. Driven 
by the Indians from a church in Virginia, he had founded there, he 
moved to Cape May, 


Morgan Edwards said of Mr. Heaton: "If an honest man be the 
noblest work of God," as Pope saith, "Mr. Heaton may lay claim to 
that nobility." Mr. Heaton had ten children and Mr. Edwards con- 
tinues: "His great family he brought up in a decent way, notwithstand- 
ing his poverty, which shows him to have been a good citizen; for I 
take it that a man who raises a family does a nobler feat than Alexander 
or Caesar ever did." In an interval of four years, between the resig- 
nation of Mr. Heaton and his successor, the church bought a parsonage 
of sixty acres. Rev. John Sutton settled as pastor April 1st, 1764. 
Mr. Sutton was a graduate of Hopewell and always took a prominent 
part in advancing Baptist interests wherever he was. His stay at Cape 
May was but two years. Rev. P. P. Van Horn followed in 1770. His 
labors in the churhces were invaluable, an only exception being, that 
so few of them could command services so worthy. David Smith, the 
next pastor was a native of the place and had been converted and 
baptized into the church. He was licensed in 1774 and supplied the 
church till 1776, when he was ordained at forty-six hears old and became 
pastor. February, 1784, he died, having ministered to the church 
eleven years. Artis Seagraves of Pittsgrove then came. His stay was a 
time of distraction and desolation. In June, 1788, he got a vote "that 
Universalism should not be a bar to communion or Christian fellowsihp." 
In August 1788, the following was adopted: Whether it is expedient 
to hold communion with Mr. Seagraves or not : 

Resolved, That no communion be held till we have the advice of 
the Association." At its meeting, the church asked if a person holding 
to Universalism ought to be excommunicated. The reply was: "Agreed 
that every such person upon conviction, after proper steps have been 
taken, ought to be excluded." At the meeting of the church in Oct- 
ober, "Mr. Seagraves was suspended from communion and from preach- 
ing, unless he recanted the doctrine of Universalism." In December, 
this was rescinded and a letter was given to him to Pittsgrove. In 
December, this action was rescinded and Seagraves was excluded. But 
the baseness of his teaching remained a long time, a blight. An instance 
it was of Universalism destroying all good both now and forever. 

Rev. John StanclifT entered the pastorate in 1789 and he counter- 
acted the falsehoods of Seagraves and rooted them out and it was an 
end to Universalism for twelve years and then he was summoned to 
his reward on high January, 1802. In May, 1802, Rev. J. Garman 
became pastor. But he died in January 1808. At the end of June 
Rev. Jenkin David was called to be pastor. Mr. David was from Wales 
in 1794 and continued at Cape May fourteen years. After several 
months, Rev. Thomas Robinson accepted a call to the charge of the 


church and settled in Januarj' 1823. Tliis hunihle and devoted servant 
of God, was pastor eight >-ears. Mr. Robinson was followed in 1831, 
b}^ Rev. Samuel Smith, who upheld the dignity of the pastoral office 
for seven years. At the age of sixty-six years, in 1838, Rev. P. Powell 
occupied the pastor's ofhce for five years, welcoming two hundred and 
thirty-four baptized disciples to the church. Mr. Powell was a most 
modest and unassuming man. He was a memorial minister of the old 
time pastors. 

Rev. Isaac Moore was twice pastor at first Cape May. His first 
charge began in 1843 and closed in 1846. Eleven years passed and he 
was recalled in 1857 and his term lasted three years. For his times, 
of Calvinistic preaching, he leaned positively to Armenianism, but 
was thoroughly evangelistic. At the close of Mr. Moore's first settle- 
ment, another native Welshman entered the patorate. Rev. David 
James. There has always been an affinity between the Baptist churches 
of New Jersey and Welsh Baptist preaching, due it may be, to the 
liking of Baptist churches in New Jersey, to Baptist preaching and to 
the Welsh preachers preaching Baptist views so that converts were 
multiplied. Mr. James resigned in 1850. L. F. Barney followed for 
two years, after whom Mr. J. E. Wilson was ordained in J\me 1853 
and closed his labors at first Cape May in 1857. Since then, the success- 
ion of pastors has been: I. Moore, 1857-60; WiUiam Swinden, 1860-65; 
E. N. Jenks, 1865-67; A. J. Hires, 1867-74; F. B. Greu, 1874-78. In 
1874, a chapel was built at Rio Grande. A. Cauldwell, 1878-81; W. L. 
Jones, 1881-83; W. E. Cornell, 1883-86; H. S. Watt, 1886, who died 
in about five months, but enjoyed a work of grace in his early charge. 
S. B. Hayward, 1886-90; E. B. Morris, 1890-92; Debt paid, parsonage 
repaired. H. G. McKean, 1892-93; T. E. Richards, 1894-95; F. H. 
Shermer, 1896-1899; J. W. Caine, from April 1900. 

First Cape May church has had thirty-one pastors. The first 
was the longest. The shortest that of Mr. Watts. Death cut it short. 
Four have died while being pastor. Cape May people enjoyed preaching 
The New Jersey Association met there in 1830, when it was resolved: 
"To occupy the court house for the business of the Association in order 
that the meeting house might be used for preaching while the Associ- 
ation was in session." Five were appointed to preach in one day. 
Two in the morning, two in the afternoon and one in the evening. In 
a session of tw^o days, seven sermons were preached. This will explain 
why churches rivaled each other for a meeting of an Association with 
them and what the members of a church went to associations for. It 
is stiU true that sermons command the largest audiences at our associ- 
ations. Possibly the change to addresses on various topics may explain 


the reduced attendance at these meethigs as well as the limited time 
of their sessions. Four colonies have gone from first Cape May, even 
though located on a narrow strip of land stretching far into the ocean. 
Four places of worship have been built b}^ the church. The first in 
1715 and lost by a defect in the title. A second in 1741. The lot 
on which the last was erected was the gift of Jeremiah Hand. This 
house was in use seventy-three years. The third was built of brick 
in 1824 and was burned in 1854. Immediately afterward, that 
now in use was undertaken and dedicated in December 1855. In 
1761, a parsonage farm of sixty acres was bought. In 1831, a new 
dwelling house was built on the farm and the property was sold in 1857. 
A lot was bought and a house built on it after 1867. The pastor moved 
into it in 1868. In 1771, the church concluded that no member should 
by any means sign for Daniel Hand to have a tavern license," and on 
March 5th, 1775, Hannah Shaw was suspended from the communion 
on account of her drinking to excess. Joseph Hildreth in 1784, left a 
legacy of forty pounds to the church. Twelve pounds were left by 
Mrs. Deborah Spicer and one third of a plantation was given to the 
church and one third of John Cresse's movables, valued at fifty pounds, 
were left to the church. At least four members have been licensed 
to preach, one of whom was ordained and became patsor of the church 
and ministered to the church for eleven years. 

First Cape May Baptist church began a mission in 1729 at Dennis- 
ville; about eight miles distant from the Home church. They main- 
tained the mission for one hundred and twenty years, until a chiirch 
was organized in 1849. An agreement to build a free meeting house 
was made by the citizens in April 1802 and the free house was completed 
in 1803. The statement of Barber in his history of New Jersey that 
this was a Methodist house and the first built in the count}' is utterly 
false as are so many of his random utterances. 

The first Baptist house in the county was built in 1715 and the 
second Baptist house of worship was built long before 1785 and the 
third Baptist house was built in 1785. The house at Dennisville was 
a free house for Baptists and Methodists on alternate Lord's Days. This 
building was thus used till 1853, when the Methodists built a house of 
worship for themselves and the old house was wholly left for Baptists. 
In 1838, the second Baptist ciiurch in Cape May County united with 
the first Baptist church in sustaining the Dennisville Mission. Special 
meetings were held in Dennisville in 1848-9, by Rev. H. Wescott <and 
Pastor A. J. Wright of the second church resulting in the organization 
of a Baptist church with thirty constituents. Nine from the first 
church and twenty from the second church. The pastors of Dennis- 


ville were: M. R. Cox, 1849-52; J. E. Wilson, of the first Ci^)e May 
church, 1853-58; Ephraim Sheppard, of the second church, 1863-64; 
William Swinden of the first Cape May church, 1861-63; Joseph Harnett 
of the second church, 1863-4. On February 27th, 1864, Dennisville 
voted to unite with the Calvary Baptist church of South Seaville and 
the union of the churches was effected on March 13th. This union 
was really nominal. Dennisville keeping its officers, paying all local 
expenses and its share of the pastor's salary, buying a lot and building 
a house of worship and in part, a parsonage. 

The joint pastors were: D. L. Davis, 1864-65; C. E. Wilson, 1865-67; 
J. K. Manning, 1867-70; J. M. Lyon, 1871-2; M. M. Finch, 1872-76; 
C. H. Johnson, 1876-79; J. W. Taylor, 1880-83; William Warlow, 1883-85 
E. S. Fitz, 1885-91; E. S. TowTie 1891-92; J. A. Klucker, 1893-94; S. B. 
Hiley, 1895-97; On July 27th, 1897 at a meetig in Dennisville, it was 
voted to apply to Calvary church for letters of dismission to organize 
a Baptist church in South Dennis. On August 14th, 1897, sixty-one 
members were dismissed and on August 26th, formed the memorial 
Baptist church of South Dennis. The second time in which a Baptist 
church was constituted at Dennisville. Evidently these people were 
of a variable mind and made the organization of a Baptist church a 
"foot ball." In the history of South Dennis church, it originated 
in a mission of the first Cape May church in 1729, one hundred and 
seventy-one years since. There have been three organizations. In 
1838, a "branch" with certain liberties of independency and yet, its 
doings were subject to review by the first Cape May church. The 
branch was recognized as an independent body in 1849. Then again, 
in 1864, it was absorbed in the Calvary church of South Seaville, re- 
taining however, its official rights and officers. This order continued 
till 1897, when again, it became the South Dennis Memorial church. 
Two churches have gone out from the Calvary church, Goshen, 1891; 
Dias Creek, 1891. 

One member of these bodies has been licensed to preach and was 
called to be pastor, M.H.Snodgrass. Since 1849, nineteen pastors have 
ministered in Dennisville. One church is an outgrowth of this body. 
Woodbine. "^Miile the record of Baptist affairs at Dennisville is peculiar, 
it has been continuous, illustrating the preachers' definition of the 
doctrine of "Perseverance of the Saints" "Take hold on and never let go." 

Woodbine is the name of the Jewish colony, established by the 
executor of Baron Hersch's will. The superintendent of the colony, Mr. 
Sabsorrih, offered Pastor Snodgrass of Calvary and of South Dennis 
Baptist churches, two acres of ground if a Baptist meeting house was 
built on it. Several American families bemg resident in the place. 


The offer was accepted and at the meeting of the West New Jersey 
Association, it was resolved: That the missionary committee of the 
Association be authorized to unite with the Trustees of the property 
in Woodbine, in an immediate effort to build a church edifice on the 
ground, appealing to the churches and endorsing an application to the 
State Convention for a loan to complete the work pledging our associa- 
tion to give the assistance of our churches as far as possible. On Decem- 
ber 16th, 1899, a church was organized in the home of Deacon G. A. 
Blake with nine constituents. The house of worehip was finished in 
June, 1900. A loan of half the cost of the building being from the church 
edifice fmid. Pastor Snodgrass of the Calvary church of Cape May 
County ministered to the church for some time. Rev. G. B. Young 
is now (1900) pastor of the church. Its future depends upon the 
infusion of an American Christian element in the town. A church 
so newly constituted has not accumulated history and its future cannot 
be predicted. 

Cape Island 's at the extreme of Cape May. A small stream cuts 
off a section of the beach from the mainland, making it an island. Ac- 
cessible by a steam boat from Philadelphia and New York. For many 
years, there was not a house of worship within miles of the island. 
Baptists located there and Baptist ministers visited the place. Es- 
pecially pastors of first Cape May Baptist church and preaching in the 
school house or dining rooms of the hotels. Thus it was tiU 1835, when 
Rev. Isaac Church, Sr., a native of the county, came back from Ohio 
and settled on cape May. The first Baptist chvirch of the county em- 
ploj'ed him as a missionary and he made Cape Island one of his stations, 
once in four weeks,and as congregations grew,preached once in two weeks. 

In his record of these labors, Mr. Church says: '"Inquiries started: 
what is a Baptist and why is he a Baptist?" At union meetings, the 
converts were not all willing to join the nearest church. They insisted 
that they must be baptized by their o^\ti choice, even though they 
must travel thirteen miles to the Baptist church. With the increase 
of Baptists, persecutions began. By the advice of Mr. Church, steps 
were taken to organize a Baptist church. A council was called to meet 
in April 1844 at the house of Alexander A. Shaw. The Council advised 
an organization and twenty-five Baptists constituted themselves the 
Cape Island Baptist church. Among whom was Mr. Church. Already 
an eligible lot was bought and measures were adopted to build a meet- 
ing house. Rev. Mr. Church was pastor the first year. Rev. N. B. 
Tindle followed for eighteen months. On the 18th of July, 1847, the 
church edifice was dedicated and Rev.Mr.Church was recalled, remaining 
until 1848. Mr. Church, Sr., was anxious to retire and in June Rev. 


I. M. Church, Jr., son of tlioir former pastor, was called to follow his 
father and entered on his pastoral charge the next fall. 

The winter after, a work of grace broke out, and the membership 
of Cape Island church was nearly doubled. Rev. Mr. Church resigned 
in October 1851, and in May 1852, Rev. J. P. Hall became pastor and 
closed his oversight in 1854. And in 1857, Rev. J. Hammitt accepted 
a call to be pastor, continuing till 1859. From the end of this pastorate 
to March 1867, there is a blaiik in account of the welfare of the church. 
From April of 1867, towards the close of 1868, Rev. J. C. Hyde was 
pastor. He was a useful pastor and the church had more additions 
than in any other like period of its early history. After Mr. Hyde, 
Rev. C. E. Wilson was pastor for eighteen months. A new era began 
with the coming of Pastor Samuel Hughes that began in 1872 to 1877, 
whom Rev. F. Greul followed in May 1878 to 1882. A new and costly 
sanctuary was built and was dedicated in 1882. 

Before Messrs. Hughes and Greul settled, the pastors had left too 
soon to get such a hold of the communit}^ as is essential to the most 
usefulness. Again, short pastorates were renewed in 1885. Rev. T. P. 
Price came and remained but one year. A. N. Whitemarsh, two years; 
A. B. McCurdy, one year; \V. H. Burlew, nearly four years. A legacy 
left bj- a sister in the church relieved it of debt. Mr. T. Xeas, one year; 
A. F. Greenig, one year, August 1895; Rev. C. D. Parker, and w^as 
pastor in 1900. The church in 1881 began to be known as Cape May 
City and is known by this name. The church has had fourteen pastors. 
The longest pastorates have been the most successful. Fluctuations 
of the population on the seaside has a hurtful influence on permanent 
residents and tends to lowering the spiritual life of a church. Two 
houses of worship have been erected by the church, one in 1847; another 
larger and more befitting a popular resort in 1882. In 1898, seventeen 
members constituted a church in Cape May Point. There are no 
published reports of this church up to 1900. 

Under the pastoral care of Rev. A. J. Hires, the first Cape May 
Baptist church, at a considerable cost, built a chapel at Rio Grande 
in 1873, in Cape May County. Rev. J. M. Craner began a mission 
there, in 1880 and on the 27th of May, 1880, a Baptist church was 
organized wath thirty-one constituents dismissed from first Cape May 
church. It was, including Dennisville, the third colon}^ of the first 
Baptist church of Cape May. Mr. Craner was the first pastor of the 
church for fourteen years. Mr. Craner in 1894, removed to Wildwood. 
where a chapel had been built. F. St. J. Fitch accepted the call of the 
church in 1894. H. S. Gilbert settled as pastor in 1895. Supplies 
served the church up to 1900. 


Tlic most intimate tio of Wildwood church to any other is to Rio 
Grande. Rev. J. M. Craner had an outloolc for vacant fields and was 
ready to carry the message of life to those destitute. While pastor 
of Rio Grande church, occupying the chapel, which first Cape May church 
built. In 1892, Wildwood as a central position won his attention and 
he began to preach in the dining room of a hotel. Baptists appeared 
and formed a nucleus. He began to build a meeting house. A debt 
of one thousand dollars was due when completed in 1893. The newness 
of the field, the going of Mr. Craner from Rio Grande, imperilled the 
property and a committee and Rev. J.W.Caine and Mr.H.Snodgrass were 
appointed and the property was saved. Under Mr. Caine, about nineteen 
Baptists were gathered and the Baptist church of Wildwood was formed. 

In 1831, an application for admission to the West New Jersey 
Association was received from a second Cape May Baptist church" 
The request was referred to a committee to report at the annual session 
in 1832. At that meeting (1832) "it was unanimously agreed to receive' 
the church. This was the first denominational mention of the existence 
of the second Cape May Baptist church. The delay of admitting 
the church was due to bad reports about the pastor of the church. 
Subsequent facts justified the care of the Association. The man 
absconded, taking the early records of the church with him. 

In the county archives reference is made of the second Cape May 
Baptist church as organized in 1828. In 1832, it had forty-two mem- 
bers. Long before, earlier than 1785, a Baptist house of worship had 
been built at Littleworth (now Palermo). "One Jeremiah Edwards 
donated an acre of land to the Ana Baptists of the Upper precinct 
of Cape May County" on which to build a meeting house. The public 
records of the colonies, were destroj'ed b}' the English soldiers or by 
their friends, the Tories. Whenever they could get hold of the county 
papers detroyed them and there is no record of the deed, but it is a 
tradition that the house was built by "sundry contributions." On 
August 1st, 1785, in a suit against the heirs of the donor of the ground, 
the property was sold by the sheriff, which he bought for five shillings. 
On the 17th of October, 1785, the people met to consult about their 
church and they decided to reclaim it for the Ana Baptists. Twelve 
trustees were chosen to hold the property and they redeemed it for 
the five shillings, which the sheriff bought it for and received a deed 
in trust for the Ana Baptists forever." The deed is dated February 10th 
1786 and was not recorded until June 25th, 1833. Had the deed been 
lost, the property might also have been lost. The sale and purchase 
by the sheriff most likely was pre-arranged. This house was used 
by the church till 1853. 


If it had been in use five years when sold, seventy years would be 
the period of its use. The Tuckahoe Baptist church had been formed 
in 1771 and their meeting house had been built in 1751. Old people, 
long since dead, told their children that pastors of first Cape May, 
Tuckahoe and Manahawkin preached in the old house of the second 
Cape May church and the building must have been in use long before 
1785. Of the twelve trustees chosen in 1785, three were named Corson, 
and at the reorganization of second Cape May Baptist church in 1834, 
of the thirty-three constituents, nine were named Corson. Two of 
the trustees in 1785 were named Young; two of the thirty-three con- 
stituents in 1834 had the same name. In 1834, the church had two 
meeting houses, one called the "Upper House, then named "Corsons," 
and the other, "the Lower House" at "Townsands Inlet," and is 
now occupied by the Calvary church. All of this indicates the early 
origin of second Cape May Baptist church. Both Corson's Inlet and 
Townsands Inlet were originally Baptist settlements. 

These Baptists incorporated in their covenant: "Total abstinence 
from all intoxicating drinks." The New Jersey Baptist State Con- 
vention sent Rev. Michael Quinn, their missionary, to this section. He 
was the first pastor of modern times of second Cape May church. His 
stay was only one year, but he baptized sixty-nine. Mr. Quinn was 
followed b)' a deceiver, causing a recall of Mr. Quinn and the church 
had lost ground which was recovered. An Irishman had the wit and 
humor of his countrymen. The writer recalls many amusing incidents 
of him. He died about two years after his second charge. But not 
till the church had called him to the pastorate the third time. The 
Convention Board sent Rev. J. Jones to this field in 1837, where he 
was pastor eleven years. 

Others that followed were: M. R. Cox, 1848-54; Ephraim Sheppard, 
1855-61; E. J. Swain, a licentiate of the church, ordained for pastor in 
November 1861, compelled by failure of health to resign and died in 
1871 of con.sumption; J. Hammitt, 1863-65; J. T. Hall, 1865-67; J.A. 
Taylor, 1867-69; C. P. Melleny, 1869-71; A. B. Still, 1872-73; R. G. 
Lamb, 1873-82; J. G. Entriken, 1883-87; a chapel was built at Tuckahoe 
in 1885 and in 1886 the Tuckahoe church was constituted and th 
chapel given to the church; M. M. Fogg, 1888-93; W. G. Robinson, 
1894-97; H. J. Roberts served seven months, 1898; resigning to go 
with the colony to Ocean City. W. P. Hile, 1898-1900. Three members 
have been licensed to preach, one of them to become pastor virtually. 
Three or four houses of worship have been built. Three colonies 
have become churches. Calvary, in 1863; Tuckahoe, in 1886, 
and Ocean City, in 1898. To two of these it gave houses^ 


of worship and to the hist its pastor. The church has had seventeen 
pastors, one of whom was compelled by ill health to resign. Another 
was pastor twice and was prevented by his death from a third charge 
and another went with one of the colonies. 

While Rev. J. G. Entrekin was pastor of second Cape May church 
he included Tuckahoe in his field and in 1885, secured the erection of 
a chapel for Baptist use. Where a Sunday school was formed and he 
preached each Lord's Day. A large proportion of the early settlers on 
the southern sea coast were Baptists. First Cape May church was 
constituted in 1712, Manahawkin in 1770 and Tuckahoe in 1771. The 
early Tuckahoe had a church edifice. A Baptist element survived 
the disasters of the early days, which Mr. Entrekin influenced to begin 

The scond Cape May church voted in 1839 for the pastor to preach 
twice each month in Tuckahoe and to administer the communion once 
in two months. Evidently there were Baptists in sufficient number 
there then to make this action of the church desirable. The use of the 
Presbyterian house of w-orship was obtained and pastors Still and Lamb 
preached in it. But finally, "for peace sake," gave up the collection 
of funds to build a Baptist chapel. Baptists bought. In 1887, Mr. 
Entrekin resigned at second Cape May church and gave himself entirely 
to Tuckahoe. Including his first ministry in 1884 to his closing labors 
in 1892, Mr. Entrekin gave about eight years to Tuckahoe. The old 
site of the village of Tuckahoe is overgro-^^'n with timber. The new 
village is several miles distant from the former town and is divided by 
a river that is the boundary of two counties. The house of worship is 
in Atlantic County. Mr. Entrekin was followed by Rev. M. Frayne in 
1893 and continued as pastor till 1901, when he became pastor at Rio 
Grande, where he died, April, 1903. The church has had only the two 



We are indebted to Pastor J. W. Lyell of the first Baptist church, 
Camden for the earUest pubHshed memorial of the beginning and 
growth of Baptist movements in Camden, New Jersey. In a prefatory 
note he states: "The original records of the first Baptist church in 
Camden, New Jersey, were for many years inaccessible. * * * At 
cost of time and effort Rev. I. C. Wynn collected from all available 
sources a large mass of historical material and presented the same in 
an anniversary sermon in April 1885. An old record book covering 
the first twelve years of history was found in 1892. On February 5th, 
1892, the seventy-fifth anniversary of the organization of the church 
was celebrated with appropriate exercises, among which was a review 
of the past based upon the work of Pastor Wynn augmented by the 
recently discovered material." 

Pastor Lyell has given to us the early history of Baptist affairs in 
Camden. On February 5th, 1818, seven Baptists in Camden consti- 
tuted themselves a Baptist church in the city. Originally these were 
from Cohansie and Salem and had joined the first Baptist church in 
Philadelphia. Three of the seven were Sheppards, descendants of the 
constituents of Cohansie church. An Academy was allowed to them as 
a place of worship. Rev. H. Holcombe, pastor of the first church of 
Philadelphia, and Rev. William Rogers, a former pastor and professor 
in Pennsylvania University, each preached in Camden. The crossing 
of the river was a serious matter, the river was wide; the tide swift and 
strong and long detours were necessary above or below islands, especially 
in winter, when ice filled the river. 

The writer recalls when an entire day was necessary to pass from 
shore to shore. Pastor Lyell publishes a letter by Mr. S. B. Sheppard 
stating an incident of the perils these disciples risked to go to the House 
of God. Despite discouragements they "rarely missed a Lord's day." 
Three of them kept a boat for crossing the river on the Sabbath. One 
day, returning from meeting an unexpected flaw of wind struck and 
capsized the boat. Ten of them got on its bottom, but Mr. Smith did 
not appear. Mr. Sheppard left the boat to find his companion, whom 
he found under the boat tangled in rope. He got him out and with 
the aid of Page got him on the boat. They remained till help came 
from the shore. Such risks in the service of God, indicate the caste 


of the men and women who laid the foundations on which we build. 
Neither is it a surprise that such cheerfully assumed the responsibility 
of becoming a church of Christ. In reply to their application for 
letters of dismission to constitute a church in Camden, Mr. Holcombe 
wrote to them as follows: 

"We have received your affectionate application for a dismissal 
from us that you may form a religious body in Camden. Not doubting 
your full persuasion that existing circumstances justify this important 
measure, we agree without a dissenting voice, that your endearing 
relation to us as our members, shall be honorably dissolved in the 
moment of your becoming a regularly constituted church of our faith 
and order. * * Our hearts desire and prayer to God is, that you 
may prosper and prove a blessing to thousands in your community. 

* * * Suffer a word of exhortation : Let your moderation be known 
to all men and be at peace among yourselves. Be guided implicitly 
by the Scriptures. * * Seek and support an evangelical ministry. 

* * * Regard truth, honesty, quietness, temperance, industry 
and economy as virtues essential to the Christian character. * * * 
Should you plant and water with little success, call to your aid, patience 
and perseverance; consider the Lord's method of choosing both the 
time and means of carrying his gracious purposes into effect. In 1689, 
we as a body consisted of but nine members. Betwixt that and the 
seven churches which have gone out from us and now we have between 
four and five hundred members in great harmony and replenished with 
accessions by baptism and letters. We cannot say: 'O, that it was 
with us as in days that are past.' * * * We conclude with the 
assurance that you will not, beloved brethren and sisters, be forgotten 
by us whenever we remember ourselves before the throne of grace. 
By order and in behalf of the church, Henry Holcombe, pastor of the 
first Baptist church, Philadelphia." On the next day, February 5th, 
1818, the first Baptist church of Camden was organized. Previously, on 
January 5th, five believers had been baptized by Rev. D. James. These 
immediately united with the church. 

In the ensuing May, Mr. James was called to be pastor. As it 
has been since the days of the Nazarene, opposition and persecution 
by so called Christians of other names than Baptists closed the doors 
of the Academy against the little band. These were Baptists and 
dangerous, even though few in number. Did they not insist upon the 
supremacy of the Scriptures to creeds and the right of each to hold 
and teach his o-mi convictions of truth and duty, the Bible being their 
authority? Persecution had its usual result, opposition advertised 
Baptists. Opposition awakened inquiry. Private houses were opened 


for worship and in place of one, many witnessed of the Grace of God. 
A church edifice became a necessity and it was erected in 1818 before 
the church was a year old. 

Modest in appearance, it was a foothold and a fulcrum for Gospel 
leverage to turn numbers to righteousness and to Baptist ideas. Mr. 
James w;is pastor only about six months. A great sorrow came to the 
church in parting with him. The custom of intoxicants became a 
snare to the good man. The minute of the action of the church was: 
"We wish to be as tender with him as possible and not debar him from 
preaching, wherever he may be called to do so, if he think proper. 
Only here, we believe his usefulness to be at an end, except grace prevent 
or a great change for the better takes place." 

The people of this church were evidently true to the Gospel and to 
the best welfare of the church; no less did they show gentleness and 
patience toward a brother "overtaken in a fault," in times, when not 
to drink was discourtesy, and when not to offer a bottle or a glass to 
neighbor and friend was to be ostracized from social life. It is almost 
incredible how many noble and good men were overtaken by the drink 
habit. Mr. John Cooper was called to be pastor and three months later 
was ordained. He resigned about the end of 1819. Rev. T. J. Kitts 
was pastor for two years and supplied the church for months after 
resigning. The second year of his engagement, his salary was one 
dollar for each sermon. 

In January 1823, Mr. C. J. Hopkins was called and was ordained 
in the next May for the pastoral office. He held the pastorate for 
about one and a half years. Mr. Hopkins had been called into the 
ministry under Pastor Holcombe of the first church, Philadelphia. 
The incident of his first attempt to preach was told to the writer by 
Mr. Hopkins. At a given church meeting Mr. Holcombe said: "Brethren, 
I think we have a young man whom God has called to preach and 
suggested that a time be set to hear him, I refer to our Brother Hopkins.' 
Mr. Hopkins was astounded at the mention of his name. The next 
morning he called on Mr. Holcombe and protested that he could not 
and would not undertake keeping the appointment. Mr. Holcombe 
drew from him that he had been thinking on the subject. Walking 
to and fro, the pastor said: "Here are books, think up a text. Come 
here and use my study." And while speaking and near the door slipped 
out and turned the key. The pastor returned and Mr. Hopkins escaped, 
still protesting that he would not be at the meeting. Its hour came; 
Hopkins loitered in the dark. The church house was large. In each 
corner was a huge stove, and Hopkins watching, slipped in and hid 
behind the stove. When the hour came to open the meetig, the pastor 


arose and said: "Come fonvard Brother Hopkins." Beckoning to where 
he was. There was no escape. Hopkins went forward, conducted 
the opening exercises, announced his text, read it again and again, and 
the fourth time stood still; read the text the fifth time and then grabbed 
his hat and shot out the side door. 

The people smiled. The pastor arose and said: "Brethren, I am 
now surer that Brother Hopkins is called to preach. He already knows 
enough, and it was good if more of us knew it; enough to stop when he 
gets through." After speaking on the text, another time was set to 
hear Mr. Hopkins. In due time he was licensed. In the forty years 
of his ministry he was esteemed as a "good and able" minister of the 
Gospel despite the humor and witticisms that extorted a smile or a 
shock in his hearers. Mr. Hopkins resigned in Camden in September 
1824. A long interval followed, in which supplies ministered, one of 
them, Mr. Hopkins. Allusion in the minute book is made to Mr. John 
Sisty and to Ezekiel Sexton, both of them were helpers. Both of them 
did a great work for Baptists and the churches, and both had in- 
fluence with Holcombe and Brantly. The time of supplies terminated 
in 1829, when Mr. Mobert Compton was then called to be pastor. He 
resigned in 1832. 

Short pastorates were not due to the love of change, but usually 
to small salaries. Pastors and their families endured extreme privations. 
Both pastors and churches suffered serious hardships rather than part. 
In 1833, fifty-eight were baptized and as many the next year. Rev. 
Mr. Sheppard removed to Camden in 1836 and became pastor. At the 
seasons of spiritual interest in 1833-4, as many as eight ministers are 
named as aiding in the work. Rev. W. T. Brantly, Sr., introduced into 
the North the custom of big meetings. The -wTiter recalls the surprise 
of the membership of the first Baptist church of Philadelphia, when 
Rev. Mr. Brantly introduced Rev. R. Fuller, who would hold special 
meetings alone. During seven years first Camden had various experi- 
ences of gain and loss, of financial strait and of spiritual depression. 
In these years, a pledge of abstinence from intoxicants was made a 
test of membership. 

A new and spacious church edifice was built and dedicated in 
1841-42. In 1843, came the harvest of these weary years. Rev. T. R. 
Taylor, Sr., was called and was ordained to be pastor in April 1843. 
His charge was for eleven years and was an era in the church history. 
Three hundred and sixty seven were baptized, an annual average of 
thirty-three. One day a drunken man came into the church and made 
a disturbance. Spoken to several times by the pastor, who said at 
last: "If }^ou disturb us again, I will put you out of the house." As 


the trouble occurred again, Mr. Taylor, from the midst of his sermon 
went to the man, marched him to the door and put him out, returning, 
he finished his sermon. 

In 1848, forty-four were dismissed to constitute the second church. 
In 1854, Rev. J. Duncan settled as pastor and resigned in 1857. From 
1856, said by a late historian, the only marked activity was the change 
of pastors. "Duncan goes, Mirack comes, Darrow comes and goes and 
Furgurson comes." That year marked the coming of a stranger to be 
pastor, Rev. G. G. Furgurson. This gentleman had the needful 
gifts to draw a crowd. There was not even standing room for the 
multitude that waited on his ministry. A large and new house was 
undertaken in place of that now being used by the church. But before 
its completion, ill reports about Mr. Furgurson divided the church. 
One hundred and fifty-five members withdrew in 1861 and organized 
the Tabernacle church. Mr. Furgurson went with the colony. Event- 
ually he was lost to sight and to knowledge. 

The first church railed in 1862 and called Rev. B. F. Hedden to 
be pastor. His work was first restoration, endowed with the gifts of 
healing. He was a messenger whom the King in Zion honored by 
making him his instrument to diffuse gladness, unity and peace, in 
place of sorrow and discord. Having done this he retired with the 
blessed reward of the peacemaker. In 1866, Rev. F. B. Rose became 
pastor. The third year of his charge developed a controversy. The 
trustees claiming that they represented the first Baptist church; shut 
the doors of the meeting house against the pastor and the congregation. 
After a hearing in the courts the action of the trustees was reversed 
and a mutual council indorsed the decision of the courts and the church 
reoccupied their house of worship. Each party having agreed to abide 
by the decision of the mutual council. In due time, the members 
represented by the trustees organized themselves into the Trinity 
Baptist church. Both bodies have pursued the "things that make 
for peace." An alienation that threatened evil, has proved an illus- 
tration of the Christian charity, which "Doth not behave itself unseemly, 
is not provoked and thinketh no evil." 

A letter was addressed by the first church to the Tabernacle church 
in April 1871, inviting a consolidation of the two bodies. This invi- 
tation was accepted by the Tabernacle church and soon after, they 
worshipped together and later became one. The union of the churches 
was effected in 1872 and Rev. I. C. Wynn was pastor, a mutual choice. 
Mr. Wynn died in S. C. on April 19th, 1889, having been pastor of 
Tabernacle church since July 1st, 1870 and of the united bodis from 
June 4th, 1871 in all, nearly nineteen years. His successor said of 


him: "I. C. Wynn has linked his name forever with the first Baptist 
church of Camden. The same is true also of Rev. T. R. Taylor, Sr., 
whose pastorate was eleven years. 

An interval of months followed, but on January 1st, 1890, Rev. 
J. W. Lyell entered the pastorate and is now (1900) pastor. Rev. 
Mr. Holcombe in his letter to the seven dismissed members, counselled 
these men and women: "Never despise the day of small things." There 
are now in Camden fourteen Baptist churches.. The first Baptist 
church of Camden is an influential body. The union was complete. 
Mr. Wynn had good common sense, was unusually winning inmanner, 
gentle in speech and yet not a straddler; he was fitted to handle wisely 
the complications between the united churches, as well as any com- 
plications between the first and the Trinity churches. Not only four- 
teen churches but twelve pastors. Several of these churches worship 
in sanctuaries that would command attention in any city of the land. 
Their congregations include men and women of wealth, culture, official 
station and piety equal to any other city. 

Twenty pastors have ministared to the First church. I. C. Wynn 
was pastor nineteen years, till he died; Mr. Taylor was pastor eleven 
years; Mr. Lyell, eleven years, including 1900 and is still pastor. Of 
the deacons, two, C. Sexton and E. V. Glover were pastors. Mr. 
Glover was pastor of churches which but for his financial aid, social 
influence and devoted labors would have become extinct. Three houses 
of wor-ship have been erected by the First church, one in 1818. A 
second in 1841-2; another, that is now in use; also several mission chapels. 
Baptists have gone West. Richard Johnson and Isaac Smith were each 
of the original seven. Mr. Sheppard was an efficient financial helper. 
E. K. Fortinerhad been a member of the church sixty years and deacon 
and Sunday school superintendent for more than fifty years. William 
J. Coxey has had a remarkable and exceptional career as philanthropist, 
mission worker and has secured the erection of at least thirteen church 
edifices. In the city the colored Baptists and in outlying districts 
have received most efficient aid. Samuel F. Rudderow has also been 
most efficient in mission movements. 

In 1848, forty-four members of the First Baptist church under 
Rev. T. R. Taylor, Sr., were dismissed to constitute the Second Baptist 
church in Camden. South Camden had for a long time impressed 
some Baptists as a mission field, needing a Baptist church. Such a 
conviction impelled the founding of a Second Baptist church. Rev. 
M. M. Semple became pastor soon after the church was organized, in 
1843. He was succeeded by pastors T. C. Trotter, who was ordained 
and pastor one year; T. Goodwin, two years to 1854; T. C. Cailhopper 


five years, 1860; C. Sexton, one year; J. C. Hyde, two years; M. 11. 
Watkinson, two years; C. M. Deitz, two years to 1868; S. Hughes, one 
year; W. W. Dalby, five years to 1876; M. M. Finch, one year; William 
Lawrence, one year; J. D. Flansburg, ten years to 1892; J. N. Folwell, 
two years. An expiration of these many and short pastorates with 
one exception, was the folly of building a costly house of worship and 
an enormous debt. 

These pastors were good and true men and were prospered as 
circumstances allowed. Under Mr. Trotter, a meeting house was built 
in Stockton next year and under Mr. Goodwin, a member was licensed 
to preach and nine members were dismissed to constitute a church there. 
Mr. Cailhopper enjoyed almost continually, a revival season for four 
years of his charge. Mr. Hughes strove manfully to avert the coming 
wreck, but gave it up as hopeless. Mr. Dalby also enjoyed for five 
years the hardship of keeping the patient alive, which continuous 
revivals could not avert. The process of stimulants went on till under 
Mr. Folwell the church disbanded and in 1894, the property was sold 
by the sheriff. 

The necessity of a Baptist church in the location of the Second 
church was patent to all and a meeting was called on April 27th, 1894, 
to organize a new church. About forty were present. After the 
meeting was organized, a church was formed and the body named the 
Emmanuel Baptist church of Camden, N. J. Rev. J. N. Folwell was 
called to be pastor and Mr. H. C. Goldsmith was chosen clerk. A 
committee was appointed to confer with the company which had bought 
the house of the Second church to learn on what terms that property 
could be bought. Later, the property was bought. The church was 
constituted with sixty-two members. Mr. Folwell was pastor for 
three years, assigning a reason for his resignation, his increasing years 
and a purpose to retire from the activities of the ministry. No ex- 
ception, however, had been taken by his people to his advanced age. 
But the contrary, since years added to the wisdom of his councils and 
to the efficiency of his ministry. At the meeting in which Mr. Folwell 
resigned. Rev. John Snape was called to be pastor and began his work 
in June 1894. After the constitution of the Second church, Camden, 
they built a comfortable brick church edifice and while occupying it 
had a wholesome growth. But an appetite for better surroundings 
led them to sell their good house of worship in 1867 and to build a 
larger and expensive place of worship and without regard to their 
financial ability to pay for it. About forty years pa.ssed of strait, 
sorrow, and trouble and at last, despair and disbanding. A parsonage 
was o^Tied by the Second church, but when built, or bouglit, is not 


known. Second Camden sent out two colonies, Stockton, 1885, to 
which they dismissed nine of the twelve constituents. The name of 
Stockton was changed to Third Camden. Also, Broadway, to which 
forty-five were dismissed in 1867. Second Camden was composed 
of earnest Christian people. 

Had they been content with their old house, enlarged and im- 
proved within their means, till able to build and pay for such a house 
as they needed, the church would have been a constant power for good 
and blessing till now. Two of its members have been licensed to 
preach. One of whom, T. R. Taylor, Jr., having the name of his father, 
a pastor of the First church, whose charge was the turning point of its 
history and who renews the endearment of his father's name in New 
Jersey. The Emmanuel church is the lineal descendant of the Second 
church and inheritor of the memory and work of that body. Rev. 
D. C. Da^^s settled as pastor of Immanuel church in 1900. Both 
churches have had sixteen pastors, each of them good and useful men. 
There are lessons in this history not to be forgotten or overlooked. 
"Business sense," is as essential in the cause of God, as in the conduct 
of secular interests. 

"Counting the cost," in laying foundations in the Kingdom of God, 
has returns in prosperity. Faith that God will overrule our follies in 
serving him and that for His name's sake, and on account of his promise, 
make our absurdities a success, is a delusion and a folly. The Master 
himself, reproved such. In his reply to Satan's invitation to cast him- 
self do-v\-n from the Temple: he answered Satan's assumption: "Thou 
Shalt not tempt the Lord. Thy God." 

In the history of the Second Baptist church, Camden, mention is 
made of the building of a house of worship at Stockton in 1854. At 
a meeting at the house of John Shill, on July 14th, 1852, a Baptist 
Society was formed consisting of nine members of the Second Baptist 
church of Camden including Mr. and Mrs. Shill and Rev. T. C. Trotter. 
Three of the number, including Rev. Mr. Trotter, were appointed a 
building committee. Next August, a Sunday school was formed, 
meeting at the house of Mr. Shill until the house of worship was com- 
pleted which was in 1854. This building cost this little company 
great sacrifices and was finished by contributions of labor and material, 
such as each could give or secure from personal friends. After a year 
had gone in July, 1855, these disciples assumed the responsibility of an 
organized church. 

Previous to the organization of a church, Rev. T. C. Trotter preached 
to such congregations as met. How long after the church was consti- 
tuted and if as pastor, is not written. Rev. Mr. James appeared to 


have a vital relation to the new church, inasmuch as his labors arc 
spoken of as ended. Mr. Patton was recognized on December 15th, 
1855. His stay was that of months only, and Mr. James resumed his 
labors with the church for possibly a year. During this period, however, 
Mr. Trotter administered the ordinances. June 1861, Rev. E. V. 
Glover was called and was ordained in July 1861. Mr. Glover was a 
man of rare worth; of good business and executive qualities and having 
a competency that allowed him to serve a church, the salar)^ of which 
did not suffice for a living. Thus his financial independence, his place 
in social life and his acquaintance with men gave him power with 
men and cranks to bring things to pass. A clergyman wrote of Mr. 
Glover and said: "Only an infinite pen can write an estimate of the 
power of Rev. E. V. Glover with this church. For seven years he 
labored with them, sharing and bearing their sorrows. * * * jjjg 
going to and fro in his carriage filled with comforts and nourishment 
for the poor and sick of the neighbors. His money was poured out as 
seed on this field from which we gather good to-day.." Mrs. Glover, 
like her husband, delighted in like work of mercy and blessing. 

They have long since known the reward to whom it is said: "In- 
asmuch as ye did it to one of the least of these, ye did it unto Me." 
Under such a pastor the house of worship underwent a renovation. 
Members found their place. The church was of one accord and con- 
verts were multiplied. More room was needed and a question of an 
enlarged church edifice, or a new location and a better house was de- 
cided in favor of a new location and a better house. On April 3rd, 1864, 
a new church building, was dedicated. Pastor Glover resigned in 
November 1868, and removed West. A membership of twenty-four 
was increased in his pastorate of seven years to one hundred and fifty- 
three. A successor says of his pastorate: "It is not too much to say 
that his pastorate stands unrivalled amidst many others (of that church) 
before or since; preaching part of the time without salary; for wise 
leadership and for devotion to the cause of Christ." 

Rev. J. N. Folwell followed Mr. Glover. But illness shortened 
his charge to a few months. In August 29th, 1870, Mr. Glover returned 
to Camden and was recalled. In April 1871, the name of the church 
was changed to Third Camden. About this time, Mr. Glover resigned 
and was followed by Rev. H. B. Raybold, whose stay was but four 
months. Again, for the third time, Mr. Glover was called in 1872 and 
resigned twice in 1873 and in 1875. His removal from Camden effected 
a separation. None knowing Mr. Glover, wonder at the pertinacity 
with which churches clung to him, when once they had known him as 
pastor. Such men are only occasional. 


In 1876, two were called to be pastors and each declined. Mr. 
R. W. Perkins was ordained on October 11th, 1877, and held the pas- 
toral office. In 1882, he was called away, but the church declined to 
accept his resignation. Again in 1888, he was called away and accepted 
the call. Eleven years of service at Third Camden church came thus 
to a close. Rev. C. W. Ray served the Third church in Camden for a 
year and more. Rev. R. W. West supplied the pulpit for a year, when 
Rev. J. S. Teasdale accepted a call, but ill health terminated his labors 
in Jul}' 1892. Mr. J. Snape followed and was ordained November 
22, 1894. Divers improvements were made in the church building. 
At the end of three years, Mr. Snapc resigned in 1897. Several young 
men were licensed to preach while he was pastor and he was succeeded 
by Rev. George Hine, who remained until July 1899. 

On July 12th, 1899, Rev. G. C. Horter became pastor and held the 
office till in 1900 The third Baptist church of Camden originated in 
the mission spirit of the second Baptist church. Its history accords 
with that of its origin and despite many discouragements, has grown 
into an efficient and helpful body. Its first sanctuary has been supplant- 
ed by one larger and better fitted for the uses of a church. That too, 
has been enlarged for the more active church life of the times. Some- 
thing of the contrasts of the beginning and now, is signified by the 
building of the first house. One agreed to furnish the bricks. Another 
the lumber; another the doors; another "to make two window sashes, 
free gratis." 

What will be the estimate, which the Master will make of these 
tokens of consecration? Certainly not less than recognition of them. 
The church has had eighteen pastors. Nine ministered less than one 
year. One, Mr. Glover was pastor three times and twice removed 
beyond the limits of the church and where they could not reach him. 
His entire charge continued thirteen years and part of the time he 
preached as pastor without a salarj'. Two others, were pastors twice 
each. Mr. Perkens was pastor eleven years, and had he submitted 
his second call to the church, as he did his first, to decide upon its 
acceptance, he might have been pastor till now. In these longest 
pastoral oversight, cluster the most fruitful and happy periods of the 
church history. 

A colony of forty-five members of the Second Camden Baptist 
church, including its pastor, M. R. Watkinson, were dismissed in 1867 
and constituted themselves the Broadway Baptist church of Camden. 
Reasons for the movement are unwritten. Mr. Watkinson was pastor 
1867-70; E. E. Jones, 1872; A. J. Hay, 1872-74; C. H. Johnson, 1874-76; 
E. D. Stager, 1877-78. In 1878, the name of Broadway church dis- 


appears from the minutes of the Association. Rev. J. M. Carpenter 
states that the church disbanded in 1876. A Tabernacle church reports 
itself as recognized in 1878 and for pastor, Rev. E. D. Stager, whose 
settlement is reported in October 1877. The same date as becoming 
ptistor at Broadway church. Seemingly, the Broadway church dis- 
banded and reorganized as the Tabernacle church. Matters and dates 
are very confused. It appears that Broadway church began in 1873, 
the building of a costly house of worship. As had the second Camden 
Baptist church, Broadway church got rid of its debts by disbanding 
and its meeting house was sold by the sheriff. 

The Tabernacle church, an outgrowth of Broadway, might buy it 
at a much lower cost than the house would be at its original cost. This 
was not an honest plan, but it corresponded with the ideas of the world- 
ly wise. This is the Second Tabernacle church constituted in Camden. 
The first, built a house of worship and had pastors. The succession 
of the pastors of the Tabernacle church that came out of Broadway 
church were: J. M. Bagley, ordained in 1883 and pastor until 1889; 
M. M. Finch, 1889-97; W. J. Cambron, 1897-1904. A house of worship 
was built in 1886. Former experiences were not renewed and is not 
in use. Needed repairs and improvements have been made as is necess- 
ary. This described is the second Tabernacle church, formed in 
Camden. The first Tabernacle church was constituted of one hundred 
and fifty-five members of the First church. They built a house of 
worship and had three pastors, Furgurson, Davies and Wynn In 
1871, the First church invited them to return to the old fold. They 
did so in 1872. Their pastor, Rev. I. C. Wynn being pastor of the 
united churches and the First church becoming the Fourth street 
church. Of the Tabernacle church including Broadway, there have 
been nine pastors: five at Broadway and four at the Tabernacle church. 
One or more members have been licensed to preach. Two houses of 
worship have been built. Another, by the Tabernacle church in 1886, 
is now in use. 

The history of North Camden Baptist church begins earlier than 
the date of its organization. A man of spiritual height and stalwart 
in his Christian discipleship, a deacon of the First Baptist church of 
Camden, Mr. E. V. Glover, himself and Mrs. H. P. Hale began in 1855, 
a series of Tuesday evening social meetings in private houses for the 
benefit of infirm and indifferent members, who rarely came to the 
sanctuary. They sought a permanent place for their meeting in the 
vicinity, where the late house of worship of the North Baptist church 
stood. They found a large population unreached by either secular 
or religious influences. Next year, 1856, other mission workers, mem- 


hers of the (inst Haptist churcli joined their labors to those on the field. 
Unable to find a suitable place for their meetings, serious hindrances 
were experienced in the movement. 

Finally the meetings were discontinued at the recjuest of the pastor 
of the first churcli, Mr. J. Duncan, on the plea of "awakening an interest" 
in a mission field to the detriment of home meetings. In 1857, Mr. Foss, 
proprietor of a silk factory, gave the use of a hall in his factory in which 
to hold meetings. A Sunday school was begun in August in this hall. 
E. V. Glover was superintendent and Mrs. H. P. Hale had charge of 
the primary department. Next October, religious service was begun 
on the afternoon of Lord's Day and on Tuesday evening at the home of 
Mr. J. Ellis. Mr. Foss in the meantime found that the meetings inter- 
fered with the use of the hall by his workmen and a change was desirable 
whereupon, Mr. William Wilson offered the use of his hall and owing 
to the uncertainty of staying in their then quarters the Sunday school 
was removed in January 1859. In the meantime, the attendance at 
the Sunday school and in the meetings had increa.sed largely. 

It was deemed wise at this time to lay the matter before the first 
chinx'h and in Jauary 1859, the church appointed a committee of which 
Deacon E. V. Glover was chairman to purchase a lot and to erect a 
chapel for the use of the mission. Deacon E. K. Fortincr cheerfully 
superintended the erection of the building and at its dedication in July 
31st, 1859, Mr. Glover made the closing address. Several hundred 
people were not able to get into the house at this service. On the 15th 
of the next November, 1859, the North Baptist church was organized 
with thirty-seven constituents. Among them was Deacon E. V. 
Glover and his family, five in all, also Mrs. H. P. Hale, both original 
movers in the mission. Now, the North church is one of the mighty 
Baptist forces for all that is good and holy in Camden. Rev. II. S. 
James was pastor from the organization of the church till Jauary 1864. 
The congregation and the church had outgrown the chapel in which 
they worshipped. Pastor James did not think himself strong enough 
physically to undertake the work of building a new church edifice and 
resigned. Another instance of a pastor's preference for the welfare of 
the cause of Chr'st to remaining with his people, whose plans con- 
templated so great an advance and who would haA-e relieved him of 
all care to accomplish so important an enterprise. 

In 1864, Rev. S. C. Dare became pastor of North Camden church. 
The new edifice was erected under his oversight and was a creditable 
stone structure. It was dedicated in 1866 and cost thirty-five thousand 
dollars. The early and rapid growth of the mission in nine years in- 
dicated a divine purpose, in its beginning by Deacon Glover and Mrs. 


Ilalo as also in its dcvclopomont. Mr. Dniv had a succcssfvil and usoful 
pastoral care, llis successor, Hcv. A. G. Thomas entered on his work 
in 1868 and resigned in 1870. Rev. J. E. Chambliss followed in the 
spring of 1871 and closed his labors at North Camden in 1873. R. G. 
Moses settled in September, 1873, remaining till 1881. Needed repairs 
were made on the house of worship in 1881 and a chapel costing four 
thousand dollars, was built on Linden street in that year. Rev. A. E. 
Rose followed in 1882, remaining till 1883; whom Rev. W. T. liurns 
succeeded for three years. Rev. B. F. G. McGec was pastor in 1888 
and 1889. A vacancy occurred in the pastorate until March, 1891, 
when A. G. Lawson accepted a call to be pastor. In 1895, a pastor's 
assistant was provided. Mr. Lawson was pastor in 1900. 

In 1885, the Linden Church, including seventy-three members, 
w(-r(' dismissed and constituted a Baptist Church. In the 
autunm of 1863, a few Baptists met in a school house in North- 
east Camden and organized the North East Smiday School, 
originated by members of the North Church, Camden. The names of 
some identified with it are among the constituents of the North Baptist 
Church. In the first year the Sunday School met in the secular school 
house, but on the twenty-fifth of December, 1864, a chapel built for 
the use of the school was dedicated. The chapel was built under the 
pastorate of Rev. R. S. James, the first pastor of the North Church. 
The growth of the Sunday School made it impcn-ative to provide more 
room and another chapel was built at a cost of four thousand dollars, 
and completed by October , 1 881 . The Sunday School then moved to it. 

(Occasional preaching services were held in this chapel until 1885, 
when those identified with the mission decided to constitute a Baptist 
Church, which was effected in December, 1885, and called the Linden 
Baptisi Church of Camden, New Jersey. Fifty-one were dismissed from 
the North Chvn-ch and two from the First Baptist Church, in all fifty- 
three constituents. The Linden Baptist Church had thus been in pre- 
paration for twenty-two years and the training of its constituents in 
mission work had qualified it for its responsibility to all the world. 
Its first pastor was one of its constituents, Mr. W. H. Geistweit; in this 
following the pattern set by nearly all the early churches. Mr. Geist- 
weit was ordained for the pastoral care on January 25th, 1886. Fre- 
quent conversions endorsed his ministerial offices. He resigned in 
December, 1890. The membership increased from fifty-three to two 
hundred and eighty-one in his pastorate of about five years. The 
chvirch edifice was enlarged to accommodate the growing congrega- 
tions to an added capacity of two-fold. 

On July 1st, 1891, Rev. William R. Russell entered the pastorate 


and held the office in 1900. While pastor three hundred and fiftj'-eight 
additions wrre made to the church. Nine years is a short period in a 
church life, especially if it include its infantile stage, which is rarely 
marked with specialties save of individual devotion. A higher type of 
piety which endures for the love of the church and of loyalty to Zion's 
King, and holds fast "a* seeing Him who is invisible," has illustration 
in Mr. John T. Bottomly, a constituent of the church, who for more than 
thirty years has been superintendent of the Sunday School and is esteem- 
ed for his fidelity in his relations to the church of which he is a deacon. 
"Of such is the kingdom of heaven." Including the first pastor, two 
members of the church have been ordained. 

Linden Church is an added instance of the mission agency of the 
Sunday School. The Sunday School has a foremost place in mission 
work. At the first it was noted with suspicion, when Rev. H. Hol- 
combe was asked relative to starting one in the First Baptist Church 
of Philadelphia. He replied: "I do not know that it un7/ rfo an?/ /^arTn" 
and yet Pastor Holcombo first smote hyper-calvinism with a fatal blow 
in his sermon on the "attainableness of faith." Hyper-calvinism was 
rapid]}' developing into antinomianism and threatened the existence of 
Baptist churches in the Middle States. Mr. Russell was pastor in 1900, 
completing ten years of faithful work. His relation as pastor, however, 
soon after 1900 closed. The church has had two sanctuariers. The 
first erected in 1864 for the Sunday school. A second was built and 
occupied in October, 1881. Occasional ser\dces were enjoyed in these 
houses until 1885, when those identified with the mission decided to form 
a Baptist church and with other Baptist churches in Camden to give 
the whole gospel to all its people. 

Gloi'.ccster City is meant to be included with Camden churches. 
If not already in the city limits it is most likely to be included before 
long. In April, 1867, an informal meeting was held at the house of 
Josiah Stone to consider the need of organized effort in Gloucester. 
A local Baptist organization was effected at an adjourned meeting. 
A haU was secured for worship and Rev. J. H. Peters preached for 
several Lord's Days from April 21st. Affairs continued thus till April 
1868. On April 7th, 1868, the local Association decided to form a 
Baptist church which was effected on the 17th of April. 

The supply resigned and Rev. W. P. Maul was obtained to preach 
as often as his pastorate would permit and he gave seven years to 
th establishment of the church. Rev. T. R. Taylor, Jr., son of a 
former pastor of the first church followed. A change from ripe ma- 
turity to the push of early youth wrought its usual results. The meet- 
ing house was too tmaU and converts were multiplied. Mr. Taylor 


stayed two years. Then one of the most eminently good men, Rev. 
E. V. Glover settled in 1878. Mr. Glover lived in Haddonfield and 
rode from there on the Lord's Day to preach at Gloucester as much 
as eight miles. Mr. Glover resigned in 1883. In 1884, Rev. John 
Teasdale became pastor. The church enjoyed prosperity, while Mr. 
Teasdale was pastor. He was followed by Rev. H. Bray in 1886, who 
also closed his charge of the church in less than two 3'ears. 

In 1888, was a supply. After whom Rev. L. W. Finch was pastor 
until 1892, followed immediately by Rev. S. L. Dorsey, whose stay 
was short. These short pastoral charges are explained by environ- 
ments in Glouce ter. 

The worst elements of the great city near by had refuge and safety 
in Gloucester, the authorities of which were content to exchange the 
Christian Lord's Day for perdition. In fact, the excesses of vice and 
crime would be a sufficient reason for the extension of the security 
of Camden over Gloucester. Mr. G. W. Lamboum supplied the church 
in 1893 and having finished his studies, was ordained in 1895. He 
retains his charge in 1900. Some restraint is made upon evil brought 
to the place by strangers. It is believed that iniquities hitherto allowed 
will be kept under and that righteous law will be maintained. The 
church has maintained its hold and has come to be an efficient body. 
With the restoration of decency and the exclusion of vileness, Gloucester 
will be changed and the forces of virtue and of religion will become 
dominant. One member has been licensed to preach. 

Differences are usual among good people. Nor do their difTerences 
militate against their piety or the genuineness of Christianity. But 
are rather an evidence of the reality of religion. In that it recognizes 
them as men, having opinions and the courage of their convictions; 
daring to maintain them at the cost of the dearest ties. Charity allows 
dissent among men, and ordains the right of each one to his conviction 
of truth and of duty. The instruction in II Thess. 3:15: "Yet count 
him not an enemy," recognizes character, even though we withhold 
church fellowship. Baptists may never illustrate the fundamental 
faith we teach of a difference which is not alienation. Gospel ex- 
perience allows equally difTerences and the liberty of being w^ong. 

Thus the Trinity Baptist church, a child of the first church, was 
born amid the throes of dissent about a pastor, when ninety-three mem- 
bers withdrew from the first church in December 1871, and constituted 
the Trinity Baptist church of Camden. In the next February, 1872, 
they were recognized by a large council of the Baptist family, entitled 
to wear the Baptist name. The strength of this new body is indicated 
by the fact that within twenty days of their recognition, they bought 


a large and suitable meeting house of another denomination, at a cost 
of twelve thousand dollars and, taking immediate possession, 
had public worship till in 1896, when a building was erected on the 
old site of nearly double the capacity and at twice the cost of the old 
sanctuary. Supplies served the church till June, 1872, when Rev. A. H. 
Lung settled as pastor. Months passed ere the friction of the division 
was allayed. But the wise and prudent course of Pastor Lung was 
effective in the removal of soreness and overcoming of ill feeling that 
might have alienated old friends. In due time ample reward came to 
Pastor and people by the descent of the Holy Spirit and converts were 
added to the church. 

Pastor Lung in January, 1882, resigned, after having effected 
a great work by both his wisdom and prudence. He established 
a mission on Cramer Hill, East Camden and a chapel was built for 
it. Having long since grown into a church and first kno^^Ti as First 
Cramer Hill church, the name however, has since been changed to Grace 
Baptist church. Rev. C. A. Adams was called to follow Mr. Lung 
in July 1882. During the four years of his first pastoral charge, abundant 
prosperity attended his oversight. As many as three hundred and 
fifty were added to the church. Mr. Adams resigned in April 1886. 
A successful pastorate is rarely followed by another in which a cor- 
ersponding increase and enlargement is assured. In July, 1886, Rev. 
C. H. Kimball entered the pastoral office. He stayed less than a year. 
Rev. H. H. Barbour settled in December 1886. 

In 1887, Rev. G. H. Charles was supply and pastor, closing his 
work in December, 1891. Rev. W. E. Needam followed in October 
1892 and terminated his pastorate in June 1895. So that in these nine 
years, four pastors appeared and disappeared and yet each of them 
were foremost men in the qualities that constitute worth, both as men 
and as ministers of the Gospel. Attachment to Mr. Adams inspired 
the church to call him, and in October 1896, he entered on his second 
pastorate at Trinity church. Mr. Adams had conditioned his return 
upon the building of a new house of worship. This was agreed to and 
a new church edifice was erected, which beside the material of the 
old building cost the church twenty-four thousand dollars. The 
building accommodated about twelve hundred persons. Its appoint- 
ments corresponded to modern ideas. 

A new era of growth crowned the second pastoral care of Mr. Adams. 
Trinitv church has had seven pastors, the first of whom retained his 
office nine years. One of them, has a second pastoral charge, including 
up to 1900, about eight years. Three houses of worship have been in 
use, each of which was large, and their fitting was in accord with the 


ample means of the worshippers. A mission begun by the Trinity- 
church was given a chapel building suited for permanent use. The 
mission is an independent church of strength and of efficiency. 

From it, two colonies have gone, each being efficient and active 
in the aggression which gave them life. The Trinity Baptist had a 
constituency unlike in one particular, those composing young churches. 
It was evidently financially able to care for itself and also of weaker 
interests. In the ministry of Rev. T. R. Taylor, Sr., a number of force- 
ful young men were added to the first church, who later came to hold 
prominent professional and business positions in the city, acquiring 
financial means to build the first Baptist house, and advance on all 
lines the Baptist cause. Such men under proper training, needed only 
the stimulus of right influences to develop into men who would both 
fear God and honor him with their substance. Many of them were 
identified with the Trinity church. 

Grace Baptist church of Camden, orginally First Cramer Hill, 
sprang from Trinity church and is an outgrowth of a mission Sundaj' 
school formed under the pastorate of Rev. Mr. Lung, pastor of Trinity 
church, in August 1875. The school was oegun in a lonely store room 
and yet contiguous to a responsive population. The mission in about 
nine years developed into the First Cramer Hill Baptist church; a result 
of the visit of the State missionary. Rev. S. C. Dare. On October 9th, 
1884, thirty Baptists, with letters of dismission agreed to organize a 
Baptist church and doing so, called themselves, the Cramer Hill Bap- 
tist church. 

Pastor Adams and the Trinity church approved of these plans. 
The chapel property was conveyed to the new body by the trustees of 
the Trinity church. Pastor George Post served as the first pastor of 
Cramer Hill church. In 1885, Rev. A. J. Hay bcame pastor and for 
two years, was pastor. In that time, a parsonage was secured. Events 
after this, associated with Mr. Hay, are not clear. But after his resig- 
nation, he was identified with the origin of North Cramer Hill church, 
Bethany Mission, for the use of which first Cramer Hill church had 
built a chapel. Rev. D. C. Bixby was pastor from 1887 to 1890. WTiile 
pastor, eighteen members were dismissed in 1889 to constitute the 
North Cramer Hill church (Bethany Mission). A mission was estab- 
lished in Williamstown. This also became a church, to which North 
Cramer Hill gave twenty-six constituents. 

Mr. William C. Martin followed Pastor Bixby and was ordained 
in 1891 and was pastor till 1894. Under Pastor Martin the 
house of worship was doubled in its capacity; one member was 
licensed to preach and Rosedale mission was be un. Rev. J. M. 


Ash ton settled as pastor in 1894, remaining two years, followed by W. 
J. Beavan, who was ordained in 1897, and is now (1090) pastor. Three 
colonies have gone from first Cramer Hill (Grace church), Bethany, 
Rosedale and Williamstown and two members have been licensed to 

In 1892, Baptists residing in and near Rosedale, formed an associ- 
ation in behalf of its religious interests. A Sunday school was begun 
on May 8th, 1892. Support was given by the Grace church and the 
encouragements were so many, that within a short time lots were 
bought on which to build a chapel. A farm house on the ground 
bought was remodeled for the use of the Sunday school and for Divine 
worship and a church founded later. The Camden Association was 
doing an efficient work in caring for its young and needy churches. 
Rosedale shared in its beneficence and a more fitting place of worship 
was assured to the church. In 1895, the farm house was exchanged 
for a church edifice more fitly answering the needs of the church. Six 
pastors have served Rosedale church: Thomas Armour, 1893-4; C. M. 
Reed, 1894-95; J. M. Moore, 1895-96; J. Bristow, 1897; G. C. Horter, 
1898-99; H. H. Brown, 1899-1900. These are believed to be students 
from Crozer Theological Seminary in Upland, Pa. 

After closing his labors at First Cramer Hill church in 1887, Rev. 
A. J. Hay identified himself with North Cramer Hill mission in 1888. 
Organized as a church in 1889, Mr. Hay was the first pastor until the 
end of 1895, nearly seven years. A succession of pastors was G. A. 
Sowell, 1896-99; E. B. Price, 1899-1900. Under Pastor Hay a new 
sanctuary was built, the chapel being too small to accommodate the 
congregation. A special work of grace in 1897, added many to the 
church membership. The old chapel was encumbered with debt and 
the new house increased it. However, courage was assured by tokens 
of the Divine favor. A church so young did not have daughters, never- 
theless, it has occupied its own field and met in part, its mission to the 
world by sending one of its members licensed to preach, to declare the 
glad tidings of Divine Grace. 

The Camden Mission Society cared for the St. John's church 
(Afro-American) of which they speak hopefully. Begun as a mission 
in 1894, \vdth the small number, three. Matt. 18:20. The mission was 
organized in October, 1894, and was recognized as a church in June, 
1895. From their report of the first year, they numbered eighteen in 
all, two of whom came by letter; eight by baptism, nine by "experi- 
ence." It seems that thus this church was of spontaneous growth and 
constituted of resident material. Its location was Cramer Hill. Rev. 
T. A. Brown was pastor in 1895. It may be, he was the means of its 


constitution. He was instrumental in securing for the church a neat 
and commodious house of worship. His resignation took effect in 
1897, and he was followed by Rev. Mr. Jackson and in 1898, by Rev. 
J. H.' Boone, who in 1899, was succeeded by Rev. J. Eham. 




Perth Amboy is a very old town. Governor Carteret reserved its 
site from sale in 1669. The East Jersey proprietors in their published 
account said: "that it was their intention if the Lord permit, to erect 
and build one principal town, which by reason of situation, must in all 
probability be the most considerable for merchandise, trade and fishing 
in those parts." The locality was called Ompogy. Later it was known 
by its Indian name, "Ambo," since corrupted to Amboy. The pro- 
prietors meant to caU it Perth. The earl of Perth being one of them. 
But the two names have been retained. By the plans of the proprietors 
the town was to be the commercial head of the colonies. Its harbor is 
the best on the Atlantic coast. 

Perth Amboy .shared with Burlington the meeting of the Assembly 
and the residence of the Governor. The American Revolution dis- 
appointed these plans. Its harbor made it a rendezvous of the English 
army and the town bcame a depository of stores for army and navy; 
concentrating wealth and commerce at New York City. Eventually 
the colonial records, the courts, the officers and business of the colony 
were removed and the town resumed its primitive estate. It is easy to 
believe from the caste of the founders that its religious influences were 
stanchly Pedo Baptist. The church of England was the affinity of 
its settlers. A stone in the wall of the Episcopal meeting house is 
dated 1685. The edifice was completed later. An English mission 
society, expended large sums to sustain the church. The Presby- 
terians also had a large following. More than a century passed, when 
in 1817, a revival came. Numerous converts having only the New 
Testament, read it and became Baptists. In Divine Providence, 
Rev. Drake Wilson of Connecticut visited the town and these disciples 
were baptized, confessing the great facts of his redemption, his death 
and resurrection, only less than his incarnation. Mr. Wilson baptized 
ten of these disciples. The next July two others were baptized. These, 
with three resident Baptists, fifteen in all, constituted themselves a 
Baptist church on August 25th, 1818. 

The first pastor was Rev. Drake Wilson of Connecticut, who in 
coming to Perth Amboy, baptized the converts of 1817. He is supposed 
to have settled when the church was organized and to have remained 
three years. The early records are lost and memory and tradition are 


depended on for tiie events of the beginning. Pastors since then, have 
been J. C. Goble, licensed by Perth Amboy church. In 1821, John 
Boothe, two years to 1828; John Bloomer, one year; Jacob Sloper, 
ordained August 1832, almost three years; Thomas Ritchie, ordained 
April 1835, two years; John Blaine, one year; J. B. Cross, two years; 
John Rogers, three years; G. F. Hendrickson, three years. Many 
added to the church by baptism. J. M. Carpenter, two years; J. E. 
Reynold.s, one year; H. A. Cordo, one year, returned to his studies. 
A. G. Lawson, ordained June 1862; five years nearly. 

G. W. Pendelton, one and more years; G. W. Nicholson, three 
years; house of worship enlarged and improved; S. G. Woodrow, one 
and more years; G. B. Hunter, ordained November, 1873, one year; 
times of discouragement; G. J. Ganun, one year; G.W. Pendelton, second 
charge, about four years; W. A. Bronson, eleven years; G. K. Allen, 
eight years to 1900. P. R. Ferris from December 1900. The church 
has had twenty-four pastors. One held the office for eleven years. 
His successor for eight years. One was pastor twice. One was licensed 
and ordained. He became an Antinomian Apostle and several churches 
died through his influence. His last days were spent on the tavern 
porch in the village in which he lived. The church has suffered from 
short pastorates. With one exception, these were good men. Five have 
been licensed to preach. The house of worship has undergone enlarge- 
ments and adaptation to the growth of the church. 



While some Baptist churches spring from is not a necessity. 
A Baptist church may exist far from another and be independent of 
either another or of ministerial offices. At first churches had an origin 
in Apostolic ministry. In later days, from the people who have the 
Scriptures only. The head of the church is Himself, the sole donor of 
power to be and to do. "Where two or three are gathered together in 
My name, there am I in the midst of them." (Matt. 18:20). It is 'a 
phenomena in nature, that earth thrown from great depths in the 
summer, developes life, yielding plants like to those we see. This 
illustrates the maternity of the earth and the intent of the words, which 
God spake: "Let the earth bring forth grass and herb and fruit tree." 
Needing only the impregnation of sun and dew. Thus also, Baptists 
and Baptist churches are the spontaneous generation of the Gospel 
of the Son of God. Christ-like Baptists are a magnet. Thus it was 
in Paterson. A young man, James Moore, a member cf Oliver street 
Baptist church. New York, removed to Paterson in 1822. 

The town had a population of four thousand. Instead of conceal- 
ing his convictions of truth and of duty, and uniting with other Chris- 
tians, as some insist is the spirit of Christianity, people found out what 
he was and why. Rev. J. W. Griffiths, pastor of Middletown Baptist 
church had known Mr. Moore and visited him in Paterson. Provident- 
ially, a supply was needed for a pulpit in Paterson, and hearing of Mr. 
Griffiths' visit, he was engaged as a supply. At the end of the evening 
service, seven Baptists made themselves known to Mr. Griffiths. Meetings 
for prayer were appointed at the homes of Mr. Moore and of Mrs. Ben- 
nett. Two, a husband and wife soon after were ready for baptism. 
Rev. Mr. Parkinson, pastor of first church, New York City, baptized 
them and set forth Baptist views to an interested multitude. Rev. 
William House was secured as pastor and about the end of 1822, bap- 
tized several converts. On the organization of a Baptist church, it was 
decided to call a council to meet in January, 1824. They met and 
recognized a Baptist church with seventeen constituents. Mr. House 
was chosen pastor, remaining two years and was prospered. 

To the men and women constituting the Primary Baptist element. 
Baptists of Paterson owe a constant remembrance. To them, is due 
the later Baptist strength and efficiency. James Moore, James Richards 


and John Brown were men of rare efficiency. It is written of them: 
That they were successful business men and as generous as they were 
Buccessful. From their unbounded liberality, the church received 
for many years, one half, if not two thirds of its entire support. Rev. 
D. D. Lewis followed Mr. House serving the church for seven years. He 
was a devoted pastor, an able preacher and deservedly held in the 
highest esteem. From its organization in 1824, for more than a year 
worship was in an indifferent school room seating at most about forty 
persons James Moore and James Richards took steps to build a 
meeting house. Lots were bought and the house was built and ded- 
icated. That ever memorable man, Zelotes Grenelle, succeeded Pastor 

The membership grew rapidly. The house of worship was en- 
larged. This, Mr. Crenelle's first pastorate lasted five years, closing 
in 1838. In 1839, C. W. Dennison was pastor. Before, while it lasted 
and after it closed, serious alienations caused the organization of a 
second church. It survived only a few years and four-fifths of its 
constituents returned to the old home. All causes of differences were 
mutually ignored and concord abode with them. Rev. George Young 
was pastor two ye?vrs. Harvest seasons for the unsaved. Rev. R. 
Thompson had a happy service in 1843. Rev. C. H. Hoskin was pastor 
three years. His book on baptism issued in 1843 was an admirable 
discussion. When Mr. Hosken resigned, the thought of the people 
reverted to Mr. Grenelle and he began his second charge. Mr. Grenelle 
died in 1883 in his eighty-eighth year. It is not likely that an estimate 
of Mr. Grenelle's worth will ever be made on earth. Luther, Edwards, 
Wilberforce and Wesley occupied larger fields. What they were in 
theirs, Grenelle was in his. In 1852, Rev. S. S. Parker was pastor. 
While pastor, plans were adopted, which later ripened into churches. 
Mr. Parker resigned in 1855. That year. Rev. R. Babcock accepted 
the call of the church and continued eight years. A large and becoming 
house was erected in 1869, costing twenty-four thouand dollars. Pastor 
Babcock was followed in 1864 by Rev. S. J. Knapp. Although staying 
but two years, his term of service was eminent for numerous bap- 

Mr. Knapp did not limit himself to Paterson. He was tall enough, 
to see beyond it. He laid foundations of the Baptist work in Passaic. 
Particulars will be given in the record of Passaic church. The en- 
suing nine years from October 1st, 1866, were taken up with the pastorate 
of Rev. J. Banvard, who closed his fruitful service in December 1875. 
Although lacking a pastor, the "people had a mind to work," affording 
new evidence that the Divine presence and the work of the Holy Spirit 


is not limited (of necessity) to the pulpit ministries and that the church 
is the treasure house of blessing. For one year, Rev. A. H. Burlingham, 
1877, ministered to the people. Rev. F. Fletcher followed in 1878 and 
Rev. E. A. Woods entered the pastorate in 1880 and continued six 
years, closing his charge in 1886. That year. Rev. S. B. Meeser settled 
and was useful for eight years. The largest accession by baptism in 
one year was one hundred and ten in 1890. Debts on the sanctuary 
were reduced. In June 1894, Mr. J. W. Brougher was ordained and 
was pastor. During the second year of his charge, he baptized one 
hundred and twenty-seven. Rev. A. A. Delarme settled as pastor in 
June 1900. 

First Paterson Baptist church has been a fruitful vine. Nine 
Baptist churches trace their lineage to this mother. Others also, out 
of the city originated from her. As many as fourteen members have 
been licensed to preach. Daughters of the church also serve in the 
home and foreign fields. The venerable and beloved A. W. Rogers, M. 
D , worthy son of a noble father, Rev. John Rogers, who preached the 
first missionary sermon, before the New York association by appoint- 
ment of the Association, and himself almost a life long resident of 
Paterson, who impressed his own forethoughtful views of expansion 
upon the Baptists of the city, furnishes to me the data of the beginning 
and the movement of Baptist interests in Paterson. Willis street, now 
Park avenue, was the earliest city outgrowth of the planting of the 
first church and illustrates development by individual effort rather 
than by church action. In second or third year of Rev. S. S. Parker 
five brethren gave fifty dollars each for the purchase of lots, J. J. Brown, 
D. B. Beam, L. R. Stelle, J. Ramsey, and Dr. A. W. Rogers. 
Dr. Rogers originated the movement. Two others, then, not members of 
the church associated themselves with the enterprise, James Crooks and 
James McNab, each of whom gave one thousand dollars. These bought 
a lot for Sunday school uses on Willis street and built a chapel in 1855. 
H. B. Crosby, J. Bayard, A. Crogsdale, A. W. Rogers, M. D., Mr. 
Rogers did not recall the name of the fifth trustee. Messrs. McNab 
and Crooks were identified with the movement. These gentlemen 
were incorporated. The chapel was enlarged twice, covered the entire 
lot and was too small, whereupon these men bought adjoining lots, 
and built the church edifice, which Willis street church occupies. 

Other members of the First church shared in the enterprise. This 
entire movement was without any formal action of the First church. 
Dr. Rogers alludes to Deacon A. Stoughtenborough and James Styles, 
as having had a hand in this enterprise. They were helpers in all 
good undertakings. Dr. Rogers is known in New Jersey to have been 


foremost in all good things for the last fifty years and his motive is: 
"The world for Christ." Pastors Bal)cock;, Knapp and Banvard often 
preached in the mission and thus it ripened, till one hundred members 
of the First church organized a new interest in 1869. The property 
was then conveyed to the trustees of the new interest and the church 
was well cared for. There are extremes in church life of light and dark 
and a question occurs: "Did First Paterson maintain her aggressiveness?" 
A response is given in one of our religious weeklies. The Baptist church 
is now the largest Protestant church in Paterson. The membership 
of the Sunday schools is fourteen hundred and sixty-four. The church 
will support its own Foreign Missionary, who will soon graduate and 
be ordained. An installation mission is to be established soon. Then 
every Lord's day, the Bible will be taught in five languages, English, 
German, Holland, Italian and Chinese. 

This recalls to the writer a prayer meeting in Milwaukee, when he 
was pastor in 1851. There were prayers in English, Indian, German, 
Swede and Holland. Only English was understood by more than one 
present. But there was a hallowed unction of tone and manner in the 
unknown tongue that enchained each one to the mercy seat. The 
First Baptist church of Paterson has had seventeen pastors. The 
longest settlement w^is nine years. Another was eight years. Two 
others were each seven years. One pastor had two settlements, in- 
cluding in both, nine years. Some of these pastors were widely known 
and had considerable denominational influence. That First Paterson 
church could command the service of such men indicates strength in the 
church and its foremost place in the denomination. Its membership 
included men of culture associated with Christian activity. A lesson 
learned from its history is: Expansion, a condition of growth and of 
strength. Churches that colonize their territory are strong. Those 
that yield it to other denominations are shut in and the emigration 
from without contracts them. Nine churches have gone out from 
Paterson First church: Passaic, WiUis Street, Union Avenue, Fourth 
Paterson, Emmanuel (Paterson), Ridgewood, Emmanuel, Calvary, 
Ridgefield Park, Sixth, Prospect Park. 

Passaic is five miles from Paterson and in 1864, had a small pop- 
ulation. Baptist interests in Passaic are closely associated with Pater- 
son. The Passaic church is an outgrowth of the labors of the pastor 
of First Paterson Baptist church. Rev. S. J. Knapp. In May 1864, 
Mr. Knapp wrote a letter of inquiry, asking if there was an opening in 
Passaic for a mission under Baptist auspices. A favorable reply led 
him to make an appointment and this was issued: "You are invited 
to attend a meeting at the residence of William P. Boggs on Friday 


evening, May 27th, at 7:30 P. M., to consider the propriety of holding 
divine services in Speer's Hall." A result was that Mr. Knapp began 
preaching June 5th on Lord's day afternoons. 

Preliminary week day meetings were held for consultation and 
on November 16th, 1864, the Baptist church of Passaic was formed, at 
the house of Mr. Boggs with twenty-two constituents. Mr. Knapp 
preached for the church for two years and the minute book of the 
Passaic church states: "His coming to us for two years, during the 
severest storms of winter and the burning heat of summer, must make 
us regard him with profoundly grateful remembrance." In February 
1865, thirteen candidates were baptized in the river. Baptism was a 
new, strange thing in that unbaptistic section. Curiosity to see a 
Scriptural baptism was so real, that the Erie Railroad ran special trains 
to the place of the administration of the ordinance and three thousand 
people saw it, a repetition of the Jordan baptism as the first Baptist 
had done it. In June 1866, Rev. F. Johnson became pastor, continuing 
six years. While pastor, a spacious and creditable sanctuary was 
dedicated in Februarv^ 1870. An index of the intelligence and piety 
of a people devising a fitting sanctuary for worship. Rev. R. B. Kelsay, 
whose father filled his life with ministerial service and whose grandfather 
till nearly eighty years old, was pastor to his Death at Old Cohansie 
for thirty-three years, entered the pastoral office at Passaic in 1873, re- 
maining two years. 

Succeeding pastors were: O. C. Kirkham, 1876-77; James Waters, 
1877-78; In this charge, four trustees paid off the debt of thirty-five 
hundred dollars. R. H. McMichael, 1880-81; S. G. Smith, 1881-84; 
A. S. Burrows, 1885-91; while pastor the house of worship was burned. 
Public halls and the kindly sympathies of other denominations were 
enjoyed for two years, when a larger and a modem house was built 
at a cost of forty thousand dollars, twice the cost of the burned build- 
ing. The new house was dedicated in December, 1892. Pastor W. W. 
Pratt, a supply for five months became pastor in March 1892 and in 
1900 is still holding the trust. In these years, the church has nearly 
or quite doubled its membership. A large amount has also been paid 
into the church treasury on account of the new house of worship. The 
Passaic church is a missionary body, thoroughly identified with all 
work, through mission organizations of Baptists especially. Eight 
pastors have ser-ved the church. As yet, Mr. Pratt is the longest settled 
of the number having already held the pastoral charge more than 
eleven years. 

Two colonies have gone from Passaic church. One a German 
church, grown out of a mission planted under the pastorate of Rev. 


A. S. Burrows. An account of it will be in the chapter of German 
churches. Another was, Brookdale church. Its origin illustrates 
the value of individual work for Christ. A family member of Passaic 
church, Henry Hepburn, removed to Brookdale, about 1895. Mr. 
Hepburn bought an old forsaken Methodist place of worship at a cost 
of three thousand dollars. Other Baptists removed to the place, 
constituting a Baptist colony. These decided to organize a church 
and in 1895, constituted the Brookdale Baptist church and reported 
to the Association, a membership of forty-one. 

Willis Street, now Park Avenue Baptist church of Paterson, was 
constituted in 1869. Its origin has already been given in the history 
of the First church and need not to be repeated. The church itself is 
an efficient body of disciples. The first pastor was. Rev. S. J. Knapp. 
He had been pastor of the first church of Paterson and had resigned 
his charge but three years before his return to Paterson, to be pastor 
at Willis Street church. He was not a stranger in Paterson, nor to 
the interest of which he was to be pastor. In 1873, while pastor at 
Willis Street, one hundred and eighty-three were baptized and ten 
were added by letter. Two hundred and thirty- three were baptized 
in 1874 and the number of members at Willis Street was five hun- 
dred and eighty. It was the largest church in the Association 
and had two hundred and fifty more members than the 
mother church. It is not a surprise that in 1876 the 
church says: "Our pastor has been laid aside by S'ck- 
ness most of the year." Mr. Knapp resigned in February 1877, 
on account of iU health. Pastors are among the most unselfish men. 
Despite medical advice, the entreaties of his family and the conscious- 
ness of exhaustion, they keep on at work and push and drive till com- 
pelled to stop. Like to Nehimiah, their reply is: "WTiy should the 
work stop?" Thus Mr. KJnapp toiled on till necessity allowed of but 
one alternative. Rev. M. C. Lockwood became pastor the same year 
in which Mr. Knapp resigned, 1877. At the end of three years, he also 
resigned. In 1880, Rev. S. Washington became pastor for two years. 
Short pastorates are far from the fault of the pastor. Ordinarily, 
"earthen vessels" are in every church. Nevertheless the grace of God 
develops from the "foolish" the "base" and the "weak," the mightiest 
forces the world knows. 

Rev. G. Guirey settled as pastor in 1882. In the second year of 
his charge, he baptized one hundred and fifty-four and the promise of 
the future was bright. Fifteen colored members w^ere dismissed to or- 
ganize a church of their race. Troubles came. The pastor was deposed 
and excluded. They reported that a "large number of our membership 


went off," whither and their destination is unknown. These trials hap- 
pened in 1884. In their troubles the church recalled their first love, to be 
pastor. Rev. S. J. Knapp and he entered on his second pastorate in 1885. 
The membership of the church had fallen to one hundred and ninety-nine 
from nearly five hundred in 1885. Mr. Knapp stayed but little more 
than a year, but his aim was accomplished. Much was recovered that 
had seemingly been lost and the church was saved from extinction. 
Its later record verified his hope and he lived to see the dead restored 
to life. Mr. Knapp's presence was an inspiration to the best things. 
His devotion kindled fires of consecration in those with whom he came 
in contact. Rev. H. Wood followed Mr. Knapp in the spring of 1887 
and Avas pastor almost thirteen years, closing his labors in January 
1900. The church recovered rapidly from its disasters. 

Mr. Wood's pastorate was a constant blessing. Debts were paid. 
The house of worship was put in the best condition; a church formed at 
Ridgewood that began in barns and empty houses in 1891. Another, 
in August 1892 began as a mission, is now Sixth Paterson. A third 
mission begun in 1896 by means of a Sunday school. The coming of 
Pastor Wood to Park Avenue church was providential. Closing his 
charge in March 1900, he welcomed his successor, Rev. J. W. Lissenden. 
Two members have been licensed to preach and each has been ordained. 
Eight pastors have served the church. One of them has had a second 
pastorate. In both of them his term was ten years.. Hi