The authoritative source on
  early churches of New Jersey

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Mount Pisgah African Methodist Episcopal Church
Salem, Salem County

Organized in 1800, this congregation was 16 years old when the African Methodist Episcopal Church was formally incorporated in Philadelphia. This church was begun in 1878 and completed in 1883-84. Note the strong similarity to the Broadway Methodist Church, a mile away in the center of town, erected about 20 years earlier, although this is a little more decorated.
     Reuben Cuff, the son of a slave and the earliest known leader of the black Methodist movement in New Jersey founded the congregation. He was the only New Jersey representative invited to Richard Allen's organizing meeting of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia in 1816. Sheridan notes that Mt. Pisgah was organized immediately following that Philadelphia meeting, but Jaquett says that Cuff founded it in 1800. It began as a log church, and then a frame church in Elsinboro Township, just outside the city limits of Salem.
     The ground floor is used for meetings, with the sanctuary on the second floor. There is a gallery at the rear.





Copyright (c) 2001 Frank L. Greenagel