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early churches of New Jersey
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Methodist Episcopal Church of Sea Bright
of this large red-brick church, William Bigelow, faced the
task of accommodating a substantial auditorium on a small corner
lot in an urban setting. The entrance is through a parapetfronted gable
on the Ocean Avenue side, but the gable and the belfry appear
to “face” the cross street. At one time there
was a tall steeple atop the tower. There is also a parapet
on the gable that contained the large stained glass window,
which was donated as a memorial to General Clinton Fisk, who started
School classes in his home in 1876. When the congregation’s second
church burned in 1891, his widow began a campaign for a new
church. The auditorium is on the second floor, in order to accommodate
a Sunday School and other meeting rooms in the half-basement.
The church differs only slightly from the plans and drawings
that Bieglow submitted in 1889, the main difference being that
the tower was moved from the gable on Ocean Avenue to its
location on the axis of the nave. Ellis does not mention this
church but notes a Tabernacle Methodist church in
Sea Bright, which was probably one of the earlier churches.
About 1900 there was also a large Presbyterian church on the
ocean side of the road a block away—a victim of one of the
storms that torment the area probably.