Riverside Moravian CHurch
228 E Washington Street
Riverside, NJ  08075
Rebecca Sisley, Pastor

Riverside Moravian Church History

On May 4, 1862 a newly formed Moravian Congregation met for the first time in an unfinished hotel in Progress, New Jersey (now Riverside) near the Watch Case factory. The congregation then moved to a school on Taylor St. On New Year's Eve, December 31, 1865, the congregation organized and plans were made to build a church on the corner of Bridgeboro and Washington St. The building lot was bought in 1866. The following year, stone was quarried by the members at the Robert Brock Stone Quarry. The cornerstone was laid on November 17, 1867. The total cost of the first church was $4462.00 of which $1915.00 was raised locally and the balance from other Moravian churches and the Provincial Board. The Rev. Philip H. Gapp was the residing pastor.

In August 1870, Rev. Gapp accepted a call to the Egg Harbor Moravian Church. For a time, the pastor from the Palmyra Moravian Church served both congregations. On November 8, 1891 both churches agreed to separate.

L. Wayne Fluck served for nine months before his ordination on July 17, 1892. During that time The Rev. O.E. Reidenback, Palmyra, assisted by holding German services on Sunday evenings. The first English Sunday

School class was organized by Adam Schetler in 1887. In 1905 a building committee was formed to erect a new building. The contracted cost to build was $8,250.00. This figure did not include stained glass windows and pews. Members and friends of the congregation donated money for these items. The final bond of indebtedness was burned on December 30, 1917.

In 1953 the congregation realized the need for a Christian Education building. Through a generous gift from C.F. Hahle this was made possible. The cornerstone was laid on September 13, 1953 and the day of dedication was May 3, 1954. Through the years additional improvements have been made to Hahle Hall. With hard work and the generosity of members, Hahle Hall became Handicap Accessible.

FYI: In 1929 the men of the congregation built a snow sled for the Bethel Moravian Mission in Alaska. We think it arrived and was used to transport supplies and people to the mission station. However, after extensive research, that's all we know. A message was sent to the Bethel Moravian Church this past year with no response. Anyone?

Did you know that the old church bell was given to the Riverside Fire Company when our current church facility was built? It seems the iron tire bell wore out. The bell is in a tower behind the firehouse.


First Moravian Church of Riverside · 228 E. Washington Street · Riverside, NJ 08075 · (856) 461-0132 · Fax: (856) 764-7032