authoritative source on
early churches of New Jersey
We've created a database and photographic inventory on more than half
the 18th & 19th century churches in the state and add to it each month.
We welcome and solicit all contributions and suggestions from our visitors.
to use this site
Respond to readers' queries
Consult the database
Annotate the database
Upload a photo
Suggest a church for inclusion
List of churches, by county
Links to related sites
Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church
Freenold, Monmouth County
a small street several blocks from the center of town in what
once was called Squirrel Town—the usual fate of the early AME
(and Roman Catholic) churches—this wooden-frame building is
a fine example of a late-nineteenth century black church. The buttresses
are false, which was common at this time, and the modest belfry
sits at the front of the roof—so far forward that the
peak had to be modified to accommodate it—a very fine
and unusual feature. There are round-arch windows throughout,
and roundarch openings in the belfry, and a fanlight over the transom.
is a good example of what is termed vernacular, in that it borrows
elements from several styles.
It was the second church erected by a
black congregation in
Freehold, and this congregation’s second building. Incidentally,
Methodist church in town gets 12 pages in Ellis, but this church