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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

Sparta Methodist Episcopal Church
Sparta, Sussex County


A unique belfry or steeple adorns this large post Civil War church at the center of Sparta. The congregation was organized by 1830, and in 1868 this imposing frame building was erected, and the large churchyard to the rear laid out. The ground floor meeting rooms would have been used for Sunday School and other church and community purposes, with the main auditorium on the second floor, which was a common plan after about 1860, particularly for Methodist churches.
     This is the congregation’s second building. The first was erected in 1837 when “for some reason not exactly clear” according to Snell, the Methodists were denied the use of the local schoolhouse. In the nineteenth century, it was common for the school or the courthouse to be used for religious services. The building now houses an Institute for Spiritual Development (presumably a religious rather than educational operation) and an engineering office.




Copyright (c) 2002 Frank L. Greenagel