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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   Photographic Inventory

Freehold Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church
Freenold, Monmouth County

Set on a small street several blocks from the center of town in what once was called Squirrel Town—the usual fate of the early AME (and Roman Catholic) churches—this wooden-frame building is a fine example of a late-nineteenth century black church. The buttresses are false, which was common at this time, and the modest belfry sits at the front of the roof—so far forward that the peak had to be modified to accommodate it—a very fine and unusual feature. There are round-arch windows throughout, and roundarch openings in the belfry, and a fanlight over the transom. This
is a good example of what is termed vernacular, in that it borrows
elements from several styles.
     It was the second church erected by a black congregation in
Freehold, and this congregation’s second building. Incidentally, the Methodist church in town gets 12 pages in Ellis, but this church is not mentioned.




Copyright (c) 2009 Frank L. Greenagel