720-722 Chestnut Street


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

UNION AMERICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, Chestnut Street, above Seventh, was founded by Rev. Peter Spencer, of Wilmington, Del., and it is known as a branch of the African Union Church, of that city. In 1853 a series of prayer-meetings were conducted in the house of D. Butler, on Newton Street, also in the houses of Sarah Stewart and Sarah Wheeler, under the direction of .Rev. John Reed. In 1855 funds were collected, and a small frame house on Newton Street, above Seventh, was purchased, and moved to a site near the corner of Ann Street and Newton Street. It was then converted into a small church by building an addition to the rear of it, and other improvements were added. A large number of communicants were admitted to membership in the newly-formed society, and the Sunday school grew and prospered under the direction of Christopher Berry. The original building in which these people worshipped was too small; hence, in 1879, it was decided to build a larger and more convenient church. Under the auspices of a building committee, the present large two-story brick church, forty by seventy feet, was built in 1880 and dedicated by Bishop Ramsey, of Woodstown, N. J. The religious services of this church are yet conducted in the large basement room of the church building; the auditorium on the second floor, though, will soon be completed. The first pastor who ministered to the wants of this congregation was the Rev. Henry Mood, who was followed by Rev. Isaac Williams, and he by the present pastor, Rev. Asbury Smith. The church membership is about one hundred.  In the Sunday school, of which William Saunders is superintendent, there are eighty children. At the time of the dedication of the new church the name of the "African Union Church." was changed to "Union American Methodist Episcopal Church.".  


Philadelphia Inquirer- June 22, 1896

Union M.E. Church - Wiley M.E. Church - First M.E. Church
Union American M.E. Church - Bethany M.E. Church
First Baptist Church - First Presbyterian Church

Union American

May 2004