St. Peter's Episcopal Church (Perth Amboy, New Jersey)

St. Peter's Episcopal Church is a historic church at Rector and Gordon Streets in Perth Amboy, Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States. It is the oldest Episcopal parish in New Jersey and contains the oldest extant gravestone in New Jersey.

St. Peter's Episcopal Church
StPetersPerthAmboy.jpg
St. Peter's Episcopal Church (Perth Amboy, New Jersey) is located in Middlesex County, New Jersey
St. Peter's Episcopal Church (Perth Amboy, New Jersey)
St. Peter's Episcopal Church (Perth Amboy, New Jersey) is located in New Jersey
St. Peter's Episcopal Church (Perth Amboy, New Jersey)
St. Peter's Episcopal Church (Perth Amboy, New Jersey) is located in the United States
St. Peter's Episcopal Church (Perth Amboy, New Jersey)
Coordinates40°30′13″N 74°15′54″W / 40.50372°N 74.2651°W / 40.50372; -74.2651Coordinates: 40°30′13″N 74°15′54″W / 40.50372°N 74.2651°W / 40.50372; -74.2651
Area2.5 acres (1.0 ha)
Built1849
Architectural styleGothic, Tudor Revival
NRHP reference #77000885[1]
Added to NRHPMay 12, 1977
The tombstone of Helen Gordon (1660-1687) was moved to the church in 1875 and is the oldest gravestone in New Jersey

HistoryEdit

The congregation was organized in 1680 when 12 Church of England communicants designated themselves the Congregation of St. Peter's Episcopal Church. They erected a church using the foundation of an abandoned courthouse. That site is not far from the current church.[2] In 1706, Anne, Queen of Great Britain presented the parish with a set of communion silver that is still extant.[2]

They received a royal charter in 1718 from George I of Great Britain.[2]

The second building on the site was built in 1722 and was destroyed by a fire.[2]

In 1770 Governor William Franklin was a vestryman in the congregation.

During the American Revolution colonial soldiers built a redoubt behind the church to defend town against attacks from the British and Loyalist troops across the Arthur Kill in Staten Island.[3]

The current building was built in 1852.[1]

The first black man to vote in America, Thomas Mundy Peterson, was a member of the church and was buried in the church graveyard. He voted in the Perth Amboy, New Jersey mayoral election on March 31, 1870. That was one day after adoption of the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution.[2]

It was added to the National Register in 1977.[1][2]

GraveyardEdit

Helen Gordon (1660-1687) was the wife of Thomas Gordon of Scotland, she died December 12, 1687, aged 27 years. Her tombstone is the oldest still erected in New Jersey. Her tombstone reads: "Calm was her death, well ordered her life, a pious mother and a loving wife, her offspring six, of which 4 here do lie, their souls in heaven, wher's do rest on high". In 1875 her tombstone and remains were moved from a cemetery on State Street to Saint Peter's Episcopal Church Cemetery.

RectorsEdit

  • Rev. William Skinner (1720-1758), brother of Cortlandt Skinner
  • Rev. Dr. Alexander Jones (1855)
  • Rev. Canon George H Boyd (1953)
  • J. Rodney Croes (1987)
  • Rev. Dr. Anne-Marie Jeffery (2011)

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Perth Amboy Church Is 302 And Counting". The New York Times. February 15, 1987. Retrieved 2010-11-27. It is the oldest Episcopal parish in New Jersey, dating from 1685, or nearly a century before the nation was born. ...
  3. ^ Leslie, Frank. Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly, Volume 19, page 362