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First Methodist Episcopal Church, Collingswood, NJ

November 25, 2013


The history of this church in Collingswood, New Jersey, not far from Camden on the Delaware side of the state, is tangled. Early exterior postcard views of the 1904 building show a corner entry with a diagonal gable behind it, which suggests a 45-degree rotation of the auditorium. There is an extension at the left which is likely the first Sunday School. Then, in 1912, the “Sunday School Temple” was built, replacing the earlier S.S. facility. That church, in turn, burned in 1932 and was rebuilt, keeping the corner entry tower, but totally eliminating any of the previous configuration. By the 1930s, the Akron Plan for religious education had been abandoned and buildings designed to accommodate it were out of fashion. Methodists were also becoming more main stream and liturgical in their worship, so even the diagonal auditorium has been replaced with a longitudinal plan that Lutherans and even Catholics might approve.

PS: I don’t recall what I paid for the privilege of owning this postcard, but it was a bundle.

UPDATE (30April2017): Here are a few newer images that help to explain the sequence of events at Collingswood:


The 1904 building with diagonal auditorium

The rebuilt church following the 1932 fire

UPDATE [31December2017]: Another image of the pre-fire rotated sanctuary:

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