In 1887, it was resolved that a new Methodist
organization must be started in South Bridgeton. It was decided to purchase a
lot at 136 South Avenue, size 62 by 150 feet. Negotiations were completed in
March of 1888 at a total cost of $1,050, of which $50 was returned to the new
Upon the lot was a story and a half house which was
used for a Sunday School and a Wednesday evening prayer meeting. During the
summer of that same year, plans were developed for the church building. They
included an auditorium of 34 by 60 feet with a connecting room 16 by 30 feet.
The total expenditure for the erection of the church was somewhat over $7,000.
Named the Fourth Methodist Church, it was completed and dedication services were
held Sunday, April 28, 1889.
Between 1928 and 1938, major changes were made in the
church property. With the development of separate classrooms and the downstairs
auditorium and social hall there was a noticeable upsurge in Sunday School
attendance, climaxing in 1939 with the observance of the Fiftieth Anniversary.
From its location on South Avenue, the Fourth
Methodist Church served the Lord and its community well for 80 years.
During the 1950s and 1960s the nucleus of church
members spread themselves over the entire city and into municipalities
surrounding Bridgeton, resulting in a new vision of service possible through
relocation and expansion.
With the help of the Southern New Jersey Conference
Board of Missions, a new location was selected and a "leap of faith"
was made culminating in the beautiful, much larger and more functional building
we now occupy. It was an energetic challenge to erect our present facility at a
total cost of $190,030. The consecration service for the West Park United
Methodist Church took place on December 22, 1968.
During the remainder of the 20th century, the church
and Sunday school have experience a marked growth as new homes and families have
been established in the area. With a multi-varied program to meet the needs of
all ages, the church stands as a servant to all who come within its doors.
As an example, one of the church goals was to top 200
in Sunday School attendance. That goal was reached twice during 1999. On October
17 of that year there were 235 students in all the Sunday School classes that
day. The goal was hit again on December 19, 1999, when the attendance reached
The church defines its present mission with the following
The purpose of West Park United Methodist Church is to
glorify God through a family atmosphere of prayer, praise, preaching and
teaching, so that we may live, love and share with the world that Jesus
Christ is alive and Lord and Savior of all.