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  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

First Presbyterian Church
Newton, Sussex County

The 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 of Trenton who also were the architects for the Presbyterian church in Blairstown—a very similar plan, and for the Simpson Methodist church in Perth Amboy.


Copyright (c) 2003 Frank L. Greenagel