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

Friesburg Lutheran Church
Friesburg, Alloway Township, Salem County

There's no town within sight; the church is located on a crossroads amidst large farms. The cemetery is substantial and the building is well-maintained. This is the congregation's second church on the site—the first was a small frame building, built in 1739. Jaquett says the congregation was mostly Germans who were engaged in glass making at Wistarburg, but Derry's account says most were farmers. Gordon's Gazetteer says Friesburg was a small German settlement in 1833, with one tavern, a school, and what he calls a Dutch Reformed church. In fact, there is some dispute whether the founder, Jacob Fries, was born in Hesse (Germany) or Friesland (the Netherlands)—not that it matters—they were all German-speaking, and initial services were held in German. The leading Lutheran missionary, Henry Muhlenberg, visited here in 1759 and 1763, and baptized a number of infants in a packed church. That, apparently, was the stimulus needed to erect this larger building in 1768.
The design is really domestic in size, with a few Georgian elements—the overall symmetry, the oculus high in the gable end, the paneled door, and the molded brick drip course that encircles the building. The front elevation is repeated in several other brick churches in the county, some built a century later. The Baptist church in Alloway, for example, repeats the design even down to the triple window above the entrance.




Copyright (c) 2001 Frank L. Greenagel