CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY

THIRD BAPTIST CHURCH

 

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

THIRD BAPTIST CHURCH is situated on Broadway, above Van Hook 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.  

 
 

Philadelphia Inquirer
December 23, 1912

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