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Page 30 Our Towns Our Towns Our Towns Our Towns Our Towns Our 2nd Annual Edition Thursday, October 28, 1999

CYAN YELLOW MAGENTA BLACK

Serving The Community For More Than

250 Years

– Directory to Houses of Worship –

ALL SAINTS’ EPISCOPAL CHURCH 559 Park Avenue, Scotch Plains

(908) 322- 8047

Reverend Thomas Laws

BETHEL BAPTIST CHURCH 539 Trinity Place, Westfield

(908) 232- 4250

Reverend Kevin Clark

CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER- DAY SAINTS 1781 Raritan Road, Scotch Plains

(908) 889- 5556

Bishop Linden Slaugh

COMMUNITY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH Deer Path & Meeting House Lane,

Mountainside (908) 232- 9490

Reverend Christopher R. Belden

CONGREGATION ARI YEHUDA 1251 Terrill Road, Scotch Plains

(732) 541- 4849

(Rear entrance of Assembly of God Church) (Rear entrance of Assembly of God Church) (Rear entrance of Assembly of God Church) (Rear entrance of Assembly of God Church) (Rear entrance of Assembly of God Church)

CONGREGATION BETH ISRAEL 1920 Cliffwood Street, Scotch Plains

(908) 889- 1830

Rabbi George Nudell

ECHO LAKE CHURCH OF CHRIST 419 Springfield Avenue, Westfield

(908) 233- 4946

Jeff Harris

EVANGEL CHURCH 1251 Terrill Road, Scotch Plains

(908) 322- 9300

Reverend Kevin M. Brennan

FANWOOD PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH Martine Avenue & La Grande Avenue,

Fanwood (908) 889- 8891

Reverend Robert T. Snell

THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH 170 Elm Street, Westfield

(908) 233- 2278

Dr. Robert L. Harvey

FIRST CHURCH OF CHRIST, SCIENTIST 257 Midway Avenue, Fanwood

(908) 322- 8461 FIRST CHURCH OF CHRIST, SCIENTIST

422 East Broad Street, Westfield (908) 233- 5029

FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH United Church of Christ 125 Elmer Street, Westfield

(908) 233- 2494

Dr. Christopher Atwood, Senior Minister Reverend Pamela Gilchrist

FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 1171 Terrill Road, Scotch Plains

(908) 322- 9222

Reverend Sam Chong

FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 1 East Broad Street, Westfield

(908) 233- 4211

Reverend David F. Harwood

GRACE ORTHODOX PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 1100 Boulevard, Westfield (908) 233- 3938 or (908) 232- 4403

Reverend Stanford M. Sutton, Jr.

HOLY TRINITY GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH 250 Gallows Hill Road, Westfield

(908) 233- 8533

Reverend Dimitrios Antokas

HOLY TRINITY ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH Westfield Avenue & First Street, Westfield

(908) 232- 8137

Reverend Joseph Masielio

IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY RC CHURCH 1571 South Martine Avenue, Scotch Plains

(908) 889- 2100

Reverend John F. Kennedy

METROPOLITAN BAPTIST CHURCH 823 Jerusalem Road

(908) 233- 2855

Reverend Clement Griffin

MOUNTAINSIDE CHAPEL 1180 Spruce Drive, Mountainside

(908) 232- 3456

Reverend Dr. Gregory Hagg

OUR LADY OF LOURDES RC CHURCH 300 Central Avenue, Mountainside

(908) 232- 1162

Reverend Patrick J. Leonard

THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN WESTFIELD 140 Mountain Avenue

(908) 233- 0301

Reverend Dr. William Ross Forbes

REDEEMER LUTHERAN CHURCH 229 Cowperthwaite Place, Westfield

(908) 232- 1517

Reverend Paul E. Kritsch

ST. BARTHOLOMEW THE APOSTLE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH 2032 Westfield Avenue, Scotch Plains

(908) 322- 5192

Reverend Michael A. Merlucci

ST. HELEN’S ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH 1600 Rahway Avenue, Westfield

(908) 232- 1214

Reverend Monsignor James A. Burke

ST. JOHN’S BAPTIST CHURCH 2387 Morse Avenue, Scotch Plains

(908) 232- 6972

Reverend Kelmo C. Porter, Jr.

ST. LUKE’S AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL ZION CHURCH 500 Downer Street, Westfield

(908) 233- 2547

Reverend Leon E. Randall

ST. PAUL’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH 414 East Broad Street, Westfield

(908) 232- 8506

Reverend Richard W. Reid

SCOTCH PLAINS BAPTIST CHURCH 333 Park Avenue, Scotch Plains

(908) 322- 5487

Reverend Gary Rothwell

TEMPLE BETH O’R/ BETH TORAH 111 Valley Road, Clark

(732) 381- 8403

Rabbi Shawn B. Zell

TEMPLE EMANU- EL 756 East Broad Street, Westfield

(908) 232- 6770

Rabbi Charles A. Kroloff

TEMPLE SHOLOM 815 W. Seventh Street, Plainfield

(908) 756- 6447

Rabbi Joel N. Abraham

TERRILL ROAD BAPTIST CHURCH 1340 Terrill Road, Scotch Plains

(908) 322- 7151

Michael C. Seaman

TERRILL ROAD BIBLE CHAPEL 535 Terrill Road, Fanwood

(908) 322- 4055 WILLOW GROVE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

1961 Raritan Road, Scotch Plains (908) 232- 5678

Reverend Kenneth G. Hetzel

WOODSIDE CHAPEL 5 Morse Avenue, Fanwood

(908) 889- 2375

Editor’s Note: In conjunction with the historic theme of Our Town, an edited version of a story about the 250th anniversary of the Scotch Plains Baptist Church on August 5, 1997 has been republished below. The story originally appeared in the August 14, 1997 edition of The Times of Scotch PlainsFanwood.

For that article, the Reverend Charles “Chaz” Hutchinson, Minister of Education at the church, recounted the history of the

church – one of the oldest in the state – which even predates the establishment of Union County.

* * * * *

By JUSTIN BRIDGE

Specially Written for Our Town

“Two hundred and fifty years ago, a group of men and women from the Piscataway Baptist Church asked for a letter of dismissal so that they could form a church here in Scotch Plains,” Reverend Hutchinson explained.

Seventeen parishioners founded the Baptist Church in Scotch Plains because the trip to Piscataway was, in those days, a very long trip.

“And not all of the women were Mrs. So- and- so. They were women on their own. That was very unusual for that day and age,” added Reverend Hutchinson.

“A lot of the early founders of Scotch Plains were members of the church. Families such as Darby, Lambert and Osborn, that are still names in Scotch Plains,” he continued.

The first Baptist Church building in Scotch Plains stood until the winter of 1816- 1817, when it burned to the ground. In 1817, parish members decided to construct the “Old Meeting House.” This building served as the church until 1871, when it was moved, with the help of oxen, down Grand Street.

It then served as District Fourteen School until 1890, the year that the original School One building opened. Since 1947, the Grand Street YMCA has run the building.

Another treasure relating to the church’s history is its cemetery, originally known as “God’s Little Acre.” William Darby, the owner of the property in 1743, marked off the west corner of his farm in order to have a place to bury the dead. The oldest grave in the cemetery belongs to Sarah Frazee and is marked 1754.

Reverend Hutchinson spoke of one gravestone in particular, that of Caesar. Caesar was a slave who had fought in the Revolutionary War and was also a teamster. (In the late 1700s, a teamster was someone who drove a wagon pulled by a team of horses.) Caesar was originally a slave in Scotch Plains until his owner, Deacon Drake, freed him. However, despite having been a slave, he had been a member of the church for over 50 years, until his death on February 7, 1806, at the age of 104.

“In the day before the civil rights movement, this was an integrated church where a man like Caesar could be a member,” he noted.

Another grave of mention belongs to the Reverend Benjamin Miller, the first minister of the Scotch Plains Baptist Church, who served from 1748 to 1781.

Despite being a haven to all men and women, the church has seen its share of strife.

“Its seen loyalists and revolutionaries, families that had men on both sides of the Revolutionary War. During the Civil War, there were feelings that ran for both the North and the South,” said Reverend Hutchinson.

“However, the church stayed together, despite those tensions,” he said, pointing out that this is impressive for Baptists because in some areas, the Baptist churches split over “the littlest things.”

Just across the street from the church is the Old Baptist Parsonage. This sandstone building has been standing for the past 197 years. The building was also the site of the township’s first library, with the books having been stored on the second- floor landing. The parsonage has been home to 23 individuals and their families.

The pastors who lived at the parsonage subsisted off whatever they could grow on 15 acres of the parsonage farm in addition to a small salary and firewood. In 1868, the church trustees sold off the parsonage farm in order to pay for the new church.

“GOD’S LITTLE ACRE”… Graves in the cemetery adjacent to the Scotch Plains Baptist Church are inscribed with the names of some of the area’s oldest families. First

Baptist Church

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Copyright 1999 - The Westfield Leader and The Times of Scotch Plains-Fanwood
Covering Fanwood, Mountainside, Scotch Plains and Westfield, Union County, New Jersey (NJ)