Ye Olde Yellow Meeting House
Posted by: nikcap
N 40° 10.195 W 074° 28.349
18T E 544917 N 4446750
Quick Description: Registered as a NJ Historic place, a faded blue sign along the road marks the Yellow Meeting house. Here is also a old burial ground. The property is private, but visitors are welcome during daylight hours. Private tours are available.
Location: New Jersey, United States
Date Posted: 9/12/2008 11:12:45 AM
Waymark Code: WM4NKY
From Red Valley, Old Yellow Meeting House Road will lead you to the Yellow Meeting house on your left. Before the meetinghouse, this site was known as the Crosswicks Baptist Meeting, or Upper Freehold Baptist Meeting.
In 1720 a house of worship and a burying ground was build on land donated by Thomas and Rachel Salter. Thomas was the brother of Hannah who married Mordecai Lincoln. They were the great-great grandparents of President Abraham Lincoln.
The original church burned, was replaced by the present Meeting House in 1737, and became informally known as the Old Yellow Meeting House. It is the oldest Baptist Meeting House in New Jersey and believed to be the third oldest in the USA.
The parsonage that is still standing was built around 1830. Additions were made to both the meetinghouse and parsonage at unknown dates. The Meeting House is built on exact compass settings. The long sides face North and South and the parsonage side is west. A bay was added on the North side and the interior design was altered. The pulpit and balcony changed places. Evidence suggest that the original parsonage had only two rooms and a hall and the eastern section was added later.
The last Sunday in July a reunion service followed by a luncheon is held and there is also a yearly Thanksgiving Eve service. The oldest dated grave in the cemetery is that of John Salter, son of Thomas and Rachel, who died August 29, 1723. There are unmarked stones thought to be older, and it is believed that there are unmarked graves. If you walk through the cemetery you will see these unmarked stones, and also many interesting stones with folk art designs. There are veterans of the American Revolution and of subsequent United States wars buried here. United States flags mark these graves. Many generations of some families starting in the 1770’s or possible earlier, and continuing to the present are interred here. Some of the old dates are difficult to read.
Since 1977 the Meeting House, parsonage and burial grounds have been restored under the auspices of the Friends of the Old Yellow Meeting
Referances & Additional resource:
"More Forgotten Towns of Southern New Jersey", by Henry Charlton Beck - 1986