CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY
THIRD BAPTIST CHURCH
following is derived from
BAPTIST CHURCH is situated on Broadway, above
Street. July 14,
1852, Jonathan J. Cox, Harry Blanford, John Shill, John Shield, Benjamin
Muir, Benjamin Ballard, Agnes Shill, Matilda Shill and Matilda Ballard,
principally members of the Second Baptist Church of Camden, and Rev.
Thomas C. Trotter, the pastor, met at the house of John Shill, in
Stockton, and formed "The Baptist Society," of which Datus
Drury, B. Ballard and T. C. Trotter were appointed a building committee.
August 15th, a Sunday school was organized with J. J. Cox
superintendent, and Harry Blanford, Matilda Shill, Mr. and Mrs. Basford
and Lizzie Price as teachers. The school continued to meet at the house
of John Shill and the society at J. J. Cox's, on Ferry
road, until 1854,
when the meeting house, on Van Hook Street, near Sixth, was completed.
Among those who preached for this society were Revs. Thomas C. Trotter,
Edward G. Taylor, David Spencer and John Sisty. The society prospered,
and resolving to form a church, met August 1, 1855, and constituted
the " Stockton Baptist Church," composed of the
following-named members : Jonathan Cox, John C. Taylor, Harry Blanford,
John Jones, Rebecca Fults, James Jones, Mary E. Cox, Mary Ann Taylor,
Matilda Blanford, Mary Jones, Margaret. Ewell and Elizabeth Ewell. On
August 6th of the same year a council, with Rev. John Duncan, D.D., of
Camden, as moderator, was called, at which the young church was
recognized and admitted into the fellowship of the West New Jersey
Baptist Association. The church procured supplies for many years,
among whom were Revs. William James, John E. Barnes, Walter Patton and
Adam Hayberry. In 1861 Rev. E. V. Glover, who had been serving the
church, assumed the pastorate, and, by his earnestness and helpful ways,
did much for his people during his stay of fifteen years. In 1863 the
old meetinghouse was sold to the Church of Our Saviour, and a new one of
brick, with a seating capacity of four hundred, built on the site now
occupied. In 1871 Stockton was annexed as the Eighth Ward of Camden, and
an act was obtained from the Legislature changing the name of this
society to the Third Baptist Church of Camden.
Mr. Glover resigning, in 1876, Rev. George H. MacClelland filled
the pulpit until February, 1877, when Reece W. Perkins, then pursuing a
post-graduate course in Crozer Theological Seminary, accepted a call,
and being ordained, became the pastor. In 1880 a large addition of
brick, twenty-five by sixty feet, placed transversely in the rear, for Sunday school
purposes, was built and the main structure renovated, chiefly under
the direction of James F. Baird, who, one of the first, had also been
one of the most helpful members. Under the pastorate of Rev. Mr.
Perkins, the church has grown from a weak, struggling interest, needing
constant assistance, to a strong, self-reliant body, helping others.
It has two promising young men studying for the ministry,—James S.
Braker, at Lewisburg University, and Charles E. Woodruff, son of the
late Elmer C.B. Woodruff, who for many years was a stanch pillar of the
church. Under the efficient labor of the present pastor, the debt has
been decreased to a nominal amount, the contributions have tripled and
the membership more than doubled, now numbering two hundred and
twenty, while the Sunday school, under the superintendence of Theodore
B. Davis, numbers three hundred pupils, with twenty-five officers and
teachers. The officers of the church are: —Pastor, Rev. Reece W.
Perkins; Clerk, Charles E. Woodruff; Treasurer, Theodore B. Davis;
Deacons, William Wright, William E. Gilling, T. B. Davis, George T.
Clarke; Trustees, William C. Clarke, Elmer E. Wright, Levi B. Jess,
Arthur Crouch, William H. Smith, George J. Stites and John W. Whitecar.
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