32 Stewart Street

The following is derived from
The Centennial History of Camden Methodism
published in 1909

Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church

This church was organized in a tent on the lot where now stands the church building, September 17th, 1894, by Rev. D. B. Harris, Presiding Elder of Camden District, Rev. J. B. Wescott and Rev. J. F. Shaw, 
also being present. Original organization consisted of twenty-nine members and twenty-five probationers. George W. Ridout was appointed pastor.

The first Board of Trustees were elected October 2nd, 1894. The First Quarterly conference was held October 13, 1894. At a meeting of the church held in Wright's Hall, October 10th, 1894, it was unanimously decided, first, that a church be erected immediately, second, the Trustees constitute the building committee, third, that three lots of land be secured.

On the evening of October 22nd in the presence of quite an assembly of people, ground was broken for a church edifice. Rev. J.B. Westcott, pastor of Dudley M. E. Church, formally broke the ground, while the people sang, "Praise God from Whom all Blessings flow."

In the afternoon of Thanksgiving Day, November 29th, 1894 the corner stone was laid by Rev. D. B. Harris, Presiding Elder. Rev. Dr. Marshall, Pastor of Centenary M. E. Church, Camden, made the address. 
Rev. J.B.Wescott and Rev. J. F. Shaw, also assisted.

Sunday, January 13th, 1895 services were held for the first time in the new church. The formal opening of the new church took place Sunday, February 3rd, 1895, Rev. Dr. Moffett of Camden, officiating.

The church was incorporated October 13th, 1894. Articles of incorporation were received and recorded by the County Clerk, November 2nd, 1894.

The following pastors have served the church Geo. W. Ridout, September 17th, 1894 to March 14, 1897. He was followed by Rev. Geo. D. Thompson, who gave himself to the work with a fervency unsurpassed in its spirit of and zeal, which was not for a moment relinquished until disease had fastened itself on him and he was compelled to give up his work. After months of intense suffering he passed from labor to reward, September 1898. Of him it can be truly said, "He rests from his labors and his works do follow him." He was succeeded by Edward A. Wells, then a local preacher in the Tabernacle Church of Camden, whose pastorate extended over the period from September 19th, 1898 to March 12th, 1901. Then Joseph T. Wilde, another local preacher of Tabernacle, became pastor and served the church from March
12th, 1901 to March 14th, 1905. He was succeeded by William K. Fisher, the present pastor.

illiam K. Fisher Rev. George W. Ridout

During the present pastorate plans have been laid and consummated for the complete renovation of the church property. Last fall a new heater was placed in the church at a cost of $90.00 and paid for. A new
tin roof has been placed on the building; the church has been painted out side (two coats); the walls and ceiling inside have been calcimined; all the wood work has been painted and varnished; the Primary Department of the Sunday School has purchased small chairs for the children of its department; the small room of the church has been fitted up for a prayer meeting room by having a suitable platform and chancel placed in position and the aisles carpeted; the sliding doors between the audience room and the primary
room have been cut in two and lower part made stationary and glass has taken the place of wooden panels in the upper parts, which are movable; the pulpit and aisles of the main audience room have been covered with Brussels carpet by the Ladies' Aid Society.

Under the present pastor's administration Rev. Howard Amer was licensed to preach and after having served supply appointments in the New Jersey Conference, took up the work in Colorado. The Rev. Burton J. K. Way was also licensed to preach and is now doing supply work in our conference. Wesley Bright, recently licensed as an exhorter is now a student at Pennington Seminary preparing for the ministry.

Rev. G.W. Ridout and Rev. E.S. Wells both of whom have gained wide reputation in holiness circles are very successful members of the New Jersey Conference.

Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church

The Quarterly Conference of the church is constituted as follows: Rev. William K. Fisher, Pastor; Wesley Bright, Exhorter; Stewards, Joseph Bacon, Benjamin Todd, Mrs. Kate Sewall, Mrs. M. Hickman; Recording Steward, Miss Stella C. Sewall; Trustees, Reuben Plum, Benjamin Todd, Joseph Bacon, Harry D. Brooks; Epworth League President, E.W. Nixon; Junior League Superintendent, Mrs. Eloise MacElwell;
Financial Secretary, Harry Bright; Treasurer, Miss Stella C. Sewall; Class Leaders, Friend Mapes and Walter Dill. 

Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church Official Board - 1909

Top: Walter Dill - Mrs. Kate Sewall - E.W. Nixon - Mrs. Eloise MacElwell - Friend Mapes
Bottom: Joseph L. Bacon - Harry D. Brooks - T.H. Whitford - Mrs. Maggie Hickman - 
                 Benjamin Todd - Reuben Plum


Additional Notes

At some point after 1950 Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church combined with St. George's Methodist Episcopal Church, which was located in the 3300 block of Mickle Street. St. George's was still an active church into the 1970s. 

Philadelphia Inquirer - February 19, 1906
Grace Todd - Women's Foreign Ministry Society - Arthur Stanley - Fannie Clark
First Methodist Episcopal Church - Broadway Methodist Episcopal Church
Locust Street - Rita Veratti - Rev. J.W. Lee - Turner Hall
Kaighn Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church - Butcher's Beneficial Society
William St. Claire -
Broadway - Chestnut Street - Cooper Hospital
St. Patrick's Cemetery - Church of the Immaculate Conception
Evangelist Howard Amer - Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church 

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