Posts tagged ‘houses of worship’

May 9, 2013

Westfield Presbyterian

Westfield Presbyterian Church

Westfield Presbyterian is the oldest congregation in Westfield— they’ve been around since the Revolutionary era. This church is actually their fourth, built in 1862.

Westfield Presbyterian, c. 1908

Westfield Presbyterian, c. 1908

Of course, things change. You’ll note that the church didn’t used to have as many side windows! (Check it— 5 vs. a modern 7.) In the 1960s, they lengthened the church:

It was split just behind the third window, the steeple end was rolled forward, and a new section was inserted. This added two windows and about 30 feet, while preserving the church’s original appearance (Lipson 1996, 32).

The White Church, date unknown (probably old)


Lipson, S.H. (1996). Images of America: Westfield: The Golden Age of Postcards. Arcadia Publishing: Dover, NH. ISBN 0752404067.

October 28, 2012

Preparing for the storm

This post regards Ocean Grove’s Hurricane Sandy preparations, before the storm hit. For photos of how Ocean Grove fared AFTER Sandy, see a more recent post.

Ocean Grove Auditorium, NJ, 10-28-12: "Our God is BIGGER than Sandy! PRAY!"

Ocean Grove Methodist Auditorium, Sunday, 10-28-12: Boarding up the Jersey Shore in preparation for Hurricane Sandy.

Yeah, so, many of us in New Jersey are a little uneasy about this upcoming Hurricane Sandy/ Frankenstorm thing.


Hurricane Sandy’s predicted cone of uncertainty. New Jersey’s right smack dab in the middle! Image from National Weather Service.


Hurricane Irene sucked. Snowtober sucked. And the articles I’ve read make Hurricane Sandy out to be some horrible monster of a Perfect Storm that’ll be even worse than either one.

Weeks ago, I requested Monday (10/29) and Tuesday (10/30) off from work, so that I could housesit/dog-sit for my parents on the Jersey Shore while they went to Washington, D.C. At the moment, their train to Washington will probably be canceled, so they may stay put here in NJ. Which leaves me with the question: where should I weather out the storm?

Map of NJ. Note where I live, and where my hometown is.


MY PLACE (New Providence)
PROS: Inland
CONS: Overhead wires

MY PARENTS’ PLACE (My hometown)
PROS: Underground wires
CONS: 3 miles from the Atlantic Ocean (there’s a Weather Channel representative reporting live from the Asbury Park beach, which is pretty much exactly where they live)

I’ll keep you guys as updated as I can, but for other news, check the National Weather Service, your local Patch, the Weather Channel,, and any other sources you may have.

If I miss a day, I probably don’t have power.

March 2, 2012

A lot of names to remember

Mount Olive? Swedish Evangelical? You decide.

Founded by immigrants in the 1880s and 1890s, the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Salem Congregation was sold to the Mount Olive United Holiness Church of America in 1959.

Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Salem Congregation, date unknown

Both of those denominations are mouthfuls!

It is immediately next to the Overlook Medical Center.



Meola, P.E. (1998). Images of America: Summit. Arcadia Publishing: Charleston, SC. ISBN 0738563307.

January 20, 2012

Calvary 2!


This is another view of Summit’s Calvary Episcopal Church.

I’m going to copy what I wrote last time, because I haven’t learned anything additional, and you probably don’t remember what I wrote anyway:

Calvary Episcopal Church was the first [religious?] congregation organized in Summit! Its first building was erected in 1854 elsewhere. Unfortunately, that church was destroyed in 1893 by a Christmas decoration fire. (Seriously, don’t leave candles unattended.) The congregation consequently moved to its current location, on the corner of Woodland and DeForest Avenues; the new building was consecrated in 1896, and it’s been there ever since.

And just for fun, here are some old photos of it, with dates largely unknown:

Summit Calvary Episcopal, c. 1890?

Summit Calvary Episcopal, date unknown



Meola, P.E. (1998). Images of America: Summit. Arcadia Publishing: Charleston, SC.

January 6, 2012

Unitarians in Summit

Banner on the Unitarian Church of Summit

When Summit’s Unitarian church was built in 1913, it was originally known as All Souls’ Church. The architect, Mr. Joy Wheeler Dow, was a member of the congregation.

Aside from that tidbit of history, if you’ve ever driven by and wondered about that multicolored rainbow banner across the front of the church, here’s what a sign mounted near the front door has to say about it:

In October 2007, the congregation of The Unitarian Church in Summit overwhelmingly approved the Moving Toward Peace Statement and Resolution, which among other things calls for an end to the war in Iraq.

As a visual statement of this resolution, our congregation designed and created the Human Toll of War, a wall of ribbons on the front of our church. Each ribbon represents a United States serviceman or servicewoman who has died since the Iraq war began on March 20, 2003.

Ribbons of different colors represent the losses in different years, with green ribbons signifying armed forces from New Jersey. Red ribbons interspersed throughout the display symbolize the Iraqi civilians and security forces who have died in the conflict. Each red ribbon stands for 10,000 fallen Iraqis.

Individual members, friends of the congregation and children from Religious Education classes wrote the names on the ribbons. We attached the ribbons to grids and raised them between the columns in front of our church for Memorial Day weekend 2008.

On Sunday, May 25, 2008, we read the names of each American out loud. Each week that other American military are killed, we will add ribbons to the Human Toll of War exhibit until the conflict ceases and American military forces are withdrawn.

For further information, visit the church’s website at or call the church office at (908) 273-3245.

So there we are.



Meola, P.E. (1998). Images of America: Summit. Arcadia Publishing: Charleston, SC. ISBN 0738563307.

January 3, 2012

Catholic Church of the Assumption

Catholic Church of the Assumption

Now, when I hear the word “assumption,” I associate it with the noun form of the verb “to assume,” which of course means “to make an ASS out of U and ME.”

But to Catholics, apparently, it refers to the Virgin Mary being taken up into heaven. tells me that they come from similar roots, at least.


Catholic Church of the Assumption, c.1900

Although an Irish congregation formed the church in 1845 (and that church marked the center of Morristown’s Little Dublin neighborhood), this present structure was built in 1872. (Above is a circa 1900 photo of it.)

Church of the Assumption - 1872 - Gothic Revival building is oldest standing church in Morristown. Replaced 1848 wooden church which ministered to Irish immigrant families in surrounding Dublin area.

Despite Morristown’s important role in American Revolutionary War (i.e. George Washington’s headquarters), the Catholic Church of the Assumption is actually Morristown’s oldest church that’s still standing. (To clarify: there are other old buildings, but no older churches.)

For more information about the church’s current programs and Masses, click here to check out its website.


Morris County Heritage Commision, New Jersey Register of Historic Places, and National Register of Historical Places. (n.d.). “Church of the Assumption.” (Sign marker). Documented October 2011.

Morristown Partnership. (2011?). “Morristown’s History.”

Williams, J.M. (1996). Images of America: Morristown. Arcadia Publishing: Dover, NH. ISBN 0752402072.

December 29, 2011

Big church of the little flower

Big Auditorium of the Church of the Little Flower

Like all the towns around here, the population of Berkeley Heights more than doubled between 1950 and 1960. Consequently, the 1930 sanctuary of the Church of the Little Flower could no longer hold all the new churchgoers.

So in the early 1960s, they built this larger complex about half a mile from the original church, consisting of an auditorium church, convent, and school. (The photo above is the auditorium church.)

The school opened in 1963. Unfortunately for them, the public schools around here were pretty good, and proved to be stiff competition for a little private school. Because of declining enrollment, the parochial school closed in 1988. The school building was “converted into a Religious Education Center for the instruction of all [their] children, and in keeping with the modern trend, it also serves as a Parish Center for the many religious and social programs run by [their] very talented parishioners” (Bernauer 2004, para. 4).

And since the convent was no longer needed after the school closed, it was converted into the rectory (which had initially been located next door to the little church).

I stumbled upon the complex by accident, and I was confused because I knew that the Church of the Little Flower was half a mile down the road, not HERE. So. That’s the story, folks: there’s a little church, there’s an auditorium church, and there’s a school that’s not really a school anymore.



Bernauer, E. (2004; updated 2008). “A brief history of Little Flower Parish.” Little Flower Church, Berkeley Heights, NJ: Parish History.

Troeger, V.B. (2005). Images of America: Berkeley Heights Revisited. Arcadia Publishing: Charleston, SC. ISBN 0738537527.


P.S. I’m not leaving you very much time, but if you like, vote for New Providence Daily Photo’s Photo of the Year! You can vote for as many as you like, and feel free to add your own suggestions (you can browse my archive for ideas). And don’t worry, you’ll be totally anonymous to me; I won’t know who you are unless you tell me.

If you help me out with this, your feedback will be much appreciated!

December 27, 2011

Church of the Little Flower

Church of the Little Flower, Berkeley Heights

This is the (little) Church of the Little Flower in Berkeley Heights. It was established by local Italian-American farmers, and dedicated in October 1930. When it was severely damaged by a fire in 1970, they used the tragedy as an excuse to renovate the church according to new Vatican II principles.

If you hadn’t heard of “the little flower,” (which I hadn’t) apparently before Saint Thérèse of Lisieux joined a convent, she had a conversation with her aging father, during which he plucked a little white flower to make a point. From that moment on, Thérèse saw the “little flower” as a symbol of herself. (Meaning: “Little Flower” = St. Thérèse.)



Bernauer, Edmund. (2004; updated 2008). “A brief history of Little Flower Parish.” Little Flower Church, Berkeley Heights, NJ: Parish History.

Troeger, V.B. (2005). Images of America: Berkeley Heights Revisited. Arcadia Publishing: Charleston, SC. ISBN 0738537527.

December 22, 2011

St. Rose of Lima

St. Rose of Lima

The St. Rose of Lima Parish was established in Springfield, NJ in 1852. They all moved to Short Hills, a subset of Millburn, when this church was built in 1909-1912. But back in those days, it was a brick Romanesque church.

St. Rose of Lima, sometime between 1912 and 1955

Only in 1955 did they renovate it to its current colonial look.

And it’s been that way ever since, I guess.

Modern information about the church can be found on their website [link].

…and if you’re curious about the namesake, apparently St. Rose of Lima was the first Catholic saint of the Americas (as she was born in Lima, Peru). I had this vision of lima beans running through my head, but no, apparently not.



Lampe, O.W. (1999, 2000). Images of America: Millburn. Arcadia Publishing: Charleston, SC. ISBN 0738504130.

St. Rose of Lima, Short Hills. (2008-2011). “History.”

December 17, 2011

Methodists in Morristown

Morristown United Methodist Church

This is the third— or fourth, depending who you ask— Methodist church (structure) in Morristown!

The first one was established in 1827.

After the congregation outgrew that structure in 1841, they moved to a second church a few blocks away.

After they outgrew THAT church, the third building, a Norman-style edifice, was designed by S.D. Hatch. Its cornerstone was laid in 1866, and it was dedicated in 1870. (See, here, check it out— below is a photo of it in 1873.)

Morristown United Methodist Church, 1873

I know, I know, you’re looking at that photo and thinking, “why, golly gee, that’s the same church in the modern photo! How neat.”

Well, yes and no.

In early 1972, the vast majority of the church was destroyed by a huge fire. Only the front tower and front wall remained, and they were subsequently reconstructed using stone from the rest of the church. The new building was reconsecrated in 1974, and today, a charred cross and some chandelier bits salvaged from the fire are displayed in the church’s courtyard as a reminder of the tragedy.


(P.S. Confession: this photo was taken during the Fall Festival, which is why there are a million people with balloons wandering around.)



Morristown Partnership. (2011?). “Morristown’s History.”

Morristown United Methodist Church. (2008-2011). “History.”

Williams, J.M. (1996). Images of America: Morristown. Arcadia Publishing: Dover, NH. ISBN 0752402072.

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