Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 10, 1960

Look To The Fields Of New Jersey

East Orange, N. J.

Located between New York City and Philadelphia, New Jersey, the Garden State, was once described by Benjamin Franklin as "a barrel tapped at both ends." To a great many people New Jersey is the corridor between two great metropolises. Each year thousands of people hurry through the state to visit other places. But New Jersey is also the home of six million people. Fourth smallest of the states, it ranks high in many fields. Statistics can help to know the state, but they cannot reveal the charm. This is New Jersey.

One author described it in these words: "As small as its 8,224 square miles, as unbounded as the world-wide markets it serves; as old as Henry Hudson's Half Moon, as new as the research in its scores of modern laboratories; as gay as the white sand beaches in the summer sun, as somber as the sooty Newark Meadows in a winter twilight. Variety is the secret of New Jersey. In a state which in size a Texan might consider merely an overgrown ranch, there are mountains, cities, farms and beaches — each well-defined and nationally-known. Few states crowd so much into 166 airline miles."

No brethren, this isn't an article to attract tourists. I am not working for the chamber of commerce. I would, however, like to turn the eyes of faithful brethren to the fields of New Jersey. How many churches of Christ meet in this, one of the most thickly populated states in the Union? One directory lists 22 churches. I know of one other that has started meeting since the directory was published. Most of these churches number less than 100 members.

There are several large cities in which the Lord's church is not now meeting. Who will go into these cities to preach the gospel? Who will support them? We would like to encourage faithful gospel preachers to look to New Jersey as a field of work, and it will be work. As one brother expressed it, "You can stay just as busy as you want to." We would like to encourage faithful elders to look to New Jersey as a place to send men to establish and strengthen churches.

Among the larger cities in which the church is not meeting are Phillipsburg, Somerville, Atlantic City, Vineland, Perth Amboy, Jersey City, Paterson, North Bergen, and many others. Brethren, look to the fields. Some southern cities the size of these sometimes support a dozen churches. If you would like more information about the prospects here, write to me. I stand ready to help in any way I can to get more men working in New Jersey.

Bill Echols 169 Main Street