The authoritative source on
  early churches of New Jersey

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First Methodist Episcopal Church of Sea Bright
Sea Bright, Monmouth County

The architect 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 holding Sunday
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.





Copyright (c) 2009 Frank L. Greenagel