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

Simpson Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church
Long Branch, Monmouth County

Simpson Memorial Methodist Church now occupies half a city block opposite the Post Office in Long Branch Village. There are actually two churches in the photo on the right; the near building is the newer church and the farther gable marks the original 1881 church. That old wooden-frame church was moved from the corner in 1899 to make space for the new church erected in that year.
     The scale and mass of the original church is approximately as it was, but the brick façade is new, made to conform to that of the new church. There was certainly an entrance on this side before the new construction. There is a connecting link between the two buildings, and but for the siding that can be seen on the left side of the original church, one would be hard pressed to identify it as an older structure. After 1899 this building was used for Sunday School and other classrooms. The entire structure has been painted a deep red, with pale yellow trim and is nicely maintained by its present occupants, the Long Branch Church of God. The new church lacks the tall steeple it once had—a common fate of many spires and steeples in the state. The projecting gables and the recessions between the towers and the central gable are sophisticated elements not often seen on city churches.
     The dimensions of the new church are 60 x 60 and the church seats 500. The older one was (is) used for Sunday School and other classrooms. I suspect the design for the new church was based on plans offered by the Methodist Church, which placed emphasis during this period on building larger and grander than previously.






Copyright (c) 2009 Frank L. Greenagel