The authoritative source on
  early churches of New Jersey

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Mt Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church
(the Swack church)
Lebanon Township, Hunterdon County

Founded 1844; built 1844; abandoned 1896

The ruined remains of this church, built in 1844, is one of the most obscure in Hunterdon county, deserving only the barest of mentions in Snell’s history, even during the days when it flourished. Even the cemetery is neglected. It is known to a few today, and in its time, as the Swack church, for the mason who built it, one Jacob Swackhammer or “Stuttering Jake” as he was called. When a New York minister was denied the pastorship of the Lutheran church in Oldwick, he determined to get even by building his own a dozen miles away. When he left for another church, this congregation declined slowly until it was sold to the Albright Methodist congregation, who could not pay for it; the church was eventually sold to the Spruce Run Lutheran church, which operated it as an outpost from 1864 until 1896. Some local residents want to tear the remaining walls down, as the cost of stabilization is high.




Copyright (c) 2001 Frank L. Greenagel