CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY

KAIGHN AVENUE
METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH

 

The following is derived from
George Reeser Prowell's
History of Camden County, New Jersey
published in 1886

The congregation that worships in this church is the outgrowth of a Mission Sunday school started on Liberty Street, above Third, by members of the Union Methodist Episcopal Church. The membership of this mission school increased to three hundred, and it was deemed necessary to seek larger and more comfortable quarters. In 1879 a large blacksmith shop, on Front Street, below Kaighn Avenue, was procured and fitted up for Sunday school purposes. Under the supervision of the Rev. William C. Stockton, a church society was formed, under the name of the Grace Methodist Episcopal Church, with thirty communicants, and a Sunday school started with two hundred members, most of whom came from the mission school already mentioned. The religious services were held in the blacksmith-shop for seventeen months, and during the heated term in the summer of 1879 the congregation worshipped in a large tent on Kaighn Avenue, above Second Street. In 1880 Rev. John Boswell was appointed to the charge.  The membership of school and church had greatly increased. A building committee was appointed, and the same year the present church on Kaighn Avenue was commenced. The basement was built the same year, but the cold weather prevented the completion of the church, and a large frame pavilion, thirty by sixty feet, was put up within the walls and upon the lower joists for a foundation. In this the congregation worshipped until 1882, and in the mean time the work on the church progressed, the walls and roof covering the pavilion completely before it was taken down and removed. The congregation then worshipped in a large tent which was put up at Third Street and Sycamore.

On October 7, 1882, the church was dedicated by Bishop Hurst. The society had then two hundred and forty communicant members and about five hundred members in the Sunday school. The Rev. B. C. Lippincott was the next minister, and was followed by the Rev. Charles F. Downs. In 1885 the Rev. James E. Lake assumed the charge of the congregation, and the name of Kaighn Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church was adopted. At this time there was a large debt and they were unable to meet the payments. The church was threatened with dissolution, but Rev. James E. Lake determined to avert the calamity, and through his perseverance, by the large collections which he raised from contributions in other churches and by contributing largely from his own personal effects, he succeeded in liquidating the largest portion of the indebtedness, leaving only a small amount to be paid by the congregation. His earnest efforts in the behalf of his congregation have proved very successful.  

 

The Reverend William Grum, composer of the hymn "Victory Ahead" among others, pastored at Kaighn Avenue M.E. Church around 1910.


Philadelphia Inquirer - August 12, 1891


Philadelphia Inquirer- October 23, 1903


Philadelphia Inquirer- February 19, 1906

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Philadelphia Inquirer - January 7, 1907

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Second Presbyterian Church - Rev. J.W. Lee - Rev. Robert W. Peach


Philadelphia Inquirer
March 18, 1917

Pine Street - Thomas Bundick 
Emma Knauff Bundick

Philp Knauff -
Elisha Gravenor
Harry Vliet - John Sheeran
Albert Cornog - Clarence Boyer
William Briant - David Hunt
Kaighn Avenue M.E. Church
Rev. William P. Valiant


Philadelphia Inquirer - December 10, 1917

Mrs. Elizabeth E. Davis - James L. Davis

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Camden Courier-Post
April 2, 1928

Kaighn Avenue
Methodist Episcopal Church

Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church

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