Rev. Elwood

REV. ELWOOD A. HARRAR was born in 1869 to Jackson and Phebe Harrar in Colerain, Lancaster County PA, where he grew up . His father was a farmer. 

By 1919 Elwood Harrar had becme a Baptist minister. He was then living in Pittsburgh PA with his wife Lillian, son Norman, and daughter Mary. Sadly, Lillian Harrar during the early 1920s. Reverend Harrar would remarry around 1924.

Rev. Harrar was involved with several business and civic groups, and in the early 1920s was active in the fund raising drive that culminated in the building of the Walt Whitman Hotel at Broadway and Cooper Street.

By 1930 Rev. Harrar had come to Camden NJ, where he became the pastor of Camden's First Baptist Church, located at 28 North 4th Street. He served there for many years, and lived in Camden for the rest of his days. 

When the Census was taken in April of 1930, Rev. Harrar and wife Jennie owned a home at 604 Benson Street, where they were living as late as the fall of 1936. When the City Directory was compiled for 1947 the Harrars had moved to 651 Berkley Street

Rev. Harrar was residing at 651 Berkley Street as late as the fall of 1956. He  passed away by October 1959, survived by his wife, who still was living on Berkley Street.

Camden Courier-Post  - February 9, 1928

Rev. Elwood A. Harrar
Victor King
Winfield S. Price
Rev. Brendan C. Shea
H. Raymond Staley

Hotel Walt Whitman


Camden Courier-Post - February 10, 1928

Choral Group of Organ Club Has New Name
Singers Form ‘Musical Art Society’ According to Plans Made at Founding

The Choral Association of the Camden Chapter, National Association of Organists, has become a separate organization. From now on it will be known as the Musical Art Society

The group, at its start here, was sponsored by the Camden Chapter with an aim to establish it as a separate group as soon as a successful working basis was reached.

Patronage has been forthcoming which has assured the society of a place in the musical activities of the community. The plan is to develop a sound choral group, capable of producing serious choral works in artistic manner.

The society’s membership list is still open. Voices, both male and female, are needed. Singers with ability at reading are especially urged to make themselves known. Applications, under the new society’s plan, should be sent to Edna M. Llewellyn, Fourth Avenue and Kings Highway, Haddon Heights.

Rehearsal will continue at the First Baptist Church here on the first, second and third Mondays of every month.

Present patrons are Wilfred W. Fry, Mrs. Fry, Charles K. Haddon, Mrs. Walter J. Staats, Hon. E.G.C. Bleakly, Mrs. Elwood A. Harrar, Mrs. F. Morse Archer, A. Wilbur Nash, Dr. Edward M. Sullivan, J. Walter Levering, Dr. Joseph E. Roberts, William G. Moore, Mrs. Mary L. Neer, Mrs. J. Harry Knerr, Mrs. Ada M. Eckenhoff, Mrs. Charles A. Reynolds, and Joseph D. Brisby.

The former choral association will retain its officers under the new title of the Musical Art Society, with the exception of the post of secretary. Miss Llewellyn will replace Walter M. Smith temporarily.

The officers are: Henry S. Fry, director; Miss Llewellyn, treasurer; Ada M. Eckenhoff, librarian; Robert M. Haley, president; Marion V. Taylor, Evelyn Lawrence, Stanley Nelson, Harry W. Schwartz, Marjorie Riggins Seybold, F. Marie Wesbroom-Dager and Howard S. Tussey, executive board.

The society will present at least two public concerts in the spring, one in April at the North Baptist Church and the spring concert, which has been tentatively scheduled for May and will probably take place in the First Baptist Church.

Camden Courier-Post
May 16, 1929

Rev. Dr. Elwood Harrar
First Baptist Church

Camden Courier-Post
May 16, 1929

Rev. Dr. Elwood Harrar
First Baptist Church
Linden Baptist Church
Rev. P.B. Mahoney
Rev. John G. Fryer
Rev. Raymond P. Wilson
Rev. C.W. Dannenhauer
Mrs. Thomas N. Martin
J. Minor WIlbur
Hinson V. Howlett - F.I. Sigmund

Camden Courier-Post - June 20, 1933

Interesting Program Arranged for Exercises in School Auditorium 

A class of 373 will be graduated tomorrow night from Cooper B. Hatch Junior High School at exercises in the auditorium, Euclid Avenue and Park Boulevard

The program: Processional, orchestra; invocation, Rev. C. W. Dannenhauer, pastor of Parkside Baptist Church; welcome to guests, Charles Livingston, president of the class; message to graduates, Rev. Elwood A. Harrar, pastor of First Baptist Church; song by the graduates; A Century of Progress in Science, Carl Matt; selection by the orchestra; As Right as Roosevelt, Miriam Reiff; song by the graduates, presentation of gifts, award of special honors; announcement of graduates, by Carleton R. Hopkins, principal; benediction, Rev. Irving Maxwell, pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church; recessional, orchestra.

The graduates

Camden Courier-Post - June 24, 1933


Diplomas and certificates were awarded 25 graduates of the Y.M.C.A. naturalization class last night.

They were presented by Herman Hensgen, chairman of the naturalization committee. The new citizens recently were naturalized by U.S. Judge John Boyd Avis and County Judge Samuel M. Shay.

Hensgen delivered the address of welcome. A zither duet was given by Eugene Heilig and John Gruetzer; recitation by Doris Graves, McKinley School; address by Rev. Elwood A. Harrar, pastor of First Baptist Church, and vocal solo by Alfred L. Huttelmeyer.

William C. Cramer, clerk of the U.S. District Court, presented certificates to the new citizens.

Camden Courier-Post - February 19, 1936

Rev. Elwood A. Harrar Reviews Life of First President

An address on the life of George Washington featured a luncheon meeting of the Camden Rotary Club at the Hotel Walt Whitman yesterday.

The speaker was Rev. Elwood A. Harrar, member of the club and pastor of the First Baptist Church of this city. 

Reverend Harrar, an authority on Washington, stressed the precepts of character of the first president which are not as well known as those exploits embraced in history books. 

The pastor spoke of Washington, the scientist; Washington, the farmer; Washington, the humanitarian and Washington, the reverent, respectful religious man alive to the will of God. 

"There were four foundation stones in George Washington's character," said the speaker. "These were humility, integrity, self-control and religion." 

Quoting many authorities, Reverend Harrar said: "Washington's word was his bond. Honesty was his principle. The good of the common man was his concern. Justice was his monitor. We are told that he had a fiery temper but that he held it in reserve. 

"Gracious toward all men, his was a quiet, modest dignity which at once demanded respect. 

"In religion, Washington was ever mindful of the will of God and the highest tributes that have been paid him have brought out his reverence, his interest and his humble submission to the God in whom he devoutly believed." 

Camden Courier-Post - February 7, 1938

First Baptist Church Begins 120th Anniversary Celebration

Congregation Organized in Camden in 1818;
Seminary Head Preaches

Organized February 5, 1818, when Camden was a village of fewer than 900 residents, the First Baptist Church of Camden yesterday began celebration of its 120th anniversary. It will continue with special services and music Wednesday and Friday nights. The program was arranged by Rev. Elwood A. Harrar, pastor since 1922.

A large congregation attended the opening anniversary worship service at 10.30 a. m., in the church edifice, Fourth and Arch streets, which succeeded the first meeting house built in 1818 and the second erected in 1839.

The anniversary sermon was delivered by Rev. Dr. James H. Franklin, president of Crozier Theological


 Seminary, Chester, Pa., of which Rev. Harrar is a trustee.

Citing the physical changes that have occurred in 120 years Dr. Franklin pointed out that the needs of man in respect. to his moral character and human relationships have not changed and that the church is as necessary today as it ever was.

"The message of the church today must deal with all phases of human relationships, social, economic and political, as well as religious," Dr. Franklin declared.         

At this service there was music by the junior and senior choirs of the church.

Celebration in the Bible School, also in the morning, was prefaced by greetings from Randolph Cramer, president of the Camden County Council of Religious Education.

Mrs. Bennett Speaks

Mrs. Harold W. Bennett, wife of City Commissioner Bennett, spoke on missionary activities and exhibited curios from the Congo, Africa, where she was born. a daughter of missionary parents, and where a sister and a brother-in-law are now engaged in mission work Rev. Chester A. Pennington was soloist and Miss Grace Hill violinist in a musical program.

The night service was a "Celebration in Music," at which Rev. Harrar spoke on the place of music in religion. The Baseler Harp Ensemble, one of Philadelphia's notable musical organizations, and the church choir provided the musical features of the celebration

On Wednesday night 'the program includes a spiritual fellowship service, reception of new members and communion service.

Reunion Service Friday

Rev. Ivan Murray Rose, D.D., pastor of the First Baptist Church of Philadelphia, mother church of the Camden body, will address the congregation at an anniversary reunion service Friday night. Greetings will be received from the churches which have grown out of the Camden church. These greetings will be extended by the pastors of the various churches. They are as follows:

Rev. Walter S. Dunlop, North Church; Rev. Walter L. Hunt, Tabernacle Church; Rev. Culbert G. Rutenber, Linden Church; Rev. C. W. Dannenhower, Parkside Church; Rev. Antonio Galloppi, Italian Church; Rev. Paul Bramball, Laurel Springs Church; Rev. David J. Davis, Oaklyn Church, and Rev. Gilbert L. Guffin, Merchantville Church.

Officers of the CAMDEN NJ - First Baptist ChurchFirst Baptist Church are Atlie M. Ward, president of board of trustees; F. Y. MacCullough, president board of deacons; Frank B. Gail, treasurer; Ida M. Subers, financial secretary; Howard H. Westcott, clerk; Raymond B. Heston, organist and director of choir and J. Alpheus V. Harker, Sunday School superintendent.