The Lost Baptist Church of Newfoundland, NJ

Newfoundland Baptist Church
The Newfoundland Baptist Church was Established in 1877

The church was founded by Conrad Vreeland in 1877. He was born at Echo Lake and in early manhood he moved to Brooklyn as a contractor & real estate broker whereby he acquired a fortune.

In 1873, he returned to his native place, Echo Lake. There, but limited religious privileges were enjoyed. A Methodist minister preached once in two weeks in the morning and a Presbyterian, once in two weeks in the afternoon.

Mr. Vreeland was not limited to Echo Lake. Six miles away was Newfoundland, where more than sixty years before, in 1804, a Baptist church was. It had had an uncertain life for nearly fifty years. But in 1850, disappeared, save as a few venerable men and women tarried on earth.

In November 1877, thirty-seven members of Echo Lake church were dismissed to organize anew at Newfoundland. Mr. Vreeland was called to be pastor at Newfoundland and was ordained at the recognition of Newfoundland church. At Newfoundland, Mr. Vreeland provided house of worship at his own cost, also securing a supply at Echo Lake.

The church building disappeared from the Newfoundland landscape at some point around the turn of the century and the lot and cemetery were sold to Lawrence Turner between 1918-1920. The overgrown church cemetery quietly marks time at the corner of Clinton & LaRue Roads in Newfoundland, NJ.

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  1. I was surprised to see there was a burial as recent as 1999. I wonder if there is a non-profit cemetery association in place to file reports with the State. The Cemetery on Ridge Road in West Milford had an association in place and attorney Lou Wallisch was on the board. If I recall correctly, Art Cahill and others were on the cemetery association board for the one on Ridge Road. I would think someone would have to be in charge of deeds to the cemetery plots and determining who rightfully could be buried there.

  2. William A. Kimble was the son of Abraham and Elizabeth VanDerhoof of Paradise. He was known as “fiddler Bill” and often played at square dances and at Brown’s Hotel in Newfoundland. His daughter, Martha Ann had married Silas B. VanOrden, Jr. whose families lines are presented in the manuscript “The Inhabitants of the Neighborhood……” which I have written, including pictures of them and other members of this family. Ironic that you highlighted this particular grave, it indeed caught my attention. Thanx for posting the link. Beth Willis

  3. I know of two inlaws (last name of Brand)who were buried there around 1982 & 1993, The wife was from the Kimble family line that goes way back around the area, she died in 82 & her husband in 93. They are not listed on the find a grave website, they might not have a headstone, but they are there. So yes there are recent burials. I couldn’t tell you who runs it, but the husband died out at his daughters house in PA and the funeral director out there handled everything. I would think if you asked a local funeral home they could tell you who’s running it.

  4. I have a lengthy newspaper article from 1877 that details the beginnings of the Baptist Church. It notes that William “Fiddler Bill” Kimble, “after being converted [by baptism], went home, got the fiddle down, threw it on the floor and stomped it into fragments. There is an end to fiddling and dancing in that family…”

  5. I am also aware that there are Cranes buried there I do think John Crane from far end of Clinton road and his wife are buried there, I do know that his daughter Evelyn McConnall? Is buried there. The records were very unkept when Hilda Turner the last care taker died many years ago.

  6. Hello there, My name is Amy and I am the 4th great granddaughter of William and Elizabeth Kimble. I just came across this page and I absolutely love all of the history! Thank you so much for sharing!

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