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Our History
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Amwell is the fourth oldest Church of the Brethren congregation in the United States and the oldest Church of the Brethren congregration in New Jersey, being founded in 1733 under the leadership of the Holy Spirit and in the care of our founder, John Naas.

Complete details of the Church of the Brethren and Amwell in particular may be found in the church library and articles below:

Amwell Church was organized in 1733. In the late fall of that year, when the early German settlers in this area heard that John Naas had landed in Philadelphia in mid-September, a delegation made up of Jacob Moore, Antony Dierdorff, Rudolph Herli and John Peter Lausche waited on Naas and persuaded him to return with them to Amwell as their first pastor. Naas remained in Amwell for the rest of his life. He passed away in May 1741. In his later years he had as an assistant, John Bechtelsheimer. About Bechtelsheimer we know but little except he stayed on for some time after the death of Naas. Then apparently he left Amwell and all trace of him is lost. Only fragments of information have come down to us as to who may have carried on the work after the departure of Bechtelsheimer. During the next forty years various men seem to have been in charge. George Klein was here for a time and later on William Housell and Abraham Lawshe ministered to the people. The latter had married a daughter of John Bechtelsheimer.

"Straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life." Matthew 7:14 (Former inscription in Amwell Church)

For one to speak or write about the early history of the Amwell Church of the Brethren without mention of John Naas, would be unfair as well as difficult. This energetic evangelist arrived at Philadelphia, September 18, 1733, visited with the Brethren in Germantown, crossed over the Delaware River at New Hope, Pennsylvania, and settled in Northern New Jersey. With the help of four like-minded Brethren, he organized, before the year's course was run, a church where none had been before. Amwell Church stands today a continuing monument to the zeal, earnestness and determination of John Naas to serve his Lord.

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  • 40 Sandbrook-Headquarter Rd
    Stockton, NJ 08559
  •     908 705-1208
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