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Historic Churches of Sussex County:
religious architecture in 19th century rural New Jersey

by Frank L. Greenagel

164 pages, 140+ b&w photographs, tables, glossary, appendices, bibliography
8 x 10 in., paperback, list price: $24.50
ISBN-13:   978-1438209932   Publication date: May 2008

Historic Churches of Sussex County, New Jersey is a richly illustrated guide to all thirty-nine of the 19th century churches and meetinghouses still standing in Sussex County. Frank Greenagel, author of The New Jersey Churchscape and four other volumes on the old churches of New Jersey, and developer of the widely popular website,, explores and explains the history of Sussex’s religious buildings, from the earliest meetinghouses in Sparta and Stockholm to the late nineteenth century Yellow Frame Presbyterian church that sits on the county line with Warren. The subtitle of the book, "religious architecture in 19th century rural New Jersey," suggests that the book goes well beyond an inventory of the old churches of the county; in fact, it might serve well as a basic reference on architectural styles and construction traditions during the nineteenth century. In order to preserve the unique story of the structures, some in danger of being lost to history, Greenagel spent more than eight years in fieldwork and research, logging countless hours on the road, in the library and in the darkroom.

Each of the 39 surviving churches from the county’s early history is visited and photographed, with special attention paid to the founding, construction and architecture. A singular perspective on 19th century life emerges as it becomes clear that religious buildings provided structure, meaning and identity to the rural and village communities of the area almost a century and a half ago. From the sophisticated Gothic Revival designs erected in stone by leading architects to the simple wooden-frame meetinghouses built by hand by members of the congregation, the book offers an engaging account, illustrated by stunning photographs of the visual and material presence of Sussex's religious buildings.

This definitive volume will allow readers to look anew at the religious buildings of Sussex, providing information for curious congregation members and historians alike. The book includes an outline of architectural styles, a brief account of the religious denominations operating in the state during the early centuries, a glossary of architectural terms, and an extensive bibliography.

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