Locktown Stone Church
Preserve and restore the Locktown Stone Church and make it available for cultural events, passive recreation and community activities that respect its historic character and village setting in the Wickecheoke Creek Greenway.
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The old stone church in the village of Locktown in Delaware Township, New Jersey, was built in 1819. It is a beautiful example of the federal architectural style used in early 19th century Old School Baptist meeting houses in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The building, which has no congregation, is owned by Delaware Township and is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Sites. A cemetery dating from the eighteenth century is nearby.
In modern times it is used as a cultural venue, historic site, special events setting and meeting place.
This beautiful and historical church has taken a distinctive place in Locktown’s picturesque countryside. Today it is a choice space for intimate wedding ceremonies and receptions, an ideal place for community events and a music hall that brilliantly showcases instrumental and choral music.
History of the Church
In 1742, the Bethlehem Baptist Church was constituted in what is today Kingwood Township, in a village that took on the name Baptistown. The church came to be known as the Kingwood Baptist Church. It was not long afterwards that members of the church began to hold meetings at a location about three miles southwest of Baptistown, along the Wickecheoke Creek. The church in that location was referred to as “The Lower Church” or the “Swamp Meeting House.” This church was located near to the present Locktown Stone Church. The minister of the Kingwood Baptist Church would alternate the location for his Sunday service between Baptistown and the Lower Church.
Construction of the Stone Church
According to the minutes of the Baptist Church, on January 1, 1814, the congregation met at the home of Amos Bonham to determine the location for a new church building near Johnson’s Tavern on Rte 519. Apparently a church was never built there. Then, on January 1, 1819, the congregation resolved “to build a new Baptist meeting-house in the lower part of the congregation or near Mr. William Dilses.” The site was determined on January 27th; the minutes read:
“Mr. Daniel Rittenhouse offers to the church and congregation one half acre of ground adjoining the schoolhouse to build a meeting house on and for the conveniences appertaining to; also to give ground for the enlargement of the graveyard to a hollow from the road to the creek.”
The property was conveyed by deed on May 29, 1819 to the following trustees of the Kingwood Baptist Church: Thomas Lequear, Thomas Shearman, Adam Williamson, Uriah Sutton and George Opdycke.
how to find us
323 Locktown-Sergeantsville Road
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