New Jerusalem African Union Methodist Protestant Church
Claysville, Mannington Township, Salem County
State Highway 45, north of salem
founded c. 1879, built 1879
Cushing describes Clayville as "an unimportant hamlet . . . inhabited mostly by colored people, although several respectable white families also reside there." He then notes the several stores and shops, carefully recording whether the proprietor was colored or not. "This township," he says, "was the first point of settlement in the county for free Negroes, and in the early days almost every farmer had black servants or slaves. The colored race in Mannington has been as prolific here as it is found to be elsewhere, and at this time it is a not insignificant portion of the population, numerically. . . . The members belong to different sects of colored Methodists."
The African Union of Methodist Protestants is the oldest independent black denomination in the U.S. It was chartered in 1813 as the Union Church of Africans, although it was usually called the "African Union Church." Through a set of mergers it eventually assumed its current name because it follows the governance practices of the Methodist Protestant church.
The building has undergone several renovations, but the fenestration is little changed from a half century ago. Jacquett notes that its founding was the outgrowth of a Sunday school, but provides no date, nor does Cushing.