Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

New Jersey Historic Trust Affiliated with the Department of Community Affairs

Jacob's Chapel

Garden State Historic Preservation Trust Fund
Historic Site Management Grant
Grant Award: $50,000 (2012)
Grant Recipient: Jacob's Chapel A.M.E Church
County: Burlington
Municipality: Mt. Laurel

There are three significant resources on this property: the chapel, the meeting house and the cemetery. Jacob’s Chapel was built in 1867 as an African Methodist Episcopal Church. The Colemantown Meeting House played a major part in the Underground Railroad. It was a building of refuge for runaway slaves and it was a place of worship for one of the first African Methodist Episcopal Churches in the U.S. The building also became part of the Mount Laurel School System in the early 1800s. Jacob’s Chapel Cemetery is one of the state’s oldest burial grounds for African Americans. Many of the prominent local Still family, including Dr. James Still, are buried in this cemetery. Dr. Still was a self-taught successful businessman, who owned land and rented apartments to several black families in Colemantown. The current pastor is Dr. Still’s great-great-grandson. The site also contains unexplored archaeological resources.

The Trust grant will help fund completion of National Register nomination and a preservation master plan that will include archaeology, site planning, heritage tourism assessment and design of interpretive materials.

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