St. Paul’s is literally the first church of West Deptford, founded even before the township separated from Deptford. Born on the eve of the Civil War in the midst of a general religious awakening, the church traces its roots back to the very foundation of our community.
Religious worship and study began in old “Thoroughfare,” with the formation of a Sunday School. Meeting at the old schoolhouse, classes were taught in reading, writing, spelling, and Old and New Testament Bible. Local ministers preached and held meetings on occasion.
• Winter 1857-58
A great revival took place, led by the Rev. Aaron Ballard, Methodist pastor at Paulsboro. Hundreds attended the revival meetings and over 500 conversions were reported.
As a result of the great revival, St. Paul’s Methodist Episcopal Church was formed and construction began on the present Church Street site. A lower story was built of stone and used until the second story was added.
The first oyster supper was held as part of a fair to raise money to complete and furnish the upstairs. The grand total for the building was $4,000.
The old church building was torn down and the current building was built. A mortgage was required to finance the total cost of $8,000.
The mortgage was paid off, with great celebration.
The Sunday School building was added, including Hickman Hall, the large fellowship hall in which many events are held.
The adjacent property was purchased and the house demolished to provide additional space for parking and landscaping.
Today we continue to reach out to the community and the world in the name of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.
For over 150 years people have gathered on this holy ground for the worship of God— celebrating our Christian faith and serving with love. Join us, and share in our ministry to the people of our community and our world.