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  early churches of New Jersey

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Union Grove Methodist Episcopal Church

Union Grove, Pittsgrove Township, Salem County
County Road 540
founded 1829, built 1869

Union Grove Methodist Episcopal church can trace its roots back to the Olivet Methodist church in Centerton, which was founded in 1773. It probably began as a Sunday school about 1843, and two years later it was a regular preaching station on the Pittsgrove Circuit. The 1835 school house was used for services until this building was erected in 1869. In the absence of better information, I have used 1829 as the founding date, as that is its first appearance in the Gloucester Circuit records. It may have been served by the Salem Circuit earlier.
There is a strong Greek Revival pediment and the brackets are characteristic of the post Civil War Italianate style. The building was erected by Paulin Conover & Bros. of Bridgeton and the church's building committee for $3,900. The interior featured a large chandelier hung from the center of an elaborately-raised plaster-of-Paris geometrical design. The small steeple has been added recently. About 10 years ago, the entire church was jacked up, the old Jersey Ironstone foundation removed, a new basement was dug, and the church set down again.