Evangelical United Methodist
Rev. Gary L. Turk
14 W. Cohawkin Road
Evangelical United Methodist Church of , Clarksboro, NJ
Photograph by Janice
Brown in 2003
of the EVANGELICAL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
From "East Greenwich Township
Centennial" booklet by Gertrude Dersch
The Evangelical United Methodist
Church was established at Clarksboro by the Evangelical Association in 1879. Founder
of this Evangelical Association was Jacob Albright, son of German Immigrant parents,
and a native of Pottstown, PA. During the century 1750-1850 many German people
settled in the eastern Pennsylvania area and Jacob Albright was born on May 1,
1759. These people came to the United States for two reasons: in search of freedom
to worship God as individual Protestants, and to avail themselves of the opportunities
to establish a better everyday life for themselves and their families.
On July 31, 1791, Jacob attended an evening prayer meeting in the home of an Adam
Riegel, a lay member of the United Brethren group. Soon after, Jacob joined the
Methodist Church and became a licensed exhorter (lay preacher), and in 1796, he
began his missionary preaching among the German speaking people in the area. Because
of his absence from prayer meetings of his home church, he lost his membership
in the Methodist Church. His work contineud with the German speaking people that
were not reached by the Methodist Church, and he organized the "Evangelical
Association." The first church building belonging to this new group was dedicated
March 2, 1817 at New Berlin, PA.
Between 1855 and 1859, the Evangelical
Association extended its missionary efforts into various townships in southern
New Jersey. Prayer meetings were held in the homes of those who became the organizers
of our local church. Worship services were conducted in the Berkley Baptist Church,
Mt. Royal, by Rev. Philiphar and in March 1879, a congregation was organized.
The congregation meeting with Rev. Philiphar at Berkley [Mt. Royal] incorporated
as Zion Church of the Evangelical Association on March 24, 1880.
charter members were: Karl Beyers and wife, George Blensinger and wife, Adam Dersch
and wife, John Fell and wife, Conrad Frischolz and wife, John Hoskin, Michael
Ley and wife, John Nolte and wife, Maria Miller and wife, William Noll and wife,
John Nolte and wife, Maria Northdurft (Mary, Mrs. Theo Herzog), Frederick Stier
and wife, Jacob Wagner, Jacob Welde and wife, and Philip Windish and wife.
At the March 24, 1880 meeting, a resolution was adopted to purchase land
and build a church. On March 27, 1880, a lot 100 ft. x 237 ft. on Railroad Ave.
(now Cohawkin Road) in Clarksboro was purchased from David and Sarah Gill for
$200. Members brought stones from their fields and quarries to the site, and on
April 24, 1880 the cornerstone was laid with impressive ceremonies. Rev. A.S.
Stelz was the first pastor of the church and was followed at the end of one year
by Rev. H. Boll. This Clarksboro church was completed and dedicated in September
On April 2, 1944, Palm Sunday, one hour after worshippers left
the service, fire broke out and destroyed the church beyond repair. The East Greenwich
Fire Company offered the use of its hall for morning services and the Zion Church
invited the members to join them for union evening services.
1944 a building committee was appointed, and the cornerstone of the new church
was laid April 22, 1945. On Sunday, June 9, 1946 the new church was dedicated.
In 1946, the Evangelical Church merged with the church of the United Brethren
in Christ, and the Clarksboro Church had a new name, "Zion Evanglical United
In 1968, a conference was held in Dallas, TX and
it was decided to merge the Methodist Church and the Evanglical United Brethren
Church. Since the Methodist Church in Clarksboro had been known as Zion Methodist
since its founding, the Evanglical took the name "Evanglical United Methodist
Rev. Gary Turk, the present pastor, has served here since