The authoritative source
early churches of New Jersey
click here to
the book from
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.
to use this site
Respond to readers' queries
a church for inclusion
List of churches, by county
to related sites
First Presbyterian Church
Newton, Sussex County
early history of the Presbyterian Church in Newton is one of almost
continuous financial troubles; the church was in debt—to
builders as well as to its ministers—for most of its existence since it
was organized in 1786. In 1790 it tried to raise money by a lottery, but that
failed and shortly thereafter the church was sold at a sheriff’s auction.
It took until 1818 to pay off the debts. A new church was built in 1828; I suspect
that the religious revivals of the Second Great Awakening brought enough new
members to attempt a larger church. By 1869, the congregation had outgrown that
(it seated only 600!), and erected this exceptionally large building (64 x 98)
which reputedly seats 1,000.
The manner is a basic Wren-Gibbs design, but with many elements borrowed from
the Romanesque and Italianate idioms. It is a most accomplished design by Charles
Graham & Son
who also were the architects for the Presbyterian church in Blairstown—a
very similar plan, and for the Simpson Methodist church
in Perth Amboy.