United Brethren in Christ


The following is derived from
George Reeser Prowell's
History of Camden County, New Jersey
published in 1886

BETHEL CHURCH of the United Brethren in Christ is situated on Third Street, below Walnut. During the summer of 1878 the Rev. William O. Shimp conducted open-air services under the auspices of this denomination at different points in Camden. On the approach of cold weather these meetings were held in the house of William Godwin, on Third Street, below Line. A mission Sunday school was also started at this house and con­tinued for several months. There were only eight members of the original congregation, and six children in the mission school. In 1879 the religious services and the Sunday school were removed to the house of Mrs. Hebler, on Pine Street, below Fourth, and the same year a board of trustees was chosen for the purpose of adopting measures to build a church or rent a suitable hall in which the congregation could worship.  This board, after consideration, recommended the renting of the present church, which is owned by Miss Sallie Stevens. It is a one-story frame building, and was built for a mission school. It formerly stood on Locust Street, but was removed to its present location.  The congregation then worshipped as Independent Wesleyan Methodists, but in 1880 the name was changed to "The Methodists,'' with a Conference in Philadelphia, under the direction of Rev. Dr. Kirby. In 1882 a favorable opportunity was offered to this church to unite with the Society of the United Brethren in Christ, and soon after the change was effected.  Since this date the congregation has greatly increased in number, and fifty children have been added to the Sunday school, which is now under the care of the pastor. Early in 1886 Rev. William O. Shimp started a mission for services and Sunday school in the frame church on Eighth Street, above Ferry Avenue, lately vacated by the Scott Methodist Episcopal Church. The Sunday school connected with the mission has twenty-nine members, and ia superintended by William Stephenson