Main Street – 147

First Methodist Episcopal Church Site

In 1836, the Methodist Church was initially incorporated as First United Methodist Church of Matawan, NJ. It was built on Jackson Street at the current location of Stillwell Garage.

In 1841 the Church was made a regular station and pastors were transferred here every two years. The Church was moved to Main Street in 1854. In 1877 they changed their name to the “Methodist Episcopal Church of the Village of Matawan.”  The Church was destroyed by the 1901 “Great Fire” of Matawan.

However, the Methodist Church owned the lot on Main Street opposite Ravine Drive. By 1937, they changed their name to “First Methodist Church, Matawan, NJ”.   There they built a new church and over time installed nine memorial windows. One notable window was the “Bethlehem Window,” which was a large stained-glass window that was donated by the family of W. Stanley Fisher, hero of the 1916 Matawan shark attacks.  The window was purchased with proceeds from an $10,000 insurance policy that Fisher received as payment for a suit from a customer. He received the policy just weeks before he was killed in Matawan Creek.

147-main-bethlehem-windowOther stained-glass windows installed were in memory of John W. Hornor, Asbury Fountain, Theodore Lisk, James Wesley Dawe, Thomas and his wife Margaret Shepard, Captain William Hornor, and Close Family window. (Hornor was a business partner of Asbury Fountain.). A “Service Window” was dedicated to those who lost their lives in WWI. The final window of the nine was “The Good Shepherd” window and was donated anonymously.  In 1972 the Church became the “First United Methodist Church of Matawan, NJ.”

The church purchased the home on 197 Main Street as a Parsonage.

Architectural NotES

Built in 1854. This Church had Greek architecture and nine memorial windows. It was a landmark at the center of town and its high steeple could be seen from a far distance.



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Barry Orr


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