The authoritative source on
  early churches of New Jersey

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We've created a database and photographic inventory on more than three-fourths of the 18th & 19th century churches in the state and add to it more or less each month. We welcome and solicit all corrections, contributions and suggestions from our visitors.


Elmer Methodist Episcopal church


Elmer, Salem County
South Main Street
founded c. 1820, built 1897

Like many other congregations, this one began as a Sunday school in the early decades of the nineteenth century. Members would have met in private homes or in the local schoolhouse until a chapel of sorts was erected. Eventually, many of those Sunday schools resulted in formation of a church. Elmer's Methodist church was built in 1868, when the town was still called Pittstown. It was moved to face Church Street in 1896 and became part of the current building. There have been several additions and renovations; in 1952 the basement was excavated and modern rooms installed.
     It's an interesting building, much obscured by the trees in this photo. The main auditorium is octagonal in shape, with gables and turrets projecting in different directions. There appear to be two major entrances—one through the larger tower, and another through the smaller tower that leads directly into the auditorium. Most of the elements are characteristic of late-nineteenth century Gothic architecture, but the combination in this case is quite effective for a middling-size church.