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early churches of New Jersey
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Methodist Episcopal Church
Southard, Howell Township,
simple country church has a new faux stone façade but
the plan is clear enough. The window treatment is unusual
with the small transom windows atop the rectangular side windows.
The diminutive steeple is undoubtedly a later addition. There
is no mention of a Southard Methodist Church In Ellis,
but he does note that there was a Methodist church in Bethel, a
new settlement in the southwestern part of the township. A church
was erected in 1865 on a donated lot. In 1870 a school was
erected on this property, and in 1882 a store was opened and
a postmaster appointed for the village now named “Southard.” Stanger
says the Southard Methodist Episcopal church was founded c.
1815 and built in 1863 or 1864. The congregation met in a
school house for almost 50 years, Stanger says, before building this
church. There is a school/store on the property, and the adjacent burial ground is called the Bethel Cemetery.