St. John UMC was founded in 1841 by the Pierce brothers’ shortly after the Indian Removal Act which was enacted during the Presidency of Andrew Jackson. The legislation required the Nanticoke Lenni Lenape to relocate.
Although some of our ancestors did migrate to northeast Oklahoma with many stops along the way, many made their decision to stay in the New Jersey area and hide in plain sight. The church became the gathering place for the Tribe until the mid 1900’s when families began to assemble publicly without fear or reprisal. During those 100 plus years the church was the keeper of the culture.
We honor our ancestors for their efforts to maintain tribal life. Direct descendants of the Pierce brothers can be found still in faithful attendance. The Rev Roy E. Bundy, Powhatan/ Nanticoke heritage, has been the pastor since 2002. The church is located at 680 Fordville in Bridgeton, NJ 08302.