St. John's Episcopal Church (Elizabeth, New Jersey)

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St. John's Episcopal Church (official name, St. John's Church) is located at 61 Broad Street in the historic heart of Elizabeth, New Jersey, and part of the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey headquartered in Trenton. It was founded by missionaries of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, London, England, in 1706. It is the marriage site of the parents of the first American Roman Catholic saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton, and underneath the current church which was erected in 1860 is the unmarked burial site of the youngest signer of the U.S. Constitution, US Senator Jonathan Dayton. For nearly 150 years both Anglicans/Episcopalians and Roman Catholics worshiped together at St. John's until the first Roman Catholic Church was established in Elizabeth in 1855, St. Mary of the Assumption Roman Catholic Church. However, the monthly Eucharist/Mass was always presided over by an Anglican/Episcopal vicar/rector/priest. St. John's has always been an ecumenical church and remains so today, but its governing body, the Vestry, is and was always composed of confirmed Episcopalians/Anglicans. Its principal Sunday worship service now is the Holy Eucharist/Mass.

The current church building, consecrated in 1860, once had five of the largest Tiffany stained glass windows in the US. It is neo-Gothic style, with a 126-foot Gothic style tower (completed in 1864) right on Broad Street at the center of the Elizabeth National Historic District, and is designed after St. Mary's University Anglican Church (interior) in Oxford, England, and Merton College, Oxford (exterior). It seats approximately 700 and is the largest Episcopal worship site in New Jersey.

The church founded the Habitat for Humanity affiliate for eastern Union County in 1993. It is known as a lively sponsor of community social services and feeds as many as 150 persons a free meal each Sunday during the morning and afternoon following the 10:00 English Eucharist, the 11:30 Spanish Eucharist, and the 2:30 pm Vespers. Its three worship services are in English at 10:00 am, Holy Eucharist with Cantor and Organ followed by breakfast; 11:30 pm Spanish Eucharist with contemporary Spanish music, followed by a community fiesta; 1:30 pm Alpha Bible study; and 2:30 pm Karaoke Vespers, followed by a community lunch. Sunday School is at 10:00 am for children; Cub Scouts meet at 1:30 pm Sundays, with a focus on soccer as one key activity. Adult Christian Education and the new member classes are at 11:15 and 12:45 pm Sundays. Visitors are always welcome! The Rector Emeritus is the Rev. Joseph R. Parrish, Jr., who served there from July 1989 until his retirement in July 2013; the Rev. Servio Moscoso is currently serving as Priest at both morning services. The church telecasts its church services each Sunday at 9:00 am on Elizabeth Cablevision Channel 18. The church web site is


St. John's Episcopal Churchyard is a cemetery on the grounds of St. John's Episcopal Church.[1]

Notable interments[edit]


  1. ^ "Forced Open The Vault. A Lively War Promised Regarding an Old Burying Ground.". New York Times. June 8, 1891. 
  2. ^ Jonathan Dayton, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed August 20, 2007.
  3. ^ John De Hart, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed August 20, 2007.
  4. ^ Isaac Williamson Scudder, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed August 20, 2007.

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