Mount Zion AME Church

Stoutsburg, Mercer County, New Jersey

In 2016-2018 Hunter Research prepared a New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places nomination for the Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church on Hollow Road near Stoutsburg. The church was built by a congregation established in the early years of the 19th century to serve the Sourland Mountain community. Mount Zion AME is among the oldest AME congregations in the United States and was closely associated with the Pennington AME congregation, also an early congregation inspired by the AME’s founder, the Reverend Richard Allen. Architecturally, the church is a modest, front-gabled, vertical beaded-board-sided, wood-frame structure with a rectangular plan on a stone foundation. There is a cornerstone with the date of “1899.” The church’s interior is simply furnished with wood pews and an altar. The building is noteworthy for its material integrity, including interior and exterior finishes, reflecting a very modest, vernacular interpretation of rural black church architecture. Mount Zion AME Church was entered into the New Jersey State Register of Historic Places on October 18, 2018; National Register listing is pending