CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY
AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
269 Spruce Street
following is derived from
macedonia methodist episcopal church of
Camden is situated on Spruce
Street, below Third. In 1832 Mrs. Anna
George, a resident of South Camden, began a series of prayer meetings in
different houses on Spruce
Street, below Third, and at the meeting in
the house of Benjamin Wilson resolutions were adopted for the building
of a small church. In 1833 the cornerstone was laid, and the church, a
one-story frame building, twenty by thirty feet, was completed and
dedicated with appropriate ceremonies, by the Rev. Joseph Caul. This
church was the first one built by any congregation of colored people in
Camden County. Historic as it was, for the reason first mentioned, it
was destroyed by fire in 1837. A brick church, thirty by forty feet, was
then built on the site of the one destroyed, and finished in 1838. At
this time there were thirty-four members of the church and twenty-six
children in the Sunday school. In 1860 the church was rebuilt with
larger dimensions to meet the wants of the increasing membership.
Between 1850 and 1883 the congregation enjoyed a prosperous and steady
gain in membership. In
1882 the land adjoining the church, thirty by one hundred feet, was
purchased, and in 1883 a two-story brick building, forty by seventy-five
feet, was built by James Aspen, contractor, with basement, auditorium
and front gallery. It has a seating capacity of eight hundred persons.
This church was dedicated by Bishop Campbell. There were then two
hundred and forty communicant members in the congregation and one
hundred and fifty-five pupils in the Sunday school, with William S. Darr
as the superintendent. The ministers of this church, in succession have
been as follows: Revs. Richard Williams, John Cornish, Joshua Woodlin,
John Boggs, Israel Scott, George Grinley, Henry Davis, Abraham Crippin;
William D. Schureman, James Fuller, George W. Johnson, George E. Boyer,
Theophilus Stewart, Leonard Patterson, Frisby J. Cooper, Jeremiah
Turpin, Michael F. Sluby, Robert J. Long, John W. Cooper, P. L.
Stanford, William H. Yocum and A. H. Newton, the present pastor.
this date (1886) the church has two hundred and seventy-six members on
its roll and there are one hundred and seventy-four members in the Sunday school,
under Samuel Hunt as superintendent.
Additional Notes by Phillip Cohen
The Macedonia congregation later affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Church. In 2004, over 170 years after its founding, Macedonia African Methodist Episcopal Church still serves the spiritual needs of the community near South 3rd and Spruce Streets.
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