There have been two Methodist Episcopal Churches in Camden named Bethel. The first was written about by George Reeser Prowell in his History of Camden County, New Jersey, published in 1886. Prowell's writings refer to the church that catered to the black population in Centerville and has been known as Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church since the late 1880s. 

The subject of this webpage is the second Bethel Methodist Episcopal Church, located on Westfield Avenue in what is now East Camden. This church predates the Centerville church.  At the time of Prowell's writing, East Camden was NOT a part of the City of Camden, as it and Cramer Hill were then the Town of Stockton. 

The following is derived from
The Centennial History of Camden Methodism
published in 1909

Bethel Methodist Episcopal Church

In the year 1813, George Horn, formerly of Camden, built the store house now standing at 32nd and Federal streets, Camden, then known as the Moorestown road. Soon after this, perhaps the same year, the Methodists from Camden by invitation of Mr. Horn, commenced holding meetings at his house. He was not then a member of church, but became such the following year. In the year 1815, a class was formed there and he was appointed the leader. There had been a class formed in the neighborhood some years before, either in a private house or in the old log school house nearby, standing on what is now known as the Ann Farm. This was led by John Peak of Stone Meeting House, but interest in it had ceased before the class was formed at Father Horn's. Among the local preachers and exhorters, who preached at his house, were Riley Barrett, Andrew Jenkins, David Duffel, and others from Camden, and somewhat later John S. Curtis, from near Haddonfield. Among the itinerant preachers who preached there were Rev. Sylvester Hill, Rev. Robert Sutton, (who came to fill a vacancy made by the death of Mr. Hill), Joseph Rusling, Joseph Lybrand, Daniel Fidler, David Best, David Bailey, Jacob Gruber and Wesley Wallace. Father Boehm was on the circuit in 1827 and 1828. Also Ezekiel Cooper often came from Philadelphia and sometimes stayed over night there. These meetings were probably attended by George Horn, John Horn, William Carter, William Wilkins, John Hogan, Abraham M. Fisher, Zachariah Powell, Richard Ivins, John Shane, Sarah M. Starn, (Mrs. Isaac Browning), Sarah Morris, Prudence Horn (Mrs. A. M. Fisher), Sarah M. Dawson (Mrs. Josiah Starn), Abigail Horn and others. The meetings, growing in numbers and in interest, were continued at Father Horn's until about 1830, when, in order to have more room to accommodate several others who expressed a desire to attend meetings were commenced in the Union School House, a stone building erected in 1795 on the Burlington Road, five miles from Camden and only a few feet from where the brick school house now stands. The attendance was thereby increased by the addition of Joel Horner, Victor Spate, Isaac Browning, Benjamin H. Browning, George Haines, William and Maria Wilkins, Elizabeth Evaul and others. A class was formed and the local preachers from Camden and elsewhere preached on Sabbath days, and the itinerant preachers on week nights until about 1838, when they commenced preaching there on Sabbath mornings and at Moorestown in the afternoon.

George Horn

The circuit was at this time, say from 1838 to 1842, called Haddonfield circuit, then Moorestown Circuit. In 1858 Bethel was connected with Palmyra, and so continued until 1865, since which time, with the exception of a few years when it was connected with Pennville, it has stood as an appointment alone. It should be remembered that at this period in the history of the church the families, whose names are previously mentioned, were about the only residents in the territory lying between the Delaware River, Pennsauken and Cooper Creeks. The country was mostly grown up in forests, with only rough wagon roads leading to the city. Neighbors were sometimes miles distant, and the Union School House was the center for the district.

We have no means of knowing the boundaries of the old Burlington and Camden circuits, though we have reason to believe they were very large, but the Haddonfield Circuit included the following appointments : Coopertown, near where Beverly now stands; Bridgeboro, Asbury or Stone Meeting House, now Cinnaminson; Union School House, now Bethel ; Moorestown, Hadodnfield, Greenland, Blackwoodtown, Longacoming, now Berlin; Waterford, Jackson, New Freedom and Gibbsboro.

There were only two preachers on those thirteen appointments, one or the other of whom preached once in two weeks at each place, the alternate Sabbaths being supplied by local preachers who did an excellent work in those days hy seeking out new places and supplying weak appointments.

As to salary, the preacher in charge received from Three to Four Hundred Dollars per year, and the junior preacher being generally a single man, received One Hundred Dollars and boarded among the kind and hospitable families of his charge.

The preachers on the Haddonfield Circuit, commencing with 1838, were as follows: 1838 James Long and J. B. McEeever; 1839, J. Long and Wra. A. Brooks; 1840, Nathaniel Chew and S. Townsend; 1841 N. Chew and a supply; 1842 Edward Stout and C. A. Kingsbury; 1843 E. Stout and a supply. Some of the presiding elders were as follows: from 1833 to 1837, R. W. Petherbridge ; from 1838 to 1841 Thomas Neall, froml842 to 1844, Charles T. Ford. These men of God who looked after the various charges of the circuit laid the foundtion for good that Eternity alone can reveal. Their experiences were similar to those of Asbury and others, a record of which is found in the history of Methodism.

Under the pastorate of Rev. E. Stout, there was a revival resulting in the conversion of several persons. The membership now seemed sufficient to warrant the erection of a special building for church purposes, and at a public meeting held on February 11th, 1843, the society was organized under the name of Bethel M. E. Church and trustees elected as follows : George Horn, William Carter, John Horn, Joel Horner and John Hogan. A committee was appointed to secure a site for the erection of a church and burial ground, and on January 23rd, 1844, one acre of ground, now part of the Bethel Cemetery, was deeded by Abraham Browning to the trustees. On this site a frame building 32x46 feet was erected. The dedication services were held October 20th, 1844, the dedication sermon being preached by Rev. Scott. The building cost $998.67 and the furniture $87.50. On the day of dedication $230 was subscribed, the difference having been previously pledged.

Bethel Methodist Episcopal Church - Dedicated 1844

The memory of the writer goes back to this building as he recalls it in later years, with its low foundation, low gable roof, small front step, entrance door in the center, with a window on each side, windows being furnished with inside blinds. (When the Church was erected the windows were provided with outside shutters.) On the outside of the Church, standing near the entrance was an iron lamp post with an oil lamp. The furniture consisted of straight back pews, aisles separating the side seats from double row in the center. The pulpit was an oblong box made out of inch boards, on each side of which was a pillar, made of the same material, on the top of which an oil lamp was placed. All the woodwork was painted white. The two seats on either side of the pulpit, in what the young people termed "The Amen Corner," were occupied by the older members. In each of the rear corners of the room a stove stood on a platform of sand. In the corner seats, (near the stove), which had hinged fronts, were kept the library books of the Sunday School.

These seats were a favorite place for the younger element, although a position near a stove, when the church was crowded, was anything but comfortable. In the earliest history of the church, the men were seated on one side, while the women occupied the other.

The burial ground was used even before the church was built, the first burial being that of John Hogan. It is said that when ground was purchased, Hogan remarked, "I wonder who will be the first person buried here."

In 1845 a fence was placed around the church property, and sheds for the accommodation of horses, erected at a cost of $340.25. The lot of ground secured by the Trustees was not at right angles with the Burlington Road, and as additional ground was needed for 'burial purposes, one-half acre was also given by Abraham Browning to the Trustees, under date of February 1st, 1846, and in order to pay the improvement above referred to, burial lots 8x16 in size were sold -at Five Dollars per lot.

When Bethel Church was attached to the circuit the members and others came from the extreme points to the quarterly meetings in some cases a distance of twelve to fifteen miles, and these were seasons of happy reunion and great spiritual profit. The love-feasts were indeed feasts to the soul, and the presiding elders preached with much interest and power. At the close of the service, it was expected that all would be entertained by the members of that church in which the meeting was held.

Quarterly meeting was a day looked forward to with a great deal of interest, as a great friendship existed between members of the different churches and the greatest cordiality was shown whenever possible.

Rev. Stout was followed in 1846-47 by T. G. Stewart, a gray haired and good old  man, under whose pastorate there was a great revival, and some of those converted at that time are prominent members to this day. So great was the interest manifested that persons walked from the territory now known as Red Hill on Cooper's Creek, three miles distant, to the church nightly. The meetings would continue until after midnight, and, the aisles being obstructed by penitents, persons wishing to leave the building would sometimes walk over the tops of the benches.

So mighty was the religious fervor that some were physically exhausted and their 
friends were compelled to remain in the church with them for hours. 

Following T. G. Stewart the pastors were: J. lioudenslager, 1848-49-50; Edward Page, 1851-52; L. Herr, 1853; C. K. Fleming, 1854-55. Under the pastorate of Brother Fleming there was a noted revival, some converted at that time being honored members of the church at this writing.

In 1856 eight additional horse sheds were built and the church property repaired at a cost of $323.14. The minutes of this date show a 'balance of six dollars in the treasury.

The pastor of the Moorestown circuit in 1855-57, was L. J. Rhoads. The membership was as follows : Bethel 88; Bridgeboro, 64- Moorestown, 38; Asbury, 48; Palmyra, 26. At a quarterly conference held at Bridgeboro in 1856, at Ayhich Spate, Carter and Starn of Bethel were present, the salary of the preacher in charge is reported $458, and in 1858 there is a memorandum that Brother Rhoads received a salary for two years, including allowance for children, of $936. He reports the Sunday Sunday Schools in the circuit as being in a prosperous condition, "a general interest in the cause still prevailing." Palmyra was kept open through the winter hut the others were closed. During this year the Circuit was ordered to raise $40 for superannuated preachers, and it was resolved that an assistant be procured for the circuit "a single man or one willing to work for a single man's salary. Rev. J. W. Donnelly was made assistant.

In 1858 the membership of the Circuit was 264, as follows; Bethel, 77; Asbury, 45; Palmyra, 52; Bridgeboro, 90. At this date Asbury and Bethel were out of debt. Bridgeboro owed one hundred dollars and three year's interest, and Palmyra was in debt to the extent of $1,638. The Sunday School of the district contained 299 scholars, 72 officers and teachers and 851 volumes in the libraries.

The Circuit was now relieved of the Moorestown, Asbury and Bridgeboro charges, and was known as the Palmyra circuit, and continued as such until Bethel became la separate appointment, in 1866.

The pastors of the Palmyra circuit were as follows: Samuel Parker, 1858-59; Rev. Sutclift'e, 1860-61; J. L. Corson, 1862-63. The salary of Brother Corson was $500. At the end of the year there was a surplus of $14.55, which by the unanimous vote of the Board was given him. Of the amount received. Bethel contributed $387 and Palmyra $127.55. The parsonage rent $60 was also paid by these churches in the same proportion. The Bethel membership consisted of 66, Palmyra 24; Sunday school scholars, Bethel 90, Palmyra 138; Volumes in library, Bethel 250, Palmyra 255; Church evaluation, Bethel $2000, Palmyra $3000. The pastor was unable to visit the Bethel Sunday school during the entire year.

Under the pastorate of R. S. Harris in 1864-65, there was a gracious revival, eighty persons being received on probation. Palmyra and Bethel now became separate stations. The trustees in 1865 were as follows: William Carter, Victor Spate, John M. Stow, Isaac Browning, Josiah Starn, Charles Rudderow, and A. M. Fisher. The class leaders were William Carter, Victor Spate, Josiah Starn and Davd S. Stetson. Brother Stetson held a class in Merchantville, and in 1865 a 'building 32x48 feet, costing $3,000, was erected to accommodate same. During this year an additional tract of ground was purchased at Bethel from Thomas P. Clements, on which a very comfortable parsonage, costing about $3,000, was erected.

The first pastor to occupy the new parsonage was Levi Larew (1866-1867.) During this latter year, in order that the parsonage lot might be at right angles with the Burlington Road, an additional piece of ground, containing about one-half acre, was purchased from Albert Fish. During the pastorate of Brother Larew, the Sunday school services, previously held in the morning, were changed to the afternoon.

T. D. Sleeper was pastor in 1868-69. In 1868, Chas. F. Shane founded the Sunday school at Pennville. A piece of ground was donated by Joseph Richman, and a neat building was erected on same. Sunday School services were conducted here regularly for a few years, until the church became strong enough to pay for a supply. At this time, William Carter and others held prayer meeting in East Camden, of which, a few years later, the Dudley church (now Asbury) was the outgrowth. In 1869 an organ was placed in the church, although some of the members were opposed to music in the church. In order to accommodate the organ, a section was cut from the middle of the first seats in the double row, and the organist sat directly in front of the Pastor, facing the congregation. There is a resolution at this date to the effect that the congregation purposed meeting once a week to try and improve the music. The Ladies' Aid Society, organized at this time and continuing to this writing, has been a material help to the church.

In connection with the music, due credit should be given to the Misses Sheldrake, Cornelia Rudderow, Mary E. Wilkins, Viola Wilkins, Laura Fish, Emma Hogan, Idella Fish, and Mrs. Charles Whitton, who, at much personal sacrifice and without pay, have acted as organists for the church.

Willis Reeves was pastor in 1870-1871, and 24 probationers were added to the church at this period through a revival.

Enoch Green was pastor in 1872-1873-1874. Pennville at this time was attached to the charge, that society having become too poor to support a pastor. Bethel suffered a serious loss in 1872 in the death of Rev. George Horn, aged 92 years. Father Horn was a man of decided Christian character and deep  religious experience. He was class leader, exhorter, and later in life a local preacher filling a prominent place in the history of the church from its beginning until his death. His house was ever a welcome home for the ministers and all workers for Christ. In 1874, the death of Hannah Dover, an old and esteemed member, is recorded.

Bethel, in its early history, was famous for oyster suppers which it occasionally gave. The net profit from one held in 1872 was $534.39, and from another held in 1874, $368.73.

Under the pastorate of J. B. Turpin in 1875 there was a good revival.

M. C. Stokes was pastor in 1876-1877-1878. During his pastorate there is recorded the death of several prominent workers in the church. They are as follows: In 1876, Jacob Evaul and Mary Ann Fish; in 1878 Josiah Starn and Victor Spate. Jacob Evaul was for many years a Steward and worker in the church, and suitable resolutions were adopted by the Board of Stewards at his death. Mary Ann Fish, at her death, was the oldest member of the church and had been a Christian for fifty years, Josiah Starn was a Steward for many years, and a faithful worker. His words to the pastor a few hours before his death were "All is right; not a doubt; I am so glad I gave my heart to God. Religion is everything to me." Victor Spate, a converted German, a man of excellent character and usefulness, had been a member of Bethel Church for forty years, and held the office of Trustee, Steward and Sunday School Superintendent. By his will, he bequeathed $500 to the church, which amount was expended in improvements and needed repairs. The Minutes of the church contain this record of him: ''He was a good man, emphatically so. He loved the Church; he loved his Lord supremely and trusted Him with an unshaken confidence. He died as a Christian only dies, sweetly resting on Christ."

Under the pastorate of C. F. Garrison (187-9-1880) there was a revival. During this period, Sabbath evening services were held only occasionally, and Brother Garrison saw the need of and recommended a new church building in order to attract the young people, who were attending Sabbath evening services elsewhere. At this time the new hymnal was introduced, as was also the envelope system for collection of Pastor's salary. In 1880 Elizabeth Plum, who had been a member of Bethel since 1872, died, at the age of 86 years, and Durbin W. Rudderow, a promising young member, was killed by a lightning stroke.

A. K. Street was pastor of the church in 1881, and at the annual conference that year delivered his address on 'Fifty years in the Itineracy." During his pastorate the membership was 110, of which 54 were members of Charles Rudderow's class, and 56 members of Isaac Browning's class. A new church organ was purchased and services for the first time in the history of the church were held on Thanksgiving Day. The Sunday School numbered 100 scholars with 15 teachers and officers. Casper Beideman, a Steward and faithful member of the church, died, and Elizabeth Street, the wife of the pastor, for fifty years a church member and for forty-eight years in the itineracy died.

W. E. Greenbank was pastor in 1882-1883-1884, and under his pastorate the extensive revival of 1883, which began in the Sunday School, took place, and there were 48 probationers received. The necessity for a new church building was now more than ever apparent, and the congregation decided to build a new church, the corner stone of which was laid October 6th, 1884, Presiding Elder Graw and Rev. T. D. Sleeper assisting the pastor in the services. The new church, with its gothic windows, tower
and bell, and comfortable seats, together with the added interest on the part of the young people, was the means of increasing the attendance at all services. The old church was moved and attached to the new church as an ''L." A partition was built across one end of same, thus dividing the building into three rooms. The larger room was used for prayer meeting and Sunday School purposes. One of the smaller rooms was used for accommodation of the Primary Department, and the other for the Sunday School library. The cost of the new building and furniture was $6,200. Which was covered by subscription. The Church now numbered 110 members and the Sunday School 118. The Woman's Foreign Missionary Society organized in the new church at this time was continued uninterruptedly since.

Rev W.E. Greenbank

Rev. J.H. Magee

At the beginning of Socrates Townsend's pastorate, 1885-1886, Pennville was set off as a separate station. In 1886 is recorded the death of William Carter, in his 75th year, his wife preceded him in 1881. Brother Carter moved into the vicinity in 1832, being then about 22 years of age. He was earnest and faithful, and was soon appointed class leader at Union School House, and remained a class leader there and elsewhere for 35 years. He was one of the original trustees of the church and was for many years a Steward in same. In the latter years of his life he was totally blind. The church also suffered this year in the death of Peter C. Ross, an old and faithful member who in the earliest history of the church was Sunday School Superintendent and at his death was President of the Board of Trustees. In the old church he occupied the pew at the right of the pulpit, and with his cane, silk hat and bandanna handkerchief, was a familiar personage to all attending.

All the lots in the burial yard had for some years past been sold, and in order to enlarge the cemetery and provide lots for the many wishing to procure same, a tract of ground extending in a straight line from the back part of the cemetery to Cove Road was purchased and laid out in cemetery lots.

Under the pastorate of J. H. Magee, 1887-1888-1889, a Sunday School was organized at Delair, with two teachers and fifteen scholars, under the leadership of Mrs. Long. Brother Magee was popular with the young people. The Sunday morning congregation numbered 70 and 80. 21 probationers were received in 1888, several being from Pennville.

J. H. Magee was followed by H. J. Conover, 1890-91. In 1890 the Annual Conference of Trenton District Woman's Foreign Missionary Society was held at Bethel. Epworth League Chapter 5629 was organized, but existed only a short time, as the young people did not appear to be interested in same. The old pews, which had been placed in the Lecture Room when the new church was built, were now removed, the room recarpeted and furnished with chairs. Delair Sunday School was now self supporting and separated from Bethel.

E. J. Lippincott was pastor in 1892-1893. During his pastorate, and for some time previous, notwithstanding the good work of the pastors in charge, the membership of the church and Sunday School decreased in numbers. The congregations were small and the class and prayer meetings poorly attended. It should be remembered that the church was located in a farming community, the members were widely scattered and in most cases had to drive to church. With churches at Merchantville, Pennville, Delair and Dudley, it was more convenient for the Bethel members to attend another Methodist Church than their own. Many of the younger people, the sons of farmers. had married and moved from the community, and there were no others to take their places. The Rosedale section
was improving quite rapidly, and there was talk of organizing a new Methodist church lat that point. A crisis in the history of the church had now been reached, and after mature deliberation, at a congregational meeting held April 1st, 1893, it was resolved to move that part of the church erected in 1884 to Rosedale, and the lot at 39th and Westfield avenue, on which the church now stands, was secured, 21 persons voted for the removal while 16 voted against it. Of those voting against the proposition but 5 were church members. The expense incurred in moving and repairing church was $1700, $115 of this amount was pledged before the trustees gave their sanction to the project. The contractor was three weeks moving the church, and during this time the members of the committee took turns in making roads and in guiding teams past the building at night. The Church was reopened
September 10th, 1893, on which date subscriptions amounting to $1,000 were received. The attendance in the new location, especially in the evening, was large as compared with the 10 to 12 attending evening service before the church was moved. Mrs. E. Horner was Sunday School Superintendent, and the attendance at the first Sunday School service at Rosedale was 92. Because the church was moved, ten members took their certificates, but 13 probationers were received, others joined later, and the membership has been steadily growing since. Epworth League Chapter No. 11374 was organized December 13th, 1893 with J. Newlin Wilkins as President. During this year is recorded the death of Hannah Pedigree and Rachel Amon. The Cemetery accounts were now separated from those of the church, and J. N. Wilkins elected assistant treasurer, which position he still holds.

The semi-centennial of the church was observed September 16th, 1894 with an appropriate program. Under the pastorate of William Margerum a new parsonage was built on the lot adjoining the church, and a Junior Epworth League was organized, with Mrs. J. N. Wilkins, Superintendent. An official Board was organized, separate meetings being previously held by the Board of Trustees and Board of Stewards. The number of Trustees was also increased from 7 to 9, with terms of 3 members expiring each year. The membership of the church again suffered by the withdrawal of some of its members to join St. George's Church, now erected, and the pastor's report at end of Conference year shows but 68 members and 6 probationers.

J. B. Whitton was pastor in 1895-1896-1897-1898. He was popular with the young people, and a Bible study class, under his leadership, was largely attended. A revival spirit was manifest throughout his pastorate, and 40 probationers were received in full connection. Additional room for Sunday School purposes had been needed from the first service held after the church was moved and in order to accommodate same, (the average attendance now being 108), a building 15x28 was added to the church and used for the Primary department. The cost of the building, including recarpeting of the church, was $1,000, which amount was all subscribed when building was ready for occupancy in Feibruary, 1896.

H. A. Cranmer died in 1896, Edwin Powell in 1897, and Benjamin C. Beideman in 1898. H. A. Cranmer was a member of the Board of Trustees, and Edwin Powell a faithful member of the church. Benjamin C. Beideman had been connected with the church since 1887. Of his life the Minutes of the Board of Trustees contained this record, "If his first thought was for his family, his second was for his church. His counsel was wise, his bearing gentle." He was president of the Board of Trustees at his death, and in his will bequeathed $400 to the church, which amount was applied to the reduction of the
$1,500 mortgage on the parsonage. In 1897, improvements at the Cemetery, consisting of an iron fence and a granite entrance, were provided from Cemetery funds, at a cost of $400; Rules and Regulations for the government of cemetery adopted, and a Trust Fund for the perpetual care of the cemetery organized.

Rev. J.B. Whitton

G. E. Hancock was pastor in 1899, J. F. Cordova in 1900-1901, and J. S. Parker in 1902. Probationers were received under Hancock, 9 under Cordova, and 6 under Parker. In 1902 is recorded the death of George Pedigree, one of the oldest members of the church.

The pastor in 1903-1904 was J. W. Presby, Ph. D. The finances of the church now warranted an increase in the pastor's salary of $100. In 1903 is recorded the death of Abraham M. Fisher, Lemuel D. Horner and Mrs. J. N. Wilkins. A. M. Fisher held many responsible offices in the church during his long membership and died at the age of 81 years. Lemuel D. Horner was a Steward of the church and died at the age of 72 years. Mrs. J. N. Wilkins (Kate 0. Amon) lived on this earth for 33 years, the same number as did Jesus, and following "In His Steps", went about doing good. She was President of the Junior Epworth League and a teacher in the Sunday School for many years. In 1904, George H. Amon, an honored member of the church and of the Board of Trustees, died. 

Extensive improvements, consisting of frescoing, painting, new carpet, gas and electric lights, costing $1200, were made in 1904. The reopening and the 60th anniversary were observed in September, at which time subscriptions covering the entire amount were received.

In 1905 is recorded the death of A. Lousia Amon, 58 years of age. Mrs. Amon was an active member of the church and is greatly missed. Appropriate resolutions concerning her life and work, appear on the Minutes of the Ladies' Aid Society and Epworth League. Mrs. Amon bequeathed the sum of $300 to the church, which amount was expended for a new organ (greatly needed) and a memorial tablet placed on same.

George D. Senser, who came in 1905, is pastor at the present writing. In 1906 Robert Smith, an old and esteemed member of the church, passed away, and in 1907 occurred the death of Merritt Hinchman, for many years a member of the Board of Trustees. Under the pastorate of Brother Senser has been organized an Usher's Union, with 17 members, and a White Shield League with 80 members. Two additional classes have also been organized, one led by Elijah Eldridge on Tuesday evenings, and the other by the pastor on Sabbath afternoons. Charles Rudderow continues his Sunday morning class, the class that has been in existence so many years. Charles D. Whitton is Superintendent of the Sunday School, the enrollment of which is 200, and the average attendance 110. Amon S. Flowers is President of the Epworth League, now numbering 61 members, and Mrs. William B. Truckess is President of the Junior Epworth League numbering 60 members. The Church has 179 members in full connection and 4 probationers. Of these 179 members, 160 have joined the church since it was moved to its present location. The 18 members who were connected with the church before it was moved are as follows: Ruthanna Beideman, Josephine Beideman, Mary A. Cranmer, Emma Horner, Minnie R. Horner, Benajah and Anna Horner, Sarah Hinchman, Sussanna Hogan, Adalissa Hogan, Jane Powell, William and Mary Powell, Charles and Rebecca Rudderow, Ezra and Anna Wallace, and J. Newlin Wilkins. 65 members have been added to the church under present pastorate. The finances are in excellent condition. Salary of pastor has been increased $100, and the balance of $600 remaining on $1,500 parsonage mortgage has been raised and mortgage burned, thus leaving church property entirely free from debt. In this connection it might be said that no mortgage has ever been placed on the church
itself—only on parsonage.

Rev. George G. Senser

Thus Bethel, the mother of Methodism in that section of Camden County lying between Cooper's Creek and the Burlington County line continues along the conservative course it has always followed; steadily growing spiritually as well as materially it is destined to become a great church in the growing section of Camden in which it is now located.

The writer has endeavored to give an impartial history of the church, and may possibly have omitted recording some important facts, or the death of members holding official positions. The facts contained in this history have been gathered from various sources and he has done the best he could with the material at his command.

Camden, N. J., January 1909


Haddonfield Circuit:—1838, James Long and J. B. McKeever; 1839, J. Long and William A. Brooks; 1840, Nathaniel Chew and S. Townsend; 1841, Nathaniel Chew and Supply; 1842, Edward Stout and C. A. Kingsbury; 1843, Edward Stout and Supply.

Haddonfield Circuit—Coopertown (Beverly), Bridgeboro (Cinnaminson), Union School (Bethel), Moorestown, Haddonfield, Greenland, Blackwoodtown, Longacoming (Berlin), Waterford, Jackson, New Freedom, Gibbsboro. 

2 preachers and 13 appointments. 

The salary $300 to $400; assistant, $100 and board.

Moorestown Circuit .—1846-47, T. G. Stewart; 1848-49, J. Loudenslager, 1850, Moore; 1851-52; Edward Page; , 1853, L. Herr; 1854-55, C. K. Fleming; 1856-57, L. J.

The membership of Moorestown Circuit in 1856-57 was as follows: Bethel, 88; Bridgeboro, 64; Moorestown, 38; Asbury, 48; Palmyra, 36.

Presiding elders :—1833-37, R. W. Petherbridge ; 1838-41, Thos. Neall; 1842-44, Chas. G. Ford. 

Palmyra Circuit:—1858-59, Samuel Parker; 1860-61, Sutcliffe; 1862-63, J. L. Corson.

Bethel as a separate station :—1864-65, R. S. Harris; 1866-67, Levi Larew; 1868-69, T. D. Sleeper; 1870-71, Willis Reeves; 1872-3-4, Enoch Green; 1875, J. B. Turpin; 1876-7-8, M. C. Stokes ; 1879-80, C. F. Garrison ; 1881, A. E. Street; 1882-3-4, W. E. Greenbank; 1885-6, Socrates Townsend; 1887-8-9, J. H. Magee; 1890-91, H. J. Conover; 1892-3,E. J. Lippincott ; 1894, William Margerum ; 1895-6-7-8., J. B. Whitton; 1899, G. E. Hancock; 1900-01, J. F. Cordova; 1902, J. S. Parker; 1903-4, J. H. Presby, Ph. D.; 1905-6-7-8, George G. Senser.

J. Newlin WIlkins - Benajah A. Horner - John D. Dudley - George Grenhart - Charles D. Whtton
Mrs. Myrtle H. Trucksess - Mrs. George G. Senser - Ezra Wallace - Walter S. Megronigle
Amos S. Flowers - Charles Rudderow - Rev. George G. Senser - William B. Powell 
Bethel Methodist Episcopal Church Official Board- 1909


Bethel Methodist Episcopal Church - 1909

Sunday School Superintendents:—1859-65, William Carter; 1866-68, Peter C. Ross; 1869, Isaac Browning; 1870-74, Victor Spate; 1875-78, William Southwood; 1879-80, Samuel H. Fish; 1881, William H. Wilkins; 1882-83, Mrs. Emma Horner; 1884-94, Joseph H. Fisher; 1895-96, James A. Clarke; 1897, Mrs. E. Horner; 1898-1905, John H. Dudley; 1906-1909, Charles D. Whitton.  

Additional Notes by Phillip Cohen

Bethel, now Bethel United Methodist Church, still exists at 3914 Westfield Avenue in East Camden. The church depicted in the 1909 photo was rebuilt, if appearances are any judge, in the 1950s or 1960s.