The authoritative source on
  early churches of New Jersey

     About this site
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.


First New Baptist/Christ Church


Summit, Union County
Springfield Avenue
founded 1872, built 1902

Summit New FirstBaptChrist Church was originally the First New Baptist Church of Summit. The congregation merged with the United Church of Christ in the 1950s, and curiously, today the congregation is probably three quarters Catholic, according to Dr. Rush, Senior Minister there. I will not try to improve upon his description of the church in a recent e-mail to me, so I have reproduced it here:
The sanctuary was built in 1902. We couldn't replicate the stone work on the new building that was done on the sanctuary. The cuts are much finer with the width of the cement narrower than we could hire here in New Jersey either.
The sanctuary features about a dozen stained glass windows, probably commissioned around World War II that were designed and made by Len Howard of Kent, Connecticut. We have another half dozen stained glass windows that are of lesser, but still quite good quality that were commissioned in the 1950s.
There is also a large Rosetta circular window above a fleur-de-lis cross at the apse, I'm told built by Joe Hazen. It is quite unusual in a Protestant church, really even in an English church.
Our congregation was originally the First Baptist Church. In the 1950s we merged with the United Church of Christ, during the hey-day's of the ecumenical movement. We stand in the congregational or free church tradition.

The architects were C. Fred Bertrand and John N. Cady. Cady was a local architect who designed many large residences in the area and the Town Hall in Summit.
The octagonal appendage on the right was not an uncommon feature—sometimes used as a library or small chapel, other times as a nursery. Note the irregular crenellations on the Norman tower.