History of Camden County: Macedonia African Methodist Episcopal Church

The following is derived from George Reeser Prowell’s History of Camden County, New Jersey published in 1886

Macedonia Methodist Episcopal Church of Camden is situated on Spruce Street, below Third.

In 1832 Mrs. Anna George, a resident of South Camden, began a series of prayer meetings in different houses on Spruce Street, below Third, and at the meeting in the house of Benjamin Wilson resolutions were adopted for the building of a small church.

In 1833 the cornerstone was laid, and the church, a one-story frame building, twenty by thirty feet, was completed and dedicated with appropriate ceremonies, by the Rev. Joseph Caul. This church was the first one built by any congregation of colored people in Camden County. Historic as it was, for the reason first mentioned, it was destroyed by fire in 1837. A brick church, thirty by forty feet, was then built on the site of the one destroyed, and finished in 1838.

At this time there were thirty-four members of the church and twenty-six children in the Sunday school. In 1860 the church was rebuilt with larger dimensions to meet the wants of the increasing membership.Between 1850 and 1883 the congregation enjoyed a prosperous and steady gain in membership.

In 1882 the land adjoining the church, thirty by one hundred feet, was purchased, and in 1883 a two-story brick building, forty by seventy-five feet, was built by James Aspen, contractor, with basement, auditorium and front gallery. It has a seating capacity of eight hundred persons.

This church was dedicated by Bishop Campbell. There were then two hundred and forty communicant members in the congregation and one hundred and fifty-five pupils in the Sunday school, with William S. Darr as the superintendent.

The ministers of this church, in succession have been as follows: Revs. Richard Williams, John Cornish, Joshua Woodlin, John Boggs, Israel Scott, George Grinley, Henry Davis, Abraham Crippin; William D. Schureman, James Fuller, George W. Johnson, George E. Boyer, Theophilus Stewart, Leonard Patterson, Frisby J. Cooper, Jeremiah Turpin, Michael F. Sluby, Robert J. Long, John W. Cooper, P. L.Stanford, William H. Yocum and A. H. Newton, the present pastor.

At this date (1886) the church has two hundred and seventy-six members on its roll and there are one hundred and seventy-four members in the Sunday school, under Samuel Hunt as superintendent.


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