House of Prayer/
Fourth Episcopal Church

407 Broad St.
Newark, New Jersey 07104

1847 - Present


Library of Congress images

Rectory Building Data/History Page

Pamphlet entitled "Newark's Historic House of Prayer"

Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4

Pamphlet entitled "Newark's Home of History" (Plume House)

Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4

Pamphlet entitled "Let Us Save the House of Prayer"

Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4 Page 5, Page 6, Page 7, Page 8

Newspaper Articles

December 1, 1901 - Quaint Arch Between Parlors at House of Prayer Rectory
December 1, 1901 - Fine Old Colonial Mantel in House of Prayer Rectory

The House of Prayer had its beginning in 1847. At this time services were held in a stone schoolhouse by Rev. E. J. W. Roberts. An option to purchase the Plume property was secured and in 1849 it was purchased under the guidance of Rev. Samuel L. Southward. Meetings were held in the homestead on the property. The actual organization of the church was on November 24, 1849. The cornerstone of the new church was laid on November 28, 1849 and the opening was on November 26, 1850. The cost was only $23,000 including the gargoyles and spire. A fire occurred in the church on November 10, 1851 but little damage was done. In 1861 a brick parochial school was built on State Street. In 1866 the old cracked bell was sold and the proceeds went into a fund to purchase and organ from the Hall & Lebaugh company which cost $2,432.10. This was purchased in 1870 and rung first on Easter Day.

One of the Reverends, Hannibal Goodwin, invented the celluloid roll films for cameras. After years of patient toil in a little laboratory in the rectory of the church, he perfected his discovery in 1887. Many years of heartbreaking struggle for a patent followed. It wasn't until 1914, 12 years after his death, that his right to the invention was fully and finally established.

Today the Plume house still stands but is badly in need of repairs. The Newark Preservation & Landmarks Committee held its first meeting in the house in 1973. A photo of the house in a mason jar serves as a logo for the committee.

From: Social Services Directory of Newark 1912

Sisterhood of St. Margaret works in the Parish. Has a mission next to the Rectory. Church assists its own destitute members and does a general work in neighborhood and in Kearny. Strong branch of the Girls' Friendly Society.

Reverends Addresses Archive


Reverend From To
Samuel L. Southard November 30, 1849 December 18, 1854
William Rudder May 13, 1855 September 9, 1855
John Wragg Shackleford November 22, 1855 June 23, 1865
William A. Maybin September 28, 1866 October 1, 1867
Hannibal Goodwin December 1, 1867 December 1, 1887
Calbraith Bourn Perry January 10, 1888 October 2, 1888
John S. Miller November 2, 1888 1918/19
Frederick W. Dickinson 1919/20 1920/21
William F. Venables 1921/22 after 1957

Address From To
34 Broad Street November 26, 1850 1869
399, 407, 409 Broad Street (same location as above, street number change) 1870 Present

Archive Information (Last Known location)