History of the Church

OUR HISTORY

The work of the Methodist denomination in Westmont was conducted for a number of years under the direction of the First Methodist Church of Collingswood, N. J., the meetings first being held in the Fire Hall on Center Street.

In 1908 the old school house which was located on Haddon Avenue was purchased from the Board of Education by the Collingswood people for $260. 00 and moved to site at 22-24 Center Street, these lots having been purchased at a cost of $500.00.

On Sunday, February 7, 1909, the organization of a Sunday School was completed, while Rev. John R. Mason was pastor of the Collingswood Church, and consisted when organized of five classes and an Infant Department. The record of the first session shows an attendance of 25 scholars, eight teachers, three officers and three visitors, making a total of 39 present.

On Thursday evening, March 31, 1910, District Superintendent S. M. Nichols, Dr. J. F. Shaw, Pastor, First Methodist Church, Collingswood, N.J.; Rev. A. Tracy Doughty, and 19 residents of Collingswood and Westmont assembled together in the church building and the Westmont Mission of the First Methodist Church of Collingswood ceased to exist, and the First Methodist Church of Westmont was organized, and articles of incorporation were secured in September, 1910.

During the pastorate of Rev. Charles J. Champion, in 1916, the personage adjoining the church was built at a cost of $2700.00 being occupied early in the year 1917.

In March, 1920, Rev. W. John Williams was assigned to our church as pastor. Shortly after his arrival in our midst his eyes beheld a vacant corner at Center and Emerald Avenue, which he thought would be an ideal place for a new church building. He immediately took the matter up with the Official Board and at the meeting of the Quarterly Conference in July, 1920, it was decided to purchase the lots, which was done in August the same year at a cost of $300.00.

During the early part of 1921 a Building Committee was appointed and contract subsequently awarded for the building of our present beautiful church edifice. On Sunday, October 16, 1921, ground breaking services were held in charge of the Building Committee.

The cornerstone was laid April 23, 1922, with appropriate ceremonies, and on January 14, 1923, the dedicatory services were held, Rev. Alexander Corson, D. D., District Superintendent, presiding. Rev. P. R. Comer was the pastor.

In the depression year of 1930, the church operated on an expense budget of $6,680. The Ladies Aid paid the coal bills. Two bank closings reduced church savings to zero. In 1932 the pastor was paid $92 per month and trees on the property were cut down to provide fuel for the poor.

The church survived even grimmer depression and war years and the mortgage was retired in 1945. The present church parsonage was bought in 1956 for $13,000.

The church School addition was dedicated in 1966, the church social hall was completely renovated in 1973 (and named Lynam Hall in memory of its chief patrons), and the sanctuary refurbished and 1974.

 200 Emerald Avenue, Westmont, NJ 08108 (856) 854-4916

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