Home » Pennington United Methodist Church Hosts Cemetery Walk for 250th Anniversary

Pennington United Methodist Church Hosts Cemetery Walk for 250th Anniversary

by Community Contributor

The Pennington United Methodist Church is hosting a “Cemetery Walk” as part of its 250th Anniversary on June 1 at noon, rain or shine. The walk will be led by local historian Jack Davis, a member of the Pennington Methodist Church and a board member of the Hopewell Valley Historical Society. 

There’s a small peaceful cemetery sitting behind an ancient stone wall not half a mile west of Pennington, NJ. Like most people, you probably don’t know it’s there. The cemetery sits behind an ancient stone wall on Pennington-Titusville Road, west of the Timberlane Middle School, and holds several hundred graves dating from the 18th century to the early 1900’s.

The church building which stood there from the mid-1700’s till about 1826 was built by a breakaway group of evangelical Presbyterians. After that group reunited with the Pennington Presbyterian church, a small group of Methodists started meeting there. Jonathan Bunn, a local farmer, had brought the Methodist movement to the Pennington area in 1774. That’s 250 years ago!

The cemetery is home to the graves of local historical figures as well as Revolutionary and Civil War soldiers. The most famous person buried here is the controversial Reverend James Davenport, a Presbyterian minister who preached here in the 1750’s.

Come, and you’ll hear about Reverend Davenport’s scandalous behavior in New England, which may have driven him to New Jersey. Learn also about the soldiers who are buried here and their part in our nation’s history, as well as about the blacksmiths, wheelwrights, and “housewives” who were important supporters of this church and community. Hear also how the Bunn family were not only founders of the Methodist Church, but also of the Pennington School and other local institutions, and about their interactions with the local African American community.

All are welcome! The tour will progress through the small cemetery; bring your own lawn chair, if needed. Parking will be at the Hopewell Valley School District “Bulldog” parking lot adjacent to the cemetery. 

For more information please see pumcnj.com.

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