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.


Calvary Episcopal Church


Summit, Union County
Woodland Avenue
founded 1854, built 1894

Calvary EpiscopalCalvary Church's's website informs us that one of the first summer residents, an Episcopal priest, Reverend Thomas Cook, Assistant at St. Bartholomew's Church in New York City, missed holding services during the summer. In 1852 he held services in his summer home, and by 1854, he and his fellow Anglicans had succeeded in erecting a new church—in fact the first church in the area. The new building was a mission church and seated only 75 people. It was constructed of wood and painted brown. That church was consecrated in 1855 by Bishop George Washington Doane. From 1854 to 1861 the Calvary mission in Summit was served by missionary priests. In 1872, after two years in planning and one in building, the parish dedicated a new Calvary Church, a stone structure which seated 300 people. In 1893 it caught fire, and the church was reduced to ruins. The vestry immediately purchased land at Woodland and DeForest Avenues and made plans to construct a replacement. During this period, parishioners conducted services in the YMCA hall until the Parish House was ready in 1894.
     Henry M. Congdon, an important New York architect, was responsible for the design of the present church. That is especially interesting because he was the son of a founder of the New York Ecclesiastical Society, the principal proponent of Gothic architecture in this country, and had been apprenticed to J. William Priest, who designed St. Stephens in Millburn.
      As one would expect, Calvary has all the elements mandated by the Ecclesiologists for an Anglican church—a deep chancel separated from the nave by an elaborately carved rail, aisles, a south entrance and medieval-styled windows. The Tiffany rose window opposite the chancel is especially noteworthy. There are massive granite pillars with elaborate capitals, clerestory windows, and hammerbeams supporting the open-frame timber work of the roof.