The authoritative source on
  early churches of New Jersey

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We've created a database and photographic inventory on more than three-fourths of the 18th & 19th century churches in the state and add to it more or less each month. We welcome and solicit all corrections, contributions and suggestions from our visitors.


Bethel Presbyterian Mission Chapel


Plainfield, Union County
Fifth & Roosevelt
founded 1884, built 1887

Bethel chapelBethel Presbyterian chapel was organized as a mission chapel of the First Presbyterian Church in 1884, and this building erected five years later. Except for the Palladian window I would have passed it by as a product of the twentieth century, but that window attracted my attention. A close examination revealed the wooden frame of the window was quite old, which suggested at least portions of the church itself dated to the nineteenth century. A subsequent visit confirmed the late nineteenth century construction. I believe the architect was George Kramer.
The entablature surrounding the entrance is Neoclassical/Georgian, as well, although the door itself appears to be a later replacement. The clerestory windows are another element that suggests the age of the building. At this time, contractors and builders drew from a variety of manufactured moldings, windows and doors—any decorative item that might enhance the ceremonial nature of the structure could have been tacked on.