The exact date of
the origin of the first Methodist Society in Elmer is difficult
The activity in our
area of the people called Methodists dates
as far back as
the year 1772.
The history of our church is inseparably
with that of
the old Salem Circuit and the Friendship Society.
In 1843, Broad
and Friendship were set off from the
Years before there was any church property
at Elmer there were several Methodist Societies
and an organized
We do not know
for sure where these groups met but past records imply it was in
or the homes of members. By 1834 there were five Sunday
Schools within the area: Friendship, Pittstown, Hitchnertown, Broad
Neck and New
In 1844, a half‑acre of ground in Pittstown
was purchased from Ellis Pedrick and a parsonage
was erected and
deeded in trust
to the joint board of rustees
of the Pittsgrove Charge.
Apparently, this was
the first property
owned by the Pittstown Society.
In the year 1862, the first church building
was started. It was dedicated on
January 26, 1863.
Rev. Willis Reeves
pastor of the Circuit at
this time. According to a clipping from
Times", the first floor was
only part completed due to lack of funds. This
used for worship
until 1868 when the main structure was
erected and the
(Another account indicates the building was started in 1868
On July 15, 1868, the first Trustees of the
Pittstown Methodist Episcopal
Church were elected.
Our one‑hundredth anniversary
dated from these significant events that took place
In the early 1870's, a decision was made to
change the name of Pittstown
to Elmer, in honor of Judge Jonathan
prominent Bridgeton lawyer.
The church then assumed the name Elmer Methodist
At first the church was in a circuit with
Olivet and Friendship. In 1889, Elmer
was separated from the circuit and
separate charge. The Rev.
Pennington Corson became the pastor.
At the Annual Conference in 1896, the Rev.
Alfred Wagg was assigned to the
Elmer church. On his first Sunday,
was so full that in spite of
extra seats in the aisle, some were forced to
It was quite evident that a new church must
be built. After much discussion,
plans were made for a fundraising
after which a building
committee was appointed. An architect was engaged and
looking at several churches,
it was decided to model the new church
the Berean Baptist Church in Bridgeton.
On October 1, 1896, Governor Griggs arrived
by special train to
take part in the cornerstone service.
The dedication of the
was delayed due to the furniture being mistakenly
On an extremely hot July 11, 1897, Bishops Foss and
District Superintendent Wright preached
the three services held in the
morning, afternoon, and evening to
dedicate the stone edifice. With the addition
of a heating plant, fixtures, and carpet, the church was completed at a cost of
slightly over $29,000
At no time
services disrupted during the moving and
building processes.The parsonage
was moved to Church Street
and Ira Hughes
contract to build
a new one.
Through the years, many improvements have
been made. Two organs have
been purchased. Extensive
renovations have been
made under the sanctuary
that enabled an entire new area to be opened up for
classrooms and a parlor.
We have replaced the slate roof (1993), had the stained
(1994), and renovated the kitchen (1995).
The Cornerstone Campaign to raise money for maintenance and improvements
church was launched in
1996. The money was raised over a three‑year
allowed the membership to go forward with many
The nursery and
library were moved and renovated. A handicap bathroom was
installed on the
second floor. Two new offices were created for the minister
secretary. The church sanctuary was
painted, drapes were
replaced, and new
lights were placed over the entryways and choir loft.
New carpet was installed
in the sanctuary and chapel. The church steeple
and tower were
painted and new steps
were built on the Church Street side, On
the ground floor
new tile was installed in the Fellowship Hall and
redone with new furniture and flooring. Improvements of the parsonage consisted
of replacing the roof and floors in the kitchen and basement. We also purchased
a 15‑passenger van to be
used by all the various groups in the church.
a parking lot was constructed in conjunction with the
and a new state‑of‑the‑art sound/projection system was installed
The Elmer Methodist Church is
continuing to move ahead in the new millennium.
We have grown to our present
position from beginnings of our forefathers and
are providing spiritual needs to
our community. We accept this
with gratitude and desire to do our
part in serving Christ through various
groups and ways of
worship, such as
Sunday School, the YCW Class, and
numerous youth ministries:
through 6th grade), Junior and Senior High, Pioneer Club, WINGS,
the Youth in
Children's, Junior, and Middler Church. We have
both men and
women's Bible Studies as well as college‑age
Bible Study groups.
Retreats and Conferences, Promise Keeper's for the men, individual
Junior, Senior and Cherub Choirs, Malaga Camp and Vacation
are many of the ways we have
fellowship and worship. Many
and community, with God's help, make this possible.
The Elmer United Methodist Church is here today because our forefathers had
vision and because of the
revival fires that burned in the yesterdays. The
church will only continue as we keep that vision alive and as
we allow the
revival fires to be kindled today.