Rev. John

REV. JOHN S. HACKETT was a well known figure in Depression-era Camden. He operated the Wiley Mission, and in that capacity ran what amounted to being one of the largest homeless shelters in South Jersey. He leased the former post office building at Third and Arch Street when the current one opened up at Fourth and Market Streets, and converted the building for use by his mission.

This web-page contains many newspaper articles about Reverend Hackett and his work in the City of Camden. For a more intimate and detailed accounting of his life and times prior to coming to Camden through 1934, click on the companion web-page to this one "JOHN S. HACKETT: Portrait of the Man and His Work", compiled by Helen K. Gledhill and privately published in 1937, which has been reproduced in great part on this web-site.

The Wiley Mission continues to serve those in need in Camden and the surrounding towns, and most recently has operated in Pennsauken NJ.

Camden Courier-Post * January 2, 1928

3 Others Held by Camden Police as Leaders in Dope Peddling Gang
Tell of Making Buys With Auto Used as ‘Silent Salesman’

Captured after a lengthy investigation, Anthony ‘Babe’ Paradise, of Camden has confessed to being the head of a narcotic ring operating throughout South Jersey, it was declared yesterday by Captain John Golden, head of the city detective bureau.

Paradise also admitted that he is a drug addict, Golden said, making the fact known when he became ill in his cell at the city jail and calling for Dr. W.G. Bailey, who has been treating him for the drug habit.

With three other men, who are accused as accomplices, Paradise is being held for a preliminary hearing in Police Court tomorrow morning. The four men, Golden said, will probably be held without bail pending grand jury action and be committed to the Camden County Jail. At the jail, detainers will be lodged against the quartette by Federal narcotics agents, who co-operated with city and county authorities in the investigation, which resulted in the arrests.

Golden declared that city detectives had purchased more than $500 worth of drugs from Paradise and his agents, in obtaining evidence against the ring, which authorities said reaches into Atlantic City and other South Jersey communities as well as Camden.

The three men arrested with Paradise are James Mucci, 18 years old, of 324 Stevens Street, Rocco DeCord, 21 years old, of 221 Spruce Street, and Andrew Hill, of Locust Street, near Kaighn Avenue. According to the detectives, the base of operations of the “ring” was in the Third Ward. Mucci and DeCord were arrested in a barbershop at Third and Locust streets, three blocks from the Wiley M. E. Church where the pastor, Rev. John S. Hackett, recently exposed vice conditions existing in the Third ward and assailed the Department Public Safety for laxity. The arrest of Paradise and the others is believed to be a result of the result of the clergyman’s scathing sermons.

Paradise and Hill were arrested several hours before the other two men. Fearing that they get word to other members of the “ring” police took the two men to Merchantville police headquarters, where Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Varbalow and Chief County Detective Lawrence T. Doran were waiting. Statements were obtained from the two, and meanwhile Mucci and DeCord were taken into custody. Paradise, who is 34 years old, served a year In State Prison five years ago for selling narcotics.

Detectives George Ward, Louis Shaw, and Thomas Cheeseman, of the city, and M.H.  Shapiro and J.H. McFadden, of the federal office in Philadelphia, arranged the purchase of a ‘deck” of heroin from Paradise, and ‘caught him with the goods’  when he met them at Nineteenth Street and River Road, near his, home at 927 North Nineteenth Street.

Paradise was in his expensive automobile when arrested. It was the machine he had used to distribute narcotics to his agents and addicts during the past few years, the detectives said.

Decks  of dope which sold for $1.50 each, police said, were placed in the automobile which was driven to a certain point as prearranged, and then Paradise would leave it parked, the detcrt1ves said.

Peddling Scheme Bared

At a  stated hour an agent or addict would approach the machine, take the “dope” inside, and leave money as payment. Paradise would return and collect the money received, it was said.

That the ring extended to Philadelphia, New York, and other large Eastern cities was indicated by the many times the automobile was parked at Camden bridge plaza for hours, when exchanges would be made, the detectives said.  

Camden Courier-Post * January 2, 1928


 The year end crop of crime in the city was too big.

Within twenty-four hours, two women were attacked and robbed on the street; seven homes and stores were looted.

The Director of Public Safety “hadn’t heard about it” when the Courier rang him up to ask him what the police were going to do about it.

This attitude of indifference, of superiority to criticism, of rejection of responsibility, is as much out of place in a city government as a loved one’s hair in your soup.

It is not the fault of active police but of the city department that supervises them. Not of Chief Tatem, but of Commissioner Rohne.

* * * * *

As if made to order for the benefit if Rev. John S. Hackett, pastor of the Wiley Methodist Episcopal Church came the story “Huge Dope Ring Blasted with Four Arrests.”

The arrest of those charged with being accomplices of Anthony “Babe” Paradise, alleged head of the narcotic ring, occurred in a barbershop three blocks away from Pastor Hackett’s church.

Pastor Hackett asserted people of a neighborhood know what is going on in it, but that apparently police do not.

Commissioner Rohne invited the pastor to adopt the Commissioner’s self service plan of police work, citizens to make sworn charges. 

The preacher refused naturally. He had done his part. 

Then the police got busy, and three blocks away from Pastor Hackett’s church they captured the gang.

* * * * *

Such quick action points to only one conclusion; that the police knew perfectly well where to look for the dope peddlers.

If they didn’t, there were plenty of citizens who could and would have correctly given them information.

It is not the citizen’s duty to make complaints and swear out charges and prosecute the case.

The city has detectives to follow up clues given privately, and police to make the arrests.

* * * * *

Camden is a live, liberal, modern city. 

Camden has no hankering for constant disturbance by VICE CRUSADES but Camden wants no drug ring headquarters conducted in it either. No peddlers of heroin and cocaine driving their illicit and ruinous traffic among its citizens.

Whether the police could or could not have made these arrests long ago, or whether this was the first opportunity, citizens will have their own opinion.

But the incident must impress the public mind vividly, as a demonstration that Preacher Hackett knew what he was talking about- and that a self service police system won’t work.

Commissioner Rohne and the police have full responsibility- and apparently an abundance of opportunity.

For the belated capture of these caterers to the appetite for life-wrecking drugs, Camden citizens are grateful.

And part of the thanks must go to Rev. Hackett..  

Camden Evening Courier (Courier-Post) October 11, 1928

Police Seeking Mysterious Stranger in Terrific Downtown Blast

Crudely Made Explosive Placed in Trench Beneath Steps

With the owners and the police attributing jealously of business success as the only plausible motive for the bombing last night of the plant of the Sanitary Milk Dairies Company, at 311 Division Street. Search was started today for a tall, heavyset man, with mixed blue suit, as the bomber.

City detectives mingled among the throngs of men, woman and children who today viewed the damage caused by the bomb - a crude, home - made time device - which, in exploding, rocked the neighborhood, shattered window panes, doors, fences and the exteriors of nearby properties. Machinery in the Coccia plant was damaged by the concussion and by parts of bomb shrapnel, which pierced or bent it.

Mrs. Angelina Coccia, mother of the Coccia brothers, her daughter, Theresa Coccia, 14, and Mrs. Mary De Luzzio, 59, of 317 Division Street, were in the kitchen of the Coccia home when the bomb exploded. The dairy is at the rear of the home of Primo Coccia, one of the owners. His brothers -partners in the business are Paul Coccia, 242 Pine Street; Adam Coccia, 346 Cherry Street, and Matthew Coccia, 941 South Third Street.

Saw Mysterious Stranger

Mrs. Coccia cannot speak English, but through her son, Matthew Coccia, it was learned today that, before the explosion, she had seen a man passing the kitchen window.

"The man walked down the alley at the side of the house," Mrs. Coccia told her son in Italian. "He was a heavy-set man and tall; I thought he was a customer who had come for milk. People often come at night to buy milk, and I did not think it strange about the man.

"But then I waited for hi to knock at the back door, as customers usually do," she continued.

"When he did not knock, I wondered what he might be up to, and I was just ready to leave the kitchen to see where he went when I heard the explosion. I did not know what happened after that, I was so nervous, I didn't even see the man leave the way he came. But he was the one who set the bomb. Of that I am sure."

Dog Vainly Warns

The Coccia's have a big Italian Bulldog chained to a gasoline tank at the rear of their home. The dog barked continually last night to warn the Coccias, they were so used to his barks, they said today, that they thought he had been growling at a customer, as he sometimes does late at night.

Mrs. Coccia said she was unable to give a detailed description of the man she saw last night because an electric bulb in the alleyway was not lit. It was the first time the alley was in darkness at night. Matthew Coccia said, and this the bomber apparently took into consideration in seeking to go about his diabolical tasks without possible detection.

Coccia said boys living in the neighborhood saw the man enter an automobile, with lights out, immediately after the explosion shook the neighborhood. The car, they said, had been parked near the Coccia home with its front and rear lights out.

Detective Fiore Troncone, who is investigating the bombing, informed Coccia today that he had received a description of the automobile from Coccia's neighbors. They said they had seen the driver put on the lights of Fourth and Division Street as he turned the corner to go north in his escape.

Rev. John S. Hackett, pastor of the Wiley M.E. Church, Third and Berkley Streets, who was among those viewing the damage done by the bomb, said he saw the man acting nervously at Third and Pine Street last night, immediately after the explosion. His description of the man tallied with that given by Mrs. Coccia.

"I was waiting for the first edition of the Morning Post to arrive at the store at that comer." Mr. Hackett said today, "when my attention was attracted to this man. He seemed to be very nervous about something. He was fairly tall and heavy - set and wore a mixed blue suit, with light coloring.

"When the papers arrived and I bought a copy, he seemed to be very anxious to see what was on the front page. I did not know about the bomb until I read the paper, but it occurred t me later that perhaps this man was acting suspiciously and was eager to see what damage had been caused. I'm sorry now I didn't question him. But I can give police a good description of him.

The Coccias said the only reason they could see for the bombing was jealousy of their business success by a person with a deranged mind.

"We had no enemies," Matthew Coccia said, "and we never fought with anybody. I cannot understand it. It must have been jealousy at the way we were getting along."

Coccia said no threatening letters had been received. He insisted that there was no reason why the "Blackhand" should desire to ruin Primo Coccia's home or their business.

Neighbors called police and fireman.

Detectives found a firemen's shovel near where the stone steps to the dairy had been. They believed it had been used to dig a trench under the steps in which to insert the bomb.

Primo Coccia, who had been to the theatre, came home five minutes after the explosion. He found a throng in front and dazedly pushed through until his mother hysterically screamed the news to him.

The bomb burst in the dairy door and sprayed big pieces of the iron pipe along the side of the house and into the room, where it caused most of the damage to the machinery.

Fifteen windows of the Coccia house were shattered and police believe the foundations at the rear may have been weakened.

The worst damage to neighboring buildings was to the rear of the Seven Brothers Bakery, owned by the Canzanese Brothers, 318­22 Pine Street, which backs against the dairy. Twenty windows of the bakery were crushed in, the door was riddles with small pieces of the pipe and the rear was peppered with the "shrapnel. "

Mario Manarefi, 912 South Fourth street, a bookkeeper in the bakery, was at his home nearby. He ran to the street and looked several minutes for the bombers before he joined the crowd.

Joseph Scotthouse, 317 Division Street, ran to the yard at the rear of his home to find the fence had been peppered with tiny pieces of the pipe, some of which had tom into his kitchen through windows and doors.

Six windows of the home of Sabatino Di Paolo, 321 Division Street, were broken. Fragments of the pipe were found on the floor of rooms on the second floor of his house, he told police.

A police cardon was thrown around the neighborhood by Chief of Police Stehr, who took personal charge of the investigation. 

Where Bomb Rocked Neighborhood

Chief of Police Stehr is shown pointing to the spot under the back steps of the Camden Sanitary Dairy Company at 311 Division Street, Where a time bomb exploded last night, The bomb was placed under the steps.

Police from every district in the city were rushed to the scene and patrols were dispatched to be prepared for any eventuality.

The neighborhood was searched carefully and every resident was questioned, but no one was able to give any clue which might lead police to the bombers.

Squads of detectives and police patrolled the neighborhood for hours after the explosion, seeking objects, which might have been dropped by the bombers.

Camden Courier-Post
June 6, 1932

South 3rd Street
Kaighn Avenue

Camden Courier-Post - February 9, 1933

Three at Old Post Office Disagree With Hackett Edict About Rum

Disagreeing with an edict issued by Rev. John S. Hackett, three members of the staff of the new Wiley Mission, at the old post office building, Third and Arch streets, "walked out" Saturday.

Shortly after noon Hackett issued an order forbidding his staff from admitting to the mission any person who had an odor of liquor about him.

The three who quit are David Fox, business manager; Mrs. Wallace Lee,  his sister, nurse and chorister, and James Laird, house man. Rev. Mr. Hackett, who is pastor of Wiley M. E. Church, Third and Beckett streets, denied an earlier report that Dr. Robert R. Roth and 12 men employed as truck drivers, storekeepers and  general helpers, also quit. 

"I found two men drunk in the mission Friday night," Mr. Hackett said. "Prior to my visit to the mission, one drunken man had been taken away in a patrol wagon.

"I am going to take personal charge of the mission while trying to complete negotiations with an expert social worker to take over this work. I am not at liberty to tell his name now, but I can say he is experienced in handling men and in work of this kind.

"As an answer to those who charged the missions were unsanitary, Mrs. Hackett and myself will live in the old post office building until other arrangements are made. And, furthermore, Dr. A. S. Stone, city health director, has given the mission a clean bill of health." 

Events leading up to the "walkout" were given by Fox. 

"The two men, one a carpenter and the other a storekeeper, applied at the mission for lodging Friday night," Fox said. "Both men were intoxicated, but they were not boisterous and were not disturbing the other lodgers. They were in bed when Rev. Hackett reached the mission. He ordered them to leave. 

"I took the two men, both about 55; in my car to the police station, where I made arrangements to have them taken care of over the night. 

"The carpenter, who has suffered from heart trouble for some time, returned to the mission about 1:00 P.M. and was again ordered to leave by Rev. Hackett, although the snowstorm was at its height. The man was not drunk; he was sick. He was suffering from a recurrence of his heart trouble.

"The reason the men were refused admission was because they had the smell of liquor on their breath.

"I have always thought that one purpose of a mission was to shelter men in just that condition, get them in a proper condition, take care of them if they needed shelter, and then make them followers of Christ."

Camden Courier-Post - June 4, 1933

Choral Group of 500 to Give 'Songfests' for Wiley Mission
Donald Redding to Direct Society; 5 Broadcasts Planned

Formation of the Camden Choral Broadcasting Society, to be com­posed of 500 or more voices, trained and directed by an internationally known choral leader, was announced Saturday by Rev. John S. Hackett, pastor of Wiley M. E. Church, 635 South Third Street, and founder and superintendent of Wiley Mission, in the old post office building at Third and Arch Streets.

The choral society will include singers from Camden, South Jersey and Philadelphia churches, and will make its debut on June 12 at the opening of a series of unusual "camp meetings" sponsored by Wiley Church.

Donald Redding, musical director of Bethany Presbyterian Church, of Philadelphia, the "Wanamaker Church," who presented an inter­church choir of nearly 600 at the Wiley Mission in Convention Hall on May 11, will have charge of the new choral society here.

Harold C. Lowden, noted church organist, composer and music publisher, has been invited to direct the instrumental music. The choral society will be augmented at times by the 75-piece inter-church band and by various church orchestras during broadcasts over WCAM.

The first rehearsal of the society will be held at 8 p. m., Thursday in Wiley Mission. The society will present five broadcasts for the benefit of Wiley Mission, over WCAM through the courtesy of WCAM officials. The broadcasts will be on June 16, June 19, June 23, June 26 and June 30.

The society will also sing each night at the "camp meetings" to be conducted in Wiley Mission. Instead of the meetings being held under can­vas, they will be conducted in the old mail sorting room of' the former post office building each night for the two weeks starting June 12.

Another departure in the usual proceedings of "camp meetings" has been announced by Reverend Hackett. Prominent laymen of Camden and South Jersey will speak each night instead of preachers.

The old mail sorting room, through which passed thousands of letters daily before the opening of the new federal building at Fourth and Market Streets, will be transformed into a sylvan bower with potted plants, shrubs and even trees scattered around, while overhead large electrical fans will supply plenty of breeze.

On June 24 the Choral Society, inter-church band, Rev. Hackett and the Wiley Broadcasters will hold an all-day rally in Alcyon Park. The Broadcasters will "reproduce" a radio program similar to those presented three times a week from Wiley Church. 

Camden Courier-Post - June 13, 1933

'Indoor Camp Meetings' Open In Former P. O. Sorting Room 
Once Bleak Walls Transformed by Floral Decoration Into Colorful Revival Hall;
Millville's Praying Mayor Speaks Tonight


A place that once served as a "hall of heartaches and happiness," through whose portals daily passed thousands of letters bearing a message of woe or joy, a tale of life or death, an account of prosperity or depression-messages to and from the four corners of the world, last night was the setting for the first of a series of "indoor camp meetings." 

The meetings, held by Wiley Mission, opened in the old mail sorting room of the former federal building at Third and Arch Streets, where men in somber gray uniforms once toiled with the thought foremost that the mall must be delivered, men and women gathered to hear a businessman speak of religion. 

The once bleak walls of the large room had the appearance of a sylvan glen. Potted plants, shrubs and even trees broke the dreariness of the old mail sorting room and added a touch of color. There William McLaughlin, manager of a cork company in Philadelphia, and associate superintendent of the Sunday school of Bethany Presbyterian Church, the "Wanamaker Church of Philadelphia", discussed religion as related to business.

Learn to Die 

"Many men in business forget religion as soon as they get to their offices, to their luncheon clubs or among their associates," he said. "Businessmen, like everybody else, will have to get back to business. People who have been withholding things from the Master are going to experience a great blessing when they give their all. 

"Everybody, it seems, knows how to live, but few know how to die. Many peaple do nat believe in miracles. I am just old-fashioned enough to believe in miracles. Had newspapers been published 2000 years ago, front pages would have been filled with stories and pictures af the miracle af the loaves and the fishes. It is the only miracle mentioned in four books of the Bible. The miraculous is better than the ridiculous." 

At the conclusion of the meeting, Rev. John S. Hackett; pastor of Wiley M. E. Church, 635 South Third Street, and founder and superintendent of the Mission, announced there had been 25 conversions last night. 

Donald Redding, musical director of Bethany Presbyterian Church, led the large Inter-church chair in the first of a series of "songfests" the Camden Choral Broadcasting Society will present during the meetings. The personnel of the. choir includes representatives of many Camden, Philadelphia and South Jersey churches. 

Service Tonight 

Rev. Charles F. Ball, pastor of Bethany Church, will speak tonight, and Arthur N. Morris, Philadelphia layman and business man, who teaches one of the largest Bible classes In the city, will speak tomorrow night. 

Mayor Harry Van Hook, of Millville, cousin of Rev. Carlton R. Van Hook, formerly pastor of First M. E. Church here, has been Invited to speak Thursday night. Mayor Van Hook was recently elected and opens each commission meeting with a prayer.

Friday night will be "All-Nations" nights with singers appearing in native costume, and talks made in at least six foreign languages. A delegation from the Philadelphia Highway Mission and Jail Workers will have charge of the meeting Saturday night and Rev. Hackett will speak on "Open Sunday vs. the Working Man" next Sunday night. B. Frank Buck, editor of the Millville Republican, and former state legislator, will speak on June 20. 

Camden Courier-Post - June 14, 1933

Wiley Mission to Broadcast "Indoor Camp Meeting" Event
Radio Equipment to Be Installed Today in Old Mail Sorting Room
of Former Federal Building for Special Service

Modern methods of communication will invade the former federal building at Third and Arch Streets today. From the structure where thousands of letters radiated daily, messages of Wiley Mission will be broadcast, starting at 4 p. m. tomorrow.

Equipment for broadcasting the "indoor camp meetings" of Wiley Mission will be placed in the old mail sorting room of the former federal building today, and when the all-day meeting is held at the mission to morrow, instead of at Wiley M. E. Church, the service at 4 p. m., will be broadcast over WCAM.

"Amy of Chinatown," internationally known character in church circles, who turned from a life of ease in glamorous New York's bit of the Orient, will inaugurate the new broadcasting locale of Wiley Mission and Wiley M. E. Church. The noted evangelist, lecturer and writer, who has been heard in Camden on numerous occasions, will begin a series of afternoon meetings at the mission today, in conjunction with the "indoor camp meetings" held nightly in the old post office building. 

The broadcasting equipment, Rev. John S. Hackett, superintendent of the mission and pastor of the church, said last night, is being installed only temporarily, and the radio activities of the mission and church will again be centered in the church building at 635 South Third Street as soon as the "indoor camp meetings" are over. 

Rev. Charles F. Ball, formerly of Dallas, Texas, and now pastor of Bethany Presbyterian Church, the "John Wanamaker Church" of Philadelphia, last night declared that persons who insisted the Bible is old fashioned are wrong. 

"You can read in one book of the Bible the same kind of stories that appear in the daily newspapers throughout the world today," he said. "If the Bible is so old-fashioned as some people try to tell us, why are modern newspapers patterned after it? 

"There are only two classes of people in the world, as far as the Bible is concerned. They are the righteous and the wicked," he said. "There is no halfway ground. Every person is in one of the two classes." 

Rev. Ball classified ministers today as "prophets of the New Testament," whose sole business "should be to pass on to the people of the land the teachings of Christianity, just as did the prophets of the Old Testament." 
Bernard Poland, who sang with Henri Scott, internationally known grand opera star; Donald Redding and Howard MacNeill at the Wiley Mission Jubilee in Convention Hall on May 11, led the singing and directed the inter-church choir at last night's meeting. Poland also sang several tenor solos. C. Harold Lowden, noted organist, composer and music publisher, was instrumentalist. 
Arthur N. Morris, prominent Philadelphia businessman and teacher of one of the largest Bible classes in Philadelphia, will speak tonight.

Camden Courier-Post - June 15, 1933

"Indoor Camp Meetings" Being Conducted at Mission in Old Post Office
Dinner in Marble Halls Will Cost Only 9 Cents

A full meal of wholesome food, served at a neatly appointed table, in a setting of Venetian splendor with marbled walls-all for nine cents.

Visitors to Wiley Mission today when an all-day meeting will be held in the old post office building at Third and Arch Streets, will get "Two-dollar service in a million-dollar setting for nine cents at meal time," according to Rev. John S. Hackett. superintendent of the mission. 

Tables have been placed in the corridors of the old federal building and lunch and supper will be served.

"'We will give them plenty to eat, and good food, too," Rev. Hackett said, "and make about one cent profit on each meal." 

Giving a man a job is a blessing, not only to the man but to the community, and keeping him at work as long as possible is an act of Christianity, Arthur N. Morris, paper box manufacturer of Philadelphia, said last night in addressing the "indoor camp meeting" of Wiley Mission in the old post office building; 
Third and Arch Streets. 

Morris said business needs religion and religion needs business. He is 'teacher' of Bethany Bible class at Bethany Presbyterian Church, the "John Wanamaker church" of Philadelphia. Before the meeting started in the old mail sorting room, Morris was taken on a tour of inspection of the Mission by Rev. John S. Hackett, superintendent. He was so impressed with the work being accomplished that he volunteered to return and speak tonight when he learned Harry Van Hook, the "praying mayor" of Millville, would be unable to speak on account of illness. 

Morris will be accompanied tonight by members of his Bible class, the largest men's Bible class in Philadelphia. Sessions of the class are broadcast each Sunday from the church.

The first radio program ever broadcast from the old post office will go on the air at 4 p.m. today over WCAM. Equipment was installed yesterday. "Amy of Chinatown," noted evangelist will speak on the initial broadcast, and also at the Mission each afternoon during the series of "indoor camp meetings." An all-day meeting will be held at the Mission today with services at 10.30 a.m., 2.30 p.m., and 8 p.m., and the broadcast from 4 to 5 p.m. 

C. Harold Lowden, noted organist, will direct the "All-Nations Revue" tomorrow night when singers will appear in native costumes, and addresses will be made in several foreign languages.

Camden Courier-Post - June 16, 1933

Wiley Mission to Hold Colorful International Service Tonight
'All-Nation Revue' To Be Presented as Part of 'Indoor Camp Meetings'
in Old Federal Building; Program Will Be Broadcast

An evangelistic "League of Nations" will be held in Camden to night. The international gathering will take place in the old mail sorting room of the former federal building at Third and Arch streets, and will be sponsored by Wiley Mission. 

Speakers and singers of ten nationalities will participate in the program arranged by C. Harold Lowden, organist, composed and music publisher, for the "All-Nations Revue" to be presented as part of the "indoor camp meetings" now in progress at the mission. 

The nationalities will include German, Italian, Scotch, Greek, Chinese, African, Ukrainian, Polish, Slav and English. Some of the singers will appear in native costumes, and hymns will be sung in several languages. Brief addresses will be made by representatives of the various countries.

Program To Be Broadcast 

The program will he broadcast by WCAM over the new radio equipment installed in the mission yesterday. 

Rev. John S. Hackett, superintendent of the mission, and pastor of Wiley M. E. Church, last night said arrangements had been completed for broadcasting portions of the "indoor camp meetings" on Monday and Friday nights. 

Mrs. Amy Ungrae, known as "Amy of Chinatown," started the broadcasting service yesterday at the all-day meeting held in the mission. She spoke on "Faith." Mrs. Ungrae will speak each afternoon at the mission during the "indoor camp meetings." 

Arthur N. Morris, paper box manufacturer of Philadelphia, who spoke Tuesday night, spoke at the meeting last night. Morris teacher of the Wanamaker Bible class of Bethany Presbyterian Church, one of the largest men's Bible classes in Philadelphia. He was accompanied by a delegation from the Bible class.

Hackett Preaches Sunday 

Tomorrow night's program will be in charge of a delegation from the Philadelphia Highway Mission and Jail Workers. Rev. Hackett will preach Sunday night on "Open Sunday. vs. the Workingman."

The program for next week includes a "Welcome Back" night for postal workers of Camden, when they will be honored in the room where they handled thousands of letters daily before the federal offices were moved. Postmaster Charles Ellis has been invited to speak, and several quartets composed of clerks and carriers will sing. The oldest clerk and the oldest carrier will be honored.

Donald Redding, musical director of Bethany Presbyterian Church, and Bernard Poland, member of the National Male Quartet, are leading in the singing at the "camp meetings." Lowden is chief instrumentalist.

Camden Courier-Post - June 17, 1933

Part of Program Broadcast; Italians Extend Greetings


Europe was transferred to Third and Arch Streets last night, musically, vocally and spiritually, if not physically, when the "All-Nations Revue" was presented by C. Harold Lowden, noted Camden organist and composer, as one of the series of "indoor camp meetings" being conducted by Wiley Mission. 

The event was held in the old mail sorting room of the former federal building, and a portion of the program was broadcast over WCAM, utilizing the new broadcasting apparatus recently installed in the room converted into an auditorium. During the program, Rev. John S. Hackett, pastor of Wiley M. E. Church and founder and superintendent of the mission, 
announced receipt of a letter from the assistant secretary of the treasury department, in charge of public buildings, extending to Wiley Mission permission to use the old post office building for an other year. Use of the building was obtained through Congressman Charles A. Wolverton, he 

Prior to the broadcast, Rev. Ella Nace, Conshohocken, Pennsylvania,  spoke for the "camp meeting" portion of the program. Before the mission "went off the air," Rev. Nace sang a hymn in Pennsylvania. Dutch. 

Bernard Poland, a member of the National Male Quartet, and associate of Henri Scott in concert and operatic work, directed the singing and also sang a tenor solo. Greetings from the Italian residents of Camden were extended by Rev. A. M. Galloppi, pastor of Italian Baptist Christian Center. William Viehweg sang a German song. Mrs. Blanche Goodwin, colored, sang "Nothing Between," a typical Negro spiritual.

Brevity of the broadcast prevented the mission presenting all selections Lowden arranged. Plans for another "All-Nations Revue" will be made by Lowden. 

The large auditorium of the mission was filled with representatives of many nationalities, the largest crowd since the "Indoor camp meetings" started last Monday night. 

Tonight's program will be in charge of a delegation from the Philadelphia Highway Mission and Jail Workers. The delegation will be headed by a band. 
Tomorrow night Rev. Hackett will preach on "Open Sunday vs. the Working Man," as the climax to an all-day meeting which will be held in the church in the morning and afternoon, and at the old post office building in the evening. 

Monday night has been set aside for the postal workers when "Welcome Back" night will be held. The clerks and carriers will present their own program, and the oldest men in point of service in each branch will be honored. 

Camden Courier-Post - June 19, 1933

Indoor Camp Meetings Start Second Week at Old P. O. Buildings

The second week of the "indoor camp meetings" of Wiley Mission will open tonight in the old post office building at Third and Arch Streets. Part of tonight's program will be broadcast by WCAM, from 8 to 8.30 p. m., from the former mail sorting room of the old federal building. 

Mrs. Amy Ungre, better known as "Amy of Chinatown," told her life story at the "camp meeting'" last night. She described her life as an inhabitant of New York's famous Chinatown, and her conversion 15 years ago. The Mission auditorium was packed. 

Mrs. Ungre is speaking at the afternoon session of the "Indoor camp meetings," while a variety of programs are presented each night. Rev. John S. Hackett, pastor of Wiley M. E. Church, 635 South Third Street, and founder and superintendent of the Mission, is in charge of the meetings. 

Rev. Hackett, accompanied by the Wiley Broadcasters, the inter-church band of 75 pieces and a large choir, wll1 hold an all-day rally next Saturday at Alcyon Park. The Wiley Broadcasters will "reproduce" the same kind of program broadcast three times a week from the church. 

Camden Courier-Post - June 21, 1933

Race Street Pupils to Take Part in Today's Services at Old P.O.

Hymns of the Orient and America will be sung in Chinese and English tomorrow at the "Indoor camp meeting" of Wiley Mission, in connection with the all-day meeting scheduled to start at 10.30 a. m., in the old post office building at Third and Arch Streets. 

A group of Chinese children, led by Dr. Ko, pastor of the Chinese M. E. Church on Race Street, Philadelphia, will present the hymns in their native and adopted languages. They will sing during the afternoon service, when a portion of the program will be broadcast over WCAM from 4 to 5 p. m and again at night. 

Dr. Ko will preach at the morning and afternoon services. The Mission will serve its nine-cent meal in "a million dollar setting" tomorrow noon and again at night. 

Rev. Adam. L. Martin, colorful evangelist and pastor of Zion Simon M. E. Church, Eighteenth and Wharton Streets, Philadelphia, last night compared life to a baseball game. He likened the "at bats," "hits, "runs", "assists" and "errors" to milestones in the life of man. 

Rev. Martin has delivered his famous "baseball sermon" in many churches throughout the East. He announced a pageant that attracted thousands to Atlantic City when it was first presented in the Atlantic City Convention Hall and that will be presented at Wiley Mission in the near future. The pageant, "The White Throne" will be broadcast if arrangements can be made. Rev. John S. Hackett, pastor of Wiley M. E. Church, and superintendent of the mission, announced. 

Bernard Poland, operatic tenor, who was formerly associated with Henri Scott, internationally known star of the Metropolitan and Chicago Opera companies in several concert tours, led the singing last night and sang several solos. C. Harold Lowden, Camden composer and organist, was chief instrumentalist. 

Plans are being completed for the all-day rally and Sunday school picnic at Alcyon Park next Saturday, Rev. Hackett said. The inter-church band and a large choir composed of singers from many South Jersey churches will join with the Wiley Broadcasters in presented "mock broadcasts" in the afternoon and evening. 

Camden Courier-Post - June 22, 1933

Woman Evangelist Describes 'Fishers of Men' at Wiley
Mission Continues Indoor Camp Meetings at Old Post Office, 
With Chinese Choir Singing Today and Picnic Saturday

Fishermen are made, not born, and there are too many small fish- and fishermen- in the world, declared Mrs. Amy Unruhe, evangelist known as Amy of Chinatown," in an address last night at the "Indoor Camp Meeting" of Wiley Mission. 

"There are thousands of men fishers," she said in her talk in the old mailing room of the former federal building, at Third and Arch Streets, where the meetings are being held nightly. "Some think if they get a certain kind of hat, gum boots that reach to the hips, and something on their hip, they can catch fish. 

"If fishermen were born, and not made, Jesus would not have said to two experienced fishermen, 'I will make thee fishers of men.' 

"No two fish are landed the same way. There is but one kind of hook. That is why we find Rev. John S. Hackett such a good fisher of men. He uses 
the only kind of hook that will draw fish- the Cross of Calvary." 

At the all-day meeting today, starting at 10.30 a.m., Dr. Ko, pastor of the Chinese M. E. Church, Race Street, Philadelphia, will speak. He will be accompanied to Camden by a group of Chinese children who will sing Oriental and English hymns in their native and adopted languages. A 
portion of the program at 4 p. m., will be broadcast over WCAM. The children will sing at the afternoon and evening services. 

Two large choirs will participate in tomorrow night's meeting. Richard Quick will direct the Tabernacle Baptist Choir, and a colored choir from Kaighn Avenue Baptist Church also will sing. The services will start at 8 p. m., and be broadcast from 9.30 to 10 p. m., by WCAM direct from the old 
post office building.

All arrangements have been completed for the picnic and all day rally at Alcyon Park on Saturday. The children of the Sunday School, led by John 
Dalameter, superintendent, will leave the mission at 9 a. m. in the afternoon Rev. Hackett, the Wiley Broadcasters, the inter-church band of 75 pieces, 
directed by William Quemore, and a large choir, directed by Donald Redding, will participate in the rally services.

Rev. Hackett and "Amy of Chinatown" will be the speakers. Mrs. Wallace Lee, registered nurse, will look after the health of the children. Mrs. Emma. 
E. Messick will be in charge of social activities. Miss Edna Griffith, director of religious education, will be in charge of the Italian section. 

Camden Courier-Post - June 24, 1933

Wants More Laws

Bridgeton Ruler Hits Back at Critics Who Decry Modern Legislation


Critics of the present, regime of the United States, and those who declare they are governed by too many laws were answered last night by Mayor Linwood W. Erickson, of Bridgeton, at Wiley Mission, Third and Arch streets.

"We do not have laws enough," the mayor shouted. "All laws are founded upon reason. All laws are for the protection of the weak against the transgression of the strong.

"All laws have but one common aim- to give to us that right guaranteed by our forefathers-life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. For that reason, I say to you, we do not have enough laws."

Mayor Erickson, before addressing the crowd at the "indoor camp meeting," spoke of his long friendship for Rev. John S. Hackett, pastor of Wiley M. E. Church, and founder and superintendent of the mission.

"He is a man who has the reverence of thousands," Mayor Erickson said. "The best evidence he is doing good is seen in the fact that he is being criticized and investigated. The man who never does anything is never criticized. But for the man who is doing something, who is doing some good, there is always someone to criticize and try to tear down. 

"When people stop criticizing me, I want them to count me out. 


Mayor of Bridgeton, who declared last night there are not enough laws in the United States, and said man alone is to blame for any need of laws, in an address at the "indoor camp meeting" of 'Wiley Mission.

"Law and order are subjects not in tune with discussions of the day, especially in Camden County, and most certainly not in New Jersey. Law and order is distinguished from law enforcement, for law enforcement contemplates violation of the law, while law and order contemplates observance "of the laws.

"We live in a world of laws. We cannot pass by the law without paying respects to the laws of God. Four of the Ten Commandments deal with the relationships that should exist between man and God, the other six deal with the relationships that should exist between man and his fellow men. Yet nine of the Ten Commandments are negative and only one positive."

The chief musical program which started at 9.30 p.m., when the mission program was broadcast over WCAM, featured the Bridgeton string band of 18 pieces, directed by Leon Chew; the Cohansey Male Quartet; the Tabernacle Baptist Church choir, directed by Richard Quick, and the Kaighn Avenue Baptist Church choir; directed by Philip Johnson.

Rev. Walter L. Hunt, pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church, Broadway below Spruce Street, offered prayer. Bernard Poland, associate of Henri Scott, internationally known star of the Metropolitan and Chicago opera companies, sang several tenor solos.

Rev. George E. Morris, pastor of Kaighn Avenue Baptist Church, also participated in the program.

The first bus for the all-day rally at Alcyon Park will leave at 9.30 a. m. today, and carry children of the Sunday school of Wiley M. E. Church for the annual picnic and outing. Other buses will leave during the day from the Mission.

During the afternoon and evening program Rev. Hackett and Mrs. Amy Unruhe, better known as "Amy of Chinatown," will be the speakers, and the Wiley Broadcasters will present a "mock" radio program. Music will be furnished by the interchurch band of 75 pieces, directed by William Quemore. Donald Redding, musical leader of Bethany Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, will have charge of the singing by a large choir.

Rev. Frank C. Maxwell, chaplain of the Camden County jail, and head of the Philadelphia Highway Mission and Jail Workers, will have charge of the program tonight at toe old post office building.

Morning services will be held to morrow at the church, and in the afternoon and evening at the old post office building. Part of the afternoon program will be broadcast over WCAM from 4 to 5 o'clock. 

Rev. Harry Magonigal and Hayden Evans, blind gospel singers, will be featured at the "indoor camp meetings" each night next week

Camden Courier-Post - June 25, 1933

Lodging House For Needy Girls To Be Opened
in Camden By Wiley M. E. Church Pastor

Mission Superintendent Announces Plan to Equip South
Third Street Building as Sleeping Place at Few Cents a Night

Camden's first "Haven for Homeless Girls" will be opened next week by Wiley M. E. Church and Wiley Mission.

Announcement of the plan to equip and open a 30-bed dormitory for women and girls, where rooms will be obtainable at a low price, was made yesterday by Rev. John S. Hackett, pastor of Wiley Church, 635 South Third Street, and founder and superintendent of Wiley Mission in the old post office building at Third and Arch Streets.

"The home for girls will be located at 523 South Third Street," Rev. Hackett said. "It will be the first of its kind in Camden, and probably in South Jersey. Mrs. Wallace, Lee, registered nurse connected with the mission, will be in charge. Girls will be able to obtain sleeping quarters for a few cents a night.

"On the board of directors will be Mrs. Emma. Messick, Mrs. William, Richardson, Mrs. Henry H. Bell, Mrs. Harry Bickler, Mrs. Harry Rose and Mrs. Hackett. One-third of the amount needed to equip the building was donated shortly after first announcement of the plan was made during our usual Sunday afternoon broadcast. "

Spiritual aid in combating the narcotic evil is the only solution in Camden County, Mrs. Amy Unruhe, better known as "Amy of Chinatown," said last night in her address on "The Dope Evil in Camden County." She related her experience in casting off the dope habit through spiritual assistance.

Plans are being made for holding "Civic Week" in connection with the "indoor camp meetings" at the old post office.

Rev. Harry Magonigal and Hayden Evans, blind gospel singers, will sing each night this week at the "indoor camp meetings.” 

Camden Courier-Post - June 26, 1933

Hymns by Camden Man- Open Third Week of 'Indoor Camp Meetings

Hymns composed by· C. Harold Lowden, Camden organist, composer and music publisher, were featured at a "song fest" last night in Wiley Mission when the third week of the "indoor camp meetings" opened in the old post office building at Third and Arch Streets. Lowden directed the group singing while Mrs. Emma C. Messick, organist of Wiley M. E. Church, was at the piano. A portion of the program was broadcast over WCAM.

Frank Dippell, head of the Brotherhood Mission, will be the speaker on the all-day program Thursday. The noted mission worker will speak in the afternoon and Mrs. Amy Unruhe, better known as "Amy of Chinatown," will speak at the morning service. The all-day meeting will be held in the old post office building and meals will be available. Mrs. Unruhe also spoke on last night's program.

Mayor Harry, Van Hook, the "praying mayor" of Millville, will speak Friday night and Miss Elizabeth Justice, daughter of Joseph .Justice, famous New York philanthropist, will speak Sunday.

Justice, noted for his prison work and aid In helping convicts to return to society and a life of usefulness, will be' the speaker at the all-day meeting on July 7. He is associated with Tom Noonan, "Bishop of Chinatown," in relief work in lower New York, as well as elsewhere.

The Rev. John S. Hackett, pastor of Wiley M. E. Church, 635 South Third Street, and founder and superintendent of Wiley Mission, announced last night arrangements are being made for the dedication of the mission's newest undertaking - a "haven for homeless girls' - at 523 South Third Street, on next Monday.

Camden Courier-Post - June 26, 1933

Many Camden Vets 'Enlist' is Foresters Service

Where do we go from here?

That was the bantering cry from scores of World War veterans yesterday as they filed into recruiting headquarters to "enlist" in the  Civilian Conservation Corps for service in reforestation camps. Reminiscing' over days of 1917-18 when they once before lined up for service, the veterans, many showing effects of the years since close of hostilities between the United States and the Central Powers arranged themselves in orderly fashion to await physical examination to determine their fitness for camp life.

Reunions of veterans of the army and navy, who have not seen each other since service days brought forth many "Remember when's" as the former warriors awaited their call.

As the hours wore on while a staff of physicians under direction of Dr. Robert S. Gamon put the men through examinations an occasional "When Do We Eat?" resounded along the corridors on the fourth floor of the post office building where Captain John J. Gorman, chief of recruiting for South Jersey, and a staff of clerks registered the veterans.

Promptly at one o'clock the former service men were marched to Third and Arch Streets where they were fed at the Wiley Mission headquarters in the old post office building. The menu, prepared under direction of army officials, consisted of viands that apparently "went home" to the former soldiers and sailors.

Captain Gorman had previously contracted with the mission officials' to feed the men with funds provided by the government. The men will be given an additional meal before they entrain at the Pennsylvania Railroad terminal from which point they will travel to Plattsburg, N. Y.

A total of 182 veterans from nine South Jersey counties are among the "detail" to entrain here. They will join with more than 3000 other former troops at the Plattsburg camp. Fifty-one of the men recruited are from Camden county.

Army orders indicate that the men will be installed at camps along the Winsooki river In Vermont, after they have received a period of conditioning at the New York state concentration area..

Camden Courier-Post - June 26, 1933

Van Meter promises to get 'Lot Off Chest' About County Affairs

The second of three South Jersey mayors to be on the list of speakers at the "indoor camp meetings" of Wiley Mission within a week will address the crowd in the old mail sorting room of the former federal building at Third and Arch Streets.

Joseph H. Van Meter, mayor of Collingswood, will outline his ideas of "a lot of things", in Camden County, when he speaks tonight. Asked by Rev. John S. Hackett, pastor of Wiley M. E. Church, 635 South Third Street, and founder and superintendent of the mission, if he would speak tonight, Van Meter said:

"I surely will. I have a lot of things on my chest I want to get off' and believe me, I'm going to get them off, too, when I get in the Mission."

Just What Van Meter will say about "a lot of things In Camden county" remains a secret, the Collingswood executive hinted, until tonight.

Harry F. Van Hook, mayor of Millville, who opens council sessions with prayer, will speak Friday night, on “Service."

Linwood W. Erickson, mayor, of Bridgeton, inaugurated mayor's week" last Friday night, when he spoke on "Law and Order," and said the trouble with the country now is not too many laws, but not enough"

Rev. Hackett spoke at last night’s ''indoor camp meeting." 

Camden Courier-Post - June 29, 1933

World Is 'Money Mad,' He Tells Indoor Camp Meeting

The, world is money-mad and the inhabitants are responsible for much of the unrest by being selfish, Mayor Joseph H. Van Meter, of Collings wood, said last night in an address at the "indoor camp meeting" of Wiley M. E. Mission, Third and Arch Streets.

"Success in life can be coupled only with the ability to help others," the mayor said, in his address delivered in the old mail sorting room of the former Federal building. "We are money-mad. We are selfish. We think only of ourself and not of the other fellow. Residents of Camden county are no different than other persons in the world," he said.

He cited the examples of the nation's great men- Lincoln, Washington and others- and said their success and greatness was due to their willingness to help others. He urged parents to see that children get the right start in life, for childhood habits are hard to change, he said.

After the program, Van Meter inspected the mission and commended Rev. John S. Hackett, pastor of Wiley M. E. Church, and founder and superintendent of the mission, for the humanitarian work the mission is accomplishing.

Mrs. Amy Unruhe, better known as "Amy of Chinatown," will preach her farewell sermon in the series of "indoor camp meetings" at 10:30 a. m., today when the all-day meeting opens in the old post office building. Rev. Harry Magonigal, blind gospel singer and evangelist, will talk tonight.

Frank Dippell, head of the Brotherhood Mission of Philadelphia, will speak at the afternoon service and 60 Italian children who are attending the Wiley daily vacation Bible school will be on the radio program broadcast by WCAM at 4 p. m.

Mayor Harry F. Van Hook, the “praying executive" of Millville, will be the speaker tomorrow night. His topic will be "Service“. The Boy Scout band of Millville will present a concert in the Mission Monday night.

Camden Courier-Post - February 5, 1938


The Pitman Quartet will sing tomorrow afternoon at services in Wiley Tabernacle, 30 North Third Street, according to Rev. John S. Hackett, superintendent.

The quartet will sing at radio services beginning at 3.30 p. m. over WCAM. Services will be in charge of Rev. Hackett. The Wiley Broadcasters will be in charge of services at night at Wesley M. E. Church, Bridgeton, of which Rev. Edgar A. Robinson is pastor.

Miss Virginia J. Hackett, daughter of Rev. Hackett, will conduct radio services for shut-ins at 2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Mrs. Maryetta Hackett Gilmore, another daughter, will have charge of young people's services at 8 p. m. Monday. Rev. Hackett will direct one-hour services over radio at 2 p. m. Tues day and Thursday. The final radio service of the week will be held at 9.30 p. m. Friday .

Camden Courier-Post - February 5, 1938

Evangelist Dies

Noted Woman Evangelist Preached Frequently at Wiley Mission

Pitman, February 4. - Mrs. Anna E. Wells Berry, 70, noted evangelist, died here today at the home of a friend, Miss Margaret Angelo, after a year's illness.

Mrs. Berry, who was an evangelist of the Methodist Episcopal Church, claimed she led 20,000 converts to the altars of New Jersey and Pennsylvania churches. Among her converts are Rev. William Ewan, Gloucester; Rev. John S. Hackett, superintendent of Wiley Mission; Rev. Carl Remer, Audubon; Rev. Benjamin Quay, Allentown, Pa., Rev. Charles Hand, Deepwater, and Rev. Woodrow Weldon, Millville. She preached frequently at Wiley Mission when it Was in the old Post office building at Third and Arch Streets; Camden.

Mrs. Berry is survived by her husband, Capt. Benjamin Berry, Port Norris oyster planter; a daughter, Mrs. Florence Flanners, of Newark, and one grandchild. She was born in Newark.

The funeral will be held at 3 p. m., Sunday with services in the Pitman M. E. Church. Burial will be in East Ridge Lawn Cemetery, Delawanna. The body may be viewed Saturday night at 212 North Broadway, Pitman.


Noted evangelist, who died yesterday at a friend's home at Pitman