Early Worship - First Churches
In the early
days, those inhabitants who did not care to travel as far as the
old Bergen Dutch Church in Bergen, would worship God in their
own homes and in small gatherings. On Sabbath mornings, the
inhabitants along the Kill von Kull might have been seen
entering their skiffs and going across to the north side of
Staten Island to worship. The need of a church was very evident.
Consequently, during the summer and fall of 1828 those persons
who were interested in securing public Sabbath services, erected
a small church on land given by Mr. Cadmus, situated on the old
middle road, and on January 11, 1829, the
Church of Bayonne was organized as the
Dutch Church of Bergen Neck, with Ira C. Boyce as
pastor. Among the prominent factors in the movement were Richard
Cadmus, Sr., Richard Cadmus, Jr., John Cadmus, Michael Cadmus,
James C. Van Buskirk, John Van Buskirk, Jacob Cubberly, Jacob
Van Horn, John- Vreeland, Jasper Zabriskie, and others. This
church was the first to be erected in Bayonne. The original cost
was $1,600, and the building accommodated about two hundred and
fifty people. The edifice is still standing and belongs to the
Republican Club. It is now on the corner of Avenue D and
Twenty-ninth Street, but was originally built about one block
south. The second and present edifice, on Avenue C and
Thirty-third Street, was dedicated March 31, 1867. In the early
sixties, the parsonage stood on Constable's Hook on the site of
the present boiler works. This building was removed later, and
is now standing on Ingham Avenue.
1831, the Methodists had a mission with Thomas G. Stewart as
their pastor. On June 22, 1844, the "Bergen Neck M. E.
Church" was incorporated. (Mattison M. E. Church and
now First Methodist Church.)
There was, in
1845, a Methodist church standing on the northwest corner of
what is now Avenue D and Twenty-fourth Street. This was the
first and original building in which they worshiped. It was a
small, frame, peak-shaped building and was called the ''Little
Beehive," because of a swarm of bees which entered through a
knot hole and stored their honey over the front door on the
inside. This honey was taken out every fall, and sold for the
benefit of the church. Thomas McDonald and Garrett Vreeland were
the founders and main supporters of this little church. A new
edifice was built on the east side of Avenue D near Twenty-ninth
Street, the corner-stone of which was laid in 1854. In 1868 they
moved this building to Avenue D and Thirty-second Street.1
The cornerstone for the present edifice at Avenue C and
Thirty-first Street was laid in 1891.
Reformed Church of Bergen Point
was organized May 16,
1854, and Rev. Jacob C. Dutcher was its first pastor.
Those residents of Bergen Point professing a choice for the
Episcopal service attended the church on Staten Island. In
August, 1859, Trinity Church of Bergen Point was organized, with
Franklin S. Rising as pastor.
building of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church at
Bergen Point was consecrated March 18 of the following year.
were the first churches in Bayonne. They were lighted with
home-made candles, and later with oil lamps, and heated
principally by Gothic stoves that at times filled the church so
full of smoke that the minister could scarcely be seen by the
congregation. Reed organs were used; hymns only were sung; $1.50
was considered a substantial collection. The dominie's salary
averaged from $400 to $900 per year, in addition to vegetables,
wood, etc., donated by members of the congregation. From this,
however, the religious population increased considerably, so
that in 1870 there were eleven churches. To-day there are
twenty-six churches, representing nearly every denomination.
They can be classified as follows: Seventeen Protestant, seven
Catholic, two Hebrew. There are also two Sisterhoods. About
8,000 church members, estimated.
Bergen Church Marriage
Lourens, b. at Hackensack, and Fytje Cornelissen Vreelant, b. at
Gemoenepau, both 1. at Pemmerpoch. 1709 Sept. 18.
and Antje Borten, both b. and 1. at Pemmerpoch. 1714, Mar. 27.
lives at Bergen point, and Catrientje Huysman, 1. on Staten Isld,
both b. on Staten Island, 1767, June 20.
Michael, and Sophia Cubberly both of Pamrapaugh. 1797. Dec. 9.
Wilhem Hermensen, from N. Utrecht, and Maria Cordeljon, the
groom 1. at Constapelshoeck, the bride at N. Utrecht, received
certificate Aug. 1. and m. April 5, at Amersfoort. 1697 Mar. 7.
Site of Garrett's Hotel.
Source: First History of Bayonne, New
Jersey, by Royden Page Whitcomb, Published by R. P. Whitcomb, 24
East 37TH Street, Bayonne, N. J., 1904.