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History

In 1887, it was resolved that a new Methodist organization must be started in South Bridgeton. It was decided to purchase a lot at 136 South Avenue, size 62 by 150 feet. Negotiations were completed in March of 1888 at a total cost of $1,050, of which $50 was returned to the new organization.

Upon the lot was a story and a half house which was used for a Sunday School and a Wednesday evening prayer meeting. During the summer of that same year, plans were developed for the church building. They included an auditorium of 34 by 60 feet with a connecting room 16 by 30 feet. The total expenditure for the erection of the church was somewhat over $7,000. Named the Fourth Methodist Church, it was completed and dedication services were held Sunday, April 28, 1889.

Between 1928 and 1938, major changes were made in the church property. With the development of separate classrooms and the downstairs auditorium and social hall there was a noticeable upsurge in Sunday School attendance, climaxing in 1939 with the observance of the Fiftieth Anniversary.

From its location on South Avenue, the Fourth Methodist Church served the Lord and its community well for 80 years.

During the 1950s and 1960s the nucleus of church members spread themselves over the entire city and into municipalities surrounding Bridgeton, resulting in a new vision of service possible through relocation and expansion.

With the help of the Southern New Jersey Conference Board of Missions, a new location was selected and a “leap of faith” was made culminating in the beautiful, much larger and more functional building we now occupy. It was an energetic challenge to erect our present facility at a total cost of $190,030. The consecration service for the West Park United Methodist Church took place on December 22, 1968.

During the remainder of the 20th century, the church and Sunday school have experience a marked growth as new homes and families have been established in the area. With a multi-varied program to meet the needs of all ages, the church stands as a servant to all who come within its doors.

As an example, one of the church goals was to top 200 in Sunday School attendance. That goal was reached twice during 1999. On October 17 of that year there were 235 students in all the Sunday School classes that day. The goal was hit again on December 19, 1999, when the attendance reached 204.