The authoritative source on
  early churches of New Jersey

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We've created a database and photographic inventory on more than half the 18th & 19th century churches in the state and add to it each month. We welcome and solicit all contributions and suggestions from our visitors.

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Grace Methodist Episcopal church
Dover, Morris County

 

This is a large meetinghouse, parts of which may date back to 1838; it was "rebuilt" in 1890, and the aluminum siding added later. This building does not clearly fit into the prevailing style of the 1890s, which leads me to infer that much of the building may be original, with the tower and window treatments dating to the later rebuilding. If one ignores some of the fancier trimmings, the church follows Bishop Asbury’s dictum to build plain and simple. The previous church, less than half the size of this, sits only a few blocks away on Sussex Street.
     Francis Asbury’s journal for August 10, 1796 notes that he visited Dover; that visit did not result in formation of a Methodist class, however, and for several decades thereafter, Methodist preachers were turned away from the town. By 1838, when Methodists were the largest denomination in the state, it appears that a congregation was able to organize. Grace was presumably a daughter of the First Methodist, or perhaps the result of a schism over slavery, which was a common reason why Methodist congregations split off in the decades leading to the Civil War.

 

 

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Copyright (c) 2001 Frank L. Greenagel