The History of the Tabernacle Church of Christ
By: E. E. Joynes, (the first minister)
Part 1: Taken from “The Gospel Advocate” March 9, 1944
About some hundred years ago (1814) there was a church of Christ at Nottingham, England. Among those who were members was a man and wife named Cutts, who had one child, a son, who always went to church with his parents. The good wife and mother died, and the father and only son soon left for the United States and settled near Tabernacle, in Burlington County, N.J. Although the boy was only ten years of age, he was able to grasp the plan of New Testament Christianity. He grew to manhood, married a good woman of Scottish birth, and nine children were born to this union. When about sixty years of age, he made several visits to Philadelphia in search of the church. In time he was rewarded, having found the little congregation then meeting at 46th and Fairmont Avenue. The writer was the first to greet the stranger and make him welcome. Two weeks later he returned, the good confession was made, and the baptism took place the same hour, after which he returned home a very happy man. Although living ten miles from the railroad, he walked this distance frequently, being in the city about every other week to “break bread” until old age hindered.
Early in the year 1914, William Cutts passed away, and the writer was called to conduct the funeral service in the Methodist meeting house.
The building was filled with attentive hearers. The text used was 2 Samuel 14:14. Some… asked if I would speak for them sometime: so, I returned in two weeks, speaking to a larger audience. There was a lodge hall in the village, which was secured for a year, but in six months we were put out of that. During this time, several had learned the truth and obeyed the gospel, and household meetings were commenced in the home of Charles H. Cutts.
Plans for a meeting house were made, and on Lord’s Day, April 16, 1916, the first meetinghouse of the church in the state of New Jersey was opened for service.
Part 2: Excerpts Taken from Our Journey of Faith, 2014
When Brother William Cutts died in 1914, his family, assisted by Brother Ernest Joynes of Philadelphia, began to worship together in Tabernacle. For a while, the congregation met in the house next door to the current church property. A meeting house was built in 1916. It was replaced with a second, larger building, in 1957. An educational building was added in 1969.
In the late fifties, the Tabernacle congregation helped to establish a church in Pitman and in the mid-sixties, another was begun in Toms River. The congregation continued helping other young churches in South Jersey, including Laurelwood and Cape May Court House.
Steady growth has occurred over the years at Tabernacle, and one important step in this growth was the decision to build a new auditorium capable of seating over 300 people. A large addition with a basement was built in 1986, complete with a new auditorium, fellowship hall, baptistry, kitchen, 5 classrooms, and 4 bathrooms. We also own and maintain a parsonage, a few doors down the street. We’ve grown with the needs of our congregation. Over the years, the membership has used its talents and abilities to serve an active role in maintaining the building and grounds.