History of the First United Methodist Church

Preachers traveled throughout southern New Jersey in the Gloucester County Circuit as early as 1819. The first record of a meeting in Glassboro indicates that people gathered in an old schoolhouse in 1820.  With interest growing, an official class was organized in Glassboro in 1823 under the leadership of Joseph Albertson and it met at St. Thomas Episcopal Church.

Land was purchased in 1833 for the purpose of building a Methodist place of worship. Located on Broad Street, now the intersection of Delsea Drive and McClelland Avenue the building was named the Salem Methodist Episcopal Church. As the church membership grew, the need for a larger building became apparent. In 1854 property on the corner of Academy and New Streets was purchased from the Stanger family.  The large clock commissioned for the church’s tower became a focal point of the community as any of the four sides could be seen from any angle.  The colonial-style church was dedicated in 1855.

In 1939, the congregation which has previously changed their name to the Methodist Episcopal Church, changed the name again to First Methodist Church. The name changed again in 1968 to First United Methodist Church.

The Fellowship House, steeped in history as a hotel, a store, private residence, and sewing factory, was purchased in 1959 with plans to renovate it for classroom use. It was dedicated in 1960.

With the discovery of structural problems from age, shifting ground and termites, the current church building posed many challenges. In 1974 the congregation voted to build a new church and a colonial architectural style was chosen. Ground was broken in 1976 and a dedication ceremony marking the opening of the new place of worship was held on October 9, 1977 with a special cornerstone laying ceremony.

Methodism continues in Glassboro. With celebrations held in 1998 for the 175th anniversary, the congregation looks forward to many more years of worshiping God and fulfilling our mission.

Information source: The Old Town Clock Church, Forward Through the Ages, A History of the Glassboro Methodists, Susan Bassam Muaddi, Masthof Press, 1999
PASTORS WHO HAVE SERVED THE CONGREGATION
1833 Rev. “Daddy” Price, Rev. Brown
1833 Edward Stout
1836 Thomas Christopher, Abram Gearhart, John Forte, Benjamin Read
1844-45 William Hanley
1846 John W. McDougal
1847 Socrates Towsend
1848 Caleb K. Flemming
1849 J. Long
1850-51 Joseph C. Summerill
1852 John F. Crouch
1852-53 Jacob Loudenslager
1854-55 George Hitchens
1856 J. S. Swain
1857-58 Firman Robbins
1858-1860 John S. Heisler
1861 John I. Corson
1862-1863 Dr. Edmund Hance
1864-65 Robert J. Andrews
1866 George Hughes
1867-1868 Dr. Benjamin C. Lippincott
1869-70 & 1875-76 William E. Perry
1871 Jefferson Lewis
1872-74 Joseph B. Turpin
1877-79 Edward H. Durell
1880-81 William S. Barnart
1882-83 Samuel S. Weatherby
1884-85 Samuel F. Wheeler
1886-1890 William S. Zane
1891-92 Joseph H. Mickle
1893-95 George S. Neal
1896-98 Thomas S. Hammond
1899-1900 Jesse R. Thompson
1900-05 Sanford N. Nichols
1906-07 William P.C. Strickland
1908-10 George S. Messeroll
1911 J. Morgan Reed
1912-14 George T. Harris
1915 E. H. Hewitt
1916-19 Carlton R. Van Hook
1919-20 DeWitt C. Cobb
1920-22 William Grum
1922-24 Andrew B. Carlin
1924-25 John B. Haines
1925-29 Gwynn H. Keller
1929-31 David C. Evans
1931-33 George H. Redding
1933-41 Bert W. Luckenbill
1941-46 Franklin T. Buck
1946-68 Robert B. Howe
1968-71 Donald Phillips, Jr.
1971-86 William B. Thielking
1986-91 Dr. Murray W. Neumeyer
1991-96 Earl C. Snyder
1996-2000 L. Gene Eberhart
2000-2008 William E. Cook
2008-2012 Karl Kraft
2012- Larry F. Oksten

 

 

 

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