The Church in a Barn

…and no, it’s not what you think.

In the eighteenth and nineteenth century, churches were important parts of a community, and thus were built of substantial materials, intended to last. As such, when a church was decommissioned, it was often sold – either to another congregation, or someone in the local community.

Juliustown NJ is a village, established 1731 when Julius Ewan took possession of land in the area, and established a weaver’s mill nearby. By 1824 the Methodists arrived, and built a church. In 1869 they replaced the original church with the one which serves today.

We set out to find the original church… Frank Greenagel, proprietor/publisher of the NJ Churchscape, had found various mentions in historical collections about the 1824 church being moved to a farm in the vicinity.

When we first arrived in Juliustown early in the morning, a passing patrolman stopped to see if we needed help. When told about the quest, he said “Oh yeah I think that’s Jim Haines’ barn – follow me and I’ll show you.”

Is this the church we seek? The dimensions are a bit… off… but maybe if you leave off that center part where the wood looks a bit different… Let’s see the interior.

Lath and plaster walls in a barn? Uh huh. This is a good sign that this is the church we seek. Let’s go back outside and look closer…

and there, under the chicken wire, is some beadwork. Nobody does this for a barn, but for a church in the 1820s it was a common low-cost ornamentation.

After an early-morning chat with the owner, and some more research… yep. This is the 1824 church.