From George Reeser Prowell’s
History of Camden County, New Jersey, 1886
Newton Friend’s Meeting
About the year 1800, when the general opening of roads made it no longer important to be on the water, Newton Friends determined to move from their old meeting-house on Newton Creek to a place more central; and in Fourth Month, 1801, Joseph Kaighn gave them the lot of land-at the corner of the Mount Ephraim road and Mount Vernon Street, in the present city of Camden, on which, in the same year, they built the brick meetinghouse that now stands there. Here they continued meeting without dissension until the separation of 1827-28 occurred, when the Orthodox Friends retained possession of the house and have occupied it ever since.
For several years before the separation Richard Jordan, a prominent minister, was a member of this meeting, and afterwards, being an Orthodox Friend, continued to preach here until his death, often drawing full houses. The present public Friend is Richard Esterbrook.
At the separation the Hicksite Friends met a short time in the old Camden Academy, that stood where the George Genge Grammar School now is, at the southwest corner of Sixth and Market Streets. On Seventh Month 6, 1828, Joseph W. Cooper gave them a lot of ground on Cooper Street, above Seventh, on which, in that year, they erected a frame meetinghouse and have met there continuously since. When the house was built, it was in the midst of a woods, some of the old oak-trees of which are still standing in the meetinghouse yard. In 1885 the house was enlarged and greatly improved in appearance. Samuel J. Levick, Rachel Wainwright and Sarah Hunt have been ministers here in the past. At present the public Friends are Mary S. Lippincott, Isaac C. Martindale and others.
THE THIRD STREET METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Exactly when Methodist preachers, local or itinerant, commenced preaching at Camden is unknown, but in 1797, Rev. Benjamin Fisler, M.D., of Port Elizabeth, N. J., preached here several times, and we find subsequently that local preachers from St. George’s Church, in Philadelphia, made Camden one of their preaching-places. In 1808 the New Jersey District of the Philadelphia Conference was formed, with Joseph Totten presiding elder, and an appointment called “Gloucester Circuit” created, which included what is now Camden. Revs. Richard Sneath and William S. Fisher were appointed as preachers of the new circuit and the following year, 1809, Richard Sneath formed the first regular class in Camden, composed of James and Elizabeth Duer, Henry and Susannah Sawn, William and Martha Price and Phebe Peters, of which James Duer was appointed leader. Services by the circuit preachers were held once every two weeks, on Wednesday evening, in the academy which formerly stood on the corner of Market Street and Sixth. The same year, finding the academy insufficient for their wants, a regular church organization having been formed in the meantime, it was determined to erect a house of worship. A lot on the corner of Fourth Street and Federal was secured and a board of trustees elected, composed of James Duer, Jonathan Petherbridge, Henry Sawn and William Price, and the corporate name of ” The Methodist Episcopal Church of Camden ” given to the new organization. James Duer and Jonathan Petherbridge were made a building committee. Before the building was completed, Thomas Dunn, one of the preachers on the Gloucester Circuit, preached the first sermon in it from the text, ” Who commanded you to build this house and to make up these walls?” The church was dedicated on the 25th of November, 1810, by Presiding Elder Joseph Totten. This was the first house of worship erected in the city of Camden and is still standing near the original site, corner of Fourth and Federal Streets.
In 1834, the congregation having so increased, it was determined to erect a new building more in keeping with the importance of the society and better adapted to its wants. During this time Camden was connected with Gloucester or Burlington Circuits, but it was then thought that it should become a station. Accordingly, a lot on Third Street, between Bridge Avenue and Federal Street, was purchased, and on the Fourth of July, 1834, the cornerstone of a new church was laid with appropriate services. December 14th, following, the church was dedicated by Rev. Charles Pitman, assisted by the pastor, Rev. William Granville. The new building cost about eight thousand dollars. In this new building the society did its work for over thirty years, increasing in numbers rapidly, especially during the great revival in 1837. The church building had been enlarged and improved to meet its increased wants, at considerable expense, and it was a crushing blow to the society when, on the 20th of November, 1867, the building was totally destroyed by fire, with but a slight insurance on it. But though for a moment paralyzed, the congregation soon recovered itself and, with commendable energy, immediately began the erection of a new building, and appointed Rev. Charles H. Whitecar, pastor, S. S. E. Cowperthwait, Thomas B. Atkinson, Morton Mills, E. S. Johnson and James M. Cassady a building committee to superintend the work. The lots on Third and Mickle Streets and Bridge Avenue were purchased, and the work was pushed forward with so much energy that the present beautiful house of worship, with a seating- capacity of about fourteen hundred, and costing, with the lot, some sixty thousand dollars, was dedicated on September 1, 1869, in the presence of an immense concourse of people, by Bishop Simpson and the pastor, Rev. C. H. Whitecar.
In all its history this church has been firm in its adherence to the. polity of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in its support to the various religious work of the denomination.
Early in the history of this society, vigorous work in the Sunday school cause was commenced and has been unflagging in it ever since. The present Sunday school numbers over six hundred members, with sixty officers and teachers. Dr. William Shafer is its present superintendent. The church has had the following pastors:
Third Street Methodist Episcopal Church Pastors, 1809-1886
|Year||Pastor 1||Pastor 2||Pastor 3|
|1809||Thomas Dunn||Charles Read|
|1810||Peter Vannest||Joseph Osborn||Thomas Davis|
|1812||Joseph Osborn||John Woolston|
|1813||George Wooley||John Price|
|1814||George Wooley||Joseph Lybrand|
|1815||John Van Schoick||Joseph Rusling|
|1816||John Van Schoick||John Fox|
|1817||James Moore||Joseph Lybrand.|
|1818||Solomon Sharp||David Best|
|1819||John Walker||James Long|
|1820||John Walker||John Potts|
|1821||John Potts||Benjamin Collins|
|1822||Sylvester G. Hill||Waters Burrows|
|1823||Sylvester G. Hill||Joseph Carey|
|1824||David Daily||Joseph Osborn|
|1825||Jacob Gruber||Wesley Wallace|
|1826||George Wooley||Robert Gerry|
|1827||George Wooley||Thomas Sovereign|
|1828||Henry Boehm||Levin M. Prettyman|
|1829||Henry Boehm||W.W. Foulks||Samuel Throckmorton|
|1830||William W. Foulks||Joseph Ashbrook|
|1831||John Walker||Jefferson Lewis|
|1833||Edward Page||David W. Bartine|
|1837||James H. Dandy|
|1840||John K. Shaw||William A. Brooks|
|1841||John K. Shaw|
|1842||John L. Lenhart|
|1845||Abram K. Street||Elwood H. Stokes|
|1846||Abram K. Street|
|1847||David W. Bartine||George A. Reybold|
|1848||David W. Bartine||Isaac S. Corbit|
|1849||Charles H. Whitecar||William H. Jeffreys|
|1850||Charles H. Whitecar|
|1851||Isaac N. Felch|
|1852||Richard W. Petherbridge|
|1853-1854||James O. Rogers|
|1855||John W. McDougal|
|1856-1857||William E. Perry|
|1858-1859||Elwood H. Stokes|
|1860-1861||Samuel Y. Monroe|
|1862-1863||Joseph R. Dobbins|
|1867-1869||Charles H. Whitecar|
|1870-1871||John H. Heisler|
|1872-1874||Charles E. Hill|
|1875-1877||Charles B. Hartranft||Pennel Coombs|
|1881-1883||William W. Moffet|
Since its organization, in 1809, Third Street Church has sent out the following church organizations, all of them at present nourishing churches in Camden, which are Union Church, Broadway Church, Tabernacle Church and Centenary Church.
UNION METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Union Methodist Episcopal Churchis situated on the corner of Fifth Street and Mount Vernon. This society was originated from a class-meeting formed in 1838, in a school-house near Kaighns Point, by the Rev. Joseph Ashbrook. Twenty-three persons joined this class, viz.,–Charles Hugg (leader), Sarah Hugg, Parmelia Gaunt, Deborah Hawke, Benjamin Sutton, A. Sutton, William Home, Sarah Home, Mary Surran, Eliajah Kaighn, Sarah Kaighn, Levi Brink, Deborah Brink, Sarah A. Kaighn, Joshua Stone, Rebecca Stone, Mary Smallwood, Elijah W. Kaighn, Elijah Burrough, Thomas Leigh, Harriet C. Brink, George Hughes and William Perkins. Of the original members, not one is connected with the present congregation. Fourteen of them were dismissed by certificate and nine have since died. A regular Sunday meeting was established in the schoolhouse and much interest was manifested in 56 the services, which resulted in a number of persons joining the class. As no suitable site could be obtained for a church at Kaighns Point, Rev. Joseph Ashbrook, before leaving the charge, procured the gift of a lot from Richard Fetters, in 1839.
This lot, so kindly donated, was on the southeast corner of Fifth Street and Mount Vernon, and, in 1840-41, a frame church building was erected on it, at a cost of four hundred and eleven dollars, under the supervision of Rev. J. R. Shaw, who succeeded Rev. Ashbrook.
In 1845 Rev. L. B. Newton became the class leader, and through his efforts many members were added to the church, and the Sunday school increased to one hundred and eighty scholars. The Rev. John L. Lenhart was pastor in 1843-44, Rev. Isaac Winner in 1845-46, and Rev. A. K. Street in 1847-48. In this last-named year the membership had so increased that the Third Street Quarterly Conference decided to build a church in South Camden. The cornerstone was laid on June 8, 1848, and the church dedicated on the 25th of December of that year, Rev. Charles Pitman, D.D., officiating. This church was forty by fifty-five feet, and twenty feet high. In 1849 Rev. Charles Whitecar and Rev. William H. Jeffries were sent to Camden. The cholera prevailed to an alarming extent, and there were over fifty deaths within this congregation.
In 1850, under the direction of the Conference, Enoch Shinn, Joseph Sharp, John S. Bundick, Thomas McDowell, Sr., Samuel Scull, Levi B. Newton and Joseph Evans were chosen trustees of this church. Rev. David Duffield became pastor the same year, and during his ministry the church was prosperous and free from debt. In 1854 and 1855, under the Rev. Philip Cline as pastor, the church numbered three hundred and forty-six members, and the church Sunday school, with the one connected with the church in Stockton, three.hundred and ninety members. Rev. J. W. Hickman was pastor during 1856 and 1857, and Rev. H. M. Brown in 1858 and 1859. Previous to this time it was called the Fifth Street Church, but now took the corporate name of the Union Church.
In 1858 there were four schools connected with this charge, No. 1, in the church, Levi B. Newton, superintendent; No. 2, at Stockton, Samuel Deval, superintendent; No. 3, at Kaighns Point, William Hunt, superintendent; and No. 4, at Eagle Hall, Joseph Johnson, superintendent. In these schools were eighty-three officers and teachers and five hundred scholars. In 1859 this church, with William Peacock as contractor, built a mission chapel at Stockton. There were no material changes in the church from this time until 1880. The pastors who officiated during these years were Revs. Henry M. Beegle, 1860-62; Aaron E. Ballard and Charles E. Hill, 1863-64; Samuel Parker, 1865-66; W. W. Christine, 1867-68; Garner R. Snyder, 1869-71; George C. Maddock, 1871-74; A. K. Street, 1874-77; and James Moore, 1877-80.
In 1880 Rev. John S. Gaskill became pastor, and through his efforts succeeded in having a new church, which was dedicated in May, 1883. The same year Rev. G. Dobbins became pastor, and in 1886 the present pastor, Rev. A. Lawrence, was assigned to the charge. The church has at this date (1886) five hundred and thirty-two full members and ten probationers. The Sunday school has sixty officers and teachers and six hundred and forty-four pupils. Samuel O. Newton is the superintendent. John S. Bundick, who died in 1884, was president of the board of trustees for many years.
BROADWAY METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
At the house of Charles Sloan a meeting of Methodists was held on April 8, 1848, where, with Mr. Sloan as chairman and David Duffield, Jr., secretary, the Berkley Street Sabbath school of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Camden, N. J., was organized. Charles Sloan, David Duffield, Jr., Thomas L. Smith, Philander C. Brink, Benj. A. Hammell, Levi C. Phifer, Wm. Few, John Newton, Richard J. Sharp, I. B. Reed, John B. Thompson, Elizabeth Middleton, Susan H. Scott, Mary Adams, Harriet Davis, Mary Brooks, Hannah Souder, Mary Dunn and Sarah Cheeseman volunteered to become teachers. Chas. Sloan was elected superintendent. A lot was purchased and a schoolhouse built, which was dedicated April 15, 1849,. by Rev. Dr. Bartine. The school then had twelve teachers and sixty-three scholars, which two years later was increased to one hundred and one scholars. A request was sent to Rev. Charles H. Whitecar, pastor of Third Street Methodist Episcopal Church, to form a class, of which Isaac B. Reed was appointed leader, and the other members were Hannah Chambers, Abigail Bishop, Wm. Wood, Furman Sheldon, Priscilla Sheldon, Achsa Sutton, Mary Sutton, Mary Brooks, Elizabeth Bender, Ruthanna Bender, Charlotte Wilkinson, Wm. Patterson, Sister Patterson, Sister Severns, Rebecca Thompson, Elizabeth McIntyre, Hannah A. Reed, Dan’l Stephenson, Rachel Stephenson, Susan Thomas, Samuel Severns, Mary E. Maguire and Wm. Few. At a meeting held in the Sunday school room on Berkley Street, March 10, 1854, and at a subsequent meeting, May 9th, a church society was organized largely from members of the class above mentioned. Rev. Ralph S. Arndt was the first pastor. Forty certificates of membership were received, and John Lee, Isaac B. Reed and Conklin Mayhew were appointed class-leaders.
The first board of stewards was composed of John C. Clopper, Walter Rink, John M. Pascall and Logan Alcott. May 30, 1854, the board of trustees elected were Daniel Bishop, S. S. Cain, Wm. Severns, Conklin Mayhew, Furman Sheldon, Logan Alcott and T. H. Stephens. At the same meeting the name of “Broadway Methodist Episcopal Church of Camden, N. J.,” was selected to designate the new society. Rev. J. H. Knowles was pastor from May, 1855, to the end of the pastoral year and part of next year, which was finished by Rev. J. J. Hanley, who remained to May, 1858. In February, 1856, John S. Newton, who afterwards lost his life with the unfortunates in the “New Jersey” steamboat, was appointed leader of a class of young converts. The trustees purchased the property corner of Broadway and Berkley Street, in 1854, subject to a claim, and on November 14, 1854, they bought an adjoining lot. The basement of the church was dedicated December 25, 1855,’ by Bishop Scott, and the main audience-room dedicated January 29,1857, by Bishop Janes.
Rev. C. K. Fleming was pastor from 1858 to 1860. There were then two hundred full members and one hundred probationers. The Sunday schools under their charge had, in 1860, three hundred and seventy-five children.
From 1860 to 1872, inclusive, the successive pastors were C. W. Heisley, who went to the army as chaplain, Robert Stratton, R. S. Harris, George Hitchens, Wm. Walton, R. A. Chalker and Geo. Hughes, and during this period the church prospered greatly, so that it became necessary to enlarge the church building. The original building was forty-eight feet by sixty-five feet, and during the pastorate of Rev. John S. Phelps, 1873-74, an addition of thirty feet was built to the rear. Rev. H. H. Brown was pastor during 1875. The parsonage, No. 512 Broadway, was purchased for five thousand dollars, April 20,1873. Rev. George Reed was pastor in 1876, and had two very successful years in church work, making many conversions.
Rev. George B. Wight was pastor during 1878, 1879 and 1880. During this period a plan was adopted to liquidate the debt on the church, which was then nine thousand dollars, and which has been reduced to two thousand dollars. The new Methodist hymnal was adopted by the church in November, 1878. In 1879, December 31st, a new department in Sunday school work, called the Assembly, was started under the leadership of Joseph Elverson, who has held that position ever since. Rev. Milton Relyea was pastor from 1881 to 1884; during this period there was a great revival and a large number were added to the church. Mrs. Lizzie Smith did much earnest work at a revival in 1881. At an afternoon meeting held that year, Mrs. Clayton, a member, died very suddenly. In 1884 the church was newly frescoed, a pipe-organ put in position, and shortly thereafter the Annual Conference was held in this church. In October, 1883, the Sunday school numbered one thousand two hundred and forty-seven scholars, and had eighty-nine officers and teachers. The Pine Street Mission, formerly under charge of Union Methodist Episcopal Church, was transferred by mutual consent to the charge of Broadway Methodist Episcopal Church, March, 1884; soon after, a plot of ground ninety by one hundred and fifty feet, at Third Street and Beckett, was purchased by this church, on which to erect a chapel and receive the Sunday school and worshippers of Pine Street Mission. The old building on Pine Street was subsequently sold and the proceeds applied to the new building, which was dedicated in October, 1885. In 1885, under the preaching of Rev. D. B. Green, a great revival was held. In March, 1885, the Band of Hope passed into the charge of the Sunday school Association, and in May, Emmor Applegate was elected its superintendent. Rev. Wm. P. Davis, D.D., commenced his pastorate of this church March, 1884, since which time many members have been added. The membership now (1886) is nearly eight hundred, and about two hundred probationers. The Sunday school has nearly one thousand two hundred members and the Mission school has about two hundred and seventy members. Dr. A. E. Street is the general superintendent of the school.
Tabernacle Methodist Episcopal Church
In 1856 a few members of the Third Street Methodist Episcopal Church of Camden held devotional meetings in a grove at Coopers Point, and then organized the Tabernacle Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1860 a chapel was built on Third Street, below Vine, in which regular meetings were held. A minister was appointed by the New Jersey Conference. The society grew rapidly in numbers, and in 1867 the structure at the northeast corner of Third Street and Pearl was built. The debt on the church for a time was a heavy load. However, through perseverance and zealous work, it was greatly diminished. In this church building the society continued to worship until August 3, 1885. On that day the cyclone that did such a vast amount of damage in Camden and Port Richmond, Philadelphia, unroofed the church building and weakened the walls. It was then decided to take down what remained of the old building and in its place construct a new one John B. Betts, a builder, began the work in September, under a contract to erect the present church with a seating capacity of eleven hundred. The south and west sides are of stone and the north and east sides of brick, with the main audience-room on second floor. The cost of the church and furniture was about thirty-two thousand dollars, and it is a beautiful and attractive building. It was dedicated with imposing ceremonies during the summer of 1886. The church membership numbers about six hundred. The Sunday school, of which Walter M. Patton has been superintendent for twelve years, has thirty-five teachers and six hundred scholars. Tabernacle Church is the only Methodist Episcopal Church in Camden north of Cooper Street, and is the only free-seating church of any denomination north of Bridge Avenue.
The following is a list of the ministers who have been stationed at this church by the New Jersey Conference since its organization: Revs. W. S. Barnart, L. La Rue, James White, J.H. Stockton, J. W. Hickman, S.E. Post, O.K. Fleming, G. K. Morris, E. Hewett, G. S. Sykes, J. S. Heisler and J. Y. Dobbins.
FILLMORE STREET METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
In 1856 a mission school, under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was organized in the house of Jesse Perkins, No. 1722 Broadway, and was superintended by John Dobbins and Mrs. Shuttleworth. Soon after its organization it was removed to the house of William Hammond, on Fillmore Street, opposite to the site of the present church, and Samuel Duval became superintendent. The school was a success, the number of scholars increased, and in 1868 the Fifth Street Methodist Episcopal Church adopted measures to procure land and build a church in that locality.
A one-story frame building, with a small chapel to the rear, was built by Clayton Peacock in 1859, and dedicated by Key. William Brown. The building committee were William Boom, William Hammond, John Dobbins, Thomas B. Jones, John S. Bundick, Josiah Matlack and William Brown, the pastor. A large number of members joined the church at this time and the Sunday school had eight teachers and sixty pupils. The pastors who have been assigned to this charge, from the time of the organization to the present time, have been George W. Smith, J.T. Price, Joseph Hopkins, G.H. Tullis, Lewis Atkinson, John Y. Dobbins, David Stewart, Edward Messier, William Mitchell, George Musseroll, D.W.C. McIntire and James E. Diverty, the present pastor. The congregation in the year 1886 built a new church, fifty-two by eighty-two feet in size, of stone, with modern improvements and neatness of architectural design, at a cost of fifteen thousand dollars. Two large lots were donated by Mrs. John Dobbins for the site of the new church and a parsonage. These lots are on Broadway, corner of Van Hook Street. The building committee, to draft the plans and superintend the building of the new church, is composed of John Dobbins, chairman; Herman Helmbold, treasurer; Benjamin E. Mellor, secretary; and Geo. W. Burroughs, George W. Lacomey, James O. Smith, Joseph Cline, Thomas Harman, G. W. Laird, Robert H. Comey, Frederick Kifferly and Henry Davis.
The church at present (1886) has a membership of one hundred and seventy-two communicants, and in the Sunday school there are two hundred and eighty-nine pupils and teachers, with George W. Burroughs as superintendent.
CENTENARY METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1865, by persons who were members of the Third Street Methodist Episcopal Church. The Rev. J. B. Dobbins, D.D., was presiding elder at that time. The persons most prominently identified with the organization of the church were Charles Sloan, Joshua Peacock, Wm. D. Peacock, Nathan T. Mulliner, William W. Barlow, Charles Cox, Philander C. Brink, Benjamin H. Browning and others.
The original trustees were Wm. Barlow, Ralph Lee, Joseph C. De La Cour, H. F. Hunt, N. T. Mulliner, B. H. Browning and Thomas Cochran.The trustees for 1886 are B. F. Archer, C. S. Crowell, W. F. Rose, Joseph H. Watson, Geo. Gerry White, L. Somers Risley and William Post.
The different preachers of Centenary Church, in. order of succession, have been as follows: Revs. Henry Baker, D.D., William V. Kelley, D.D., D. A. Schock, J. B. Dobbins, D.D., Thos. H. Stockton, John Y. Dobbins, John E. Adams, I. L. Sooy and I. S. Heisler.
Centenary Methodist Episcopal Sabbath-school was organized April 8, 1866, in Morgan’s Hall, southeast corner of Fourth and Market Streets, with an attendance of eighteen officers and teachers and sixty-eight scholars. Joshua Peacock was elected superintendent, and Charles Sloan assistant superintendent.
An infant department was formed April 22d, with thirteen scholars, under the direction of Mrs. Petherbridge.
Joshua Peacock served as superintendent until May 4, 1873, when he was succeeded by Wm. T. Bailey, who has since filled the position, except from November 16, 1884, to May 6, 1885, during which time Wilbur F. Rose was superintendent.
The school, in 1886, has three hundred and forty-three scholars, and forty-five officers and teachers. The present presiding officers are William T. Bailey, general superintendent; Joshua Peacock, assistant superintendent; Harris Graffen, superintendent of the assembly; Mrs. Ellen B. G. Hammell, superintendent of primary department.
THE EIGHTH STREET METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
The history of the Eighth Street Church begins with a Mission Sunday school under the care of the Broadway Church. This school, under the name of Paradise Mission, was organized in 1859 in a building on Mount Vernon Street, used as a meat-shop and owned by John Paschal. At the time of the organization of the school John Collins was elected superintendent; John S. Long, assistant and secretary; Mr. Holmes, librarian; Mifflin K. Long, treasurer, and Joseph Hoffinger, John Paschal and Benjamin F. Long, teachers. Fifty children were immediately gathered into this school. The building had no chimney and was not plastered. The cold weather compelled the school to seek a more comfortable place, and the public school-house on Spruce Street was generously granted and the school held in it for several months. In 1860 a room or hall on Walnut Street, to the rear of the present church, was rented, and there the school convened until 1862, when a frame chapel was built where the church now stands. Under the charge of the presiding elder, A. K. Street, this chapel was dedicated by Rev. H. M. Brown, and the Sunday school, then numbering one hundred members, moved into it. During 1862 Rev. R. S. Harris, pastor of the Broadway Methodist Episcopal Church, formed a class with John S. Long as leader, and thus originated the Eighth Street Methodist Episcopal Church.
Regular services were conducted every Sunday, and daring that winter extra meetings were held, which resulted in bringing many persons within the fold of the church. Encouraged by this success, in 1863 the Eighth Street Chapel, as it was then called, formed a mission in connection with Stockton and Newton, and the Conference appointed Rev. Garner H. Tullis to take charge of this mission. The first year of his ministry was a successful one and brought eighty-three members, forty probationers and two hundred and twenty Sunday school children within the mission. The Eighth Street Chapel then filed a certificate of incorporation, under the name of the Tullis Methodist Episcopal Church, by which name it has ever since been known, though called in Conference minutes as the Eighth Street Methodist Episcopal Church of Camden. In 1865 Rev. David McCurdy was appointed pastor and in 1866 Rev. N. Walton succeeded him. In 1869 this church, which had from the first been associated with Broadway Church, separated from it and became a station. In 1873 W. C. Stockton became pastor and the chapel was enlarged and greatly improved, at a cost of one thousand dollars, through his exertions, and during the second year of his pastorate the foundation of the present large brick church building was built up to the second story and a temporary roof placed over it. It was not completed until 1880, at which time the church and grounds were valued at fifteen thousand dollars. Since this congregation separated from the Broadway Methodist Episcopal congregation the pastors who have served it were Revs. J. H. Nichols, J. I. Merrill, J. White, Jacob T. Price, W. C. Stockton, John E. Westwood, Willis Reeves, Garner H. Tullis, James H. Payson and William Walton, the present pastor. The history of this church has been promising from its first inception, and its future prospects are brighter than ever. With an increasing population about it and a large membership of more uniform piety, it cannot fail to accomplish its great mission. The membership at this time (1886) is three hundred and fifty-one, and the Sunday school is in a flourishing condition, having four hundred and fifty-one teachers and pupils, with E. S. Matlack as superintendent.
Kaighn Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church
The congregation that worships in this church is the outgrowth of a Mission Sunday school started on Liberty Street, above Third, by members of the Union Methodist Episcopal Church. The membership of this mission school increased to three hundred, and it was deemed necessary to seek larger and more comfortable quarters. In 1879 a large blacksmith shop, on Front Street, below Kaighn Avenue, was procured and fitted up for Sunday school purposes. Under the supervision of the Rev. William C. Stockton, a church society was formed, under the name of the Grace Methodist Episcopal Church, with thirty communicants, and a Sunday school started with two hundred members, most of whom came from the mission school already mentioned. The religious services were held in the blacksmith-shop for seventeen months, and during the heated term in the summer of 1879 the congregation worshipped in a large tent on Kaighn Avenue, above Second Street. In 1880 Rev. John Boswell was appointed to the charge. The membership of school and church had greatly increased. A building committee was appointed, and the same year the present church on Kaighn Avenue was commenced. The basement was built the same year, but the cold weather prevented the completion of the church, and a large frame pavilion, thirty by sixty feet, was put up within the walls and upon the lower joists for a foundation. In this the congregation worshipped until 1882, and in the mean time the work on the church progressed, the walls and roof covering the pavilion completely before it was taken down and removed. The congregation then worshipped in a large tent which was put up at Third Street and Sycamore.
On October 7, 1882, the church was dedicated by Bishop Hurst. The society had then two hundred and forty communicant members and about five hundred members in the Sunday school. The Rev. B. C. Lippincott was the next minister, and was followed by the Rev. Charles F. Downs. In 1885 the Rev. James E. Lake assumed the charge of the congregation, and the name of Kaighn Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church was adopted. At this time there was a large debt and they were unable to meet the payments. The church was threatened with dissolution, but Rev. James E. Lake determined to avert the calamity, and through his perseverance, by the large collections which he raised from contributions in other churches and by contributing largely from his own personal effects, he succeeded in liquidating the largest portion of the indebtedness, leaving only a small amount to be paid by the congregation. His earnest efforts in the behalf of his congregation have proved very successful.
Bethany Methodist Episcopal Church
January 9, 1881, in response to a call, about twenty persons assembled in the basement of a one-story building situated on the south side of Federal Street, near the railroad, and organized as the “Third Street Mission.” The first board of officers was composed of Lewis R. Wheaton, Asa R. Cox and Charles Wentzell. The teachers appointed were Robert Miller and A. Busby. The accommodations at this place were very meager, a few wooden benches without backs, a small number of Bibles and reading-books, but the untiring efforts of the members of this mission were rewarded by the attendance of a large number of scholars and capable teachers. In 1882. the mission removed to a room on Ninth Street. It soon became necessary to remove to a larger room or hall. The committee secured the old store-house on Federal Street, near the railroad, at a rental of eight dollars per month, and fitted it up for services and Sunday school purposes. This change was beneficial and successful to the mission and also to the school, and gave assured indications of establishing a church.. On June 11, 1884, the members who had attended these services separated from the Third Street Church and were organized into a church by Rev. J. B. Graw, D.D., and took the name of Bethany, which was suggested by Mrs. S. Moslander, who had taken an active interest in the welfare of the mission, and is at present a prominent member of the church. The Rev. J. D. Sleeper had been assigned to the Camden mission, and it was believed that other missions would unite with them and make a fair charge, but this could not be done, and in consequence he devoted all his time to this new church. In 1885 Rev. E. C. Hults was sent to look after the interests of Bethany, and before the close of the year a season of religious revival added a large number to the membership of the church. In 1886 Rev. R. Harris was assigned to this charge. A lot, at the corner of Tenth Street and Cooper was secured and a neat one-story building erected in 1886. The church membership in one hundred and fifty and the Sunday school has one hundred and twenty-five scholars, under the care of E. Butler as superintendent.
Scott Methodist Episcopal Church
SCOTT METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH is located on Philip Street, above Ferry Avenue. The nucleus of this church was eight members of the old Wesley Church, who, in 1856, worshiped in the cellar of the house of Aaron Connor, on Kossuth Street, for which they paid a rental of fifty cents a month. The services were conducted by Rev. Peter Wise, of the John Wesley Church, of Philadelphia. In 1857 they worshiped in the house of Mrs. Lyons, on Hooly Street (now Eighth). In 1858 a one-story frame church building was erected on Eighth Street and paid for by the original eight members, who instituted a number of camp meetings, known as two days’ meetings and also held entertainments. The church was built by James Peacock and finished in 1858; the Rev. Henry A. Brown officiated at the dedicatory services. The pastors of this congregation, in order of succession, have been Revs. Peter Wise, Isaac Henson, Robert Robinson, Wilmer Elsey, Isaiah Broughton, Stephen Johns, John Marshall, Peter Burrough and John S. Holly. During the first year of the ministry of Rev. J. S. Holly the initiatory steps were taken to build a larger church, the old one being too small to accommodate the congregation and Sunday school. In 1882 the present brick church was erected on Philip Street, above Ferry Avenue. This church is two stories in height, with basement rooms, large auditorium in the second story and large gallery across the front, and cost six thousand five hundred dollars. The congregation has one hundred and thirty communicants, the Sunday school one hundred members, of which Lawrence Rhoads is the superintendent. Rev. John Hubbard succeeded Rev. J. S. Holly and the present minister of the congregation is Rev. John J. Campbell.
Macedonia Methodist Episcopal Church
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.
Zion Wesley Church
Zion Wesley Church is situated on the corner of Ann Street and Sycamore. It was first known as the Wesley Church. The congregation is the outgrowth of a number of prayer meetings which were held in different houses in the vicinity of the church in 1851 and 1852. The first meeting was held in the house of William Christopher, on Kaighn Avenue. The ministers who officiated at the original meetings were Revs. George Johnson and Mrs. Mary Adams. The latter had been a missionary to Africa for five years, took a great interest in the endeavor to organize a church society and collected funds to purchase a lot as a site for a church building. In 1853 funds had been raised to build a one-story frame church, which was completed the same year and dedicated by Bishop Clinton, of Philadelphia. Thirty-five persons joined the church, and a Sunday school was started with forty members in attendance. The church was soon after rebuilt with greater dimensions, but as the church records are incomplete, the exact date of rebuilding is unknown. In 1880 the old church building was taken down and a large two-story brick one, forty by seventy feet, with vestry rooms and gallery, was built, and dedicated with the present name of Zion Wesley Church. The congregation was then under the pastoral care of Rev. Joseph P. Thompson. The ministers who have been assigned by Conference to this charge are Revs. Thomas Castor, George Johnson, Arthur J. Scott, William H. Blackston, George Hilton, George Bausley, J. B. Truster, Joseph P. Thompson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Anderson and John H. White. The congregation in 1886 has one hundred and thirty members. The Sunday school has eighty pupils.
BETHEL METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
BETHEL METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH is situated on Maple Street, below Ferry Avenue. This congregation originated from a small Sunday school and series of prayer meetings which were held in the house of John Morris, on South Street, in 1863, and in a tent which was put up on the site where the present church has been built. In 1864 sufficient money was collected to enable the young congregation to purchase this small lot and build a one-story frame church. The builder, Adam Sparrow, completed it in 1864. It was dedicated the same year, Bishop Campbell officiating at the dedicatory services. The Rev. John Boyer was the first pastor, and the congregation increased under his ministry, as also the Sunday school under the superintendence of James Dicks. The ministers who have served here in succession since the time of organization have been Rev. John Boyer, Elders Watson, Cooper, Sluby, Garrison, Turner, William, Sturgis and Mills, Rev. John Whitecar and Rev. Josiah Smith, the present pastor. The church now has eighty communicants; the Sunday school has forty-two members. Daniel Emmons is the superintendent.
UNION AMERICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
UNION AMERICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, Chestnut Street, above Seventh, was founded by Rev. Peter Spencer, of Wilmington, Del., and it is known as a branch of the African Union Church, of that city. In 1853 a series of prayer-meetings were conducted in the house of D. Butler, on Newton Street, also in the houses of Sarah Stewart and Sarah Wheeler, under the direction of Rev. John Reed. In 1855 funds were collected, and a small frame house on Newton Street, above Seventh, was purchased, and moved to a site near the corner of Ann Street and Newton Street. It was then converted into a small church by building an addition to the rear of it, and other improvements were added. A large number of communicants were admitted to membership in the newly-formed society, and the Sunday school grew and prospered under the direction of Christopher Berry. The original building in which these people worshipped was too small; hence, in 1879, it was decided to build a larger and more convenient church. Under the auspices of a building committee, the present large two-story brick church, forty by seventy feet, was built in 1880 and dedicated by Bishop Ramsey, of Woodstown, N. J. The religious services of this church are yet conducted in the large basement room of the church building; the auditorium on the second floor, though, will soon be completed. The first pastor who ministered to the wants of this congregation was the Rev. Henry Mood, who was followed by Rev. Isaac Williams, and he by the present pastor, Rev. Asbury Smith. The church membership is about one hundred. In the Sunday school, of which William Saunders is superintendent, there are eighty children. At the time of the dedication of the new church the name of the “African Union Church.” was changed to “Union American Methodist Episcopal Church.”
MEMORIAL METHODIST PROTESTANT CHURCH
MEMORIAL METHODIST PROTESTANT CHURCH is situated on Liberty Street, above Third. Religious services of this denomination were first held weekly in Camden, in 1865, at the house of Mrs. Robinson and Mrs. Salinda Smith, on Kaighn Avenue, which resulted in effecting an organization, and during the fall of 1865 the newly-formed society obtained the use of the second story of a frame building at Second Street and Pine, owned by the City Fire Department. Rev. Frank Fletcher, the first pastor, by the end of the first year, had secured a church membership of ninety communicants and established a Sunday school in connection with the congregation. In 1866 a church building, thirty-two by forty-eight feet, was erected on Broadway, below Kaighn Avenue, and the Rev. Boston Corbett* was chosen the second pastor.
In 1867 Rev. William Staulcup became pastor, continued until 1874 artid was succeeded by Rev. J. K. Freed, during whose ministry a new brick church, forty by sixty feet, was built upon the site of the old one. In 1877 Rev. O. Applegate succeeded, and in 1879 the Rev. William Staulcup was returned to this congregation.
At this period an exchange of the original church building was made for a desirable church and grounds on Liberty Street, above Third. The building thus obtained had previously been used by a mission under the auspices of the Fifth Street Church. The exchange enabled the congregation to cancel all indebtedness. In 1883 Rev. John dark became pastor, but on account of his sickness the charge of the congregation was transferred to his grandson, Rev. Robert Sinkinson, who served until his grandfather’s death, in 1885. Under his ministrations over one hundred members were added to the church, and the Sunday school, under the care of Frank Fennimore as superintendent, had increased in number to three hundred members. In January, 1886, Rev. Charles D. Sinkinson, brother of the previous pastor, was assigned to this pastoral charge. During the past year (1886) the church building was extended forty feet to the rear, with a deep recess and an additional story added; when thus completed, it will have a seating capacity for six hundred persons. The present membership is two hundred and forty, and the Sunday school has three hundred and fifty members, with Theodore Darnell as superintendent.
*Sergeant Boston Corbett, above mentioned, is the person who, as a soldier, shot John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln
THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF CAMDEN*
By Rev. Isaac C. Wynn, D.D.
Early in the present century a few Baptists from Cohansey settled in Camden. They promptly united with the First Baptist Church of Philadelphia, and, notwithstanding the difficulties and dangers of crossing the Delaware (with the rude facilities of the time), regularly attended its services. But provision for their own spiritual needs did not exhaust their sense of obligation. Loyalty to God and His truth, and an ardent desire for the salvation of men, demanded of them the preaching of the gospel to their own townsmen.
The Village Academy, located at Sixth and Market Streets, was their first public meeting place. There, under the occasional ministry of Rev. Henry Halcomb, D.D., of Philadelphia, and others, began the work of the Baptist denomination in what is now the city of Camden. Soon a strong opposition revealed itself, that closed the doors of the Academy against the little band, whose only. offense was faithful adherence to Scriptural teaching and practice.
Though subjected to great inconvenience by this privation, they pushed forward the work to which they believed God had called them with undaunted purpose and unabated ardor. Private houses were opened, and in them the villagers were invited to meet for prayer and conference, and to listen to the preaching of the gospel.
The first church organization was effected February 5, 1818. Its constituents were Silvanus Sheppard, Phoebe Sheppard, Richard Johnson, Ann Johnson, Isaac Smith, Hannah Ludlam and Eleanor Sheppard. These all came by letters of dismissal from the First Church of Philadelphia. At the same time Silvanus Sheppard and Richard Johnson were elected to the deaconate and ordained. Before the close of 1818, through the self-sacrificing efforts of this heroic little band, the first modest meeting-house rose on the site now occupied by the FIRST CHURCH.
At this time the cause received valuable aid from the frequent visits and earnest labors of Rev. John Sisty, of Haddonfield. In the early years of its history the growth of the church was greatly hindered by the frequent change of pastors, and by long pastorless periods. From. the year of its constitution (1818) to 1832 it was identified with the “New Jersey Baptist Association,” and at the end of that period reported a membership of thirty-seven. The church then withdrew from the New Jersey Baptist Association and became a constituent of the Central Union Association of Pennsylvania, organized July 31,1832. In 1839 it returned to the association in New Jersey, with a membership of one hundred and fifty-eight.
The year 1842 witnessed the completion of a two-story brick building on the site of the modest structure that for more than twenty years had been the home of the church; and the little company of seven had grown to two hundred and ten. The pastorate of Rev. Thomas E. Taylor began in 1843 and continued to 1854. It was a period of prosperity and growth to the church. Other pastorates had been efficient, considering their brevity. Mr. Taylor’s incumbency was the first that was sufficiently protracted to establish wise methods of work. in the church, or to measure the pastor’s personal influence upon the community.
In 1848 forty-four members were dismissed to constitute the “Second Baptist Church of Camden.”
In the twelve years from 1864 to 1866 five pastorates were crowded. Notwithstanding the frequent change of leaders, the church continued to prosper. In 1859 it gave thirty-seven members to constitute the “North Baptist Church.” In 1861 one hundred and fifty-five communicants withdrew to constitute the “Tabernacle Baptist Church.” In 1860 the second house was razed, and the present substantial and commodious building was completed and dedicated in 1864.
In 1871 a number of communicants withdrew and constituted the “Trinity Baptist Church,” perfecting their organization in 1872.
In April, 1871, negotiations began looking to the union of the First and Tabernacle Churches. The latter, under the pastorates of Rev. A. Earl, Rev. P. L. Davis and Rev. Isaac C. Wynn, had enjoyed ten years of harmonious and successful activity, and reported a membership of two hundred and seventy-nine.
Pending the final decision of an involved legal issue and necessary legislation, the two congregations worshipped together in the house, of the First Church from June 4. 1871, to April 1, 1872, when the union was consummated, under the title of the “Fourth Street Baptist Church, of Camden,” with an aggregate membership of three hundred and fifty-one. On the 16th of April, 1883, the corporate title was changed to “The First Baptist Church of Camden, N. J.”
The beneficent influence of this union has been felt beyond the limits of the resultant church. It has lessened necessary home expenses, and liberated funds to be applied to the mission work of the denomination. Since the union the life of the church has been healthful and vigorous. Its financial interests have been efficiently managed; $66,202.73 have been expended in the improvement of the property of the church and in the maintenance of its ministries at home, and $9696.81 have been devoted to the various forms of benevolent activity abroad.
During the period from April 1, 1872, to July 31, 1886, the accessions to the membership have been: By baptism, two hundred and sixty-seven ; by letter, two hundred and seventy-one; by experience, twenty-two; by restoration, sixteen,–total, five hundred and seventy-six. The reductions have been: By death, ninety-eight; by letter, one hundred and sixty-nine; by erasure, thirty-four; by exclusion, sixty-six,–total, three hundred and sixty-seven. The net increase has been two hundred and nine, giving a present membership of five hundred and sixty.
The church has given special emphasis to Bible school work, and in addition to its home school has, for the last five years, sustained a flourishing mission in the southern part of the city. They have an enrollment of seventy officers and teachers, and six hundred and thirty scholars.
REGISTER OF PASTORS
- Daniel James – May, 1818, to November, 1818
- John P. Cooper – December, 1818, to March, 1819
- Thomas J. Kitts – December, 1819, to March, 1822
- Charles J. Hopkins – March, 1822 to July, 1824.
- Robert Compton – September, 1829, to September 1832
- Amasa Smith – January, 1833, to September, 1833
- William S. Hall – November, 1833, to May, 1834
- Thomas C. Teasdale- January, 1835, to October, 1835
- Joseph Sheppard- August, 1836, to May, 1838
- N. B. Tindall- August, 1838, to September, 1841
- William W. Smith- December, 1841, to September, 1842.
- Thomas I. Taylor- November, 1842, to January, 1854
- John Duncan- May, 1851, to 1857
- S. H. Mirick- December, 1857, to 1858
- George R. Darrow- from 1859 to 1860
- G. G. Fergnson- from 1860 to 1862
- B. F. Hedden- from 1862 to 1865.
- F. B. Rose- from 1866 to 1870
- Isaac C. Wynn– from 1870
Present Officers: Pastor, Isaac C. Wynn, D.D.; Deacons, Adam Angel, David Lack, Ellwood K. Fortiner, Stacy Gaunt, Charles E. Young, E. M. Howard, M.D., Morris W. Hall; Trustees, Volney G. Bennett, E. A. Armstrong, A. S. Morton, Edward H. Bryan, S. F. Rudderow, C.K. Middleton, William C. Scudder; Clerk, Charles A. Morton ; Treasurer, Samuel G. Rudderow.
REV. ISAAC CALDWELL WYNN, D.D., the second son of Benjamin I. Wynn and Susan N. Ray Wynn, was born near Millville, Cumberland County, N. J., on a farm, February 22, 1835. His early education was principally obtained under the tutorship of his father, who, in the intervals of business, devoted his attention to the education of his children. He afterwards entered the university at Lewisburg, Pa., and was graduated in 1858. For ten years after his graduation he was engaged in teaching, a profession to which he had intended devoting his life and in which he was very successful. He occupied in this time the chair of natural sciences in the Upland Normal School and was the principal of the classical academies at Lewisburg and Danville, all in Pennsylvania. In 1868 he was regularly ordained a Baptist minister, and took charge as pastor of the Baptist Church at Hatboro’, Montgomery County, Pa. He remained as pastor there until July 1, 1870, when he entered the pastorate of the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Camden, going with it in its union with the First Baptist Church. He received, in the year 1879, the degree of Doctor of Divinity from the university at Lewisburg. In 1885 the Legislature of New Jersey elected him one of the trustees of the State Normal School, which made him ex-officio a member of the State Board of Education. His services here have been greatly appreciated by his colleagues and by State officers. For his piety, his learning, his eloquence as a preacher and the fraternal affection with which he discharges the duties of his office as pastor, he has won the love of his entire church and the respect and esteem of the whole community. His pastorate is the longest continuous one in the West New Jersey Baptist Association. Dr. Wynn’s wife is a daughter of the Rev. William P. Maul. They have no children.
THE SECOND BAPTIST CHURCH
THE SECOND BAPTIST CHURCH was constituted in 1848 with forty-six constituent members, mostly from the First Baptist Church, Camden. Thomas Shields and Joseph Matlack were the first deacons. The church built a two-story brick meeting-house on the southeast corner of Fourth and Division Streets, which they sold, in 1867, to the Roman Catholic Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, and erected a meeting-house on the southwest corner of Fourth and Mount Vernon, of brick, two stories high and costing, with ground, eighteen thousand dollars. This they still occupy. When the location was changed, in 1867, a large number of the members, including the pastor, Mark R. Watkinson, withdrew and formed the Broadway Baptist Church. The membership now numbers one hundred and thirty.
These have been pastors,– Matthew M. Semple, M.D., Thomas C. Trotter, Alexander Clark, Thomas Goodwill, Francis Cailhopper, John C. Hyde, Mark R. Watkinson, Charles W. Deitz, Samuel Hughes, William W, Dalbey, Matthew M. Finch, Frank B. Rose (supply), William Lawrence, John D. Flansburg.
THIRD BAPTIST CHURCH
THIRD BAPTIST CHURCH is situated on Broadway, above Van Hook Street. On July 14, 1852, Jonathan J. Cox, Harry Blanford, John Shill, John Shield, Benjamin Muir, Benjamin Ballard, Agnes Shill, Matilda Shill and Matilda Ballard, principally members of the Second Baptist Church of Camden, and Rev. Thomas C. Trotter, the pastor, met at the house of John Shill, in Stockton, and formed “The Baptist Society,” of which Datus Drury, B. Ballard and T. C. Trotter were appointed a building committee. August 15th, a Sunday school was organized with J. J. Cox superintendent, and Harry Blanford, Matilda Shill, Mr. and Mrs. Basford and Lizzie Price as teachers. The school continued to meet at the house of John Shill and the society at J. J. Cox’s, on Ferry road, until 1854, when the meeting-house, on Van Hook Street, near Sixth, was completed. Among those who preached for this society were Revs. Thomas C. Trotter, Edward G. Taylor, David Spencer and John Sisty. The society prospered, and resolving to form a church, met August 1, 1855, and constituted the ” Stockton Baptist Church,” composed of the following-named members : Jonathan Cox, John C. Taylor, Harry Blanford, John Jones, Rebecca Fults, James Jones, Mary E. Cox, Mary Ann Taylor, Matilda Blanford, Mary Jones, Margaret. Ewell and Elizabeth Ewell. On August 6th of the same year a council, with Rev. John Duncan, D.D., of Camden, as moderator, was called, at which the young church was recognized and admitted into the fellowship of the West New Jersey Baptist Association. The church procured supplies for many years, among whom were Revs. William James, John E. Barnes, Walter Patton and Adam Hayberry. In 1861 Rev. E. V. Glover, who had been serving the church, assumed the pastorate, and, by his earnestness and helpful ways, did much for his people during his stay of fifteen years. In 1863 the old meetinghouse was sold to the Church of Our Saviour, and a new one of brick, with a seating capacity of four hundred, built on the site now occupied. In 1871 Stockton was annexed as the Eighth Ward of Camden, and an act was obtained from the Legislature changing the name of this society to the Third Baptist Church of Camden. Mr. Glover resigning, in 1876, Rev. George H. MacClelland filled the pulpit until February, 1877, when Reece W. Perkins, then pursuing a post-graduate course in Crozer Theological Seminary, accepted a call, and being ordained, became the pastor. In 1880 a large addition of brick, twenty-five by sixty feet, placed transversely in the rear, for Sunday school purposes, was built and the main structure renovated, chiefly under the direction of James F. Baird, who, one of the first, had also been one of the most helpful members. Under the pastorate of Rev. Mr. Perkins, the church has grown from a weak, struggling interest, needing constant assistance, to a strong, self-reliant body, helping others. It has two promising young men studying for the ministry,–James S. Braker, at Lewisburg University, and Charles E. Woodruff, son of the late Elmer C.B. Woodruff, who for many years was a stanch pillar of the church. Under the efficient labor of the present pastor, the debt has been decreased to a nominal amount, the contributions have tripled and the membership more than doubled, now numbering two hundred and twenty, while the Sunday school, under the superintendence of Theodore B. Davis, numbers three hundred pupils, with twenty-five officers and teachers. The officers of the church are: –Pastor, Rev. Reece W. Perkins; Clerk, Charles E. Woodruff; Treasurer, Theodore B. Davis; Deacons, William Wright, William E. Gilling, T. B. Davis, George T. Clarke; Trustees, William C. Clarke, Elmer E. Wright, Levi B. Jess, Arthur Crouch, William H. Smith, George J. Stites and John W. Whitecar.
NORTH BAPTIST CHURCH
By Rev. W. T. Burns
In 1855 Rev. E. V. Glover and Mrs. H. P. Hale, members of the First Baptist Church of Camden, began a series of meetings in private houses remote from the church, designed for the benefit of infirm and indifferent members who seldom enjoyed the services of the church. In the search for a suitable place for holding meetings in the vicinity of Coopers Point, a large population was found destitute of both religious and secular instruction. In 1856 an attempt to establish a Sunday school failed for want of a suitable room. In 1857, a large hall in the silk factory on the northwest corner of Front Street and Pearl was offered gratuitously by the proprietor, German Foss, in which to hold a Sunday school. September 7, 1859, an organization was effected by choosing Rev. E. V. Glover, superintendent; Adam Angell, assistant; Henry Samuel, secretary and librarian ; Mrs. H. P. Hale, superintendent of the infant department. The following were appointed teachers: Joseph Whitman, Mrs. Louisa Hindle, Mrs. Anna Briggs, Miss Louisa Woolston, Mrs. H. Foss and Miss Addie McCully. The school began with eighty-eight scholars. It continued to meet in the silk factory until January 1859, when it was transferred to the factory of E. W. Williamson, corner of Second Street and Birch, where it was held until July 31, 1859. The influence of the school made itself manifest and the number of members rapidly increased.An equally important factor in the new enterprise was the meeting for adults begun on Sunday, October 18, 1857, and continued, on Sunday at the hall and on Tuesday at the residence of Mr. Ellis, on Birch Street, until the removal to the building of Mr. Williamson.The need of larger and permanent quarters had now become so pressing that on January 26,1859, the First Baptist Church appointed Key. E. V. Glover, J.D. Tustin and J S. Collings to take proper steps to procure a suitable house. Elwood K. Fortiner was afterwards added to the number, and aided greatly in the erection of the new building, which was situated on Elm Street, below Second, and was dedicated July 31, 1859. On the 10th of November 1859, at the house of Rev. E. V. Glover, a meeting was held, of which Rev. E. V. Glover was chairman and J. D. Tustin clerk, for churches held November 29th, and the services in recognition of the new church were conducted at the First Baptist Church by Revs. G.Q. Ferguson, E. D. Fendall, J. E. Wilson, F. T. Cailhopper and J. Hyatt Smith.The names of thirty-seven members thus recognized as the North Baptist Church of Camden are these:
- Elisha T. Glover
- Matilda B. Glover
- Amelia M. Glover
- E.V. Glover, Jr.
- George Glover
- Joseph H. Kain
- Catherine Kain
- Emeline Lewis
- Joseph T. Rowand
- Lydia Rowand
- Mary E. Rowand
- Harriet P. Hale
- Anna M. Briggs
- Margaret Vaughan
- Eliza Vaughan
- John D. Tustin
- Susanna A. Tustin
- Mary E. Tustin
- Eliza E. Tustin
- Matilda Chism
- Edward A. Miles
- Stacy Gaunt
- F.P. Middleton
- Ashly B. Lucas
- Susan Cowan
- Deborah Cowan
- J. Stokes Nash
- Peninah Nash
- Barbara Nash
- Sophia B. Nash
- William H. Tash
- Agnes Nash
- Edward C. Hale
- Adaline McCully
- Anna Campbell
- Mary Anna Ranger
- Georgieanna Tice
Of these original thirty-seven, six are still members. The church began its history with a small body, but with a live root; and this living root, planted in a favorable place, soon showed a vigorous growth. On December 2, 1859, Rev. E. S. James, D.D., was called to the pastorate, began January 1, 1860, and continued till the last Sunday in 1863, when the church, having decided on the erection of a larger meeting-house, and Dr. James feeling his strength unequal to the extra labor involved, resigned, and on January 12, 1864, Rev. S.C. Dare, previously pastor of the church at Cureton, N. J., was chosen. During this pastorate the present church edifice, corner of Second Street and Pearl, was built at a cost of about thirty-five thousand dollars and the church was largely prospered in spiritual as well as in temporal matters. Mr. Dare resigned February 16, 1868, and on March 23, 1868. Rev. A. G-. Thomas, pastor of the church at Mount Holly, was unanimously elected to the pastorate. His administration continued until December 25, 1870, when, in consequence of a serious affection of the throat, he resigned. Rev. J. E. Chambles, of Baltimore, was called to become pastor March 8, 1871. He began his work the 1st of April ensuing and continued until May 1, 1873. On July 9, 1873, a call was extended to Rev. E. G. Moses, lately of Plymouth, England. During this pastorate, which continued for eight years, one hundred and sixty-eight were added to the church,’ a new mission building was built at a cost of four thousand dollars and large improvements were made in the meetinghouse. This pastorate ended with the year 1881.
April 4, 1882, a call was extended to Rev. A.E. Rose, pastor of the First- Baptist Church of Bradford, Pa. Mr. Rose began his pastorate April 9, 1882. The membership of the church was increased by an addition of one hundred and sixty–one hundred and twenty-four by baptism, thirty-five by letter and one by experience. A new organ, costing two thousand dollars, was placed in the gallery. Mr. Rose resigned his pastorate, to take effect August 5, 1883.
On December 10, 1883, a call was extended to Rev. W. T. Burns, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lynn, Mass., which was accepted, and Mr. Burns began his pastorate February 1, 1884. During this pastorate one hundred and sixty-eight have been added to the church. Of these, one hundred and ten have joined by baptism, forty-five by letter, twelve by experience and one by restoration. An addition has been made to the property of a building for the primary department, costing three thousand dollars; a church library of two thousand volumes, costing about two thousand dollars, and involving alterations costing one thousand dollars more, has been added. A library-sustaining fund of five hundred dollars a year, for five years to come, has (1886) been subscribed.
The enlarged accommodations furnished the Sunday school by the building of the annex for the primary department, have been taken up by the growth of the school, the average attendance for May, 1886, showing an advance of twenty-one percent over that of May, 1885. The growth of the school is largely due to the energy and faithful personal attention to its work of the superintendent, F. Wayland Ayer, seconded by a faithful and well-disciplined corps of teachers. In December 1885, letters were granted to fifty-three members of this church for the purpose of uniting to organize the Linden Baptist Church, to be situated at the corner of Ninth Street and Linden. Notwithstanding this large subtraction from the roll of the church, the vacant places have been very rapidly filled.
THE BROADWAY BAPTIST CHURCH
THE BROADWAY BAPTIST CHURCH located at Broadway and Cherry Street and was constituted in April, 1867, by Rev. Mark R. Watkinson, the pastor, and forty-seven members of the Second Baptist Church, who, withdrawing there from, formed the new church, with John B. Stygale, John Osier and Augustus M. Crissy, deacons. The ground on Broadway, below Spruce, was obtained, and on the St. John Street front was erected a brick building, in which the society worshipped until 1870, when a atone meeting-house was built on the Broadway end of the lot, at a cost of nearly eighteen thousand dollars. The pastors who served this church were Revs. Mark R. Watkinson, E. Evered Jones, Charles Johnson, Andrew J. Hay, E. Dallas Stagers.
In October, 1877, the church disbanded, and the pastor, Rev. E. D. Stagers, with thirty-six of the members, united and constituted the Tabernacle Baptist Church.
THE TABERNACLE BAPTIST CHURCH
THE TABERNACLE BAPTIST CHURCH was constituted in October, 1877, when the pastor and thirty-six of the members of, the Tabernacle Church met in a building on Stevens Street, below Fifth, now the property of Hatch Post, No. 37, G. A. R., and formed the new organization. The original members were Rev. E. Dallas Stagers, William S. Kain, Rebecca A. Kain, William W. Kain, Isaac N. Hugg, M.D., Sallie D. Hugg, Rebecca S. Brooks, Harriet S. Brooks, Letitia R. Brooks, Abigail Brooks, Sallie M. S. Brooks, Ellen R. Brooks, Lavinia Brooks, Israel. Pierson, Ermina Pierson, Martha Turner, Deborah Webster, Hannah Webster, Mary J. Cordrey, Mary V. S. Drury, Nettie Drury, Stacy Doran, Caroline Doran, Mary Jones, Rachel Griffin, Elizabeth Loughead, Amanda Letourneu, John Miller, Nettie Miller, Jane E. McCay, Abigail Platt, Emma Quick, Anna Quick, E. E. Wheeler, Emma Selah, Mary E. Fish.
Rev. E. D, Stagers was chosen pastor, William S. Kain and John Miller were elected deacons and William W. Kain church clerk.
The church was recognized by a council of Baptist Churches September 2,1878, and remained in their first location until 1880, when they rented the church erected by the Broadway Church in 1870. The church at this time numbered sixty-eight members. Mr. Stagers continued as pastor until April. 4, 1881, when he resigned and accepted a call to the Baptist Church at Woodstown, Salem County, where, on Sunday, November 27, 1881, as he finished his morning sermon, he was stricken with apoplexy and in a few moments died.
After Mr. Stagers left, the pulpit was supplied by several persons until 1882, when Isaac W. Bagley, a student at Lewisburg University and a licentiate of the Fourth Baptist Church, Philadelphia, accepted a call as stated supply and began his labors at that time. The church was in a languishing condition and the membership so scattered that less than twenty were found under Mr. Bagley’s ministry. However, the church revived and the membership increased.
April 4, 1886, the church elected trustees and became incorporated, having purchased the building (before that time rented) and with subscription. lists sufficient to pay for it. Its seating capacity is between five and six hundred and its value is fifteen thousand five hundred dollars. Mr. Bagley was ordained April 10, 1883, and became the pastor, which office he has since filled.
Deacons: William S. Kain, John Miller*,Datus Drury, Benjamin M. Denny, Thomas R. Arrison*, Theophilus Fox, William Stout, Thomas T. Ellis*, Mark Bareford*, William T. Spiegle*.
Clerks: William W. Kain, Leaman Eldrtdge, Jesse C. Dresser, Thomas I. Dunlap.*
Treasurers : Isaac N. Hugg, M.D., John Hobson, Theophilus Fox, Thomas R. Arrison, James W. Eldridge, John Dalley*.
The present officers, in addition to those above-marked with an asterisk (*) are: Trustees; George Leathwhite, J. Harry Knerr, William A. Taylor, John Dalbey, Robert H. Comey, George Lovewell, Thomas I. Dunlap; Chorister, Walter F. Wolfkeil; Organist, Anna E. Quint; Superintendent Sunday School, John Dalbey ; Asst. Supt., P. W. D. Harvey; Secretary, Dallis Cann; Treasurer, T.. I. Dunlap; Librarian, Orme W. Horner ; Infant School Superintendent, Virginia Osier ; Organist, Anna Wolfkeil.
TRINITY BAPTIST CHURCH
TRINITY BAPTIST CHURCH of Camden was organized on the 7th day of December, 1871, by the adoption of a church covenant and articles of faith as recorded in Rev. T. Hiscox’s “Baptist Church Directory,” pages 154 to 177, inclusive, and the following-named gentlemen were duly elected the officers thereof: For office of deacons, Thomas Peak, J. D. Rogers and R. H. Morgan; for church clerk, Thomas W. Wilkinson; and at a subsequent meeting held December 21, 1871, the ‘following-named gentlemen were elected trustees: Isaiah Woolstoii, E. E. Read, George E. Taylor, William Groves, Alfred McCully, John Burr, William Scudder.
The membership of the church numbered about ninety-five. Amongst them, we may mention Deacons Thomas Peak and wife, J. D. Rogers and wife, R. H. Morgan and wife, Deacon Jacob S. Collings, Rev. Charles Sexton and wife, Mrs. E. Westcott, Mrs. Anna Davis and Mrs. Amy Anderson. In a few days after the election of the trustees, as above stated, they purchased the building known as the Presbyterian Meetinghouse, on Fifth Street, above Market Street, in Camden, which purchase was ratified by the church December 28, 1871, and on the 7th day of January, 1872, the church held its first public service, Dr. Weston, of Crozer University, preaching the sermon.
On the 20th day of February the church received recognition in a public manner by pastors and lay members of a number of churches of the same faith and order, the Trinity Church, being represented by J.D. Rogers, R.H. Morgan and Thomas W. Wilkinson. The recognition services were held in the meetinghouse purchased by the church. Dr. Sanford, of Salem, preached the sermon and Deacon Thomas Peak received the hand of fellowship from the council by the hand of Rev. Mr. Chambles, pastor of the North Baptist Church of Camden.
On the 22d day of April, 1872, the church/by a unanimous vote, invited Rev. A.H. Lung, of. Germantown, Pa., to become its pastor.
June 2, 1872, Rev. A.H. Lung entered upon his duty as pastor of the church, and after nine and one-half years of faithful and successful labor he resigned on March 27, 1882, to accept a position as general secretary of the Home Missionary Society of the State of New York, since which time the church has been very successful in her work under the leadership of Rev. O A. Adams, who resigned the pastorate in June of the present year (1886).
SEVENTH BAPTIST CHURCH
SEVENTH BAPTIST CHURCH is situated on Kaighn Avenue. The society that owns and worships in this church is composed of colored people. It was during the year 1856 that a number of colored citizens of Camden met at the house of Mrs. Mary Colding, at No. 736 Chestnut Street, under the auspices of the Shiloh Baptist Church of Philadelphia., and made preparatory arrangements toward forming a Baptist Church in Camden. Rev. Sampson White conducted a series of prayer meetings, in the houses of different members, for several months continuously, and organized a Sunday School. In 1857 the first public services were held in a blacksmith’s shop, which was used until it was destroyed by fire, in 1858.
Rev. David Evans, Abraham Fisher and Elizabeth Moses then took an active part in keeping the church together, and meetings were held in the houses of Rev. David Evans and Mrs. Moses. In 1867 Rev. J. M. Francis was called and. during his pastorate a meeting house was built. In 1873 Rev. Moses Wilcox was called to this charge, and at once adopted measures to complete a two-story brick church building, forty by sixty feet. The pool and auditorium were placed in the second story. It was then dedicated as the Seventh Baptist Church of Camden. The membership increased in numbers under its pastor, as well as the Sunday School, with Abraham Fisher as superintendent. In 1884, through the instrumentality of Rev. Moses Wilcox, the meetinghouse was enlarged and an extension of twenty feet built to the rear of it. At present the church has two hundred and sixty members and the Sunday school has we hundred and seventy-five pupils and teachers, with John W. Saddler as superintendent. This church has also organized a Mission Sunday School at Broadway and Branch Street. Thirty children attend this mission, which is under the care of Mrs. Isabella Shipley.
LINDEN BAPTIST CHURCH
LINDEN BAPTIST CHURCH had its beginning November 22,1863, when Rev. R. S. James, pastor, David S. Stackhouse, Joseph Truman and M. S. James were appointed a committee of the North Baptist Church to look after the religious needs of the northeastern portion of the city, and reported a dearth of and desire for religious privileges, on the part of the people of that section. Religious services were held December 10th of the year named. Mr. James conducted the services in the Paper Mill Schoolhouse, and the owner, John B. Thompson, granting its use for the purpose, a Sunday school was organized December 19th. The officers then chosen were, –Superintendent, David T. Stackhouse ; Assistant Superintendent, Robert Charles; Secretary, Addie McCully; Treasurer, Mrs. S. A. Tustin ; Librarian, Edwin B. Robbins.
The work began December 27th, with nine teachers and thirty-six pupils. In April 1864, the school was removed to the office of Furbush & Gage’s machinery factory, and from thence to the house of Hiram McCormick, where it remained until December 4th, when the new mission building at Tenth Street and Penn was first occupied. In 1866 J. H. Kain became superintendent, and, October 19, 1869, was succeeded by John T. Bottomley, who still fills the office. In 1872 J. Willard Morgan was made secretary, and has since performed the duties of that position. Under this management the school prospered, and through it the North Baptist Church received quite an accession to its membership.
In 1880 ground was purchased at Ninth and Linden, and a neat brick chapel erected, designed by Arthur Truscott, with a seating capacity of two hundred and fifty in the audience room. This chapel was dedicated free of debt, October 2,1881. The mission had now become strong enough to walk alone and, December 17, 1885, the twenty-second anniversary of the mission, a meeting was held, at which it was decided to constitute a church, to be called the Linden Baptist Church. John T. Bottomley and B. M. Denny were elected deacons; Elmer E. Morton, clerk; William Hall, treasurer; and J. W. Morgan, F. W. Cramer, Doctor William S. Moslander, William Hall, Mary B. Howard and Agnes Nash, trustees. William H. Geistweit accepted a call to the pastorate, and was ordained January 25, 1886, by a council of Baptist Churches, which, at the same time, recognized the church, preliminary to its admission into the West New Jersey Baptist Association.
ST. PAUL’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Compiled from an historical sermon by the Rev. Dr. Garrison, in 1880, the fiftieth anniversary of this parish.
March 12, 1830, a small company of gentlemen met to consult on the advisability of organizing an Episcopal Church in the town of Camden. There had been occasional services of the church held in Camden, in the second story of the building known as the City Hall, at the present site of Federal Street Market, for some time previous, by several clergymen of Philadelphia who had agreed among themselves “to preach” here in turn on Sunday afternoon, “so that it should have, if possible, one service of the church on every Sunday.” In the first report made from the parish after its organization, to the Diocesan Convention, the congregation gave acknowledgments for services to Rt. Rev. Bishop Onderdonk, Rev. Dr. De Lancey, Rev. Messrs. Bedell, Douglass, Mead, Rutlidge, Depuy, Hawks, Boyd, Van Pelt, Alien, Jaquette, Smith and Tyng. After due consultation among those assembled at this preliminary conference, it was “Resolved that the meeting do now institute a Protestant Episcopal Church in the city of Camden, under the name of Zion Church, the name subject to be changed if deemed advisable at the time of incorporation.”
On March 26, 1830, the parish was organized and incorporated under the name and title of” The Rector, Wardens and Vestrymen of St. Paul’s Church, Camden.” The first wardens of the new parish were Josiah Harrison and Isaac Welsh. The vestrymen were Dr. Bowman Hendry, Jeremiah H. Sloan, Richard W. Howell, Gideon V. Stivers, Abraham Browning Sr., Ebenezer Toole, John Browning, Auley McCalla, Dr. Samuel Harris and Morris Croxall. The deputies to ask admission to the convention were Josiah Harrison, Jeremiah H. Sloan and Richard W. Howell.The first convention after the accession of Bishop Doane to the episcopate, in 1832, was held in Camden, and in the same unpretending “upper room of the City Hall,” which had been used for the services of the young congregation, and in which the meetings for its organization and incorporation had been held. In September, 1833, the Rev. Samuel Starr, of Connecticut, was appointed by Bishop Doane as a missionary to the church in Camden in connection with the old St. Mary’s (Colestown) Parish. The records of the Camden Parish, speaking of this missionary, say: “He was a man of singular energy, and by his exertions in the effort to erect a house of worship in this place, was an enterprise in which the boldness was only equaled by the success.” On February 3, 1884, the vestry, under his energetic influence,.took steps toward the building of a church. The parish records state that “The lot marked No. 121 in the Map of Camden, and situated on the south side of Market Street, between Fourth and Fifth, was purchased for three hundred dollars, and the lot adjoining was obtained on a perpetual lease on payment of twenty-five dollars per annum ground-rent,; February, 1884.” The corner-stone of the church building was laid by Bishop Doane on Tuesday, April 22,1834. The venerable Bishop White assisted Bishop Doane in the ceremonies. The basement-room was ready for use and services held in it early in 1835. The entire church was completed the same year.
On June 1, 1835, the Rev. Mr. Starr, who, to this time, had been only a missionary to the parish, was elected to the rectorship, and on the same day the building was consecrated by Bishop Doane and the benediction pronounced by Bishop White. The congregation at the end of the first year bad twenty-one communicant’s, and a Sunday school had been opened with one hundred children in attendance. In May, 1836, the Rev. Mr. Starr resigned, and on July 25th, Rev. Francis P. Lee became the second rector. The two churches of Camden and Colestown were, from the beginning of the former, a single charge. During the two years’ pastorate of Rev. Mr. Lee the number of communicants at St. Paul’s increased to forty-one and the Sunday school was in a prosperous condition. On his resignation, in 1858, Rev. Henry Burroughs was elected, and he entered on the joint charge of the two parishes of Camden and Moorestown on November 20, 1838. He retained this until March 7,1840, when the church in Moorestown severed its connection with Camden, and Mr. Burroughs was left with the rectorship of St. Paul’s only. On July 9, 1843, he wrote to the vestry, ” My constitution is not suited to this part of the country, and I find myself most reluctantly compelled to resign the charge of this parish.”
On August 23, 1843, the Rev. Joseph M. Lybrand was elected to the pastoral charge. Under his earnest labors the congregation grew steadily. The church, was constructed of unhewn stone, and in 1846 a resolution was passed ” that the unhewn stone of the church be covered with rough casting, after the mariner of the State House, in Trenton, and squared, in imitation of stone.”
Among the earliest of the institutions for pariah aid in this congregation, and one, which did much good in pecuniary assistance to the church, was the “Ladies’ Sewing Society,” which was formed in 1835. The object of this organization was to assist in decreasing the debt of the church and render general aid. In 1836, according to a. record, the vestry “thanked the society for a splendid service of communion plate and act of lamps for the pulpit.” The society ceased to exist in 1860. According to its last report, it had raised for the church over seven thousand dollars.
In 1844 the church had seventy-two communicants, and the contributions amounted to three hundred and eighty dollars. In 1847 the number was ninety, and the contributions eight hundred and thirty eight dollars. Rev. Lybrand had served as rector nearly twelve years ; during a large portion of that time he was an invalid, but his zeal and interest in his work did not abate. He died on February 14, 1655. Bishop Doane said: “I have known him long and well. I never knew a better man. He was modest, gentle and quiet, yet firm, fearless and indomitable. He said but little, but always what was wise and good and true. His character was beautiful and his services exemplary.”
The vacancy was filled on July 8, 1855, when it was ” Resolved that Rev. Dr. Joseph F. Garrison be invited to become the rector of this parish.” He entered upon his duties in September of that year, having been ordained deacon on June 3,1855. The church then numbered seventy-five communicants, a number having joined the St. John’s Mission. There were one hundred and fifty children in the Sunday school, and the number of families in the parish was about one hundred. In 1856 the church building, which was then sixty-five by forty-three feet, was enlarged by adding a crucial transverse, seventy by twenty-five feet, with a recess of ten feet behind for the chancel. On January 29, 1859, the church was reopened, Bishop Doane officiating, and the Rev. Dr. Joseph F. Garrison was instituted into the rectorship. The cost of the enlargement and repairs was ten thousand five hundred dollars; all, excepting five hundred dollars, was contributed by the congregation. One of the causes which called for the election of a rector at Chews Landing Mission was the necessity of Dr. Garrison giving some time to the Cooper Street Mission. A Sunday school had been taught there by lay members of the pariah. In 1877 ground was bought and a neat Gothic building of brown atone was erected for this mission. In the new building this mission has been in creasing under the lay reading of the superintendent, Charles Eldred, and later of Joseph Trimble Jr., Rev. Henry B. Bryand arid a committee of lay readers from St. Paul’s Guild.
The history of St. Paul’s Parish as a whole is the record of a quiet growth, marked by no startling changes nor checkered by thrilling incidents. Almost the only thing remarkable about it is the general character of uniformity which has pervaded its modes of work from the beginning. The ministerial changes in St. Paul’s Parish have been few. It has had but five ministers in fifty years, and thirty-seven of these years are covered by the rectorship of Keys. Joseph M. Lybrand and Joseph F. Garrison.
The following summary from the parish register shows the most important changes from 1830 to 1880:
Church Wardens, Isaac Welsh and Josiah Harrison (1830), Thomas Chapman (1841), Richard W. Howell (1843), Edward W. Mumford (1845), Dr. O.H. Taylor (1847), Thomas P. Carpenter (1860), Philip J. Grey (1870), Alden O. Scovel (1875), Abraham Browning (1876), Marmaduke B. Taylor (1882).
Baptisms: From 1830 to 1855, 265; from 1855 to 1880, 562,–total, 825.
Confirmations: From 1830 to 1855, 168 ; from 1855 to 1880, 372,–total, 530.
Marriages: From 1830 to 1855, 82 ; from 1855 to 1882, 202,–total, 284.
Funerals: From 1830 to 1855, 139 ; from 1655 to 1880, 294,–total, 431.
Communicants admitted: From 1830 to 1855, 321; from 1855 to 1880, 720,–total, 1041. Present number of communicants on the register, 375.Total number of scholars in Sunday school, 450.Total number of officers and teachers in same, 45.
The rectorship of Rev. Dr. Garrison continued until the end of August, 1884. He was elected in June of that year to the “Morehead Professorship of Liturgies, Canon Law, and Ecclesiastical Polity in the Divinity School in Philadelphia,” and having accepted the position, resigned the parish to enter on its duties in the September following.
In December of this same year Rev. Thomas A. Tidball, D.D., of Lexington, Ky., was elected as his successor, and on January 11, 1885, entered on his duties as the sixth rector of the parish.
On the accession of Dr. Tidball to the rectorship, a vigorous move was made to improve or increase the church property, which move resulted in the vestry authorizing (on July 22, 1885) the erection of parish buildings in the rear of the church, costing about ten thousand dollars, and the rebuilding of the church, at a cost of five thousand dollars, fitted with memorial furniture costing one thousand dollars. Since then the church building has been re-roofed and improved at an expense of above six or eight thousand dollars. This parish not only keeps up its missionary charge of the chapel at Twelfth and Cooper Streets, but is carrying on a vigorous mission at Cramer’s Hill, in the neighborhood of the city.
The officers of the parish for 1886, are; Rector, Rev. Thomas A. Tidball, D.D.; Wardens, Abraham Browning, Esq., Marmaduke B. Taylor; Vestrymen, Maurice Browning, William E. Lafferty, Samuel H. Grey, Edward R. Shubrick, Joseph Fearon, William Joyce Sewell, Dr. Henry Genet Taylor, James H. Carpenter, Henry C. Alexander, Robert F.S. Heath, Wilson H. Jenkins, Nathan F. Cowan, Harry Humphreys, Edward H. King; Treasurer, William E. Lafferty; Secretary, James H. Carpenter.
ST. JOHN’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH
St. John’s Parish was incorporated January 7, 1852, having been in its inception a mission of St. Paul’s Parish, under the Rev. Lybrand. He makes this first mention of it in May, 1847: “Three young men of the congregation have devoted themselves and their means to the service of the church, and expect soon to become candidates for Holy Orders. With their valuable cooperation and with means supplied by a few friends in Philadelphia, I have been able to rent, in the lower part of the city, three-fourths of a mile from the church, a school-house, which will be used as a chapel for the benefit of a much-neglected, yet interesting and respectable, portion of our community. A flourishing Sunday school is already in operation, and as soon as the arrangements are completed, I shall, after the two usual services at the church, hold there a third service at night. So rapidly is our population increasing, and so cheering are the prospects of the church, that I trust this little chapel will prove the beginning of what, after a few years of fostering care will become a second parish.”
The work was carried on regularly for two years, after which the absence of the candidates for Holy Orders and the feeble health of the rector compelled an interruption. In the fall of 1851, Mr. Elvin K. Smith having taken Deacon’s Orders, returned to the work, and organized the parish, remaining with it until August, 1858. Beginning in November, 1851, services and Sunday school were held in a hall at Fourth Street and Spruce. In January, 1853, ground was purchased at Broadway and Royden Street, and in March the “Floating Chapel of the Redeemer, for seamen of the port of Philadelphia,” was bought, removed from its base (two canal-boats braced together), and drawn across the open lots to this site. The removed church, newly named St. John’s, was reoccupied on the sixteenth Sunday after Trinity, September 11, 1853. The zeal of the parish soon began to reach beyond its own borders.. In October, 1854, the pastor established a weekly cottage lecture in the village of Stockton, one mile south of the church, and this soon developed into a Sunday afternoon service, with Sunday school. Here was the first breaking of ground for the Church of Our Saviour.
The following is a list of the successive rectors and clergy of St. John’s Parish :
- Elvin K. Smith, January 6, 1852, to August 3, 1858
- Thomas J, Taylor, locum tenens
- William Passmore, July 1,1859, to May 16, 1860
- Dr. Colhoun, locum tenens
- Charles H. Albert, August 7, 1860, to April 29, 1861
- Theophilne M. Beilly, May 25, 1861,to May 3,1870
- William M. Rcilly, associate rector December 11, 1866; rector, May 3, 1870, to August 1, 1S70
- John A. Goodfellow, deacou in charge
- Alexander Fullerton, locum tenens, October 11, 1871
- William S. Boardman, March 31, 1872, to August 1, 1874
- Joseph P. Taylor, January 14, 1875, to July 26, 1880
- Alfred Louderbach, locum tenens
- John Bows Hills, deacou in charge, December 12, 1880
The present rector, Rev. John Hardenbrook Townsend, entered upon his duties October 18, 1881.
Just cleared of debt and renovated, the dearly loved building, thrice consecrated by formal act, by a quarter-century of holy rites, by the toils and tears for its redemption, the holy house accidentally took fire on the morning of Christmas day, 1870, and in a short hour was a heap of smoking ruins. Did it seem a whole burnt-offering unto the Lord, devoting anew the hearts of His people to fresh efforts for their Zion? So we may read the prompt resolution of the rector, wardens and vestry to replace the old frame building by a beautiful stone Gothic structure. The cornerstone was laid on April 21st, and the building opened for worship December 3, 1871. During the winter of 1884-85 the parish building was built, and the interior decorated. On St. George’s day, April 23, 1885, the church was consecrated and the parish. building formally opened by the bishop of the diocese. The erection and enlargement of the parish building has been naturally accompanied by the formation of the parish guild, with its various auxiliary societies, and by the organization of St. John’s Workingmen’s Club and Institute. Branch Sunday schools have been established at several points within the parish limits for the accommodation of the increasing membership.
In October, 1854, the Rev. Elvin K. Smith, rector of St. John’s Church began a weekly cottage lecture at the village of Stockton, now known as the Eighth Ward of Camden, where there were a few families desirous of worshipping God after the manner of their fathers. This service was maintained with varying degrees of regularity and success for several years.
In September, 1857, Mr. Thomas Lyle, a candidate for Holy Orders, became Sunday lecturer, holding service every Sunday afternoon in an upper room, specially set apart and furnished for that purpose, in the house of John Otten, the rector of St. John’s preaching once a month, and celebrating the communion once in two months. In September, 1859, steps were taken to organize a parish, to be known as the Church of Our Saviour, Stockton, and at a meeting held for this purpose the following were elected as wardens and vestrymen: Senior Warden, John Hare Otten; Junior Warden, Henry Davis; Vestrymen, Charles Drake, 0. J. Search, Henry B. Wilson, Gabriel Johnson, Richard Bunting and James Green. This organization, however, was dissolved in 1864. On the 19th of July, 1867, the parish was reorganized ; and, after various struggles, in the latter part of 1873, at the instance of the Rev. Dr. Garrison, dean of the convocation of Burlington, steps were again taken to reorganize it. In 1867, largely through the efforts of Mr. Patroni, a brick building situated on Van Hook Street, near the West Jersey Railroad, which had formerly been used as a Baptist meeting house, was purchased, and services were held in it until a lot of ground, situated at the southeast corner of Broadway and Viola Street, was deeded by the Manufacturers’ Land Improvement Company to the rector, wardens and vestry, and a new building erected thereon. It was constructed of stone donated by John Powell, of Camden; the other materials being supplied by members of the parish and others interested in its welfare. The cornerstone was placed in, November, 1880. In November, 1882, just about two years after the laying of the cornerstone, the building, free from debt, was consecrated by the Right Rev. John Scarborough, D.D., Bishop of New Jersey. From the last reorganization, in 1873, until 1879 services were held chiefly by the Rev. Reece C. Evans, of Gloucester, and students from the West Philadelphia Divinity School, among whom were Messrs. Winskill, Waller, Powell, Heff’ern, Bagnall and Post. In November, 1879, the Rev. P.C. Creveling, then a teacher in Mr. Reilly’s school, in Burlington, began, by appointment of the bishop, to hold services. He continued a year and three months. Shortly after his withdrawal, Rev. J. L. McKim, of St. Mary’s Hall, Burlington, assumed charge of the parish and held regular Sunday and occasional weekday services until Advent, 1882.
On the first Sunday in Advent of that year the Rev. Win. B. Thorn entered upon his duties as rector of the parish. The officers at the present time (August, 1886) are,–Rector, Rev. Win. B. Thorn; Senior Warden, A. A. Shull; Junior Warden, Jas. F. Sharp; Vestrymen, Lewis K. Kinsell (secretary), John Cottrell, Richard Bunting, Thos. McKenna, John Warnock, Jr., Benjamin Thomas and John W. Brooks.
THE FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
By Rev. Marcus A. Brownson
The Presbytery of West Jersey organized a church in Camden, September 27, 1840, which consisted of twelve members. The Rev. Alexander Heberton, of Salem, N. J., was called to the pastoral charge. Upon his declination of the call, the Rev. William L. McCalla was invited to become the stated supply of the new church for a service of six months. This invitation was accepted by him. An effort was made to erect a house of worship, a lot of ground having been given by Mrs. Alexander Henry, of Philadelphia; and some eight hundred dollars having been subscribed, as the beginning of a building fund. It was found impossible to accomplish the desired object. The enterprise was abandoned, and, after a struggling existence of one year and two months, the church was disbanded, on December 1, 1841.
On the 25th of June, 1846, the present organization came into being, by act of the Presbytery of West Jersey. On the 6th of October, of the same year, the congregation presented a call to the Rev. Giles F. Manwaring, of the Presbytery of New York, and on the 13th of April, of the following year, he was installed pastor. William Howell was the first elder. He was installed on the day of the organization, of the church, June 25, 1846. The beginnings of the church were small. Two Presbyterian families were all of this persuasion known when Mr. Manwaring commenced his work. In a schoolhouse in Third Street, between Market and Plum (now Arch), the congregation, varying in size from eight persons to twenty-one, including children, worshipped for a few weeks. In April of 1846 the City Hall, then on Federal Street, above Fifth, was secured for a place of worship, and this continued to be the sanctuary until the rapidly growing congregation made application to the Presbytery for an organization, which was granted in June of 1846, as stated above. Immediately after this it was resolved to erect a church building. The lot of ground before donated by Mrs. Alexander Henry, and situated on Fifth Street, between Market and Cooper, wag again secured through her gift. The cornerstone of the building was laid October 28, 1846. The building was completed eighteen months afterward. Its cost was five thousand dollars. The Presbyterian Churches of Bridgeton, Pittsgrove, Cedarville, Salem, Woodbury, Trenton, Paterson and Burlington assisted in the forming of a building fund. Mr. Manwaring resigned his charge in 1848, leaving a church of fifty-three communicant members. He died a few years after. A board of trustees was organized in 1848. Joseph Pogue was made president and Auley McCalla, secretary and treasurer.
Rev. Robinson P. Dunn, D.D., the second pastor, was installed on November 1,1848. He was a scholarly preacher, and a cultivated Christian gentleman. During his ministry of two years and ten months forty persons were added to the membership of the church. His resignation was offered and accepted April 24, 1851, when he became professor of belles-lettres in Brown University, Providence, R. I. He has since passed from earth. The Rev. Levi H. Christian was called to the pastoral office in the same year, 1851; he remained with the church for two years and five months. During his ministry forty-five persons united with the church.
Rev. Daniel Stewart, D.D., began his labors as pastor of the church on April 1, 1854. Until this time, since the organization of the church, the Board of Home Missions had regularly, each year, supplied financial aid. Now the church became self-sustaining. The church building was enlarged in 1856, at a cost of two thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars. Two years later, the Sabbath school rooms were refurnished, the money necessary for the improvement having been secured through the efforts of the officers and teachers of the Sabbath school.
The Second Presbyterian Church was organized by the Presbytery of Burlington on March 1, 1860. The city of Camden and vicinity, by action of the Synod of New Jersey, a short time before had been transferred from the Presbytery of West Jersey to that of Burlington. Isaac Van Horn, an elder of the First Church, was then dismissed, at his own request, with fourteen other members, to form the new organization. The enterprise had the hearty cooperation of the parent church, and for some years substantial aid was given to assure its success. Dr. Stewart resigned his charge in 1861. He is now living in the city of Minneapolis. He was a most faithful pastor and a forcible preacher.
Rev. Villeroy D. Reed, D.D., became the pastor of the church in 1861, and for twenty-three years continued his labors. His earnest preaching was followed by most blessed spiritual results through his ministry here. There were constant additions to the membership of the church. Upon one occasion thirty-two persons confessed their faith in the Christ; upon another forty-eight persons entered the church by this method of admission. Through the course of Dr. Reed’s ministry three hundred and twenty-eight were received “on profession of faith.”
The whole number which have been added in this manner and by letters of dismission from other churches, is seven hundred and forty-seven. The Christian character of Dr. Reed and his faithful work will long be cherished. During his ministry the house of worship now occupied by the congregation was erected. Its cornerstone was laid on the 22d of June, 1871. The building was completed and dedicated to the praise of the Triune God on the 1st day of June, 1873. Its entire cost, including the lot of ground on which it stands, the building itself, the furniture of church and chapel, the organ and heating apparatus, was ninety-five thousand dollars. Mr. Stephen D. Button was the architect. The main building is sixty-five feet wide by one hundred and eight feet deep, and the tower is twenty feet square at the base, and, including the spire, is one hundred and ninety-six feet high. The church is built of three shades of stone, which are Connecticut brownstone, West Chester greenstone and Ohio bluestone, presenting an attractive appearance. The chapel, connected with the main building, and built of the same material, is two stories high and forty-one feet front by eighty-one feet deep. The style of architecture is Roman and Gothic. The seating capacity of the church is twelve hundred.
The following-named gentlemen composed the building committee: Albert W. Markley (chairman), John F. Starr, Peter L. Voorhees, Charles Stockham, J.L.K. Campbell, John Morgan, Charles A. Sparks.
The committee on subscriptions was made up of the following-named gentlemen : Joseph D. Reinboth (chairman), Win. Fewsmith (secretary), Gerard R. Vogels, Wm. Curtiss, J.L.R. Campbell, James H. Stevens, Thomas Fitzgerald, Christopher A. Bergen, Randal E. Morgan and Isaac Hackett.
The panic in the money market of 1873 was felt in the financial operations of the congregation. The result was a debt of forty-five thousand five hundred dollars. The interest on this indebtedness was promptly paid each year when due, and year after year the obligation was reduced in amount. But it was not until the beginning of the year 1886 that the mortgage upon the building was canceled. On January 20,1885, the indebtedness was found to be nineteen thousand dollars. It was determined by the congregation to remove this during that year; and on Sabbath morning, December 27, 1885, the debt fund was completed. The gentlemen and ladies who composed the committee, by whose efforts the money was secured, were: Edward F. Nivin (chairman), Randal E. Morgan (trustee), Frederick A. Rex (secretary), Wm. Fewsmith, Gerard R. Vogels, L.T. Derousse, L.H. Kellam, Charles Danenhower, S. T. Ringel, Thomas S. Collings, Frank H. Burdsall, Wm. M. Davison, C. M. Williams, R. P. Stewart, H.O. Hildebrand, G. H. Higbee, Mrs. F.C. Woolman, Miss Annie M. Robeson, Mrs. John F. Starr, Jr., Miss Belle Fitzgerald, Mrs. Frank Williams, Miss Laura Vogels, Mrs. John W. Yeatts, Miss Hettie Porter, Mrs. G. Buckwalter, Mrs. H.C. Felton and Mrs. M. Hoffman.
The Rev. Marcus A. Brownson was installed pastor of the church November 13, 1884, and continues in the pastoral office. The other officers are (1886) as follows : Elders, John S. Chambers (clerk of session), Wm. Fewsmith, Carl ton M. Williams, William B. Robertson, H.O. Hildebrand, Charles Danenhower, Gerard R. Vogels and Andrew Abels.
The following gentlemen have held the office of elder in this church, namely, William Howell, George H. Van Gelder, Isaac Van Horn, James H. Stevens, William Hart, Joseph D. Reinboth, John Aikman, George W.N. Custis, Jacob H. Yocum, John F. Starr, James A. Armstrong, M.D., Asa L. Curtis, Wm. Howard Curtiss and Robert P. Stewart.
Deacons, A. T. Dobson, M.D. (treasurer), Wm. J. Searle, Wm. G. Garland, George W. Cole, and Wm. H. Hunterson, Jr.
Trustees, John F. Starr (president), Wm. Few-smith (treasurer), Edward F. Nivin (secretary), Randal E. Morgan, D. T. Gage and L. T. Derousse.The deaconate has been held also by J.V. Schenck, M.D., B.F. Davis, Thomas Fitzgerald and James A. Armstrong, M.D.
The following have been members of the board of trustees, namely: Joseph Pogue, George W. Helmbold, George W. Carpenter, Joseph Casner, William Howell, A. McCalla, Jehu Osier, S. L. Stinson, Thomas McKeen, J.V. Schenck, M.D., L.C Cake, James Caldwell, John Morgan, Chas. P. Stratton, Peter L. Voorhees, Leander N. Ott, Charles J. Hollis, Isaac Van Horn, E. B. Johnson James H. Stevens, C.P. Vanderveer, A. W. Markley, H. Vanuxem, G.W.N. Custis,.S. L. Davis, Wm. Curtiss, John S. Chambers, Ch. A. Bergen, D. Caldwell, John Stockham, Charles Stockham, M. McDonald, J.L.B. Campbell, A.J. String and S.T. Ringel.
The communicant membership of the church is five hundred; the congregation numbers eight hundred and fifty. The church and congregation are enjoying great prosperity.
The Sabbath school had its beginning in the year 1846. The basement of the building on Fifth Street from the time of its completion was devoted to this purpose. The first organization was very informal. S.D. Wyeth was the superintendent for several years. In January 1855, while S. D. Wyeth was superintendent, the school was organized with a constitution, since which time lull records have been kept. J.D. Higgins was elected superintendent, with William Fewsmith as assistant, and Peter L. Voorhees, secretary and treasurer, at the first election under the constitution, May 1855. Forty-six persons became members of the Sabbath-school Association. Of these, Wm. Fewsmith, Peter L. Voorhees, Henry Vanuxem, B.F. Jaggers and Miss Cornelia Ackley are still active in the Sabbath school work.
From 1855 till the present time the following-named persons have filled the office of superintendent — J.D. Higgins, 1855; James H. Stevens, 1861; Peter L. Voorhees, 1863 ; J.D. Reinboth, 1868; James H. Stevens, 1871; Peter L. Voorhees, 1872; J.H.Yocum, 1873; Christopher A. Bergen, 1875; Asa L. Curtis, 1880 ; C.M. Williams, 1883.
Large additions to the membership of the church have been made from the Sabbath school: In 1860, thirty; in 1883, sixteen; in 1884, twenty-three; in 1885, thirty-three; in 1886, forty-three; and in other years smaller additions.
About two hundred and fifty scholars have united with the church since 1870, according to the record kept by the present secretary, Gerard B. Vogels. One hundred and eighteen of the scholars now in the school are members of the church. The contributions of money, for the work of the schools and for benevolent purposes, have averaged more than four hundred dollars each year. In 1885 the school contributed one thousand and thirty-two dollars, the most of which was applied toward the liquidation of a debt upon the church. The school has two main divisions, the Primary and Intermediate Department, and the Adult Department and Bible Classes. In the former, one hundred and fifty-five scholars are enrolled, in the latter there are thirty-one classes and two hundred and eighty-five scholars. The officers are as follows: General Superintendent, Carlton M. Williams; Assistant, Robert P. Stewart; Superintendent of Primary and Intermediate, H.O. Hildebrand ; Assistant, John W. Yeatts ; Secretary and Treasurer, Gerard R. Vogels ; Assistant, Miss Edith J. Sleeper; Librarian, Benjamin F. Jaggers; Assistants, J. F. Sleeper, F. H. Reeder and Albert E. Clark;
Associate Librarian, W. H. Hunterson, Jr.; Assistant, A. H. Allen; Organists, Fred. T. Baker and Mrs. H.O. Hildebrand.
The Central Mission School was organized May 9, 1886, in No. 840 Federal Street, with sixty scholars and the following officers: Superintendent, Thomas S. Collings; Assistant, William J. Searie; Secretary and Treasurer, R. C. Jones; Librarian, Wm. C. Temple; Organist, Mrs. B. F. Stiles.
THE SECOND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
By Rev. William Boyd
THE SECOND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH was organized on the 1st of March, 1860, and, to use the language of its first pastor, it “was launched into being under the fostering care of the First Presbyterian Church, being born, not as new churches sometimes are, out of disaffection or controversy, but out of love for the Master and for the extension of His kingdom.”
The Central Church, situated at the corner of Fourth Street and Hartman, after a short and precarious existence, had quietly succumbed to the force of circumstances and had been dissolved by the New School Presbytery of Philadelphia. For several years after its dissolution no attempt had been made to reoccupy the field in which it had stood. In 1859, however, Rev. Dr. Daniel Stewart, pastor of the First Church, urged upon his people the importance of forming another Presbyterian Church. A meeting for this purpose was called for March 23, 1859, at which a committee, composed of Isaac Van Horn, Thomas McKeen, James H. Stevens, George W. Carpenter, Sr., and Gilbert Bulson, were appointed “to seek out and secure one or more sites of church edifices in suitable location, and in the event of finding such location, to erect a temporary edifice for the purpose of worship and Sabbath school instruction.” This committee, through the influence of Mr. Van Horn, purchased from Edward A. Stevens, of Hoboken, N. J., four lots of ground situated at the corner of Fourth Street and Washington, Mr. Stevens donating eight hundred dollars of the purchase money. These lots were afterwards exchanged for the lots upon the upper side of the same square, at Fourth Street and Benson, the site of the present church, where a chapel was built, at a cost of nineteen hundred dollars, the money having been contributed mainly by members of the First Church, who, at their next congregational meeting, upon recommendation of the committee, deeded the whole property to the “Trustees of the Second Presbyterian Church.”
The Presbytery of Burlington met in the chapel March 1, 1860, and organized the church with a membership of twenty persons, viz.: Robert Barber, Thomas F. Lambson, Isaac Van Horn, James Good, Thomas McKeen, Emily Barber, Sarah J. McKeen, Mary A. Turtelot, Mary A. Van Horn, Elizabeth Van Horn, Anne E. Clark, Nancy A. Hoxie, Margaretta Lambson, Jane Marshall, Henrietta Smith, Selina O. Turtelot and Ann E. Van Horn. Upon the same day Mr. Lewis C. Baker was called, ordained and installed as pastor of the church. Isaac Van Horn and Robert Barber were set apart to the office of the eldership, and Isaac Van Horn, Thomas McKeen, Cyrus Kellog, James Good, Thomas F. Lambson, James C. Wright and J. L. Prentiss were constituted the first board of trustees.
The wisdom of the new enterprise and the advantages of its location soon evidenced themselves. in the rapid growth of the Sabbath school and congregation. The chapel was often uncomfortably crowded, and the need of better accommodation began to be more and more felt. To form the nucleus of a new building fund, Messrs. Van Horn and McKeen fenced in the square of ground lying between Washington Street and Berkley and Third and Fourth, and converted the enclosure into a. skating park. From this novel expedient eighteen hundred dollars were realized, with which, as a basis, Mr. Baker, in 1864, agitated the erection of a new church. A plan was accordingly procured from Stephen D. Button, architect, and in April, 1866, it was resolved to begin the work. Isaac Van Horn and Thomas McKeen were appointed a building committee, with the pastor as an advisory member. The sudden and lamented death, of Mr. Van Horn before the completion of the building necessitated the addition of his son, F. C. Van Horn, and S. L. Stimson to the committee. The building was roofed in during the summer of 1865, and upon the first Sabbath of September, 1866, was solemnly set apart to the service of Almighty God. In the dedication service the First Church united, its former pastor, Dr. Stewart, and W.C. Cattell, D.D., president of Lafayette College, taking a prominent part. The cost of the building was about nineteen thousand dollars.
The history of the Second Church, has been one of constant, steady, healthy growth. Starting with but twenty persons, it reported to the last General Assembly a membership of three hundred and fifty-five. Its Sabbath school is large and flourishing. A thriving mission is sustained in the “neat building recently erected at the corner of Broadway and Atlantic Avenue, and action will soon be taken looking to the erection of a new and more commodious building upon the site of the present chapel on Fourth Street.
The elders from the beginning have been Isaac Van Horn, Robert Barber, Solomon L. Stimson, Judge George S. Woodhull, William Campbell, Alexander Marcy, M.D., James Berry, Beuben F. Bancroft, John Callahan and Benjamin O. Titus; its deacons have been George W. Carpenter, Jr., George E. Howes, Alfred M. Heston, David B. Riggs, Daniel Donehoo and Francis T. Lloyd; and its Sabbath-school superintendents, Judge Woodhull, William Getty, James Berry, S. Bryan Smith, William H. Bancroft and John Callahan.
During the twenty-six years of its existence the church has had but two pastors. For more than twenty-two years it enjoyed the ministrations of Mr. Baker. His long and faithful term of service had afforded opportunities for quickening the spiritual life of the people, which he had not failed to improve. Beloved both within and beyond the bounds of his congregation, it was a matter of wide-spread regret that retirement from the pulpit of his church should have been accompanied by a change of residence. The relation which had subsisted between him and his first charge for nearly a quarter of a century was, at his own request, dissolved November 1, 1882. He now resides in Philadelphia, devoted to literary work, and to such opportunities of preaching the Gospel, by tongue and pen, as Providence may present.
The present pastor, Mr. William Boyd, was installed May 2, 1883. His ministry has been greatly blessed. Large accessions have been made to the membership of the church, the property has been modernized and improved and every department of religious work has been sustained with zeal and vigor.
The officers of the church as at present constituted are,–Elders, Reuben F. Bancroft, Alexander Marcy, M.D., John Callahan, Benjamin O. Titus, John Warnock, David B. Riggs and Daniel Donehoo; Deacons, J. H. Troutman, S. H. Sargent, Clarence Yardley, Valentine S. Campbell and Edwin S. Titus; Trustees, Christopher Bergen (president), John Warnock, John Callahan, Benjamin O. Titus, William T. Waters, David B. Riggs, Theodore B. Culver, Lewis H. Archer, and Stephen A. Sargent (secretary.)
THE PRESBYTERIAN MISSION
THE PRESBYTERIAN MISSION in Memorial Hall, Broadway, below Kaighn Avenue, is the child of the West Jersey Presbytery, and was organized as a colored mission on the first Sunday in August, 1888, and Rev. T. W. Davenport appointed to the charge. A Sunday school, with three teachers and thirty pupils, was organized at the same time, with Theodore Henson as superintendent.
TRINITY GERMAN EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH
An effort was made in 1853 to organize a Lutheran Church in Camden. A lot was purchased on Pine Street, west of Fourth, and the foundation laid for a church building. The minister was the Rev. Georgii, who soon afterward returned to Switzerland, before a congregation was organized or a building erected.
In October, 1857, Rev. F. Herold arrived from Germany. On his way west he stopped with relatives in Camden, and on learning that a large number of Germans lived here, who desired to have a church and a pastor of their own faith in their midst, he concluded to stay. Services were held in Reed’s Hall, on Federal Street. An organization was effected on December 22d of the same year. The congregation numbered seventy members. The following were the first church council: John Hager, John D. Seybold, Charles H. Fackler, John Beck, George Bauder, John M. Hertlein, Philip Dauer, George F. Stephany, Emanuel Schneider, J. Sommers and F. Schilpp. The congregation adopted a constitution and bylaws for its regulation. The principal points in it are: The pastor is obligated to preach in the German language, upon the foundations of the apostles and prophets ; the unaltered Augsburg Confession and Luther’s Catechism, as the Confession of Faith of our holy Lutheran Church, to be the basis of all the teachings. The name adopted for the congregation was “Trinity German Evangelical Lutheran.”
The church council in June, 1858, purchased the lot on which the church stands. The funds available for building a church were very small, as the majority of the members were people of limited means. The pastor visited a number of the congregations of the German Evangelical Lutheran Ministerium of Pennsylvania, and solicited contributions. The members of the vestry also took their share of the responsibility and collected from friends and business firms wherever an opportunity offered, and in May, 1861, application was made to the Church Extension Society of the General Synod, and five hundred dollars secured. With this amount the work went on rapidly, and on October 6, 1861, the dedicatory services were held.
In 1864 the school building at Sixth Street and Market was purchased, with its material, a building, twenty by forty feet, erected to the rear of the church, and the parochial school opened. In August 1865, Rev. F. Herold removed to Mascoutah IL, and the present pastor, Rev. J. C. Dizinger, accepted the call of the congregation.
In 1870 the lots on the east and west sides of the church were purchased for fifteen hundred dollars. George Pfeiffer contributing one-third of the amount. In 1872 the church was repaired and beautified and the ground surrounding the church improved. In 1874 the school house received an addition of twenty feet in length and the latest improved desks were obtained. In 1883 a large pipe organ was secured. It was used for the first time on the four hundredth anniversary of Luther’s birth. The congregation numbers at present (1886), three hundred communicant members. It has a Sunday school of three hundred members, a parochial school with two teachers and sixty pupils. A Funeral Aid Society was organized in 1876, which has now seven hundred members. The congregation is in connection with the Evangelical Lutheran Ministerium of Pennsylvania.
EPIPHANY EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH
Prior to the year 1879 no English Lutheran congregation existed in Camden. At the fall meeting of the First District Conference of the Pennsylvania Synod, a committee was appointed to canvass the city for Lutherans. Several meetings of interested persons were held at the residence of George Shimer, No. 503 Linden Street, the outcome of which was the organization of a congregation under the name of ” Epiphany Evangelical Lutheran Church.” The first service of the congregation was held Sunday evening, November 23, 1879, in Reed’s Hall, at the corner of Third and Federal Streets. Rev. William Schaeffer of Philadelphia, conducted the worship and preached the sermon. He had charge of the mission from that time until the close of the following summer. He was succeeded by Mr. S.L. Sibole, then a student in the Philadelphia Seminary. In June, 1881, this gentleman was ordained and regularly installed as the first pastor of the new congregation. He served the mission until October, 1882, when he resigned to accept a call to St. Luke’s Church, Philadelphia. For four months the pulpit was vacant, when Mr. Clarence K. Binder, of the senior class of the Theological Seminary assumed charge, and was installed pastor June 10, 1883.
Under Rev. Binder’s pastorate the congregation has been steadily advancing. A fine building lot has been secured at the corner of Seventh Street and Market, and it is the intention of the congregation to erect a handsome chapel.
The congregation hold services at present in the commodious hall at the southwest corner of Third Street and Market. The membership is about one hundred. A Sunday school has been connected with the congregation since its formation. It was organized with eight pupils, which number has gradually increased until at the present time (1886) there are over two hundred. The school is under the care of the pastor as superintendent, and George Boyer as assistant.
EMANUEL UNITED BRETHREN CHURCH
EMANUEL UNITED BRETHREN CHURCH is situated on Line Street, above Fourth. In 1854 a small number of the German population living in the southern part of Camden conceived the feasibility of organizing a German Emanuel Church.
A little Sunday school had. been started, the meetings being held in the house of Mrs. Louisa Moushe, on Cherry Street, above Third. The parents of these children soon took an active interest in the welfare of the school, and under the guidance of the Rev. Adam Hinkle, preaching in the German language and regular Sunday services were held at the above-mentioned house. The membership increased, the school prospered, but they were unable to build a place of’ worship. In 1855 John Warner, a philanthropist of Philadelphia, and a warm friend of Adam Hinkle, concluded to build a church for this congregation at his own expense, stipulating that the preaching should be in the German language, that the church should be free to all the poor people of Camden, and that the congregation should be under the pastoral care of the Rev. Adam Hinkle. In January, 1856, the cornerstone of the present church was laid. The building is a one-story brick, thirty by fifty feet, and was dedicated in the same year. The Rev. Adam Hinkle served as pastor for more than twenty years, and during seven years of that time he received no compensation. When he was seventy years old the Conference sent him some assistance. In 1876 a paralytic stroke disabled him, and he never fully recovered his health. He died in 3881. Since his death the records of the church are, in a measure, incomplete, and the following names and data have been furnished by Casper Tenner, one of the church trustees, who has served continuously since the time of organization. The ministers in succession were Revs. Adam Hinkle, Christian Meyers, B. Deyshur, M. Staetzel, Daniel Yengst, Henry Early, Nicholas Gabal and Joseph Steltzer. During the pastorate of Rev. Mr. Steltzer there was a division in the congregation, and a portion of it formed another congregation. The original congregation adopted the name of the United Brethren in Christ. Since this change the ministers who have officiated are David Hoffman, Gottlieb Meyers, Frederick List, M. Muller, Frederick List, H.E. Roediger and J.H. Unger, whose term closed in 1885. At present there is no regular pastor, and services are conducted every Sunday afternoon by Rev. John Light, of Philadelphia.
BETHEL CHURCH of the United Brethren in Christ is situated on Third Street, below Walnut. During the summer of 1878 the Rev. William O. Shimp conducted open-air services under the auspices of this denomination at different points in Camden. On the approach of cold weather these meetings were held in the house of William Godwin, on Third Street, below Line. A mission Sunday school was also started at this house and continued for several months. There were only eight members of the original congregation, and six children in the mission school. In 1879 the religious services and the Sunday school were removed to the house of Mrs. Hebler, on Pine Street, below Fourth, and the same year a board of trustees was chosen for the purpose of adopting measures to build a church or rent a suitable hall in which the congregation could worship. This board, after consideration, recommended the renting of the present church, which is owned by Miss Sallie Stevens. It is a one-story frame building, and was built for a mission school. It formerly stood on Locust Street, but was removed to its present location. The congregation then worshipped as Independent Wesleyan Methodists, but in 1880 the name was changed to “The Methodists,” with a Conference in Philadelphia, under the direction of Rev. Dr. Kirby. In 1882 a favorable opportunity was offered to this church to unite with the Society of the United Brethren in Christ, and soon after the change was effected. Since this date the congregation has greatly increased in number, and fifty children have been added to the Sunday school, which is now under the care of the pastor. Early in 1886 Rev. William O. Shimp started a mission for services and Sunday school in the frame church on Eighth Street, above Ferry Avenue, lately vacated by the Scott Methodist Episcopal Church. The Sunday school connected with the mission has twenty-nine members, and is superintended by William Stephenson.
ZION CHURCH, on the corner of Berkley and William Street, is a branch of the Evangelical Association of North America. The Camden congregation originated in 1854, when the Rev. Andrew Ziegenfus, a minister of the Evangelical Association of Southwark. Mission, Philadelphia, came to Camden to officiate at the first meeting of this denomination held in this city, at the house of Mrs. Louise Mousche, and for a number of years services were held in her house, and in the little church on Line Street, above Fourth. During these years a number of ministers served the congregation, among whom were the Rev. Adam Hinkle, Christian Meyers, Mr. Shimer, R. Deyshur, Henry Stetzel, Daniel Yengst, Henry Early, Nicholas Gabal, A.S. Steltz, Joseph Steltzer and C. Philibar.
Under the ministration of the last two pastors the present church was built during the year 1878. It is a one-story brick building, forty by sixty-five feet, with a large auditorium and a gallery. The dedicatory services were performed by Bishop Reuben Dubs, of Cleveland, 0. The pastors who have since served the congregation were C. Philibar, Antony Straub, C.B. Fliehr, A.S. Steltz, G. Redman, O. Arnold and George Hauser. The Sunday school, which was organized when the religious meetings were inaugurated, had greatly increased in membership when this church was dedicated, having sixty regular attendants, with Henry Daman as superintendent. At present (1886) there are about one hundred pupils and teachers, and Solomon Fliehr is the superintendent. The church membership is sixty-five communicants. This congregation is one of the missions of the Atlantic Conference, which is an exclusively German Conference, having its work in New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and in several seaboard cities., The Evangelical Association has at this present time twenty-four Conferences, which are located in the United States, Canada, Germany, and Switzerland, as also a prosperous mission in Japan.
THE YOUNG MEN’S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION
THE YOUNG MEN’S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION next to the church, and therefore next to the heart and head of all religious work, has made great strides forward during the past quarter of a century. It was organized October 16, 1878, at the residence of Samuel B. French, corner of Cooper Street and Front, by George H. Davis, W. Howard Curtiss, Bartram L. Bonsall, Samuel B. French, Howard Carrow and I. S. Conover. Mr. Davis was chosen chairman, and Mr. Conover secretary. It was “Resolved, That we, members of the church of Christ, and believers in Him, organize ourselves into a Young Men’s Christian Association, to be called The Young Men’s Christian Association of Camden.” W. H. Curtiss, B. L. Bonsall and Fitch Taylor were appointed a committee on organization. Another committee was appointed to visit the pastors of the city with the view of obtaining their cooperation. The next meeting was held in the lecture room of Tabernacle Baptist Church (now the hall of Wm. B. Hatch Post, G. A. B.), on the 24th of the same month. By-laws and a constitution were adopted, and the officers elected were, President, George H. Davis; Vice-President, W. H. Bancroft; Corresponding Secretary, W. Howard Curtiss; Recording Secretary, George H. Higbee ; Treasurer, Bartram L. Bonsall; Directors, Samuel B. French, Fitch Taylor, E. Dallas Stager, H. L. Titus and the officers. The association continued to meet in the Tabernacle until the 2d of December following, when the first meeting was held in the second story front room of the house at 318 Federal Street, and here the association remained during the year of 1879, growing in membership and influence, and carrying forward a good work at the Camden jail, at the rooms and at open-air meetings.
With the beginning of 1880 the association occupied the desired second and third floors of the hall now known as the Association Hall, at Third Street and Market. But, notwithstanding the limited quarters at 318 Federal Street, the older members still retain pleasant memories of the year spent there, and perhaps it would be entirely proper to claim that in no year of its history was the devotional work of the association conducted with greater enthusiasm. In 1881 Wilbur F. Rose was elected president, and he continued until January 1885, during which time the membership increased greatly, and W. H. Geistweit and William Getty successively filled the post of general secretary. John J. Robinson became general secretary afterward, and in the spring of 1886 George H. Barker, general secretary of the Bordentown Association, assumed the duties as general secretary of the Camden organization and has since done very effective work. Upon the retirement of Mr. Rose as president, at the close of the year 1884, Walter M. Patton was elected president, and is now the efficient head of the association. The official minutes show the officers of the association, from its institution to this date, to have been as follows:
- 1878.–President, George H. Davis ; Vice-President, W..H. Bancroft, Corresponding Secretary, W. Howard Curtiss; Recording Secretary, George H. Higbee; Treasurer, Bartram L. Bonsall; Directors, Samuel B. French, Fitch Taylor, E. Dallas Stager and Harry L. Titus.
- 1879.–President, George H. Davis; Vice-President, William H. Bancroft; Corresponding Secretary, W. H. Curtiss; Recording Secretary, Jos. Alexander; Treasurer, B. L. Bonsall; Directors, Crowell S. Fewsmith, Fitch Taylor, J. Kelley Brown, Thomas S. Conover.
- 1880.–President, George H. Davis ; Vice-President, Robert P. Stewart; General Secretary, W. H. Curtiss; Recording Secretary, Dilwyn C. Cliver; Treasurer, B. L. Bonsall; Directors, James E. Leadley, Samuel R. Murray, J. Kelley Brown, C S. Fewsmith, S.H. Higbee, Westcott Campbell, Thomas S. Conover, S. G. Wallace, Carlton M. Williams, Charles H. Armstrong.
- 1881.–President, Wilbur F. Rose; Vice-President, Robert P. Stewart; General Secretary, W. H. Curtiss; Financial Secretary, Asa L. Curtis; Treasurer, B. L. Bonsall; Directors, George H. Davis, A. Ledden Iszard, C.M. Williams, C.A. Hotchkiss, J.E. Leadley, S.G. Wallace, E.M. Howard, M.D., G.H. Higbee, E. Shivers, E.H. Plummer.
- 1882.–President, Wilbur F. Rose; Vice-President, Robert P. Stewart; General Secretary, George H. Davis; Recording Secretary, Clifford W. Shinn; Treasurer, Bartram L. Bonsall; Directors, Harris Graffn, E.M. Howard, M.D., A.L. Iszard, Samuel Finney, S.G. Wallace, C.A. Hotchkiss, E.H. Plummer, Asa L. Curtis, G.H. Higbee, Carlton M. Williams.
- 1883- President, Wilbur F. Rose; Vice-President, E.M. Howard, M.D.; General Secretary, W.S. Geistweit; Recording Secretary, Harris Graffen; Treasurer, George H. Higbee; Directors, J. Lynn Truscott, Harry Humphreys, Carlton M. Williams, C. A. Hotchkiss, S. Bryan Smith, Robert. P. Stewart, Samuel Finney, George H. Davis, F. W. Ayer.
- 1884.–President, Wilbur F. Rose; Vice-President, E. M. Howard, M.D.; Treasurer, G. H. Higbee; Recording Secretary, J. Lynn Truscott; Directors, E. H. Bryan, Samuel Russell, Carlton M. Williams, Walter M. Patton, Oscar C. Molan, E. E. Read, Jr., J. T. Harker, Harry Humphreys, E. A. Armstrong, Louis T. Derousse, Thomas H. Harris, E. R. Smiley, M.D.; George E. Taylor, David M. Chambers, J. L. Truscott.
- 1885.–President, Wilbur F. Rose; Vice-President, E. M. Howard, M.D.; Treasurer, Harry M. Anderson; Directors, E. H. Bryan, Oscar C. Molan, E. M. Howard, Samuel Russell, Walter M. Patton, Harry Humphreys, Carlton M. Williams, George H. Higbee, R. P. Stewart, E. A. Armstrong, Bartram L. Bonsall, John T. Seymour, S. G. Wallace, E. H. Plummer, Charles Danenhower.
- 1886.–President, Walter M. Patton; Vice-President, E. M. Howard, M.D.; Recording Secretary, John F. Seymour; Treasurer, Harry M. Anderson; Directors, Carlton M. Williams, Oscar C. Molan, E. H. Bryan, E. A. Armstrong, S.G. Wallace, B.L. Bonsall, W.F. Rose, J.E. Roberts, Charles L. Reeves, Christian Schrack, A. E. Street.
“The Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Young Men’s Christian Association,” one of its noblest supports, was organized in the hall on the 15th of January, 1883, a preliminary meeting having been held on the 10th. At the second meeting the following officials were chosen for the year: President, Mrs. H. L. Hotchkiss; Vice-President, Mrs. Wilbur F. Rose; Treasurer, Mrs. Harris Graffen ; Secretary, L. W. Hurlbut. The Auxiliary from that date steadily grew in power for good, and it is now a most effective agency for the promotion of the objects of the association.
CHURCH OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
The few Catholics residing in Camden nearly forty years ago were content to attend divine service in a poorly-furnished room in the old City Hall, which stood on the south side of Federal Street, above Fourth, where the present market is located.
There are not many now living who participated in those services, but the few who still remain have had the satisfaction of seeing the little mission grow to a congregation numbering four thousand souls, and possessing church property valued at two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.
Rev. E. J. Waldron, who was attached to the Cathedral Parish, Philadelphia, is the first priest who is known to have attended to the spiritual wants of the Catholics of Camden. He celebrated, on every other Sunday, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the old City Hall for some time, but it was deemed wise to select another place of worship. The residence of the late Henry M. Innis, on the south side of Bridge Avenue, above Third Street, was used for the purpose until more commodious quarters were secured in Starr’s Hall, which stood on Bridge Avenue, below Second Street, and was demolished some years ago to make room for the Pennsylvania Railroad yard. Mr. Jesse W. Starr kindly gave the worshippers the use of the room and divine service was celebrated there every other Sunday until a church was erected on the southeast corner of Fifth and Taylor Avenue, in 1859.
The laborious efforts of Father Waldron to secure funds for the erection of the Philadelphia Cathedral necessitated the transfer of the Camden mission to Rev. William Donahoe. The latter succeeded in advancing the work of his predecessor and was then called away to take charge of a church at Norristown,PA.
From October, 1850, until the spring of 1853, Rev. H. B. Finigan, who was stationed at Gloucester celebrated Mass in Camden and was succeeded by Rev. J. N. Hanigan, also of Gloucester, who continued to attend the mission from May 1, 1853, until November 11th of that year. On this date Camden was formed into a separate parish, with Rev. James Moran as its first resident pastor. In 1857 a lot of ground on the southeast corner of Fifth and Taylor Avenue was purchased of W. D. Cooper, Esq., on which to erect a church. Ground was broken for the same on June 9, 1859, and in three months time the building was completed. It was built of brick and amply answered the wants of the growing congregation. The building is still standing and is now used as a Grand Army of the Republic hall.
It was called the Church of the Immaculate Conception and was dedicated by Right Rev. J. K. Bayley, Bishop of the Diocese of Newark, on November 5, 1859. Father Moran continued in charge until 1863, when he was succeeded by the Rev. Patrick Byrne. The latter was not satisfied with the church at Fifth and Taylor Avenue and he wisely selected the lot of ground on the southeast corner of Broadway and Market, upon which, to erect a new and much handsomer edifice. Its cornerstone was laid by the Right Rev. Bishop Bayley, on May 1, 1864, and the name of the old church was transferred to the new one. It is one hundred and fifty-two feet long, sixty-five feet wide, is built of Trenton brown stone, with Connecticut stone trimmings and represents the English decorated Gothic style of architecture. Father Byrne subsequently secured the entire block upon which the church stood and also a large plot of ground on the Moorestown pike, two miles from the Delaware River, for use as a cemetery.
In May, 1873, Rev. P. Byrne was transferred to St. John’s Church, Trenton, by Right Rev. M. A. Corrigan, D.D., and Rev. Peter J. Fitzsimmons took charge of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, in this city, of which he is still rector. For some years previous to his coming the children of the parish were taught in a brick building on Federal Street, between Seventh and Eighth Streets. Seeing the urgent need of better accommodation, he commenced, in May, 1874, the erection of a new school and Sisters’ house on Broadway, and completed them at a cost of nearly forty thousand dollars.
In September of the same year the Sisters belonging to the Order of St. Joseph, having their mother’s house at Chestnut Hill, Pa., opened the school in the new building and continued in charge till the summer of 1885, at which time they were succeeded by the Sisters of Mercy, from Bordentown, N. J.During three years the membership of the congregation had been increasing and it was found necessary to make some addition to the church property. For this reason a square of ground was purchased in the Eighth Ward, on which was erected the Church of the Sacred Heart. A separate parish has been formed and Eight Rev. M. J. O’Farrell has appointed Rev. William Lynch rector.
In 1880 Rev. Peter J. Fitzsimmons engaged as teachers the Brothers of the Holy Cross, from Notre Dame, Ind. They came to reside in the house he had specially built for their use on the church grounds, and have had charge of the boys’ school since their arrival. By constant efforts this property has been improved and at this moment it is acknowledged that no other congregation in this city possesses a church property equal to it in value. The church members are not wealthy, but out of their slender means they have paid off a large debt and supported schools having an average attendance of four hundred and fifty children.
Rev. PETER J. FITZSIMMONS, of this church, was born in the year 1840, near the town of Virginic, County Cavan, Ireland, and received his early education at a national school in that town. At the age of sixteen he commenced his classical course in Mr. O’Reilly’s school, and in 1859 entered All Hallows College, Dublin, and after three years’ study there came to America, located in Quebec, Canada, and entered the Grand Seminary, where he was ordained to the priesthood in December, 1853. His first mission was in Kingston, Ontario, where he worked two years and began his useful career. He was then promoted to the parish of Centreville, in that diocese, where he labored with success; but owing to ill health and the severity of the climate, he was forced to seek another field of labor, and coming to New Jersey, entered upon mission work in Mount Holly. After some months he was transferred to St. Joseph’s Church, Jersey City, to assist the Rev. A. Venuta, by Rt. Rev. Bishop Bayley. Two years later he was appointed to the parish of Dover, N. J., but ill health soon compelled him to go to Europe, where he remained nearly a year. After his return he went to St. John’s Church, Trenton, and upon the death of Rev. John Mackin, the Rt. Rev. Bishop Corrigan appointed Rev. P. Byrne, rector of St. John’s, and Father Fitzsimmons was transferred in 1873 to the Church of the Immaculate Conception, where he has since labored zealously and effectively and done much to advance the interests of the parish, spiritually and materially.
ST. PETER’S AND ST. PAUL’S GERMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
In 1867 a number of the German people of Camden, who had been worshipping in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, of this city, with a few persons who had been connected with other Roman Catholic Churches, met at the house of Anthony Kobus, at No. 419 Spruce Street. This meeting was under the supervision of Rev. Father Joseph Thurnes, of Egg Harbor, and was called for the purpose of appointing a committee to select and purchase a suitable location for building a church, or a suitable building already erected, for a place of worship. John Welsh, Valentine Voll, Anthony Kobus and Anthony Voll were appointed as a committee. Soon after, hearing that the church property of the Second Baptist Church, on Fourth Street, could be obtained, the committee purchased it for the sum of four thousand dollars, in January 1868. After a few alterations were made, the church was dedicated by Vicar-General McQuade, of the Diocese of New Jersey. Rev. Father Joseph Thurnes was placed in charge, and in a short time seventy families united with the congregation. A Sunday school was organized, which meets in the basement of the church building. In 1869 the committee was authorized to enlarge this building. An extension of twenty feet to the rear was built, and other alterations and improvements were made the same year. Rev. Father Thurnes remained with the church until 1833. Under his care and supervision a parsonage, schoolhouse and hall were built, and a day school established, in which English and German were taught to a large number of pupils. Rev. Father Francis Neubauer and Rev. Father Peter Scharoun, of the Franciscan Order, then assumed charge of the church, and under their care the congregation has prospered and increased, and the schools have gained in numbers. All indebtedness on the church has been canceled. About one thousand persons form the congregation, and three hundred children are taught in the Sunday school and day schools. The congregation is now preparing to erect a large and commodious house of worship.
You must log in to post a comment.