"He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require
of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"
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Originally established as the Middletown Baptist Church in 1688, Old First Church is the oldest Baptist church in New Jersey. The church itself spawned fourteen current operating Baptist churches in Monmouth County. The building served as Middletown’s first town meeting hall. The present structure was constructed in 1832 on the old 1720 foundation; the second building had been destroyed by fire in the 1820s.

Old First is important to the community and for its association not only with Middletown Village, but in the history of the Nation. During the War for Independence the patriot pastor Rev. Abel Morgan closed the church against the British retreat from the Battle of Monmouth. The British used the building for wounded troops in retreat after that Battle. The adjacent church burial ground dates from the eighteenth century and contains the graves of several Revolutionary War soldiers, Rev. Abel Morgan, and Joseph Murray, murdered because he supported the patriot cause against the Crown.

During the nineteenth century, the church supported the anti-slavery cause and the temperance movement and worked for social reform. In 1967, the church merged with the United Church of Christ and took its current name of Old First Church. An inclusive community, it continues to be a voice for religious freedom, social progress, and Christian service.

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