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early churches of New Jersey
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Methodist Episcopal Church
Adelphia, Monmouth County
is much history associated with this congregation—the oldest
Methodist church (according to Ellis) in the county, founded in 1799.
The area was originally called Blue Ball, which was derived from
an old tavern located here. The church is located only three
miles from Freehold and was long known as the Methodist church
of Monmouth. Records show that both Francis Asbury and Freeborn
Garretson preached here, Asbury on several occasions between 1782 and 1806. In 1786 the Trenton Circuit included
Trenton, Burlington, Pemberton, Mount Holly and this congregation,
then called Monmouth.
It is not known when the original meetinghouse
was built, but the second church was erected across the road
from it (on the present site) in 1849. This church was erected
in 1899. It
is an L-shape plan, common in Methodist and Baptist churches
since the Civil War. The entrance is through the tower, which
has the original open belfry. The tripartite window in the gable
end was a common element in smaller county churches, as the
sash-and-blind manufacturing made such demanding carpentry inexpensive
and within the financial means of even small congregations.