authoritative source on
early churches of New Jersey
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Methodist Episcopal Church of Flanders
Flanders, Mt. Olive Township, Morris County
Flanders Circuit is a phrase which recurs in the annuals of the Methodist
church in the northwestern part of the
state—which is not surprising as Methodist preachers were visiting the
area soon after the close of the Revolutionary War. Francis Asbury preached
to nearly a thousand people in the woods near here in 1787.
The congregation may have had a chapel by 1786, but the first deed is dated
1789. That building was used until this one was erected in 1853, and according
to the Methodist’s
official history, it was still standing in 1960.
This is a traditional church--a simple meetinghouse with a square tower, belfry
and steeple. Note, however, the transition from the square tower to the octagon
shaped steeple—a broach introduced in the Gothic Revival churches
of the late 1840s, which means the carpenter-builder was aware of currents in