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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List of churches, by county

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   Photographic Inventory

St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church
Matawan, Monmouth County

The present building has been altered so much that it would have
been impossible to get a sense of the original without an old photograph.
The building was a simple meetinghouse, not readily distinguishable
from a small schoolhouse. There is nothing except the odd placement
of windows along the side to suggest that the present building might be
the original one. There has clearly been an extension added to the front
of the building; given that, the belfry might be original as well, although
now encased in aluminium. There is no mention in Ellis of this church, although it is clear from other sources that the township had a substantial black population in the nineteenth century. One curious question that
ought to be raised is why, with a numerous black population, that no
AME churches were organized until 30 years after the first ones were erected in Mercer and Burlington counties.




Copyright (c) 2005 Frank L. Greenagel