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

The TABERNACLE BAPTIST CHURCH  was constituted in October, 1877, when the pastor and thirty-six of the members of, the Tabernacle Church met in a building on Stevens Street, below Fifth, now the property of Hatch Post, No. 37, G. A. R., and formed the new organization. The original members were Rev. E. Dallas Stagers, William S. Kain, Rebecca A. Kain, William W. Kain, Isaac N. Hugg, M.D., Sallie D. Hugg, Rebecca S. Brooks, Harriet S. Brooks, Letitia R. Brooks, Abigail Brooks, Sallie M. S. Brooks, Ellen R. Brooks, Lavinia Brooks, Israel. Pierson, Ermina Pierson, Martha Turner, Deborah Webster, Hannah Webster, Mary J. Cordrey, Mary V. S. Drury, Nettie Drury, Stacy Doran, Caroline Doran, Mary Jones, Rachel Griffin, Elizabeth Loughead, Amanda Letourneu, John Miller, Nettie Miller, Jane E. McCay, Abigail Platt, Emma Quick, Anna Quick, E. E. Wheeler, Emma Selah, Mary E. Fish.

 Rev. E. D, Stagers was chosen pastor, William S. Kain and John Miller were elected deacons and William W. Kain church clerk.

The church was recognized by a council of Baptist Churches September 2,1878, and remained in their first location until 1880, when they rented the church erected by the Broadway Baptist Church in 1870. The church at this time numbered sixty-eight members. Mr. Stagers continued as pastor until April. 4, 1881, when he resigned and accepted a call to the Baptist Church at Woodstown, Salem County, where, on Sunday, November 27, 1881, as he finished his morning sermon, he was stricken with apoplexy and in a few moments died.

After Mr. Stagers left, the pulpit was supplied by several persons until 1882, when Isaac W. Bagley, a student at Lewisburg University and a licentiate of the Fourth Baptist Church, Philadelphia, accepted a call as stated supply and began his labors at that time. The church was in a languishing condition and the membership so scattered that less than twenty were found under Mr. Bagley's ministry. However, the church revived and the membership increased.

April 4, 1886, the church elected trustees and became incorporated, having purchased the building (before that time rented) and with subscription. lists sufficient to pay for it. Its seating capacity is between five and six hundred and its value is fifteen thousand five hundred dollars. Mr. Bagley was ordained April 10, 1883, and became the pastor, which office he has since filled.

Deacons : William S. Kain, John Miller*, Datus Drury, Benjamin M. Denny, Thomas R. Arrison*, Theophilus Fox, William Stout, Thomas T. Ellis*, Mark Bareford*, William T. Spiegle*.  

Clerks: William W. Kain, Leaman Eldrtdge, Jesse C. Dresser, Thomas I. Dunlap.*

Treasurers : Isaac N. Hugg, M.D., John Hobson, Theophilus Fox, Thomas R. Arrison, James W. Eldridge, John Dalley*.

The present officers, in addition to those above-marked with an asterisk (*) are: Trustees; George Leathwhite, J. Harry Knerr, William A. Taylor, John Dalbey, Robert H. Comey, George Lovewell, Thomas I. Dunlap; Chorister, Walter F. Wolfkeil; Organist, Anna E. Quint; Superintendent Sunday School, John Dalbey ; Asst. Supt., P. W. D. Harvey; Secretary, Dallis Cann; Treasurer, T.. I. Dunlap; Librarian, Orme W. Horner ; Infant School Superintendent, Virginia Osier ; Organist, Anna Wolfkeil.  


Holy Week -1932
from the Camden Courier-Post - March 19, 1932

Philadelphia Inquirer
May 13, 1889

John W. Streeper
Tabernacle Baptist Church
Rev. Isaac Bagley
Lewis K. Robinson
Maggie Morris
Pine Street

Philadelphia Inquirer - June 21, 1903
Frank S. Jones - Aaron Ward - East Camden
Tabernacle Baptist Church - Baird Avenue

Philadelphia Inquirer - August 7, 1911
First M.E. Church - Bethany M.E. Church
Tabernacle Baptist Church - North Baptist Church

Philadelphia Inquirer - December 14, 1914
Click on Image for PDF File

Camden Courier or Camden Post-Telegram
June 8, 1921

David Griffiths - B.F. Schroeder - Rev. E.A. Miller - Wiley M.E. Church
St. Paul's Episcopal Church - Third Baptist Church - Tabernacle Baptist Church
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church -
Princess Avenue - Union M.E. Church

Camden Courier-Post - June 24, 1933

Wants More Laws

Bridgeton Ruler Hits Back at Critics Who Decry Modern Legislation


Critics of the present, regime of the United States, and those who declare they are governed by too many laws were answered last night by Mayor Linwood W. Erickson, of Bridgeton, at Wiley Mission, Third and Arch streets.

"We do not have laws enough," the mayor shouted. "All laws are founded upon reason. All laws are for the protection of the weak against the transgression of the strong.

"All laws have but one common aim- to give to us that right guaranteed by our forefathers-life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. For that reason, I say to you, we do not have enough laws."

Mayor Erickson, before addressing the crowd at the "indoor camp meeting," spoke of his long friendship for Rev. John S. Hackett, pastor of Wiley M. E. Church, and founder and superintendent of the mission.

"He is a man who has the reverence of thousands," Mayor Erickson said. "The best evidence he is doing good is seen in the fact that he is being criticized and investigated. The man who never does anything is never criticized. But for the man who is doing something, who is doing some good, there is always someone to criticize and try to tear down. 

"When people stop criticizing me, I want them to count me out. 


Mayor of Bridgeton, who declared last night there are not enough laws in the United States, and said man alone is to blame for any need of laws, in an address at the "indoor camp meeting" of 'Wiley Mission.

"Law and order are subjects not in tune with discussions of the day, especially in Camden County, and most certainly not in New Jersey. Law and order is distinguished from law enforcement, for law enforcement contemplates violation of the law, while law and order contemplates observance "of the laws.

"We live in a world of laws. We cannot pass by the law without paying respects to the laws of God. Four of the Ten Commandments deal with the relationships that should exist between man and God, the other six deal with the relationships that should exist between man and his fellow men. Yet nine of the Ten Commandments are negative and only one positive."

The chief musical program which started at 9.30 p.m., when the mission program was broadcast over WCAM, featured the Bridgeton string band of 18 pieces, directed by Leon Chew; the Cohansey Male Quartet; the Tabernacle Baptist Church choir, directed by Richard Quick, and the Kaighn Avenue Baptist Church choir; directed by Philip Johnson.

Rev. Walter L. Hunt, pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church, Broadway below Spruce Street, offered prayer. Bernard Poland, associate of Henri Scott, internationally known star of the Metropolitan and Chicago opera companies, sang several tenor solos.

Rev. George E. Morris, pastor of Kaighn Avenue Baptist Church, also participated in the program.

The first bus for the all-day rally at Alcyon Park will leave at 9.30 a. m. today, and carry children of the Sunday school of Wiley M. E. Church for the annual picnic and outing. Other buses will leave during the day from the Mission.

During the afternoon and evening program Rev. Hackett and Mrs. Amy Unruhe, better known as "Amy of Chinatown," will be the speakers, and the Wiley Broadcasters will present a "mock" radio program. Music will be furnished by the interchurch band of 75 pieces, directed by William Quemore. Donald Redding, musical leader of Bethany Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, will have charge of the singing by a large choir.

Rev. Frank C. Maxwell, chaplain of the Camden County jail, and head of the Philadelphia Highway Mission and Jail Workers, will have charge of the program tonight at toe old post office building.

Morning services will be held to morrow at the church, and in the afternoon and evening at the old post office building. Part of the afternoon program will be broadcast over WCAM from 4 to 5 o'clock.

Rev. Harry Magonigal and Hayden Evans, blind gospel singers, will be featured at the "indoor camp meetings" each night next week

Camden Courier-Post - February 7, 1938

First Baptist Church Begins 120th Anniversary Celebration

Congregation Organized in Camden in 1818;
Seminary Head Preaches

Organized February 5, 1818, when Camden was a village of fewer than 900 residents, the First Baptist Church of Camden yesterday began celebration of its 120th anniversary. It will continue with special services and music Wednesday and Friday nights. The program was arranged by Rev. Elwood A. Harrar, pastor since 1922.

A large congregation attended the opening anniversary worship service at 10.30 a. m., in the church edifice, Fourth and Arch streets, which succeeded the first meeting house built in 1818 and the second erected in 1839.

The anniversary sermon was delivered by Rev. Dr. James H. Franklin, president of Crozier Theological


 Seminary, Chester, Pa., of which Rev. Harrar is a trustee.

Citing the physical changes that have occurred in 120 years Dr. Franklin pointed out that the needs of man in respect. to his moral character and human relationships have not changed and that the church is as necessary today as it ever was.

"The message of the church today must deal with all phases of human relationships, social, economic and political, as well as religious," Dr. Franklin declared.         

At this service there was music by the junior and senior choirs of the church.

Celebration in the Bible School, also in the morning, was prefaced by greetings from Randolph Cramer, president of the Camden County Council of Religious Education.

Mrs. Bennett Speaks

Mrs. Harold W. Bennett, wife of City Commissioner Bennett, spoke on missionary activities and exhibited curios from the Congo, Africa, where she was born. a daughter of missionary parents, and where a sister and a brother-in-law are now engaged in mission work Rev. Chester A. Pennington was soloist and Miss Grace Hill violinist in a musical program.

The night service was a "Celebration in Music," at which Rev. Harrar spoke on the place of music in religion. The Baseler Harp Ensemble, one of Philadelphia's notable musical organizations, and the church choir provided the musical features of the celebration

On Wednesday night 'the program includes a spiritual fellowship service, reception of new members and communion service.

Reunion Service Friday

Rev. Ivan Murray Rose, D.D., pastor of the First Baptist Church of Philadelphia, mother church of the Camden body, will address the congregation at an anniversary reunion service Friday night. Greetings will be received from the churches which have grown out of the Camden church. These greetings will be extended by the pastors of the various churches. They are as follows:

Rev. Walter S. Dunlop, North Church; Rev. Walter L. Hunt, Tabernacle Church; Rev. Culbert G. Rutenber, Linden Church; Rev. C. W. Dannenhower, Parkside Church; Rev. Antonio Galloppi, Italian Church; Rev. Paul Bramball, Laurel Springs Church; Rev. David J. Davis, Oaklyn Church, and Rev. Gilbert L. Guffin, Merchantville Church.

Officers of the CAMDEN NJ - First Baptist Church are Atlie M. Ward, president of board of trustees; F. Y. MacCullough, president board of deacons; Frank B. Gail, treasurer; Ida M. Subers, financial secretary; Howard H. Westcott, clerk; Raymond B. Heston, organist and director of choir and J. Alpheus V. Harker, Sunday School superintendent.