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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Leonard Baptist Church
Leonardo, Middletown Township, Monmouth County

James and Henry Leonard came from England in 1642 to open an iron works in Massachusetts. When traces of bog ore were discovered near Shrewsbury in 1667, the Leonards were induced by Lewis Morris to move to the area and construct an iron works, which they did. The names of Henry Leonard, Samuel Leonard and Thomas Leonard soon are found over several generations as operators of mills and as local officials in the area. One of the Leonards was a major benefactor of the Central Baptist church in
Atlantic Highlands, which is the next town over. In 1883 the Baptist chapel was erected in Atlantic Highlands, and moved to this site when the Central Baptist church was erected in 1894. Its successor is a rather sophisticated building—notice the run of windows on the west side in the gable which intersects the roof, and the pair of runs of windows on the north side in the
gable end of the building. The gable on the south side intersects the hip roof in an unusual manner. The square tower rises in two stages to the steep pyramidal roof, and there are louvered openings for the belfry.






Copyright (c) 2009 Frank L. Greenagel