The authoritative source on
  early churches of New Jersey

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Locktown Baptist Church
Locktown, Delaware Township, Hunterdon County

 


 

 

 

 

Organized in 1742 by a group of early settlers in Baptisttown, the first log church was erected by the in 1750 on or near the present site in Delaware Township. Previously they had to travel about 12 miles to the Old School Baptist Church (built in 1715) in Hopewell for services. A frame church was erected later, then in 1819, this stone building, known as the “Lower Meeting House.” The village takes its name from the Lockatong Creek which runs nearby.
      A segment of the congregation split off and built another church in Baptisttown, which still flourishes, but the last Old School Baptist services were held in this building in 1962. It was saved from public sale in 1973 and is now owned by the township. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings. There is original glass in many of the windows and the original pews in the balcony sport many old sets of initials, undoubtedly carved over generations of seemingly interminable sermons. The building was originally stuccoed, and the roof was wooden shingles.
     The church records, dating to 1742 note an astonishing number of investigations, suspensions, exclusions and excommunications in addition to baptisms and payment authorizations. In 1749 “our deare Brother Malakiah Bonham is ordained as Minister and pasture [sic] over this church.” In February 1757 the record notes, “Mary Fox [is] suspended for having a bastard child which she swore was Malakiah Bonham’s. Malakiah Bonham will be notified.” In August of that year, the record indicates “ Malakiah found guilty and barred from the church.” In 1761, the minutes note, “Mr. Bonham cut off from privileges,” and later that year, “Mr. Bonham appeared to express his desire for his place in the church which was denied him.” The final reference to Bonham appears in the September 5 minutes, “ Mr. Bonham continued to be denied place in the church.”

 

 

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