Church of Sparta
Sparta, Sussex County
Snell says a stone church was erected in
1786 and repaired in 1837 and again in 1869, but Pierson and the Newton Presbytery
booklet say that portions of the frame of the 1786 building remain, and that
the church was enlarged and modified in 1804, 1820, 1869, 1924, 1952 and 1961.
The steeple seems right for an early date (1804), but the rest of the building,
including such of the foundation as is visible, marks the later construction.
Like several eighteenth century churches, what we see today bears no resemblance
to what a visitor would have seen in 1837 or even 1869. If you take away the
portico and the steeple, and imagine the building a third as deep, you may get
a sense of the early meetinghouse style that was common in the state about the
time of the Revolution.
The congregation was organized in 1786 as the First Presbyterian Church in Hardyston,
but later changed its name to the First Presbyterian Church of Sparta. A grant
of 54 (or 65) acres was given by the proprietors for the glebe (lands used to
support the minister).
New Jersey Register of Historic Places.
Diane Pierson, Images of Sparta. Newton, NJ: Minisink