Historian's Mission Statement
To collect and preserve historically significant records of the church including data relating to the origin and history of the church.
To encourage the church in preserving their records, compiling their histories and celebrating their heritage, to provide for the permanent safekeeping of the historical records
To maintain a fire-safe historical and archival depository and establish retention and disposition schedules under guidelines developed by the General Commission on Archives and History
Among the early settlers of Morganville was the family, Morgan, from which it derived its name. A store was established in 1853 by W. S. Cloke, who two years later built a store building. A post office was established in 1868 and E. P. Coats was appointed postmaster.
The Morganville Methodist Episcopal Church began as a Sunday School which served a number of families in the Morganville area.
According to the records of the Matawan United Methodist Church, John Lewis, husband of Margaret E., was a class leader and held meetings in the school house at Strong’s Mill on Sabbath afternoons. It is believed that the location of Strong’s Mill was out Texas Road. The earliest record of this class meeting was 1863. The class was transferred to Morgan’s Neighborhood at the Morgan School House on Jan. 16, 1864. This did not meet with the approval of Rev. Charles R. Hartranft, the minister at Matawan.
Many interested families gathered weekly in the Morganville Public School for instruction and worship over a period of a couple years prior to 1869 for Sunday School. The New Jersey Conference minutes for 1867 and 1868 indicates that this class was part of the Matawan Sunday School and reported funds collected under the name Morganville S. S. In the March, 1869 minutes the class is listed as Morgan’s S. House. It returned to the name Morganville S. S. for 1870.
There being no organized Church in the hamlet of Morganville townsfolk attended the Matawan Methodist Episcopal Church in 1869 for a revival service. As a result of this revival service and others a small nucleus of people gained the inspiration, incentive and courage to try to build their own church to serve this small hamlet of Morganville.
Charles Leynes, Jeremiah D. Bedle, John Lewis, John A. Heiser and Daniel Bedle, trustees of the Bishop Janes’ Chapel, contracted with Maria E. Leynes and Charles Leynes, her husband, to purchase a plot of land located on the southwest comer of Church Lane and Highway 79 in Morganville for the sum of one hundred dollars. The Deed was recorded November 11, 1869 in Deed Book #220, on page 447. On this plot, measuring approximately 120 feet by 75 feet, a modest frame structure was erected for a church building at a cost of $2100.00 during that same Fall. It was named, “The Bishop Janes’ Chapel,” in honor of Bishop Edmund Storer Janes. Bishop Janes was born April 28, 1807, entered the ministry in 1830 and was consecrated in 1844. He died in New York City on Sept. 18, 1876.
A local newspaper, The Matawan Journal, dated Saturday October 10, 1869 reported that the corner-stone of the new church was laid on Thursday last by Rev. Elwood Haines Stokes and $100 was raised on the spot. October 1st was the Thursday last before the 10th.
Much of the labor was done by interested people at no cost. A mortgage was given on the property for $850. It was held by Mr. Christian Grimm. By the year 1874 $200 had been paid off on the loan reducing it to $650.
It is interesting to note that Jeremiah D. Bedle, Daniel Bedle and John A. Heiser, being trustees of Bishop Janes’ Chapel, were also members of John Lewis’ Class meeting which was connected with the Middletown Point Methodist Episcopal Church. This was the old name for Matawan. Jeremiah died Jan. 12, 1870.
Many lay ministers were called upon to conduct services when it was not possible to secure an ordained minister. In the early days there was no Lay Leader. An exhorter served in about the same was as a Lay Leader serves today. The earliest exhorters were John Lewis, Asbury Nivison, B. R. Tully and Charles White. John Dill may have also been one. In more recent years Percy Van Pelt and Walter Lambertson held that position.
The first man to conduct services was John Lewis, a lay preacher, Sunday School Superintendent and trustee of the church.
Caroline (Carrie) Lewis, dau. of John and Margaret, and Lewis Stultz were one of the first couples married in the church on October 8, 1871 by Rev. Albert Matthews. Their daughter, Adeline (Addie) E. Stultz (Mr. Lewis’ granddaughter) married Garret C. Woolley on Feb. 21, 1895.
Nellie Gertrude Woolley, dau. of Garret and Adeline and great granddaughter of John Lewis, married Raymond Wenzel on Feb. 13, 1942.
The earliest marriage on record at Morganville was on June 1, 1870. Sarah E., daughter of John Hiser of Morganville, was married to Mr. Elias Brewer at Morganville by Rev. Albert Matthews.
William Tully Ryer born Sept. 11, 1869 and Caroline Tully Ryer born Dec. 31, 1870 were the first recorded infant baptisms performed by William S. Jane on Dec. 14, 1873. They were the children of Thomas and Louisa Ryer.
The Journey Begins
Among the early ministers called to serve were the Rev. J. Swain Garrison, Rev. J. R. Manning and the Rev. Aaron Edward Ballard. All three served the Morganville church during 1873. The first regularly appointed minister was the Rev. Socrates Townsend Horner, a Local Preacher from Atlanticville. He served from March 19, 1873 to March, 1874. He was paid a salary of $450. Ministers were appointed their charges at Annual Conferences which were held every March. The Morganville church was connected with the New Brunswick District of the New Jersey Conference.
On June 1, 1873 one of the class meetings from the Matawan Methodist Church was transferred to Morganville. One such person was named Maria Werner. According to the Matawan Journal she was one of the first members at Morganville. Other members who transferred their membership were Margaret Lewis, wife of John; Lynda M. Lewis; Mary A. Lewis; John A. Heiser; Teressa Heiser; Elizabeth Stultz and Louis Stultz;
Morganville made its first report to the N. J. Annual Conference held March, 1874 in Camden, N. J. It appeared in the Conference Minutes for 1874. This was the first time the Morganville Church had been mentioned. It listed a membership of 55 with 21 probationers.
Two children and 13 adults were baptized during 1873. The probable value of the church property was set at $2700. The church indebtedness was $650 at the time. There was one Sabbath School with 16 officers and teachers and 84 scholars.
Class meetings were held in the area. Class No. I met at the Chapel on Thursday evening with John Lewis as its leader, Class No. 2 met at Spring Valley S. H. on Thursday evenings with Asbury Nivison as its leader, Class No. 3 met at Mt. Pleasant on Friday evenings with Charles White as its leader.
The Sunday School Report was printed in the minutes and lists the following class names, members and their contribution.
Mary Leynes, Teacher: $20
Lydia Cottrell: $42
Mary E. Lewis: $75
Nilia Cottrell: $10
Elizabeth Hizer: $12
Emma Wilson: $10
Maggie Cottrell: $6
Mary E. White: $75
Small Sums: $7
Addie Smith, Teacher: $60
Minnie Warner: $7
Elista Smyth: $75
Linda Lewis: $87
Ida Tunis: $10
Etta Dennis: $6
Jennie Morris: $6
Rachel West: $12
Martha E. Boice: $5
Small sums: $10
Thomas Ryer, Teacher: $38
Albert Smyth: $42
Gus Wooley: $30
Reuben Wooley: $5
Benj. Tully: $80
John A. Dill: $25
John Wooley: $20
Wm. Hyer: $10
Chas. White: $30
George Greenwood: $10
Fred Stultz: $80
Thomas Ryer: $70
Small Sums: $50
Maggie Hoffman, Teacher: $26
Maggie Boice: $5
Nettie Coates: $16
John Wemer: $14
John Helm: $7
Albert Boice: $5
Chas. VanPelt: $5
Small sums: $8
E.P. Coates, Teacher: $17
Wm. Wemer: $5
H. Smock: $10
Albert Heizer: $10
John Cottrell: $5
Buds of Promise
Charles Lewis: $14
Wm. M. Boice: $7
Vand Boice: $8
Small sums: $8
Libbie Tully, Teacher: $50
J. W. Snyder: $5
Small sums: $6
C. D. Mead served Morganville only from March 25, 1874. His salary was $450 and there were 62 members. During Feb. 1875 Rev. Mead exchanged pulpits with the pastor at Matawan, Rev. William Spence Zane.
Harry A. Clifford was called to serve the Morganville charge in 1875. Weddings were performed by Rev. W. W. Moffett. It is not clear why Harry Clifford did not perform weddings while at Morganville, perhaps, he did not have the authority to do so or was only a lay preacher.
Rev. E. H. Bacon was appointed the combined charge of Morganville and Jacksonville for 1876. This combined charge would continue for several years. Jacksonville had been on a charge with Cliffwood from 1854 to 1876.
The charge at Morganville and Jacksonville was supplied by 0. Ellerson, a local elder from Keyport for the conference year 1877-1878. His salary was $500 and nothing special was reported to the Conference. According to church records baptisms were officiated by W. F. Randolph in 1878.
The Sunday School provided the entertainment for the 1877 Christmas Eve service. at which there were addresses by the scholars and singing, etc. Admission was 15 cents.
On Wednesday September 18, 1878 the ladies and friends of the church held a festival and oyster supper on the church grounds. Ice cream, refreshments and confectionary etc. in the usual variety were furnished.
Rev. W. F. Randolph was appointed the charge for the year 1879. The Church directory in the Matawan Journal listed church services at the Janes’ Chapel in Morganville at 7 p.m., Sabbath School at 2:30 p.m. and prayer meetings on Wednesdays.
There also was a notice that services would be held on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. until further notice.
Rev. Mr. Chamberlain of Long Branch gave a Temperance lecture Monday evening at 7 p.m. inst.on January 27th. A cordial invitation was extended.
A concert was held on Tuesday evening Feb. 4, 1879. The entertainment consisted of a variety of solos, duets, choruses, readings and recitations, affording for the small sum of 10 cents, an evening’s enjoyment worth five times the amount. There would be a repeat concert at Jacksonville on Thursday evening Feb. 6th.
Members and friends of the Morganville Methodist Episcopal Church made their pastor a donation visit at the residence of Mr. Thomas Ryer, Sr. At Mount Pleasant on Wednesday Evening, February 5, 1879. Oysters, tea, coffee, sandwiches and a variety of cake and fruit were served. An attractive programme of music was presented. All were cordially invited. Positively no roughs or any rough plays.
Henry Justus Heinenman and wife Lidie S. served Morganville and Jacksonville from April, 1877 to 1880. The Conference minutes indicated that he was at Morganville for the years 1879 to 1881. He earned a salary of $500 and there were 39 members. In 1880 there were 84 members. Henry died on Aug. 29, 1926. Church records indicate that the Presiding Elder Samuel VanSant officiated during Baptisms for the year 1879 and Rev. A. Manships during 1880.
S. P. Cossaboom served Morganville and Jacksonville from March 1880 to March 1883. There were 35 members and he was paid a salary of $400. The 1881 N. J. Conference minutes indicate that S. P. Cossaboom, a local Deacon from Morganville, was to be appointed the charge beginning March, 1881. The quarterly meeting service was held on Sunday April 3rd 1881. Preaching by Rev. J. G. Crate at 3 o’clock and the new pastor, Rev. S. P. Cossaboom at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. C. B. Abbott served Morganville and Jacksonville for the year 1883 only.
Sanford Morrell Nichols, a supply pastor, served a single charge of Morganville from Sept. 2, 1883-1886. Supply pastors were local preachers who were employed by the District Superintendents to serve churches. During 1884 and 1885 several baptisms were performed by Rev. W. W. Moffett, Presiding Elder, and Rev. Jesse Styles. Rev. A. H. Eberhardt baptized Lucy Barbara Theodosio on Sept. 26, 1886. Rev. Henry Stetson Gascoyne and wife Lucy A. served the churches at Morganville and Cliffwood from March 15, 1886-1888. He died on June 10, 1932.
The Morganville church became a three point charge having been put on a circuit with Jacksonville and Cliffwood from March, 1888-1889 and Rev. George Washington Pine was the minister. Brother Pine baptized Lizzie Matthews on Oct. 10, 1888 as an adult. He entered the ministry in full connection in 1884. His wife, Madeline L. Hammill died March 20, 1890. He died January 23, 1916 at the age of 67 having been in ministry for 17 years.
Rev. Samuel C. Chattin assisted by Rev. James Donaldson Bills was the appointed minister for Morganville and Matawan from March, 1889-1890. Rev. James Donaldson Bills and his wife Deborah L. were appointed the charge at Morganville from March, 1890 to 1892 under the presiding elder and from 1893 to 1895 as a full member of the conference. He was born May 19, 1862 at Freehold. He died at Ocean Grove on April 19, 1923.
Often the minister in early days was also the school teacher. Mrs. Bills taught Nellie Wenzel’s mother, Adeline Stultz Woolley, how to play the organ. Nellie recalls that she was from a large family and that seven of the eight children were married in the Morganville Church. Rev. Bills returned to perform the marriage of one of her older sisters. Asbury Nivison had charge of the church services while Rev. Bills was in attendance at the New Jersey Conference according to the local newspaper of March 21, 1891.
The first quarterly conference of this conference year met in the church on Saturday, April 11, 1891 at 2:30 p.m. The members of the board for the year, who were appointed at the last quarterly conference, are as follows: Stewards: Asbury Nivison, Bartemus Tice, C. White, D. Smythe, J. B. West, J. Matthews and J. C. Dill. Trustees, Asbury F. Nivison, John C. Dill, and Bartemus Tice.
“A very interesting Easter service was held at the church last Sabbath evening by the members of the Sabbath School. The children met at Mr. Al McElvaine’s and marched into the church during the playing of the processional. Prayer was offered by the pastor. A responsive service was conducted by Supt. John C. Dill. Fourteen small scholars appeared each bearing a card with a letter. Each recited a verse of scripture and then the cards were hung up on a large cross and spelled the legend “The Lord Is Risen”. Miss Ada Dunham recited the Apostle’s Creed in verse and a beautiful poem entitled “The Watch at the Sepulcher.” was read by Mrs. Wesley Snyder. Miss Rose Homor rendered the poem, “He Giveth His Angels Charge.” Pieces were spoken by Olive Moran, Clara Woolley and Tilite Giese. Recitations were nicely rendered by groups of scholars: one by seven young ladies, another by five girls, and still another by four boys. Mr. Walter Cottrell, of Atlantic Highlands, delivered an appropriate address. These exercises were interspersed with singing, consisting of solos, duets, quartets and choruses, all of which were appreciated by the audience. Flowers were furnished by Mrs. George Greenwood, Mrs. Snyder, Mrs. Hendrickson and others.”
Through the years the Morganville United Methodist Church has shown its determination to expand to meet the needs of its people and of the community. The first such need for expansion came in 1892 when it was determined that sheds should be erected to house and accommodate the several teams of horses that would bring the families to worship. He enlisted the aid of the people of the community and purchased the adjoining property. This was done through the donation of a piece of land, twenty feet by seventy-nine feet six inches, at the rear of the church by a trustee and a neighbor, Mr. Charles Leynes. The deed was dated February 20, 1892 and recorded in the Monmouth County Clerk’s Office in Book 500 of Deeds, page 167. Once again as with the building of the church the labor and some timber needed to house ten teams of horses were donated by members of the church and friends. The lumber and nails not given cost between $50 and $60.
An exerted effort was made by the Morganville congregation to eliminate their debt of $650. Nellie Wenzel, a descendant of John Lewis, recalls her grandmother, a steward of the church, talk of a solicitation drive conducted in the village at the time with individual contributions ranging from one dollar to twenty five dollars. The holder of the mortgage, Mr. Christian Grimm, contributed $100 and the interest due. Mr. Norman, of New York, who was a summer boarder in Morganville, solicited the aid of some of his personal friends in New York to make up the $145 balance. Thus it was in 1892 that the original mortgage for $650.00 was paid off.
The local Matawan Journal newspaper depicted the day long celebration in its column.
“Bishop Janes’ M. E. Chapel at Morganville has paid off her debt and it was decided to hold a praise service on Washington’s Birthday at 3 o’clock p.m. Nearly every one in the neighborhood was present, and we noticed several former residents who now live in the city. The church was well filled.” On the front of the cupola hung a large banner bearing the legend, “Free From Debt”. It was the gift of Mr. Hendrick Snyder. Under it floated a beautiful flag which had been paid for by small sums solicited by Mr. Snyder and presented by the church. The services were opened by singing. Prayer was offered by Rev. Samuel C. Chattin of Matawan, who also read a portion of scripture. Letters were read from Rev. Socrates Townsend Homer (1873-1874), Presiding Elder Moore, Rev. Sanford Morrell Nichols (1883-1886), Rev. Henry Stetson Gascoyne (1886-1888), and Mr. G. A. J. Norman. Mr. Homer’s letter was especially interesting, as he was the first pastor and this was his first charge. His letter contained recollections of the time when he was pastor, and of those members who were associated with him. Rev. Homer was serving as pastor of a church in Wilton, New York and unable to attend. The service ended around 5 o’clock when they adjourned until evening when in the light and heat of blazing tar barrels the mortgage was cremated.
Rev. J. L. Roe performed ten adult and four children baptisms on Sept. 4, 1892. The church records indicated the method of baptism was sprinkling.
The following article appeared in the Journal of Oct. 1, 1892:
“The Morganville church bought new hymn books for use in prayer meetings. The Presiding Elder Strickland will hold quarterly meeting Saturday morning at 10 o clock and will preach Sunday morning at 10:30 o’clock. On one Sunday Rev. D. B. Harris of Ocean Grove would deliver a lecture on “The Every Day Life of a Soldier.” The program will be for the benefit of the Sunday School library.”
There were many people living in and around Morganville for the summers and commuting to New York for work. They would board at the homes of friends, relatives or acquaintances. Some would spend their vacations in the country.
James Leland Howard performed the baptisms during 1893. Revivals were prevalent in the New Brunswick District with 1500 being converted to God. During a revival of 1893 Morganville made extensive work in proportion to the population by adding 35 probationers. The number of full members increased from 62 in 1893 to 90 in 1894.
During 1892 Morganville painted the church inside and out and put the building and grounds in excellent repair at a cost of $100, which was paid.
Rev. W. Strickland Presiding Elder performed the baptisms during 1894.
During 1894 Morganville had again distinguished itself by purchasing property on the right side adjoining the church for a parsonage, consisting of a house and five acres of land for $750. The premises being approximately 200 feet by 123 feet was conveyed to the Trustees of Janes’ Chapel by Matthias Woolley, High Sheriff of Monmouth County, by deed dated April 13, 1894 and recorded in the Clerk’s office in Book 535 of Deeds, page 85. The whole amount had been paid.
(Note: The parsonage was in existence until 1929. That is when the 1930 Annual Conference minutes no longer list a parsonage for the Morganville Church. Mrs. Ella Honce Perrine acquired the house and occupied it for many years. In later years the Exxon Station on the corner of Route 79 and Tennent Road wanted to enlarge its property and, therefore, the parsonage was demolished.)
Rev. Howard J. Conover entered the ministry in 1879 and was appointed the Morganville and Cliffwood charge for the year 1895. His wife’s name was Caroline M. He is a graduate of Pennington Seminary and Dickinson College and a member of the Hymn Writers and Composers Society of New York. He died June 29, 1922 in Elmer, New Jersey.
Rev. George C. Poolton performed baptisms during 1895 and received people on probation for membership on Nov. 13, 1895. Though there is no record of his being appointed the Morganville charge it seems as if he may at sometime had been its minister during 1895.
According to his biography as listed in the 1897 Conference minutes George entered the N. J. Conference in 1895 and did serve both Cliffwood and Morganville in 1896. He transferred to Puget Sound in 1907.
C. D. Morris served Morganville in 1896 and was paid a salary of $400. He performed baptisms during 1896 and later became a missionary in Korea. In 1896 there were many revivals in the area which increased the probationary rolls of many churches.
At the annual conference of churches a resolution was passed warning parishioners against reading Sunday newspapers, unnecessary bicycle riding, visiting or doing anything that would detract from the holiness of the day.
Chas. H. B. Seliger, a supply pastor, served Morganville from March 30, 1897 to August 8, 1897. He was paid $105 for four months plus one Sunday. The church was connected with the New Brunswick District. It had reported an average attendance of 30 with a total of 53 members.
During 1897 several pastors preached at Morganville. Rev. F. Pallidino of Montclair, NJ, preached on June 20 and August 15th. He was known as the Italian Boy Preacher and was well liked. Rev. H. J. Zelley of Keyport preached July 11th at 8 PM and administered the Lords Supper. Rev. M. N. Smith, pastor of the Marlboro Baptist Church, preached on August 1, 1897.
A 4th of July festival was held at the church on July 5 and 6th. A fine supper was served at 6:00 for a small price of 30 cents. Fancy articles, ice cream and soft drinks were sold.
A resolution was approved by the pastors at the annual conference held in March in support of a bill in the state legislature which would require that no liquor be sold within 200 feet of a church.
Between August and October the church was without a minister. G. H. Cook is listed in the Conference minutes as a Licentiate from Pt. Pleasant. He served the Morganville church during the winter months from Oct. 10, 1897 to March 30, 1898 and received a salary of $75.00. There were 81 members. In the 1928 conference minutes he is listed as a local preacher living in Ocean Grove. During his appointment Rev. Henry J. Whalen performed any weddings.
During 1898 John C. Dill conducted class meetings on Sunday morning at 11:30. George S. Goff served the Cliffwood and Morganville churches from Aug. 7, 1898 to March, 1899 with a salary of $350. The church returned to a double charge being connected with the Cliffwood Church. There were 69 full members with 6 on probation. Rev. Goff was received as a full member of the conference in 1904. His wife was Almira. He died October 12, 1916 after 12 years in the ministry at the age of 41.
Nathan W. Wickward, a supply pastor, served the Cliffwood and Morganville charge from March, 1899-March 1900. During 1899 a new ceiling and other repairs to the church were made at a cost of $180. The bill was paid.
Milton Relyea Eastlack was received on trial in 1900 and appointed the Cliffwood and Morganville charge. The Morganville church put in a new ceiling and otherwise repaired the church at a cost of $180 and paid the bill. He transferred to West Virginia in 1908. During 1901 Rev. E. H. Post performed the baptisms while J. C. Dill, jr. was the appointed pastor. There were 45 members. Henry E. Garrison served as a supply pastor for 1902, 1903, 1904 under the Presiding Elder. The Class Records lists his name as Harry E. Garrison. His wife was Florence McElvaine. They were married Oct. 29, 1904. He was admitted into the New Jersey conference in 1905 and died Oct. 25, 1956.
The December 1, 1904 Matawan Journal printed the following activities at Morganville. “All those who are willing to help with the Xmas entertainment are requested to be present at the Sunday School next Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.”
“Two Methodist Pastors from Keyport, and the pastors of the M. E. churches at Matawan, Cliffwood, Morganville and Keansburg are expected to be present and make addresses at a group meeting for evangelical purposes held in the Methodist church here next Monday night at 7:30 p. m. tv
Baptisms were performed during 1904 by John B. Haines, presiding Elder. The Class Records indicate Charles H. DuBois received several members during 1905. His wife, Virginia, was received as a member March 14, 1905. He was admitted into the N. J. Conference on probation in 1910 and discontinued in 1914. The July 6, 1905 Matawan Journal lists the times of the Sunday services: Preaching at 10:30 a.m., Sunday School at 2:30 p.m., Song service at 7:30 p.m. Preaching at 7:45 p.m. Alonzo Chambers, a supply pastor served Morganville in 1906 and performed baptisms. G. H. Doughty, a supply pastor, served Morganville for 1907.
The April 11, 1907 Matawan Journal printed the following:
“After the prayer meeting at Morganville on Friday evening a dime social will be held at the parsonage. The new pastor will be present and will take this opportunity to meet the people and get acquainted. Should it prove stormy the reception will be held on Sat. eve.”
At the New Jersey Annual Conference held at the First Church, Millville on March I 1 to 17, 1908 the District Superintendent reported that the little society at Morganville requested to be put on with some other charge , where they can be cared for, and do better work. For 1908 the District Superintendent approved their request and added the society to the Matawan charge under the pastorate of John Whitaker Morris. He died Feb. 16, 1924.
In 1909 the church was supplied with R. P. Mason, a local preacher from South Amboy.
According to the Matawan Journal on November 4, 1909 a Quarterly Conference was held in the church. The presiding Elder Dr. Handley preached Sunday afternoon. Rev. George Smith who has been the pastor since conference will not be able to preach here any longer on account of other matters requiring his time. This is to be regretted as Mr. Smith was liked by all. There will be preaching Sunday night at 7:30 and Sabbath School at 2:30.
The Sunday School held their Christmas entertainment program on Wednesday night December 22, 1909.
James. B. Shaw, undergraduate, served Morganville for the early part of 1910 before being appointed by the District Superintendent to Navesink the rest of the year. While at Morganville he was only able to preach once each Sabbath because he was ill. He entered the ministry in 1907. Rev. Shaw died Sept. 3, 1935.
At the Annual Conference held at Ocean city on March 15, 1911 the Secretary was instructed to send a telegram of protest against the passage of Senate Bill #157 which, if passed, would legalize base ball, golf and other sports under the direction of School Boards, Play Ground Commissions or similar bodies on Sunday.
George Hamer, a supply pastor from Freehold, accepted the charge at Morganville in the fall of 1911 (August 20), to 1918. It was reported in the conference minutes of 1912 that during the short pastorate 20 have been added to the church by certificate and an increase of 39 in attendance at Sabbath School. There were 21 probationers. A society for youth known as the Epworth League had been organized with a membership of 35. Membership in the Epworth League was not restricted to youth only but the young at heart. Sunday worship was at 10:30 a.m. The Epworth League met at 6:30 p.m. with Evening Worship at 7:30 p.m. Having no parsonage Rev. Hamer often took the train to Morganville and walked to the Church. George Hamer’s salary was $260 in 1911, $300 in 1913 and $400 in 1915.
Officers of the church in 1912 included Mrs. Lewis Stultz as a steward, Mr. & Mrs. Elwood Van Pelt, Mr. John Dill, who had a wheelwright shop on Route 79 next to the Old Morganville School; Mr. & Mrs. Will Lane, who built and lived in the house across the street from Mrs. Norma Ott’s on Route 79, and Mr. Harry Hyer who later became a minister.
Both the church and parsonage were improved in 1913 with electric lights and a heater at a cost of $350, all was paid. 22 full members and 15 probationers were added to the rolls. During 1914 a fine reed organ was installed. There was music in the air everywhere, and it was not discord but the sweetest melodies and harmonies of Christian life and blessing for the community. The District Superintendent Dr. Marshall preached on Sunday Sept. 26th, 1914 at 2:30 p.m. and administered the sacraments.
In October, 1914 the Epworth League Orchestra of St. Paul’s Ocean Grove gave a concert at the church assisted by Mrs. Margaret Asay Hesse, the popular elecutionist.
George Hamer gave up the task on earth and entered into heaven sometime during 1919.
Rev. John F. Heilemnan, a retired minister living in Matawan, was appointed to take charge at Morganville beginning 1919. The amount of his salary was $500. All worked hard for the good of the church and its members. Revival meetings were held in the church during the last week in January. On June 8th the pastor held the first Mother’s Day service and on the 29th instructed a Fathers’ Day service. Both services were well attended and proved of great interest. On July 16, 1919 Dr. James Donaldson Bills, the District Superintendent preached and held Quarterly Conference. It was the 30th anniversary of his coming to Morganville as preacher and public school teacher. On Aug. 17th Dr. Bills, the District Superintendent preached the evening service and held the 2nd and 3rd quarterly conferences. The pastor had a full report of his six months work. This was given to the secretary for second and constituted a particular history.
August 31st Rev. George Garrison, pastor of 20 years ago preached a strong and interesting sermon at the evening service.
Dr. Bills delivered his 3rd sermon for the year and held the 4th quarterly conference. Brother Heilenman asked to serve next year. Lou Lane was the delegate to Annual Conference.
“The Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution passed into law on January 16, 1920. It not only marks the glorious culmination of one hundred years of warfare upon the liquor traffic, but demonstrates in a striking way the power of the church when properly organized and loyally united upon a given program. We join with all Christian America and recognize this great step forward as the act of Almighty God, in answer to prayer. For, while we congratulate the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, our own Board of Temperance, the Anti-Saloon League and all other agencies that had a part in the overthrow of the rum traffic, we record our humble judgment that in its last analysis the victory belongs to God.”
At the New Jersey Annual conference held on March 3, 1920 the following resolution was presented:
“Whereas, the World War has demonstrated the importance of the work of our army chaplains, therefore be it, Resolved, that we urge our senators and representatives in Congress to support legislation for the organization of a chaplain’s corps.”
On April 15, 1920 was the first quarterly conference. Dr. Muller of the Newark Conference preached the sermon with Dr. Bills present. A special Revival Service was held from the 4th to 18th with no results. There was small attendance due to bad weather.
In the progress of a District Group Meeting services were held from Nov. 8th to 13th with a sermon each night given by one of the pastors of the other five churches, each taking some part in the service. The meetings were widely attended and of a deep religious interest. Three persons were converted and received into preparatory membership.
Brother Bills preached on Nov. 21st and held the 3rd quarterly conference. Brother Heilenman was requested to keep the charge another year.
The 4th quarterly conference was held on Feb. 6, 1921 in the evening and Dr. Bills preached.
Harry C. Hyer was the leader of the Epworth League Service on Feb. 17, 1921 held at Matawan. He was listed as a local preacher in the conference minutes of 1921 and sometimes preached in Morganville when their minister was away.
It was pointed out at the annual conference of 1921 that the American National Association of Dancing Masters has created a new dance which they have called the “Wesleyan” in order to conciliate the Methodists on their stand on dancing. The New Jersey Annual Conference viewed this action with disdain and registered their protest at the disgraceful attempt to associate the reverent name of our founder with the modem dance and its sensuous and shameful heredity. To name an unholy dance after the holy Wesley is nothing short of an outrage on decency and a direct insult to Methodists everywhere.
On May 1st Brother Heilemnan was unable to preach due to sickness therefore Dr. Bills preached at night and held the 2nd quarterly conference. On October 9th there was a special service with Dr. Bills in charge. He presented a love Feast sermon for the quarterly conference. Brother Heilemnan presented his resignation as preacher in charge but the quarterly conference asked that he remain in charge and Harry Hyer be employed to perform the Sunday Services. Brother Heilenman agreed to this until the Spring conference. On October 30th Theo Martin was removed by Certificate and on Nov. 24 Laura, Maggie, Maud. Russell, Arthur and Ache Lamberson were removed by letter.
Morganville of 1922 had a population of 175 persons, a station on the Freehold & Atlantic Highlands division of the Central Railroad of New Jersey. The mercantile trade consists of four general stores, a blacksmith shop, garage, nursery, a wagon-maker and three groceries, while its manufacturing industry was confined to the Stratford Chemical Company.
George V. Mundy was appointed the Morganville charge in 1922 but resigned at the beginning of the school year and Harold C. West was assigned followed by James E. Lutz (supply pastor) until the conference of 1923. He was received on trial in 1924 and ordained a Deacon while in his third year of studies.
James E. Lutz was appointed the charge for 1923 and 1924. He was assisted by local preachers J. C. Dill and Charles Luther in 1924. The New Jersey Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal church held in Atlantic City on March 5, 1924 adopted a telegram to be sent to State Senator Roberts protesting against the passage of any bill legalizing professional boxing in our state. James transferred to the Pittsburgh Conference in 1926. Harvest Home Festivals were held under a tent attached to the side of the church.
The next major step forward came in 1925 during the ministry of John 0. Mabuce, a supply pastor. Nellie Wenzel recalls during his ministry there was a large group of young people who were very active. One project undertaken by this group was to dig out under the church and install a hot air furnace in the basement for central heating. It was not finished off. The floor was dirt with ridges going from one side to the other for drainage.
There was sufficient room to hold Harvest Home Suppers. Before this they were held outside under a tent, erected for this purpose. These suppers were the big fund raising event of the year. Many former residents of Morganville would return to the Harvest Home Supper to have a big meal and to meet old friends. The first table was ready at 6 o’clock. The menu for the supper was always the same: Sliced chicken, baked ham, delicious chicken salad, potato salad, fresh lima beans, corn, cole slaw, sliced tomatoes, sliced peaches and cake for dessert. All food was fresh being procured by the women who were given an area to canvas. Live chickens were donated and picked up the morning of the day before the supper. The women gathered together to pluck and dress the chickens. They were then given to the women of the community to cook. Salads were made the day of the supper and kept on tubs of ice. Nellie’s mother always made the cole slaw. She made a special home cooked dressing for the cole slaw that everyone apparently enjoyed. There was a doctor from South Amboy who always came and ate and ate. “We were sure he hadn’t eaten for days before the affair.”
Before television or even radio, all community activities centered around the Church, Schools and the Fire Company. One of the big events of the year was the Sunday School Picnic. Trucks gathered at the Church and everyone piled in with their packed lunches and their bathing suits. Finally, we were on our way to Clark’s Landing for the day. Later we went to Point Pleasant. In the winter time socials were held in private homes. There were Candy Socials or Box Lunch Socials, the ladies would bring a box of Candy or a Box lunch, and the men would bid on each box, with the winner being the highest bidder, and he then had the privilege to eat with the lady. At these socials seating was provided by putting boards on boxes or crates, then covering the boards with blankets or quilts. Group games of Post Office and Spin the Bottle were often played by the younger folks. The older men would play dominoes. Late in the evening refreshments of sandwiches, cake and coffee were served. Thus money was made for the Church Budget.
The women often had quilting parties, charging a certain amount to quilt a quilt. Sometimes a quilt was made to be auctioned off, perhaps at the Harvest Home Supper. Other forms of fund raising were by a Strawberry or Peach Festival.
Roll Call would usually be held in the Fall. This normally started in the afternoon with a former Pastor as a speaker followed by a covered dish supper. As each member’s name was called, he or she would present their contribution to the church.
Carlton Newton Nelson, a supply pastor, served Morganville in 1926 and was the son of Rev. Newton Nelson and his wife, Mary. He received his education wherever his father was appointed. He studied at the Pennington School and while there in 1926 served as a supply pastor serving at the Morganville Church according to Conference minutes. In 1927 he was graduated from the Pennington School. Many pastors who attended school would take the train to Morganville on Saturday and stay at the home of John Asher Smith. Preach on Sunday and then return to school.
During 1926 they held a Poverty Social in the basement of the church.
Brother Carlton, having been at Morganville only one year, found it necessary to relinquish his work about Christmas time because of ill health and that charge had been supplied by F. B. Whitson, a local preacher from Freehold.
At Conference Brother F. B. Whitson was appointed the charge at Morganville for the years of 1927 and 1928. He was paid a salary of $1000. According to the Conference minutes there was one parsonage. The church membership was 93.
During 1927 Pound Socials were held at the homes of Mrs. Raymond Brown, Mr. & Mrs. John Smith, Mrs. Margaret Bowne, Mr. & Mrs. W. E. Preston and others to benefit the Morganville Church. They were able to raise about $40.
Around this time there was an influx of New York commuters and summer residents to the area due in part by the development of 1200 new homes, small cottages and bungalows known as Marlboro Gardens. Soon Cottage prayer meetings were held at the Spring Valley S. S. room and other places.
The Matawan Journal dated Friday afternoon, July 1, 1927 reported the following event: “Wednesday was the greatest Sunday School excursion day in the history of Monmouth County when five special trains carried the young people and their friends to Jersey City, where they took the steamer, “Clearmont,” for Bear Mountain. The excursion was participated in by almost every Protestant Sunday school in the cities and towns in this county. One special train started at Freehold with Matawan its last scheduled stop.”
There were no services during the end of August, 1927 so that the members could go to Ocean Grove to hear Billy Sunday, an evangelist, preach. Sunday School did not resume until the end of September because of an infantile paralysis scare at Freehold.
On a Wednesday evening in early October, 1927 there was an evangelistic service held with help from the pastors of Cliffwood, Matawan and Harry Heyer of Atlantic Highlands. Brother Whitson’s grandson, Milton, sang during the service. A Sunday School Christmas entertainment program was held on Friday night Dec. 23, 1927. The new bell was put up Friday morning.
The congregation was unable to hold services in the church during January and February due to renovations. The leader in this work was Rev. Whitson who had the assistance of many members of the church as well as other interested persons in the community. In addition to the painting and repair work which was done, new art glass windows and electric light fixtures were installed adding greatly in the attractiveness of the building. During renovations morning worship services were held at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Lambertson and evening services at Mr. & Mrs. John Smith.
Rev. & Mrs. Whitson were both ill with the flu and unable to leave their home in Freehold to attend the reopening of the church on Sunday March 4, 1928. Dr. Herbert J. Belting, Superintendent of the New Brunswick District presided at the morning service at 11 a.m. and delivered the dedicatory address of the new bell. Professor William Smith, County Superintendent of Schools preached at the evening service. The Morganville- Wickatunk Republican Club attended the evening service as a body.
There were 350 ministers and 78000 members in the New Jersey Conference as of 1929.
Arthur Harold Salin was appointed to the charge at Morganville on March 12, 1929. He was entered on trial as an undergraduate pastor attending Drew Seminary and later transferred to the Wyoming Conference in 1931.
Edward Gebhard served as Supply pastor in 1930 while attending Drew University. He was paid a salary of $943. The Church had 30 members and the Sunday School had I 10 members.
Rev. Robert Alexander Anderson was ordained elder in 1928 and served Morganville from 1931-1939. He was a chaplain in the U. S. Navy in 1942-1946. His children were Alice and Robert. Peach Festivals were held regularly.
Twenty one of the churches of the New Jersey Conference had reduced the pastor’s salaries for 1934 because of hard economic times. They also have been so intermittent in their payments for pastors’ support that a few of the ministers have been in actual want. A little more forethought on the part of church officials would give their pastors wings instead of crutches.
In 1931 the church was unable to provide full support for Rev. Anderson being short $348; in 1932, the shortage was $66; and 1933, $269. He was paid $612 in 1931, $520 in 1932 and $663 in 1933. Yet in spite of economic conditions many improvements were made to both church and parsonage properties throughout the conference.
A resolution was adopted at the 1935 annual conference and presented to Avery Brudage, President of the American Olympic Committee requesting the withdrawal of the United States from the 1936 Olympic Games if they are held in Germany because of the unsportsmanlike attitude of the Nazis toward Jewish athletes and those Christian athletes who remain faithful to their religion.
The High School Sunday School class started the Sunshine Club in 1939. Lucy Beal was the secretary. Other members of the class were Elizabeth Pent, Hazel Hyer, Muriel Frie and Marion Schilke. They met regularly at different homes to decide on activities and things to do together. They used to go with their Sunday School teacher to Atlantic City to see the diving horse. According to the secretary’s record they met through 1941.
In 1939 the Methodist Episcopal Church, Methodist Protestant Church and Methodist Episcopal Church South were united to form The Methodist Church.
In 1940 the minister was Rev. Elijah Freeman Reed. He had just retired when the conference asked him to accept the charge at Morganville. He was paid a salary of $520 while at Morganville.
At the 1940 session of the New Jersey Annual Conference it was resolved that the following churches of the former Methodist Protestant Church had refused to accept pastors appointed by the authority of and pursuant to the Discipline of the Methodist Church and had failed to send representatives to the sessions of that Conference:
Second Church, Bridgeton
Westville Grove Church
Church at Hardingville
Church at Allenwood
Church at New Freedom
Calvary Church, Camden
Church at Robertsville
Church at Point Erial
Church at Glendola
Church at Cedar Brook
The above Churches organized themselves as the Bible Protestant Churches constituting a denomination to be known as the Bible Protestant Church.
In 1940 the Women Foreign Missionary Service and the Women Home Missionary Service along with the Ladies Aid Society entered into the new Women’s Society of Christian Service with enthusiasm and mean to advance the missionary interest and help to bring in the Kingdom of God quickly.
World War II
War conditions existed during Rev. Reed’s pastorate making the times more difficult, yet our church kept the spiritual life aflame.
Due largely because of the fine work of the ministers and their laymen, in the visitation Evangelism Campaign and the continuing pastoral visitation since, as well as the revival services held in our churches, the total full members-active increased from 61 in 1940 and 63 in 1941 to 8 1, an increase of 18 more new members received this past year, 1942.
During 1943 until Conference in September Brother Reed was assisted by William H. Carhart Sr., a local Preacher from Little Silver and Leon McKelvey.
In spite of the fact of fuel shortages, gas rationing, and other handicaps the churches have pressed toward the mark of their high calling. It was reported at the 1943 Annual Conference that over 2000 young men and a few young women have gone from our churches and are now serving in some branch of our nation’s armed forces. The pastors and people have been very zealous in their efforts to keep in close contact with them. Many methods have been used, pastor’s letters, Upper Room, church bulletins, cookies, gifts, etc. Many pastors have printed the names of service men each week in their bulletin asking church folk to write to them. A large majority of churches have placed beautiful service flags and honor rolls in their sanctuaries.
Sickness, death and war have compelled changes on the District during the year. Morganville and Jerseyville were made a circuit between Sept. 1943 and Sept. 1944 and Donald W. Pimm transferred his studies from Dickinson College to Brothers College in order to supply these churches. Only a few months elapsed, however, when the government inducted Donald into the military branch of the war effort and Richard Bennett was appointed to the charge. He was a student supply pastor attending Bloomfield College in Bloomfield, NJ. The Conference Journal for 1944 indicates that he was not paid a salary from the Morganville Church in 1943. Membership had dropped to 47 in 1943. 70 in Sunday School. In 1944, James D. Fraser, a Local Preacher from Bradley Beach, was appointed to the charge of Morganville. The church was part of the New Brunswick District.
Homer Paul Leap, an undergraduate, was appointed to serve the Navesink and Morganville churches beginning October, 1944. He entered the N.J. Conference on trial in 1944 and transferred to the Troy Conference on September 26, 1946.
Irving Crabiel, District Lay Leader and local preacher from Milltown, was appointed the charge in 1946 as a part time supply. There were 35 active members. He wrote the following in the history of the church:
“October 1946 to Oct. 1947, 1 served the parish for this year and certainly did enjoy the fellowship of a fine group of people-loyal and devoted to their church. Irving Crabiel, Lay Preacher, Milltown, N. J.”
On February 19, 1947 the couples club of the Calvary Methodist Church at Keyport performed “A Rural Minstrel”, a musical under the direction of Dr. Charles R. Smyth. It was given as a benefit for the Women’s Society of Christian Service (WSCS) of the Morganville Methodist Church.
Rev. John Bruce Kirby Jr. served Fair Haven and Morganville for the years 1947-1949. He entered the New Jersey Conference in 1938. They made their home at the parsonage in Fair Haven. Sixteen miles separated the churches. Morning worship was held in Fair Haven. Having no contact with Morganville Sunday mornings, the church school thrived under the leadership of Walter Lambertson, Church School Superintendent and lay leader. There was a Sunday evening worship service held by Rev. Kirby at Morganville. The most active couple during his ministry was Walter Lambertson as Lay Leader and Church School Superintendent and Denie as organist.
One summer we held a vacation church school where Nellie Wenzel was one of the principle teachers. Rev. Kirby persuaded several churches that a three week VCS was more than twice as valuable as a two-week VCS. For three weeks John would leave Fair Haven by 8 o’clock each week-day morning to help with the Morganville VCS which was held from 9 to 11:30 a.m.
Rev. Kirby recalled Morganville had a teen age bass/baritone soloist by the name of Richard lzquierdo who had a beautiful voice. He participated in a vocal concert held at Fair Haven where he sang “Deep River.”
During 1948 there was discussion regarding ways in which to improve the church facility. Building a room to the rear of the church was the first suggestion. Brother Kirby’s last year at Morganville the Church membership was 61, Sunday School membership was 118 and his salary was $780.
Rev. Kirby retired in 1979 and resides with his wife, Margie, at 2003 S Shore Rd, Ocean View, NJ.
During October, 1950 Rev. Moore preached 5 services. It is unknown what his first name was since the conference minutes listed several that it could be.
Morganville’s next pastor was the Rev. William Besand Magsam. He was the son of George and Margaret Magsam and was born December 15, 1884 in Salem, New Jersey. His first appointment was to the Lower Bank Circuit in 1907. He was an Elder in the New Jersey Conference in 1933. He married Thelma Florence Worth, dau. of Charles and Mary Worth on January 1, 1921. He was a member of the Fire Department in every community where he served.
In 1950 at the age 66, he served Fair Haven and Morganville as an accepted supply pastor. In 1951 he became an approved supply pastor and then the following year appointed as a full time Lay Pastor until 1955. After retirement in 1957, Bill lived in Bayville for twenty years.
The Morganville Methodist Church filed papers of incorporation on January 24, 1951. It was recorded in Box 39 of incorporation, Monmouth County page 122.
Pursuant to a resolution unanimously passed at a special meeting of the trustees of the Janes’ Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church of Morganville held on February 7, 1951, a deed was prepared to convey all parcels of land now owned to the Morganville Methodist Church. It was recorded in Book 2292 of Deeds on page 367 & C. Those trustees being Lester Woolley, Leslie Woolley, Edla R. Schilke, Raymond Schilke and Clarence Orvin Perrine.
The church continued as a one-room rural church until 1955 when the area was further expanded to accommodate an ever growing church school. To remedy this the church building was raised on its foundation to accommodate an oversized basement suitable for a large church-school room with two bathrooms. At this time a larger kitchen with a storeroom were installed and equipped for serving suppers. The women used money which they raised to buy a new stove, sink, dishes, cutlery refrigerator, etc. Many other improvements have been made. It was now possible to hold Sunday School classes in the basement. Two of the ladies loaned their money to the church. The church was able to obtain money without paying any interest. The attendance increased with the enlarged population in the community.
Rev. Frederick H. Bowen served Sayreville and Morganville from October, 1956-1963. The 1958 Annual Conference Minutes does not list a parsonage for Morganville. Mrs. Ella Honce Perrine, the second oldest church member at that time, owned and occupied the home once used as a parsonage. It was located next to the church on Route 79. The house was later tom down by Exxon around 1992 when they remodeled their gas station at the comer of Tennent Rd. and Route 79 to provide a better facility to include food and snack items.
Even the expansion of the larger basement in 1955 was not enough and in 1964 it was found necessary to erect a separate church school building north of the church to accommodate the increasing membership and to provide better Christian Education. The congregation undertook the task of constructing an education building.
On April 12, 1964, under the leadership of the Rev. Fred H. Bowen ground was broken for the erection of a five-room church school building which he designed. This building was completed and accomplished at a cost approaching $30,000, an amount which the church paid off in four and a half years. The people of Morganville had raised a sizable percentage of the cost before the building ever began. The comer stone situated in the left comer of the building was laid and the building dedicated on Sept. 17, 1964.
Rev. William Nelson Frantz, a local preacher from Long Branch, was the minister from October, 1964 with Rev. Gray or Rev. Gilbert Fell officiating for communion services. According to the 1965 Conference Minutes he was listed as a student supply pastor attending Monmouth College. Rev. Gilbert Fell terminated his conference membership in 1970 by voluntary location.
During January, 1966, aluminum storm windows were installed and a mimeograph machine was purchased April 14, 1966 for $145.30. 100 Hymnals were purchased April 27, 1966. A well was dug by the Bound Brook Well Drilling Co. The cost of the well was $895.43, $400 of which was paid from the profits of a supper served by the WSCS. The church basement was repainted during Dec. 1966.
Rev. Harlan Marsh Baxter was the pastor of Englishtown and Morganville as of June, 1968 until April, 1971. The church was part of the Northwest District. He was a graduate of the University of Massachusetts in 1960 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. After serving as 2nd Lt. in the U. S. Army reserves, he worked for Olin Mathieson Chemical Corp. as a research chemist and then a sales engineer. In September of 1964 he entered the Theological School at Drew University in Madison, NJ. While in Drew he served the Grace Methodist Church in Union Beach and St. Paul’s church in Bay Head. In June of 1968 he graduated Cum Laude from Drew and was appointed to serve the Morganville Church and the Sanford Memorial Church in Englishtown. He resided with his wife, Jane, and five children.
During 1968 The Methodist Church and The Evangelical United Brethren Church united to form The United Methodist Church. All Methodist Churches are empowered to assume and use the name “The United Methodist Church.”
The mortgage for the Education Building was paid in full on December 9, 1968, an event that was celebrated at the 100th Anniversary. On Sunday, November 23rd at 3:30 p.m. the church formally celebrated its 100th Anniversary of its formation on November 11, 1869. Returning for this service were several previous pastors, Rev. John Bruce Kirby, Jr., Rev. Frederick H. Bowen. Also the Rev. L. Burdelle Hawk, District Superintendent of the Northwest District was in attendance.
Members of the Morganville church repaired the Englishtown parsonage. People were assigned different rooms to paint. Harlan planned fun activities and took the youth to rallies in Ocean Grove. During his time at Morganville he played games with the kids and had many activities such as Car Washes, Camp rallies, and camping trips in freezing weather.
The statistician’s report of the 1971 conference journal reflects that the total church membership was 87 with an average of 50 per Sunday; church school membership was 105 with an average of 55 per Sunday. In an effort to increase the attendance at church worship services he had the children stay after Sunday School hoping that the parents would also stay. Many Sundays he would have forty children and few adults. The parents would drop the kids off.
Confident of future growth in membership, and desiring to be in a position to serve Marlboro Township, a congregational meeting of the Morganville United Methodist Church held in February, 1969 voted in favor of purchasing five acres of land on Highway 79 south of our present location on Conover Road from Stacy Conover. The property was purchased by the Board of Missions of the SNJ Conference. A variance would be necessary because of the zoning which required 10 acres. Here it is hoped that our congregation will be able to build a new church and a parsonage in the near future.
Church morning worship was conducted each Sunday at 9:00 a.m. Average attendance was 40 people and was increasing. Church School met each Sunday at 10:15 a.m. under the leadership of Mr. Walter Lambertson, the church Lay Leader. Church school membership was 115, including 17 teachers and officers. Religious instruction was provided for all ages, beginning with 3 year olds up through adult classes.
The Women’s Society of Christian Service met monthly on the second Thursday of the month. Mrs. Lucy Eckel was acting president. The WSCS involved 20 women in activities of service and Christian Fellowship.
Youth Fellowship activities were provided for two age groups. First there was the Junior fellowship for young people in 5th and 6th grades. They met weekly on Friday after school under the supervision of the Pastor and Miss Virginia Beck. The second group was for 7th through 12th grades. They met Sunday afternoons under the supervision of the Pastor and Miss Violet Ludvick. The UMYF president was Glen Hansen.
Church Leaders in 1969 were Mr. Walter Lambertson, Lay Leader and Church School Superintendent; Mrs. Ernest Zienowicz, Chairman of the Administrative Board; Mrs. Fred Eckel, Chairman of the Board of Trustees; and Mrs. Walter Lambertson, organist and church treasurer.
A building program was started in 1971 by Rev. Baxter and a fund-raising drive was organized.
Rev. L. Wayne Musgrove was the minister from Nov. 1971 to March, 1973. He was a full time Lay Pastor and his wife’s name was Betty. He was admitted into the Southern N. J. Annual Conference as an associate member since he was transferring as deacon from another Christian Church as of the 1974 Conference Minutes. In 1982 he was granted a leave of absence and in June 15, 1983 he transferred to the Peninsula Conference.
Rev. John H. Coffee Jr. was the minister as of June, 1973 serving Englishtown and Morganville according to the 1974 Annual Conference minutes. His wife’s name was Donna. He was admitted into the Southern New Jersey conference during 1970. He was remembered as wearing colorful suits and singing with Susan Denise as she played the organ. As of January 1, 1974 he was appointed to the Keansburg charge. He was granted an Honorable location on June 11, 1979.
C. Garland Pollard, Jr. was appointed probationary pastor of Englishtown and Morganville as of January 1, 1974. He was a student going to Drew Seminary and preached at Morganville for about six months until Rev. Greiner was appointed the charge. Rev. Pollard was transferred to the Northern New Jersey Conference on June 15, 1975 where he was appointed to the Jersey City United Methodist Church. He is currently the pastor of the Gateway Community Church in Manalapan.
Rev. Newton W. Greiner became the pastor on Feb., 1974 until 1984, with A. Wray Ingram filling in as supply pastor during vacation time. Rev. Greiner came from the Keansburg Methodist Church where he had just completed a building program. He graduated from the Pastoral Counseling program at the Princeton Seminary with a master’s degree. He then began working part-time at the Brookdale Community College counseling office as Campus Counselor. He left the Keansburg Church in 1973 but less than a year later was asked by the United Methodist Church to take over the small Morganville church. Greiner took over the fund drive and infused the program with the continuity it needed.
In 1976 the membership voted to move on its long awaited building program. After discarding two alternative approaches, the 100-member congregation with more than $36,000 in the bank from the heavy fund-raising effort decided to construct a new building on Conover Rd. at an estimated cost of $250,000. A total of $50,000 was trimmed from the cost leaving $200,000. With the $36,000 it was felt they could contact an architect. Edgar Tafel of New York City was recommended to the church. A goal of $25,000 was set to be raised in donations from the congregation over a three-year period beginning in 1976.
Having gained permission from the Township Council to build the church in a residential zone they then appeared before the township planning board armed with their architect’s plans seeking final site plan approval for their new church. The plan called for a 150-seat narthex, combined with six classrooms for Sunday Schoolers, a lounge, a bride’s room, a sound proof nursery, two offices and a choir room. A new pipe organ would be installed.
A large basement would remain unfinished until enough money was raised for the construction of possible bathrooms and a kitchen. Greiner expected the six classrooms to be used for a number of community service-type events, including Boy Scout meetings and other “social service” functions.
As of Dec. 31, 1977 the total church membership was reported at 103 with an average worship service attendance of 42 according to the Annual Conference minutes.
In April, 1978 the contract for construction was awarded to the Church Construction Company in Vineland, the only bidder that would allow members of the congregation to assist in the construction. That stipulation would lower the costs some $75,000. Money-saving help came from non-members as well including one who volunteered the use of his back-hoe to conduct “perc test,” the soil quality test necessary for all construction. Greiner said, “He did it all for a cup of coffee.”
The old church and an adjacent education building were sold and ground was broken in 1978 for the new church. The old church building was sold to Mico Carpets for $34,000. A stipulation of the sale was that the stained glass windows remain with the church. Soon after the sale of the church the stained glass windows were removed and sold. The education building was sold in 1979 to Dr. Lichtman as his offices for $77,000. Having no building in which to worship the Morganville Independent Fire Company on Route 79 allowed the church membership to use its hall until the new sanctuary was completed. They painted and fixed up the back room so that it would be suitable for their needs.
As of Dec. 31, 1978 the total church membership was reported at 109 with an average worship service attendance of 50 according to the Annual Conference minutes. Hopefully the end of an eight-year period of anxiety and hard work would culminate in the construction of the new building between March, 1979 and the end of next year (1980).
In September, 1979 they had hoped to break ground but some soil test complications forced them to adjust their plans. A high concentration of clay was found in the soil requiring some minor changes in the plans, causing a delay in the starting date from Sept. to March, 1980.
The Deed to the property on Conover Road was filed in book 4205, page 178 on October 25, 1979.
As of Dec. 31, 1979, according to the Annual Conference minutes, the total church membership was reported at 102. Inflation and rising interest rates had ballooned the estimated cost to $400,000. The congregation of the Morganville United Methodist Church was $90,000 short of completing the three-year old project for its new $400,000 church on Conover Rd.
The latest in a series of fundraising events, a roast beef dinner, was held and they were able to raise $2300. The building project chairman, Anthony Tomeski, said that Greiner’s expertise had been a great help in instituting and overseeing the fundraising programs needed to build our new church. The final amount raised through fundraising was $36,000. Coupled with the $114,000 raised in 1976 from the sale of the original Educational building on Route 79 had left the group $50,000 short of the goal. The Central Jersey Bank loaned the church $50,000 for the remaining costs of construction.
The Methodist Conference provided the church with $25,500 and had indicated that it would give them another $15,000. The additional monies was needed in order to complete the building to qualify for a certificate of occupancy. The church was still faced with the $30,000 needed to complete the landscaping, paving and basement. The Conference provided another loan for $30,000. To save additional money, the membership became their own contractor, handling all the subcontractors and dealing with cash on the spot, which was a great savings. There were between 20 to 25 people in the congregation who had an affiliation with contracting groups enabling them to save as much as $75,000 with them working on the project.
The church’s men and women volunteers worked on the building, digging ditches, moving blocks and stone, putting in pipe for the drains, etc. Because of the high water level they put a water sealant membrane under the church and on the sides of the basement along with a plastic sheet. Many volunteers were needed to pull up the membrane while dirt was put in place. Our church women worked from sun up to sundown alongside the men and by the end of the day there were many cuts and blisters, related Anthony Tomeski. The building committee comprised of Anthony Tomeski, Building project Chairman; Violet Ludvick, the administrative board chairman and assisted in reviewing blueprints for the new building; John Ludvick, president of the trustees; Betty Downey, church treasurer; Norma Ott, Fred and Lucy Eckel, Mrs. Vi (John) Ludvick, Charles & Anna Mae Button and Roberta Greiner.
The construction was set back when Mr. Tomeski passed away and Rev. Greiner had to step in to fill the post of Building Chairman in addition to his pastoral duties.
As of Dec. 31, 1980 the total church membership was reported at 107 according to the Annual Conference minutes.
The new church nestled on a rolling hillside a mile south of the one room rural structure it replaced was built at a cost of $285,000 nearly double the original estimate. A local contractor and more than 50 volunteers kept down the spiraling costs. Pipes for the organ were installed around Christmas while the church was still being constructed. The congregation received special permission to hold a Christmas Eve Service even though they did not have a certificate of occupancy. Sitting on pails and cans surrounded by bales of hay the congregation praised the Lord in song and prayer.
The membership moved into their new church facility on Easter Sunday, 1981. The Appalachia Organ Co., Mt. Savage, Maryland had worked 24 hours straight in an attempt to have the organ available for use but to no avail. Work was completed during the summer months. The organ was donated to the church by Edward A. Terry, organist, in memory of his parents. His mother died from cancer. George Plitnick who was a good friend built the organ at cost from parts of other organs and yearly visits Morganville to service it. It was to have been installed in the old church on Route 79 but when it was learned that a new church was being built they waited. Although the cost of the organ was paid for by the church, Mr. Terry contributed his salary until the organ was completely paid.
On November 29, 1981 at 4 p.m. Bishop C. Dale White dedicated the new sanctuary fulfilling a long-held dream. He was assisted by The Rev. David M. Finch, Northwest District Superintendent, the Rev. Earnest W. Lee, Southern New Jersey Council Director, Rev. Harlan Baxter, former pastor when the church property was purchased and Rev. Frederick Bowen, pastor when the former education building was constructed. Conover Road was renamed United Methodist Way for the week and Mayor Saul Homik donated the sign to the church as a memento from the Administration on this important event for Marlboro Township.
Two Hundred plus members, friends and clergy attended this highlight of the year. A 24 voice combined choir from Keansburg, Leonardo Baptist Church, Brick Town, Matawan and Morganville Church blended to enhance the dedication service with four spirited anthems of Joy. The ladies of the church, organized through Lucy Eckel, presented a delightful table of cakes and cookies splendored with a shining silver tea set. Ed Terry, our organist, is to be complimented for the music presentation. He has done much for the Morganville Church in the last five years. The dedication service was an excellent highlight to the near completion of a very challenging building program.
The attendance had doubled since moving into the new building. Morganville experienced new vitality and growth during the past year due to increased attendance and the new building as revealed by the total church membership of 137 as of Dec. 31, 1981 which was reported in the Annual Conference minutes.
Rev. Greiner’s full time special appointment with Brookdale Community College was very consuming. He worked with the volunteer Secretary, Donna Weiss, at the church on Tuesday doing church bulletins, writing letters, organizing, making phone calls, etc.
The interior cross was built by Linda Ludvick. In back of which the pipes for the organ were installed. The elm tree in front of the church was grown from a seed by Fred Eckel. The Mimosa tree was given by April Kidd. The Maple was given by Lucy Eckel. The Pin Oak and birch was given by Hannelore Wilden. The Pink Dogwood was given in memory of Porter’s father by Jean Gall.
When the new church building was completed there was no water. A line was put in from Route 79 to the church property at a cost of $1000. The cost was shared by the Stafflinger family and the church both of whom were located on Conover Rd.
The first wedding was held in the new sanctuary on May 30, 1982. The room layout proved to be very conducive to performing weddings.
The choir under the direction of Janet Darnell presented a sacred anthem “Feed My Lambs” for Easter, 1982 accompanied by two flutists. The organist was Ed Terry.
During 1983 Lucy Eckel carried through the project for the pouring of the curbing in the parking lot.
The church membership in 1983 was 145 with an average church attendance of 65.
The Monmouth County Prosecution office assigned a person to us to work off 180 hours of community service cutting our grass. This was very much appreciated.
The Organization United Toward Limitless Enrichment Together known as OUTLET was founded in 1983 with Patsy Clemetson as its chairperson. Its goals were to support World and Community missions and to raise money for our church building fund to help finish off the basement. In order to raise funds they held fall festivals, garage sales, corsage sales and old fashion box suppers.
An Adult Fellowship group was also formed by Warren Layton, the Church developer. This was a new outreach to all age levels. They went on trips to Cape Cod and other places.
The Circuit Rider Program was used in 1983 to promote pledge cards to cover current expenses, world benevolences and church mortgage reduction. It was reported that 42 families pledged $19,648.
The OUTLET group purchased a rack for the storage of tables and one for the storage of chairs in 1984.
At the Feb. 1, 1984 Administrative Board meeting Rev. Greiner suggested we have a “pounding of the Church” whereby staples for the kitchen would be contributed.
Rev. Greiner’s ministry at Morganville ended with the 1984 Annual Conference in June. He would be resuming his Chaplaincy at Brookdale Community College full time and continuing his private pastoral counseling practice. Rev. Warren Layton and his wife Pauline, who had been the church developer for the past three years, also left in 1984.
On the evening that Rev. John Groth was introduced to the PPR committee it was raining. A load of white stone had been dropped in front of the church and caused quite a pool of water.
The United Methodist Women purchased 100 settings of Stainless Steel Cutlery and 3 dozen serving spoons in time to be used for the Roast Beef Dinner on March 3, 1984
Rev. John Groth became minister in June, 1984 until 1987 serving Grace, Union Beach and Morganville. The Conference districts were reorganized and the church was changed from the Northwest district to the Northeast District. His wife is Ranelle.
His salary was $5860 and the average worship attendance was 58. The total budget was $56319.00. The organist was paid $3000. For Fund Raisers the church participated in Marlboro Days and sold baked goods as well as holding a spaghetti dinner and a concession stand at Monmouth County fair.
It was reported at the September 5, 1984 Administrative Board meeting that the profit from the Monmouth County Fair was $1661.00. Total sales were $5867.
OUTLET, a fellowship group will be disbanding November 19, 1984 and become part of the United Methodist Women.
At the trustees meeting on July 12, 1985 it was voted that no member on our membership list should be charged for use of the building. Donations may be accepted. A fee schedule was prepared charging $60 for use of the sanctuary, $40 for the kitchen, $25 for the Custodian and $40 for the organist. There would be a 4 four time limit. Any time over the limit would be charged an additional $10 per hour.
At the Sept. 29, 1986 finance meeting a proposal was made to have money left at the communion rail for the pastor’s discretionary fund. Church members should be aware of this outreach. The churches indebtedness was $91,960.85 split four ways. $37,202.02 owed to Central Jersey Bank toward its mortgage at $632.63 per month.
There were three Conference loans. They were currently paying principle and interest of 6% on a $4758.83. An interest payment only was made on a loan of $20,000 until Dec. 1, 1988 and then principle and interest payments would be made. Nothing currently was being paid on the $30,000 loan until Jan. 1, 1988 when interest only payments would be made. Principle and interest payments would begin Jan. 1, 1994.
In his pastor’s report for the 1986 charge conference John writes that the spiritual direction which began to take place last year has continued and grown. Starting with one Bible Study we have added a Covenant group and two prayer groups. The fruit of these groups are seen in many things. In the raised level of faith in financial matters, our fund raisers have been very successful and a great source of fellowship, hit with an unexpected increase of $2,500 in the 1986 budget, a faith offering received over $3600.
Rev. Gerald Koob became probationary minister in 1988-1989 serving Grace, Union Beach and Morganville. Attendance at worship had declined to a time when they used to sit in a circle and hold service.
In 1990 the church became a single charge under Mary Frances Jones, who was appointed the part time charge at Morganville during the conference session in June, 1990. She was recommended and approved as a candidate for ministry from the Matawan United Methodist Church. Her first Sunday worship service was July 1, 1990 and her sermon topic was “Confrontation”. She attended two weeks training session for local pastors during July after which she was certified to perform baptisms, marriages, deaths and serve communion and all other ministerial functions within the bounds of the Morganville Church. She graduated on May 17, 1993 cum laude from the Theological School of Drew University with a Master of Divinity Degree. Morganville became a single charge with a full time pastor at the June, 1993 Annual Conference.
She was born Sept. 28, 1937 and is the daughter of Howard and Lillian Pearson. She married Walter Howard Jones Jr. on August 4, 1962 in the First Baptist Church, Matawan, and N. J. They have two children, Douglas Walter born June 27, 1963 and Kendra Elizabeth, born June 18, 1966.
As part of World Wide Communion Sunday on October 7, 1990 communion was offered to those who were not able to partake of the elements at church. Three teams of two were sent out to serve communion after the worship service. Estelle Marvel and James Stewart visited William and Verna Bond, and Paul and Vi McMullen; Larry and Jane Thiede, the Renaissance Boarding Home and Rev. Mary Jones and her husband, the Garden State Manor Home. The response by the people was inspiring.
On November 4, All Saints Day there was a service of memorial dedication. Specifically the lighted sign with the church name near the road given in memory of Florence and Cliff Eckel; and hymnals given in memory of sister Audrey Van Pelt, Warren and Myrtle Denise and Leroy Van Pelt by Garry and Joan Denise; in memory of Clyde and Sarah Ronson by Russ, Norma and Gordon Ott; in memory of Karl (Wilhelm) Gerhards by Hannelore Wilden; in memory of Pop (Harry) Smith by Ruth Smith; and in honor of Johanna Willman by Johanna Smith.
For Easter, 1991 twenty five new hymnals were ordered. They arrived in time and were used by the 125 in attendance that Sunday.
The vinyl siding was installed on the south side of the church on Saturday April 13, 1991 by Paul McMullen. This project was made possible by a fund drive held in November, 1990. It was badly in need of repair. Vinyl siding was installed in our entrance way during August, 1991.
On May II, 1991 a startling revelation was uncovered when the organ repairman came to service the organ, there had been mice inside the organ sometime during the last year gnawing at the keys and building a nest. Several keys were inoperative.
Spring loaded candelabra presented in memory of Eleanor Strother was used on May 19, 1991, Pentecost Sunday. It is a hollow tube in which a candle is placed. As the candle bums a spring maintains pressure on the candle keeping it always at the top.
Todd Thiede, as part of his eagle boy scout project, held a car wash at the fire house to raise funds so that he could build the church an outside shed where the lawnmower and other items could be stored. It was completed around June, 1991.
During the summer several men painted the outside moulding. A road rally was prepared by Walter Jones. You drive a pre-planned route looking for clues to questions. One clue “a sluggish out of sight impelling force of energy” on Station road was hard to find by some participants. The answer was “Slow Hidden Drive”.
Since the choir did not sing for the months of July and August, anyone from the congregation would come up and sing. They were known as the Sunday Summer Singers, also known as the “Wesley Warblers.”
There was a new sign post on Route 79. It was done by Paul McCue, Carl Wagner, Garry Denise and Herb Meron to advertise our events.
New folders that tell about our church are in the pews thanks to Nicole and Kristen.
The old hymnals which we did not need were given to the women’s Correctional Institution in Clinton and some went to the Renaissance Boarding Home where bill Matthews conducted worship services for the residents.
On November 24, 1991 we celebrated the tenth anniversary of the church building. A special bulletin was designed for the occasion by John DePalma who also made a banner which was displayed over the entrance way. There was a covered dish luncheon following the worship service. Rev. Newton Greiner, pastor from 1974 to 1984, was the guest speaker. It was during his ministry that the building was completed in 1981. A puzzle piece was sent out to all the members to be brought to church and affixed onto a picture of the church. There was also a table for display of old photos and news clippings.
A talent and craft show was held on March 29th, 1992 in order to raise funds to purchase another set of stoles for the choir robes. Vi Ludvick with the assistance of Sandra Young coordinated the program which was enjoyed by all.
A new program was introduced to the congregation on March 22, 1992. It was an “Adopt-A-Loan Payment” plan which was initiated by the Administrative Board to help pay off one of the church loans that was taken out when the facility was built. By sending in more than one payment each month the loan would be liquidated quicker and thereby save interest payments. By September the first loan of $2600 was paid.
Friday Sept. 11, 1992 the first meeting of the Marlboro Inter-faith ministerial association was held at the Morganville United Methodist Church. Those attending were: Rev. Mary F. Jones, Morganville; Father Eugene Roberts, St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church; Rev. Dennis Van Wyk, Old Brick Reformed; and Rabbi George Schlesinger, Congregation Ohev Shalom.
During September the trustees met with the building inspector to determine the feasibility of utilizing the basement for additional sunday school classes since we do not currently have a certificate of occupancy for its use.
Thanksgiving Eve, 1992 marked the first ecumenical service held at St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church. Rev. Mary Jones gave the sermon. There was a mass choir comprised of the different churches. It was attended by nearly 400 people and was a great success.
On February 21, 1993 in anticipation of our 125th anniversary in 1994. Rev. Harlan Marsh Baxter, a Drew graduate and former pastor from June, 1968 to April, 1971, returned to the Morganville United Methodist Church to bring the morning message and celebrate with us. A Covered Dish Luncheon followed the service.
The blizzard of 1993 which dropped 12-14″ of snow on Saturday, March 13 caused the church to be closed on Sunday. Sunday School, Church and bible study were all canceled since the roads and the parking lot were covered with snow and travel conditions were hazardous. Gov. Florio had declared Monmouth County in a state of emergency due to the heavy snowfall.
On Monday, April 26, 1993 there was a church meeting to approve the plans for completing the basement. We are required to have a water sprinkler system and a chair- lift elevator to allow handicapped persons access to the basement. This was a cheaper way since building a ramp down the hill would be cost prohibitive. The plans were unanimously approved and on July 9, 1993 construction began under chair, Herb Meron… Russ Trotter was our construction manager.
The following fund raisers have been held to raise money for the basement fund: Spaghetti dinners, antique shows, peach festivals and rummage sales.
On June 23, 1993 there was a special church conference held to discuss unexpected difficulties concerning the elevator. It was resolved that the building committee proceed to procure a loan from the Central Jersey Bank for $90,000 providing the monthly payments do not exceed $1000 and that work start as soon as possible.
Rev. Mary Jones received the Denman Award for Evangelism at the Southern New Jersey Annual Conference. Mary was recognized for evangelistic efforts and growth in membership in Morganville. This award is given annually to one clergy person and one lay person. There were 17 confirmands and 225 in attendance for worship service.
July 9, 1993 was the beginning of construction.
During construction the material which was stored in the basement needed to be
removed so that construction could continue. Some things including the Memorial Day Float was left outside and that evening there was heavy rains in the area but not on the church property.
November 28, 1993 marked the consecration of our fellowship hall. Left incomplete in 1981 due to a lack of funds, the end result was finally here. The congregation was given a temporary Certificate of Occupancy to hold the event since the elevator was not finished. The company which was manufacturing the elevator sustained water damage due to heavy flooding in the west which halted production.
The elevator and the doors were completed on February 22, 1994 and on March 10, 1994 an unconditional Certificate of Approval for use of our addition was issued by Marlboro Township.
With the finish of our fellowship hall we had the necessary room for our Sunday School classrooms. The children now would have their “own space” which would be conducive to learning. In the past we have had to use every corner of the church in which to place a classroom. The children now have a bright, well-lighted hall with classroom dividers, which make them feel not only a part of an individual class but also because of a central meeting place, a part of an entire Sunday School program. There is also room to hold dinners and rental space.
Sometime in January 1994 we held our 1st Antiques and Collectibles Auction. Rich Gorecki was the auctioneer.
On Memorial Day the church participated in Marlboro’s parade honoring the veterans. It was our first time in the parade.
At the Annual Conference held at Ocean City on June 15, 1994, Mary was ordained a Deacon in the United Methodist Church.
On July 3, 1994 the church was without electricity due to a tree falling on three electric wires on Conover Rd. With no air conditioning and no lights service continued by the light of the windows. Electric power resumed at the end of the service but the power of God had been at work during the service. It was the first Sunday of summer worship hours being 10 a.m. The moment was shared by 68 members.
The Morganville United Methodist Church held its 125th Anniversary celebration at 3 p.m. on November 20, 1994. After months of planning by the Anniversary Committee of Walter Jones, Chairperson and members, Aletha McCormick, Estelle Marvel, Lucy Eckel, Julie Walby, Arleen Feller, Diane Huff and Jay Thorpe, the day had finally arrived for the 161 member church. The church bulletin board proclaimed “We made it. 125 years of service to the Lord.” A banner flew over the entranceway declaring the years 1869 to 1994. The children had a fantastic time ringing the church bell near the entrance. It was the church bell from the original building on Route 79 which had been in the care of the Beal family. It was restored and permanently placed on the church grounds by the Beal and Eckel families for this special celebration. We remembered how it brought people to church when it was rung.
As you entered the narthex your eyes focused on a picture of the present church and a 20×30” picture of the church as it appeared in 1904 enlarged from a post card provided by Gertrude Van Pelt. There was a display case with old Bibles and Sunday School record books dated 1945 and 1897. Other articles of historical significance were also on display.
Rev. Walter Quigg brought Greetings from the Southern New Jersey Conference and Rev. Sandra Murphy, District Superintendent, brought greetings from the Northeast District. Robert Scannapieco, mayor of Marlboro Township, presented a plaque to the congregation commemorating the day and citing the church for its contribution to the community. Other local dignitaries were also present. The Honorable John O. Bennett, State Majority leader, presented the pastor, Rev. Mary Jones, with a Senate Resolution which was read into the Senate Record. Assemblyman Michael Arnone and Claire Farragher were unable to be present but sent a House Resolution. Letters from past ministers, John Kirby (1947-1949), Fred Bowen (1956-1963), Harlan Baxter ((1968- 1971), John Coffee (1973), Gerard Koob (1988-1989) were on display. A congratulatory letter from President Clinton was read. Rev. Newton Greiner, pastor from 1974 to 1984, returned to address the congregation with some reminiscing of his years at Morganville. He also sang several selections with his wife, Roberta, and daughter, Cindy.
The choir sang “Joy in the Morning” and “We’re a Family.” A catered dinner for about 170 friends was held in the Fellowship Hall following the service. Members of the Matawan United Methodist church were so gracious and helpful in serving our dinner. It was served by Kathy Martin, Dr. Tom White and their crew.
An Anniversary Journal including the church history and advertisements was distributed. Many thanks to Jay Thorpe for his time and effort in having the Journal printed.
This years Christmas Pageant was a performance of “Dinner at Bethlehem Inn” with a covered dish dinner. Everyone participated in the program. The children were amazed when they went to the window to see a star which would lead them to Bethlehem. They told their parents to come and see. Then they continued into the sanctuary where the program continued.
Hoping to reach the community we participated in the Marlboro Memorial Day Parade and dedication service held on Sunday May 29, 1995th at 5 p.m. We also joined with the Jewish community in their remembrance of the Holocaust.
The Family ministries committee organized several successful trips in 1995 for persons of all age groups in the Church. The trips were fun for all those who attended. Additionally some of their trips brought out members and friends of the church who do not normally attend church activities. These gatherings included: Tubing on the Delaware river (45 People), Yankees Old Timers Game (32 People), Army Football game at West Point (20 People) and on November 18th Radio City Christmas Show and sights of New York (43 People).
On July 3o, 1995 at 3 p.m. the Sourland Mountain Ramblers presented our first Bluegrass and Gospel concert. This event was planned to reach out to our community and that is just what it did. Folks were touched by the Holy Spirit at this event and have returned to be with us each week.
August 27, 1995 the church organ was updated with the sound of trumpets. It was a fine improvement to the sound and added much to the singing.
The blizzard of 1996 hit the Morganville Community on Friday January 5 dumping approximately 18-26 inches of snow. Governor Whitman declared that only emergency vehicles were allowed on the highways, therefore worship services for Sunday were cancelled.
During March, 1996 members of the Evangelism Committee accompanied our minister, Mary Jones, to seven families homes for House blessings.
On Heritage Sunday we celebrated Nellie Wenzel’s great grandparents, John and Margaret Lewis. A plaque was presented to the church in honor of John Lewis for his Christian service to the community in establishing and building a church in Morganville in 1869.
Rocking chairs were introduced to the church. They were placed in the back of the Sanctuary so that moms and dads could be comfortable while holding their precious babies. These chairs would be used ONLY for adults with babies.
A Bluegrass concert given by the Sourland Mountain Ramblers was held on the lawn at church. The Asbury Park Press cited the concert a “must thing to do.” There was much music, refreshments and most importantly, a warm welcome and a wonderful time of fellowship.
June 12, 1996 Rev. Mary Jones received her credentials as a full member of the Southern New Jersey Conference and was ordained an Elder.
The trustees, after much deliberation, reported in September that we had accepted an insurance settlement for the storm damage to the roof and other areas. The roofing firm of Charles B. Hambling and Son, Red Bank, will repair the roof and expects to begin in mid-October. Our lengthy deliberations with the Insurance Company have resulted in tripling their original offer and we now have sufficient funds to re-build the roof. The work will include removing the shingles from the entire sanctuary area, putting down furring strips, cover the entire roof with plywood, tar paper and new shingles. The single story area will be reshingled also. The roof will have a ridge vent, siding over the fascia boards and new larger gutters and down spouts. The total cost of the roof repair will be about $38,000.
During November the church held a Pounding Sunday. It is a day members bring in a “pound of this and a pound of that” to supply our kitchen with items for our time of fellowship. It also helps cut the cost of operating the church. Some items were paper towels, toilet paper, and aluminum foil to name a few.
On the 24th of November we held a 100% day to try and encourage all members of our church to come out and join us for a time of worship and fellowship.
A special service of Hanging of the Greens was held on November 30th during our morning worship service. The beautiful greens were presented in worship as we heard the tradition behind the using of the greens in our service.
During 1997 the trustees completed the repairs to the roof including upgrade of gutters and vinyl siding of fascia boards. Before then we were known as “the church with the blue roof.” An office for the Secretary was created as well as an upgrade of the computers. A small biweekly prayer group met to study The Applause Of Heaven and its guide, a new understanding of the Beatitudes.
We now have 3 choirs for children and one for teens. The youngest “Angel Choir,” 3 and 4 year olds, are learning that they can be part of worship and use their voices in praise to God. The “Cherub” choir, kindergarten through 2nd grade, has a little more advanced program and definitely is appreciated as they praise God in worship. The “Junior” choir, 3rd through 6th grade, sing beautiful thoughts and add to each worship service and know they are in ministry.
We held joint United Methodist Men’s meetings with the men from the Simpson United Methodist church in Old Bridge.
For the summer months we held an intergenerational Wednesday Evening Summer Family Service. We had a variety of family units in our congregation. Some nights were designed for children and some to include everyone. The activities ranged from a magician, Bob Parmelee, on July 2, to a concert of traditional and contemporary gospel music by Randolph Murray, jr., to picnic, to sports, to a “road rally” and, of course, food.
During September, 1997 we displayed several historical items, depicting the history of the Morganville United Church from 1869 to the present, at the Marlboro Public Library. We wanted to acquaint the townspeople with our history. The display was part of the 150th anniversary celebration of the incorporation of Marlboro Township scheduled for 1968.
A website was created during 1997 to include a list of members and our 125th Anniversary booklet.
Due to the growing attendance for Christmas Eve services, the church purchased 100 new upholstered chairs. They were purchased in memory or in honor of someone. Each chair cost $50.
On January 17, 1999 a Steering Committee presented a strategic plan for growth in our church. Taking into consideration that we needed a parsonage, educational facilities and a new parking lot it was felt that at the present time our priority would be focused toward an education wing and expanded parking lot since Sunday School was “bursting at the seams.” We would rent a parsonage when needed.
On August 2, 1999 Donald Marvel held a Golf Outing at the Glenwood Country Club, Route 9, Old Bridge to benefit the Church’s building fund. 73 golfers were in attendance, each paying $125. It was a shot gun start set for 11:30 a. m. Refreshments of soda, beer, hot dogs and hamburger were served by Jane Oehrlein, Donna Smith and others from the church. When the players were finished playing, they traveled to Don Quixote Restaurant in Matawan for an awards dinner where door prizes were also presented. The day was a beautiful 86 degrees with a blue sky, still no rain in the forecast. There had been 20 days of over 90 degree weather, near drought conditions.
The Ad Hoc Committee on Pastoral Housing was formed in 1999 to discuss the alternatives for pastoral care. They met with Roman Evangelist, Associated Council Director for the Southern District of Conference to discuss the options available regarding building a parsonage on September 23, 1999 and reported to the Administrative Council on March 12, 2000. Some options were to build a parsonage on church property, buy an existing house, rent a house or provide a housing allowance for the pastor to find his own housing.
The Antique Auction which was held in January, 2000 raised $3657.53.
A Legacy Fair presented by the Health and Welfare committee was held after church on Sunday March 26, 2000 to make available information to the congregation regarding finance, funeral planning, organ/tissue donation adult day care and retirement planning.
After many years of chairing the rummage sale, Val Downing and Sue Norton stepped down. Barbara Anderson volunteered to chair the rummage sale for May 12 and 13, 2000.
A set of Hallmark bells were purchased from Cokesbury at a cost of $6975.00, the money coming from the Memorial Fund and gifts. Two bell choirs were formed. One Adults and one children. The adults played their first song, “In The Garden”, on March 26, 2000.
At the Church Conference held December 6, 2000 in the church sanctuary the study committee gave a presentation outlining what needs to be accomplished so that we can build an addition to the church to minister to the growing enrollment. Stage 1 was the construction of an Education Wing/Parking Lot and Stage 2 being a Parsonage.
During 2001 the memorial committee provided additional Pew Bibles for the sanctuary. The Trustees had the north side retaining wall rebuilt.
Our Missions/Outreach committee reported that in 2001 we contributed to Chickens 2000 mission and packaged 75 health kits which were sent to UMCOR for disaster relief. They also sponsored a student from the Hope Secondary School. They continue to collect box tops, Campbell’s soup labels, soda tabs and glasses.
A resolution was approved to create a Building Committee to research the feasibility of the Study Committee’s vision and present a report to be used by the District Board of Church Location and Building. The building committee would be able to use funds from our current Building Fund to accomplish this task. A Building committee was formed in September 2001.
In order to provide additional space in which to store Rummage Sale items a storage trailer has been retained and placed near the trees so it would be as visible from the parking lot.
A special meeting of the Trustees was held Nov. 4 at which time the motion was adopted to replace our current organ, which has numerous problems, and to purchase a new Allen Organ Model AP15 at a price of $25,650. It would have a ten-year warranty on parts and labor. The new Allen organ arrived Thursday night November 29 around 7p.m. and installed on Friday. It was ready for the service on December 2, 2001. It was financed partially by the profits of the golf outing held in August. The proceeds were $7000. At the November 12, 2001 Church Council meeting it was approved to have the Christmas Envelope offering be committed to the Organ Fund thereby reducing the balance due to only $216. This amount was raised at the service after Christmas. Richard Hurley expressed an interest in some of the organ parts and would reimburse us for the parts that he was able to use. He paid us $150 as partial payment.
Our new Church Secretary, Christine Schultis, was introduced to the congregation on Sunday, November 25, 2001. Charlene McCue, our current secretary since 1994, will train her. Charlene was recognized on February 17, 2002 for her 8 years of service as Secretary.
A group of 35 people from 13 different families turned out for a trip to Christmas Village in Pennsylvania. It was a full day of fun and fellowship with dinner at the Shartlesville Inn.
The Cookie Walk held each year a couple of weeks before Christmas was a big success. Weeks before the event, the United Methodist Women bake dozens of cookies to sell. All the proceeds are distributed to missions. In 2001 they earned $1400.00.
The new organ was dedicated at the worship service held during June, 2002.
In order to provide more light and brighten our sanctuary new lights were installed on the arches. The first service with the new lights was on September 22, 2002.
The Birch trees along the entrance way were removed during November, 2002 by Coffman Tree Service. One was dead and the other was infected with bugs and leaning toward the church. The Trustees felt that a professional tree service should remove them before they fell down from decay.
During 2002 the building committee named Michael Campbell our architect for the addition of an educational wing to our building. The Youth Group went on a hiking trip to the Delaware River, carved pumpkins and saw the Christmas lights at Six Flags Great Adventure. They also reached out to the homeless in New York City by making and packing lunches. They were taken to St. Barts Church and the Open Door on 9th Ave.
Plastic Luminaries were placed around the parking area during Christmas. A group of our choir members and congregation went to a shopping center to sing Christmas Carols. Summer items from the Rummage Sale were taken to the Trenton Church to be distributed to Liberia. A large print Bible was added on the Lectern. The Sunday School Christmas Play was held during Worship service. Our parking lot was repainted to include 4 additional handicap spaces. A new Oreck vacuum cleaner was purchased.
Our rummage sale, under the leadership of Manda Dirubbo and Charlene McCue, held in the spring and fall, has grown in its outreach to the community. The Hispanic community is provided with clothing and many items are distributed to foster mothers, Thrift stores and the Salvation Army. In conjunction with the rummage sale, the United Methodist Men held a pancake and egg breakfast The price is $4.00. The UMM also supported the General Commission on UMM’s effort to distribute “Strength for Service to God and Country” a daily devotional message for those in the service of others.
During 2003 the third Sunday of each month was designated as “Noisy Can Sunday.” The children of the church as part of the children’s message time walked with cans throughout the congregation offering them the opportunity to place their loose coins in the cans making noise when the cans were shook. At the Annual Conference held in June, 2003 at Atlantic City, the money collected was given to the Bishop for the children in Africa.
At the Children’s Day worship service, a model of the proposed addition to our sanctuary as well as architectural plans were presented by the architect, Michael Campbell, to the congregation and was placed on display in the Narthex.
Since the Northern New Jersey Conference and the Southern NJ Conference merged to form the Greater NJ Annual conference a new formula to determine our apportionments, which was going higher and higher, needed to be formulated. Now called Shared Ministry the membership roll was one contributing factor in the new formula. An examination of our membership roll was conducted resulting in 30 members being removed at the Charge Conference held October 12, 2003. They had moved from the area or were absent from the fellowship. Our new membership was 222.
Each year, around Christmas, the Church sells Entertainment books as one of its fund raising events. They seem to be a popular item for Christmas presents.
The United Methodist Women conducted their annual “Cookie Walk” during Advent to raise funds for Missions. The doors opened at 9 a.m. but they are usually sold out before 9:30 a.m. The UMW reaches out to the community in many ways. They visited the Renaissance Home with games and refreshments. They also visited the Ronald McDonald House in Long Branch.
Conference loan #3 which the church incurred when the present structure was built has been paid off. As of Dec., 2003 the church is free of all indebtedness.
At the February 1, 2004 worship service it was announced that since Mary was retiring on June 30, 2004, Rev. Marvin Wells, pastor of the Fair Haven United Methodist Church, would be our new pastor beginning July 1, 2004. A Parsonage committee was formed on February 2 to consider our options regarding housing for him since no parsonage is currently available.
Sales of Easter candy is another fund raising event for the Church.
A Church Conference was held on March 28, 2004 where the Trustees were authorized to purchase a parsonage for the new pastor.
100 pew copies of the “In Faith We Sing” hymnal books were purchased and used during our worship service in May, 2004. They were a memorial to Marilyn McCleaster.
On August 19, 2004 a house at 28 Juniper Place, Aberdeen, Lot 25, Block 111, was purchased at a price of $355,000 for use as our parsonage. The loan was acquired through the Sun Savings Bank for 25 years at 5.75% interest. Our monthly mortgage payments would be $2,029.31.
As of July 27, 2004 and pursuant to our court resolution regarding the cemetery plots which the church owns, the Islamic congregation wishes to purchase 116 graves near the chapel for $25,000. We must pay the $96 perpetual care leaving a profit of $13854 which we would use to pay back the church for lawyer fees.
At the Administrative Council meeting in November Charlene reported that the internment rights for 3000 graves in section 16 and 19 at the Green View Cemetery were sold by the trustees to the Cemetery for $70000 plus $5000 attorney fees.
At the trustees meeting of November 23, 2004 it was reported that we received a $10,000 Grant from the Conference to aid us in the purchase of a parsonage.
A new Church sign was erected on Highway 79 by Jack Valler on November 13, 2004. Money was taken from the Memorial Fund in memory of Ed Preston, Frank Eckman and Russell Ott to finance the project.
On Saturday January 22, 2005 a Northeaster snowstorm dumped 14 inches on Central Jersey causing church to be canceled.
The United Methodist Women met at the Renaissance Home, which is a boarding facility. They met in November 2005 when they greeted the residents, play games and share refreshments. This is the last of many meetings which have been held throughout the years. The new owners are renovating the building and turning it into an assisted living facility.
The sale of the remaining 116 graves at the Green View Cemetery to the Islamic Center of Englishtown (Ahl’e Baith Foundation, Inc.) for $25,000 was finalized on November 16th, 2005. These were the graves near the office. The sale netted the church $13864.00 which was deposited in the Cemetery Account in Vanguard.
Pastor Marv named November 13, 2005 a tithing Sunday and we collected $4015. Since Christmas and New Years Day fell on Sunday Sunday school was cancelled. During November the floors in the Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall were cleaned.
On February 28, 2006 two self-igniting GE gas ranges Model #JGBSO4BEH3WH, Serial nos. DL111628P and DL111717P with standard twin burners arrived just in time for our buffet dinner on March 25th. They were purchased to replace the aging iron stove due to pilot light failure whenever the oven door was opened. This was a dangerous situation.
During the summer of 2006 the pastor took Matt and Josh Wills and Dawn Clayton on a mission trip to the Pittsburgh area. They had a wonderful time doing odd jobs for the needy.
A Colorado Blue Spruce was planted on Conover Road behind the Church sign by the trustees on September 4, 2006. It was given by Mary Button Fox as a memorial.
An early service of a contemporary worship style was introduced on September 17, 2006. The Praise team consisted of drums played by Matt Wills, Guitar by Pastor Marv Wills and four vocalists, Linda Sullivan, Debbie Wills, Cindy Clayton and Dawn Clayton.
A 25th anniversary service of our new church at 215 Conover Road was celebrated November 26, 2006. Rev. Newton Greiner who served the church from 1974 to 1984 during its construction related his ministry at Morganville as did Rev. Mary Jones who served from 1990 to 2004. There were many photos of the construction and other programs shown on the wall by a power point presentation. There were more photo albums, a guest register for 1981 and a building committee report on display. Several members returned to celebrate this day.
Matthew Wills completed his Eagle Project on Saturday December 2, 2006 at the Morganville United Methodist Church. His project included building a border around the bell using 2 x 8 beams, removing the stones and filling the area in with top soil and mulch. The stones were placed on the right side for a driveway running down the hill. The flower beds around the front and side were widened and a border of 2 x 8 beams created and filled in with top soil and cedar mulch. In the Shrub area by the entranceway new bushes were planted and mulch added. Bulbs were planted throughout the area.
On January 28, 2007 the Skyline Boys Southern Gospel Quartet presented a program of Gospel music. Everyone present enjoyed their performance very much.
A new fund raiser for the youth was the collection of used ink cartridges. During the year members have been bringing their empty cartridges for recycle.
During July, 2007 the flood lights in the sanctuary were replaced with energy savers and the dimmer switches on the panel were replaced with regular switches. The emergency exit sign lighting was replaced with LED lights and the fluorescent lighting in the kitchen, narthex, secretary’s and pastor’s office were replaced with energy saver tubes.
The Bumbaugh Family presented a program of Southern Gospel Music on March 1, 2008. The Skyline Boys returned July 12, 2008.
During the summer of 2008 10 members went on a mission trip to the Darby, Pennsylvania area to repair homes. They were Jim and Abby Stewart, Val and Chris Downing, Bob and Jane Oehrlein, R. J. Smith, Matt, Josh and Marv Wills.
On Saturday Sept. 20, 2008 12 members and friends of our church participated in the worldwide “Adopt A Beach” program. Those who spent three hours cleaning up the Laurence harbor beach were Jen and Katie Firth, Nicole Smith, Laura Riegler, Alyssa Rorke, Mary and Colin Naughton, Marv and Debbie Wills and Abby, Karen and Jim Stewart. The twenty bags of garbage collected included primarily plastic, glass and cigarette butts.
In the Spring of 2009 Centimole Masonry was hired to repave the sidewalk and install a ramp in front of the church and drainage. The cost was $9500.
On May 15, 2009 The Prayer Garden was dedicated as part of an Eagle Court of Honor for Douglas J. Cross. He joined Boy Scout Troop 85 in February 2002. The Prayer Garden was Doug’s Eagle project. It consisted of placing pavers in the form of a cross and surrounding it with shrubs and flowers. A pulpit and two benches were added.
There was a mission trip to repair homes around the Martinsburg, West Virginia area during the week of July 26 to August 1, 2009. Those youth and adults attending were: Val Downing, Chris Downing, Jane Oehrlein, Bob Oehrlein (Camp Staff), Cindy Clayton, Nicole Smith, R J Smith, Rose Rager, Dennis Rager, Pastor Marv, Matt Wills, Josh Wills, Joe Keegan, Vienna Ferrara, Caitlin Schwartz and Emily Jankowski.
During the year Rev. Marvin Wills introduced the FRAN program to invite our Friends, Relatives, Acquaintances and Neighbors to come to church.
August 17, 2009 our parsonage mortgage was renewed at 5.90% interest. Our monthly payments were reduced from $2029.31 to $995.75. Our debt had reduced from $350,000 to $138,594.05 in five years.
A new printer Risograph Model TR151 was purchased for the church office.
Our rummage sale held on November 5th and 6th under the guidance of Mary Jones and Charlene McCue was a big success. There was a profit of over $8000.
At an Administrative Council meeting the problem we have been having with our piano was discussed. It was described to us by Jean and Keith that the piano does not respond to touch. The keys are no longer sensitive and it is necessary to hit the keys very hard for them to respond. Keith’s words were, “you have to bang the ….. out of it to get the required tone.” With Keith having difficulty with his hands due to his recent diagnosed medical problem, it is a big problem. Jean is able to hit the keys harder than Keith, but do to the fact that Keith plays the piano as well as the organ and he plays at our rehearsals he finds it difficult.
In addition to this, the piano no longer stays in tune and needs to be tuned more often than our usual time line. Due to the cost we do not call the piano tuner as often as he should be called.
The piano also has a broken leg which is taped and recently the music stand on the piano broke off. It has been screwed back together at the moment. Now, as bad as this piano is, the present piano would go to the choir room since that one is in worse condition. It is out of tune and in its condition we do not believe it can be tuned and there are several keys that do not play at all.
After extensive searching for a Grand piano by Keith and Jean Sutter we were able to purchase a Yamaha 6’ 1”, C3 model, Conservatory line with a Black Ebony Satin finish, Grand piano from our piano tuner. Keith researched the piano through its serial number and learned that it was built in the Hamamatsu Japan plant of the Yamaha Corporation in 1968. The price for the piano was $5500 plus moving costs of $261.
On November 15 our pianist, Jean Sutter was able to play on our new church piano during the worship service. The church purchased the piano with funds from the Memorial fund. It was in excellent condition except for the petal which the trustees adjusted.
The Antique Auction held on January 9 netted a profit of $1940 for the church benevolences
On January 18, 2010 a green altar cover adorned our altar in memory of Judy Mulligan, given by her sister, Charlene McCue.
Through Heifer International the Sunday School collected enough money to send 2 goats, a trio of rabbits, a flock of chicks and a hive of honey bees. We are helping families around the World. A nanny goat named Pumpkin from a neighboring farm came to visit us.
Our Rummage sale for April was under the direction of a new committee named RUMCOR. This is an acronym for (Robust United Methodist Committee On Rummage).
Beginning June 12th we could no longer use our wireless microphones because the FCC had ordered all churches using wireless microphones on the 700 MHz band (698- 806 MHz) to cease their use. They had auctioned those frequencies to Verizon, AT&T etc. We purchased a new Audio Technica ATW-3110BD wireless utilizing frequencies 655.500-680.374 MHz. The first use was on June 6, 2010.
On Mother’s Day June 13, 2010 a newly formed Youth Bell Choir under the direction of Rev. Mary Jones played during the 9:30 and 11 o’clock services. They were Ben and Angela Sciortino, Alexandra and Emily Buccine, Ashley and Emily Mulligan, Rebekah McCue and Kaila Shiflett.
During June there was a terrific “wind and rain” storm that sent the rain to come into the furnace area through the vents, The wind also ripped off the soffit covers from around the church and caused much water to seep into the furnace area, trustee room and fellowship hall.
On July 13, 2010 Woodward Construction repaired our entranceway. The floor had dropped below the door sill creating a drop of about 2 inches. It was a liability issue. When they broke up the concrete floor they found a void under the flooring going back toward the furnace. This was created by the heavy rainfall and seepage from the water into the basement under the entranceway and back towards the furnace.
On July 25 to July 31 the Mission team went to Owego, New York to repair homes in that area. The Team members were Dennis & Mary Rager, Rose Rager, Judi Schwartz, Caitlin Schwartz, Nicole Smith, R. J. Smith, Matt Wills, Pastor Marv Wills, Danny Wills, Josh Wills, Joe Sullivan, Emily Jankowski, Erin Krause and Kelsey Anderson.
During the summer Jennifer Firth adorned the sign on Conover Road with beautiful Begonias donated by Harry Cross, owner of the Morganville Flower Farm.
As part of our Outreach program, the church set up a booth during Marlboro Day held at the Marlboro Complex on Wyncrest Road.
On September 14 Matthew McCue finished his Eagle Scout project of building a new shed to house our lawnmower and repairing the old shed.
In November we held our first comedy night with comedian Daren Streblow and had about 125 in attendance of which 25-30 were not from MUMC. One person who attended said, “It felt so good to laugh.” It may not seem like a big deal, but as we are reminded in Proverbs; laughter is good for the soul.
Throughout the year members have been crocheting blankets and knitting sweaters for those in need.
To celebrate Ash Wednesday the Sunday School held a Shrove Sunday Pancake breakfast, including King’s cake with baby Jesus hidden inside. It was on the Sunday following Ash Wednesday.
There was a trustee work night on June 20, 2011. They removed several shrubs near the entranceway which suffered heavy winter snow damage. Harry Cross planted new shrubs.
On July 11, 2011 a new 22.4 cu. ft. LG refrigerator bottom freezer Model #LDC22729SW/03 was purchased because the old one needed repairs that were cost prohibitive.
On July 30, 2011 our mission team consisting of Dennis and Mary Rager, Rose Rager, Nicole Smith, R. J. Smith, Danny Wills, Josh Wills, Matt Wills, Pastor Marv, Lauren Cuddy, Kelsey Anderson, Caitlin Schwartz, Joe Sullivan, Dan Sullivan, Emily Jankowski and Erin Krause went to Hamburg, New York. The team is a part of a 400 person Group Workcamp that will be repairing homes in Hamburg, NY during the week of July 31 to August 6. Around 20 quilts made by Rev. Mary Jones, Ginnie Johnson, Debbie Wills and others of the church will be taken to Hamburg for distribution.
A State of Emergency was declared by Governor Christie for the impending Category 1 Hurricane Irene which was scheduled to hit the Jersey Shore on August 27th, Saturday night through Sunday. Worship services at the Morganville United Methodist Church were cancelled. The Hurricane knocked out power until it was finally restored on Wednesday. 547,300 people were without power. Many home basements were flooded. There was a run on generators. After Hurricane Irene passed many northern New Jersey rivers crested their banks and flooded the towns of Patterson, Passaic and others and washed out roads.
R. J. Smith completed his eagle project by building a shed for the parsonage. His court of honor was held on October 1, 2011.
The secretary’s office and closet were remodeled, painted and a hardwood floor laid down during August and September.
A set of bell chimes were purchased for the youth bell choir. They were used for the Christmas Sunday worship service.
Taylor Mason’s “A Night of Comedy” was held on July 29, 2012. He was a comedian, ventriloquist and entertainer.
The program was the start of 2012 Mission Team’s Marlboro Home Repair Ministry. Those participating were:
YOUTH: Kelsey Anderson, Katie Huyler, Kellie Huyler, Nick Huyler, Emily Jankowski, Ashley Mulligan, Brandon Odame-Labi, Juliana Odame-Labi, Rose Rager, Joe Sullivan, and Josh Wills (P/T)
ADULTS: Val Downing, Dennis Rager, Diane Huff, Mary Rager and Charlene McCue (P/T)
SITE COACH: Bob Oehrlein
FOOD STAFF: Jane Oehrlein, Phyllis Jankowski, Debbie Wills, Maureen Gorecki and Arleen Feller
The projects which they accomplished were:
Painting the exterior of a home,
Painting a kitchen, hall and living room; cleaned out a home and helped the resident get organized
Sealing a skylight, repaired water-damaged drywell and cracked paint in dining area and hall, Power washed a home
In addition at church they were able to paint the exterior doors to the kitchen and narthex red. They put up new shelves in the Storage Room by the Nursery Sunday School room.
Four class dividers were purchased for use in the Fellowship Hall for Sunday School in September.
On Saturday October 27, 2012 Governor Christie declared a State of Emergency in New Jersey. On Monday Hurricane Sandy made landfall in Monmouth and Ocean County knocking out power to 3 million people. 200 people in Union Beach lost their homes. Services at the Morganville United Methodist Church were not cancelled. We were without power for 14 days.
To provide funds for the Mission Team trip to Hopewell, Va in July 2013 to repair homes, a Sub and Soup Sale was held on Super Bowl Day February 3rd., 2013. Other fundraising events for the mission trip were a car wash and a pool party at the swim club in South Amboy.
On July 7 to the 12 the Morganville United Methodist Church hosted the mission team from the West Lawn United Methodist Church in Reading, Pa. They stayed in our fellowship hall while they repaired homes in Keansburg that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
From July 27 to August 3 our own Mission Team traveled to Hopewell, Virginia to repair homes. The team members were Mary Rager, Rose Rager, Emily Jankowski, Caitlin Schwartz, Kelsey Anderson, Ashley Mulligan, Matt Wills, Joe Sullivan, Danny Wills, Brandon Odame-Labi and Pastor Marv.
On December 7, 2013 an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast was held from 8:30 a.m. til noon. The cost of the breakfast was $5 for adults and $3 for children. During the breakfast Santa arrived so that he could have a picture with the children. Photographs were taken by Pedro Grillo. A small Jingle Shop gave the children the opportunity to make a craft gift item. There was also a vendor and craft fair.
The Governor declared a snow emergency several times during this winter. We had multiple snowfalls measuring a total of about 52.7 inches for the season.
On February 22, 2014 an Eagle Court of Honor was held to honor Taylor Grillo, Troop 66, Matawan, in achieving the rank of Eagle. His Eagle project consisted of repairing the two baseball dugouts at Gravelly Brook with new wood, new fencing and new paint so that the Little League could utilize the field for baseball games. Before this project the field complex was in a deplorable condition for playing.
Sunday March 23, 2014 was called Reunion Sunday. This was an opportunity to worship and enjoy fellowship with our MUMC family. Inactive members were being contacted and invited to participate in the day’s worship service.
At the March 23, 2014 worship service it was announced that Marv was being transferred to the Wayne United Methodist Church as of June 30, 2014. Rev. Byungil Ahn, pastor of Canton and Alloway United Methodist church would be our new pastor as of July 1, 2014. He has a M. Div from Drew Theological Seminary. He is married to Hyenjung and they have two daughters, Jane and Chloe.
There was a farewell dinner for Pastor Wills and family on Saturday June 14th at 6 p.m. in the church fellowship hall. It was a potluck dinner. A cake showing a picture of the Morganville Church and a picture of the Wayne UMC to which he is appointed as of July 1.
On June 15th Keith Sutter was given a farewell celebration. He and his wife Jean were our organist, music director for 20 years. A cake in the shape of a grand piano was made by Mary Jones.
Our new organist, Justin Reed, started on June 22nd.
The trustees worked feverishly to prepare the parsonage for the arrival of Rev. Byungil Ahn and family to their new home. We had only six days to repair, paint, clean and replace doors before their arrival on June 23rd at 2 p.m. During the process we realized that there was a water leak in the kitchen which was unexpected. Danny Eckel was able to solve the problem. Unfortunately we did not finish on time and had to arrange another place for them to stay on Tuesday night. Dianne Huff offered the use of their condo in Asbury Park. They had a great time.
The parsonage committee was Charlene, Mary, Jane, Larry, Kendee, Taylor, Logan, Harry, Eckel family, Diane, Walt, and Bob.
Vacation Bible School’s theme this year is “Weird Animals: Where Jesus’ Love is One-of-a-Kind..” The cost is $30 per child and will be on August 17 to 21, 6p.m. to 8 p.m.
The Sunday School held a Snow Day party on February 7, 2015. The Snow Queen, SnowPrincess and Kristoff were present. There were approximately 44 boys and girls in attendance.They did the limbo, sang songs, made picture frames and had pictures taken with the SnowQueen, Princess and Kristoff.
Throughout May and June there was a pile of sawdust discovered in the choir pews, presumably from the sanctuary ceiling. Arrow Exterminating was contacted to look at our problem. It was determined that we had acrobat ants which like to nest high in structures. Arrow administered the first of three treatments for the acrobat ants which would also cover Pharaoh ants and carpenter ants.
Pastor and Mrs. Ahn and their children Chloe and Jane invited the congregation to an open house at the parsonage on May 31 between 3:00 and 6 p.m. It was a time of fellowship and they served delicious food including some traditional Korean food. It was a great day and it was enjoyed by all.
During June after much discussion with the trustees, finance and administration committees there was a campaign for funds to upgrade our parking lot which is in desperate need of repair.
June 13 A drain was installed on the left side of the church, by Danny Eckel and other trustees, in order to divert the water away from the foundation. This will alleviate the water from going into the fellowship hall.
Chronology of Morganville Ministers
1. John Lewis, a lay preacher 1869
Among the early ministers were J. Swain Garrison, J. R. Manning and Aaron Edward Ballard.
Years in Parenthesis are listed in the Conference minutes
1. Rev. Socrates Townsend Horner Mar. 19, 1873-Mar., 1874
2. C. D. Mead Mar. 25, 1874
3. Harry A. Clifford 1875
4. Rev. E. H. Bacon 1876
5. O. Ellerson (1877)
6. W. F. Randolph (1878)
7. Henry Justus Heinenman Apr. 7, 1877-1880 (80-81)
8. S. P. Cossaboom March 1880-March 1883 (81)
9. C. B. Abbott 1883
10. Sanford Morrell Nichols Sept. 2, 1883-1886
11. Rev. Henry Stetson Gascoyne March 15, 1886-1888
12. Rev. George Washington Pine March, 1888-1889
13. Rev. Samuel Chattin & J.D.Bills March, 1889-1890
14. Rev. James Donaldson Bills March, 1890-1895
15. Rev. Howard J. Conover March, 1895-1896
16. Rev. George C. Poolton 1896
17. C. D. Morris 1896-1897
18. Chas. H. B. Seliger March 30, 1897-Aug. 8, 1897
19. G. H. Cook Oct. 10, 1897-March 30, 1898
20. George S. Goff Aug. 7, 1898-March, 1899
21. Nathan W. Wickward March, 1899-March, 1900
22. Milton Relyea Eastlack 1900
23. J. C. Dill, jr. 1901
24. Henry E. Garrison 1902-1905
25. Charles H. DuBois 1905
26. Alonzo Chambers 1906
27. G. H. Doughty 1907
28. John Whitaker Morris 1908
29. R. P. Mason 1909
30. James B. Shaw 1910 (part)
31. George Hamer 1911-1918
32. Rev. John F. Heilenman 1919-1921
33. Rev. Harry C. Hyer 1921
34. George V. Mundy 1922
35. Harold C. West 1922
36. James E. Lutz 1922-1924
asst. J. C. Dill 1922-1923
asst. Charles Luther 1922-1923
37. John O. Mabuce 1925
38. Carlton Newton Nelson 1926
39. F. B. Whitson 1927-1928
40. Arthur Harold Salin 1929
41. Edward Gebhard 1930
42. Rev. Robert Alexander Anderson 1931-1939
43. Rev. Elijah Freeman Reed 1940-1943
asst. W. H. Carhart 1943
asst. Leon McKelvey 1943
44. James D. Fraser 1944
45. Donald Pimm 1944
46. Richard Bennett 1944
47. Homer Paul Leap October 1944-1945
48. Rev. Irving Crabiel 1946
49. John Bruce Kirby Jr. 1947-1949
50. Rev. Moore October 1950
51. Rev. William Besand Magsam 1950-1955
52. Rev. Frederick H. Bowen 1956-1963
53. Rev. William Nelson Frantz Oct. 1964
asst. Rev. Gray or
asst. Rev. Gilbert Fell for communion services and weddings
54. Rev. Harlan Marsh Baxter June 1968-April, 1971
55. Rev. Norman P. Madsen June, 1971-Sept., 1971
56. Rev. L. Wayne Musgrove Nov. 1971-March, 1973
57. Rev. John H. Coffee Jr. June, 1973
58. Rev. C. Garland Pollard, jr. June, 1973 to Feb. 1974
59. Rev. Newton W. Greiner Feb. 1974-1984
60. Rev. John Groth June, 1984-1987
61. Rev. Gerard Koob 1988-1989
62. Rev. Mary Frances Jones June, 1990
63. Rev. Marvin J. Wills, Jr., July 1, 2004
64. Rev. Byungil Ahn, June, 2014