Grace United Methodist Church of Eatontown has a history which goes back one hundred and fifty-two years.
It was on April 25, 1848, that a Methodist Episcopal Society was organized in this community by Joseph Chattle,
a minister of the Long Branch Circuit. Services were held on Sunday afternoons in the local school house.
About three years later, in 1851, the congregation built a church on Railroad Avenue,
now known as Throckmorton Avenue, where services were held for some sixty-two years.
The Sunday School was organized in 1853. Great revivals held in the year 1854,
resulted in a very prosperous and joyous period during which much of the church debt was paid.
In 1866, a local resident, Captain Aaron Flower, gave the Church a large bell which hung for many years
in the tower of the Church. It is now located here on the grounds, one of a very few artifacts remaining
from the old building.
A Ladies Aid Society was formed in 1873 and a Sunday School Missionary Society in 1878.
The Epworth League was organized later on in 1890.
All of these groups contributed to the welfare and growth of the Church.
The years 1894 through 1897 saw many desirable improvements to the interior of the building.
Stained glass windows, new pews, carpet, altar cushions, a pulpit bible and collection plates were provided
through memorials or other gifts.
Around 1904, thought was being given to the idea of moving the church building to a better,
more prominent location.
By 1912, a lot on Broad St. was purchased, the house thereon was moved and remodeled as a parsonage
and the church building was then moved from beyond the railroad to stand beside the parsonage,
with enlarged accommodations for the Sunday School.
A ceremony of relaying the cornerstone on the new site was attended
by nearly 300 people.
Many friends and members gave their time and money in the effort to make this move possible.
Over our long history this church has passed through period of hard times as well as prosperity,
but has never closed its doors.
It has been steadfast in its faith and service to all those who came under its influence.
At one time we led the District in per-capita world service giving and our record of progressive
religious education placed us in the foremost ranks of the progressive churches in Monmouth County.
It may also be noted that several men who grew up in this Church went into full-time Christian ministry.
In its early years our Church was placed on a Circuit or Charge with the neighboring churches
of Oceanport and Tinton Falls. One pastor served all three churches.
Sometime along the way the Oceanport Church was taken off the Circuit.
Eatontown and Tinton Falls continued on together until 1959, when a new chapter in our history began.
In that year an unexpected opportunity was offered us after plans to build a new church
in Tinton Falls were abandoned.
The Conference then proposed that Tinton Falls membership merge with us
and the program be transferred to Eatontown. This was finally approved.
While we gained very few members we were aided by the sale of the church property in Tinton Falls.
Our old church building was demolished and the property also sold at this time.
All proceeds went into the new property and building which was subsequently build on Wyckoff Road.
While the new building was under construction, services were held at the Masonic Hall and Sunday School
in the old Borough Hall.
The present building was completed and dedicated in 1960.
It was maintained as a United Methodist Church until 1975, when we agreed to enter a co-operative ministry
with the local Presbyterians. This partnership lasted for a period of ten years and was beneficial to both
congregations. However, in recent years, some problems arose which resulted in a decision to dissolve
the partnership. 1985 saw this dissolution come to pass.
In March 1986, under the leadership of Rev. Charles Wilcox, then Northeast District Superintendent,
the Monmouth Grace United Methodist Church and the Monmouth Korean United Methodist Church
have merged together under the new name of the Monmouth Grace United Methodist Church.
The current sanctuary was dedicated on Jan 22, 1989, by joint effort of English speaking congregation
and Korean speaking congregation. The sanctuary has 378 seats and the Chapel has 36 seats
which was officially dedicated as "THE RHEE-WHITFIELD CHAPEL" in Sept.
1998 during the official inauguration of Rev. Sang Won Doh along with the new parsonage.
We are on the threshold of a new period in our history with merger of two Methodist congregations
- one Korean and one American, which we look forward to with great hope and expectation.
We pray God's blessing may be with us.