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  early churches of New Jersey

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Batsto-Pleasant Mills Methodist Episcopal Church
adjacent to Batsto Village, Burlington County



Batsto was a mining and manufacturing village in the eighteenth century. Bog iron was mined and the Batsto furnaces were the major supplier of cannons, munitions and tools for the Continental army. The restored village contains a sawmill, general store, carriage house, blacksmithy, and some thirty other period buildings.
     The original congregation was formed by Scottish exiles, according to Derry, in 1707 at the forks of the Mullica and Batsto rivers. The fabled Presbyterian minister John Brainerd preached here in 1762 and recorded a substantial description of the second meetinghouse in his diary. This meetinghouse was erected in 1808, supposedly on the foundation of that second church, and was dedicated by Methodist Bishop Asbury, although it was then a non-denominational church and available to any passing Protestant preacher. The building was remodeled later, but it is not a part of the Batsto Village operation (It is immediately adjacent, though.) Derry disputes that the church was built by the proprietor of the industrial works, but acknowledges that has been the prevailing view. I doubt that much is original here.

See Ellis Derry, Old and Historic Churches of New Jersey (Union City, N.J.: William Wise, 1979) for additional information.

 

 

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