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early churches of New Jersey
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Bethel Baptist Meetinghouse
Warren Township, Somerset County
This plain frame meetinghouse was erected in
1757 on a site near here, ten years before the Baptist congregation was formally
organized. The building was moved to this site in 1785.
The congregation was founded by 18 members, half
of whom were women, although
no women are listed as “officers” in the minutes, which included
to “keep the books, set the Psalms, and reading Clerk.” In 1851 after
an impressive series of revival meetings, the Millington Baptist church was organized
as a separate church from among the membership of Mt Bethel.
Although a small structure, there is a gallery,
and, of course, the traditional separate entrances for men and women. Except
in its proportions and the absence
of any shutters, it might be mistaken for a Quaker meeting house, down to the
ubiquitous sycamore tree on the property. The building has a substantial cemetery
to the rear.
It is listed on the National Register.