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First Baptist to open for in-person worship

The First Baptist Church of Haddonfield is planning to reopen for worship on Sunday, October 4, with an in-person service at 11am.

All wishing to enter must pass through a no-contact temperature checkpoint at the entrance to the building (the ramp doors), complete a health check, and apply hand sanitizer. Face masks must be worn at all times.

The only open areas will be the sanctuary, Middleton Room, rear hall, main floor powder room, and Skylight Room.

Certain pews will be roped off to maintain social distancing. Worshipers may sit with in family group. Children must remain seated in the sanctuary with their families at all times and must be masked.

Pew cushions and upholstered pieces have been removed. Those who need a cushion should bring their own, but must take it when they leave.

Bibles and hymnals have been removed. Bulletins with the Order of Service will be preset in the available pews. Pre-packaged communion sets will be in the pews on Communion Sundays. Offering plates will not be passed during the service; there will be a receiving box for offering envelopes in the rear of the sanctuary.

There will be no fellowship hour.

Those planning to attend are asked to check email as the date approaches to confirm arrangements, or call 856-429-2326 and for a voicemail message.

The building will be closed after the Sunday service, cleaned, and remain closed for the remainder of the week.

Charles A. Sayre, revered pastor, dies at age 100

The Reverend Dr. Charles A. Sayre, the senior pastor at Haddonfield United Methodist Church from 1965 to 1990, died peacefully at home on Monday, August 10, 2020. He was 100.

He was revered not just by the church’s congregation but also by thousands of residents of Camden, where he planted and nurtured numerous seeds, and by fellow members of the Rotary Club of Haddonfield, of which he had been a devoted member for 55 years.

In a note to members of the congregation on August 11, The Reverend Chris Heckert wrote:

“It is with a sense of profound loss that I share that Rev. Dr. Charles Sayre passed away of natural causes, surrounded by his family, and entered into God’s eternal rest yesterday, August 10th. Rev. Dr. Sayre served as the Sr. Pastor for 25 years, from 1965-1990. In that time he had a massive impact for the witness of Jesus Christ in our church, community and greater world, in helping people to live into the kingdom of God, on earth, as it is in heaven. Under his leadership, HUMC grew exponentially, and expanded its mission and ministry into Camden with the founding of Respond, Inc. Beyond the local church, he was a leader in the United Methodist Church worldwide, as he was elected to the Methodist World Council, and served as the lead clergy delegate to the General Conference for 8 quadrennia. Upon his retirement he remained an active resident of Haddonfield as an influential friend, leader, Rotarian, and mentor to countless people. On April 19th, 2020, he celebrated his 100th birthday, remarking how blessed and happy he was to be surrounded by loving friends and family via Zoom.

“Although we grieve his loss, may we share the profound gratitude that Dr. Sayre held in his heart. During both of my visits with him this past week, he reiterated how thankful he was for his life, for his loving family, and for this church community. Just this past Sunday he listened to our worship service online and shared with me afterward that he believed that serving Haddonfield UMC is the best job in Methodism. For each life that has been touched, inspired, blessed and enriched by the ministry and witness of Rev. Dr. Charles Sayre, we now carry his mission of leading others to follow Jesus Christ within our hearts and our lives.

“During this time I ask that you keep his daughters Jill, Judy, and their entire family in your prayers. A graveside service will be private for family only, but we will share plans for public celebration of his life at a later date as they develop. Gifts in his memory may be sent to the church with “In memory of Charles Sayre” in the memo line, or an accompanying note. Gifts made in his memory will benefit the Lucile B. Sayre Meditation Garden across from the church.

“One of Dr. Sayre’s favorite hymns of faith was “It is Well with my Soul,” which offers these words of comfort:

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul
It is well
With my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

“Because a life lived for others has now transitioned into God’s eternal, loving embrace, may we find God’s comfort and peace. Because of Dr. Sayre’s leadership, loving heart and friendship to many, may we say now, ‘it is well with my soul.'”

Food Drive on August 26

The First Baptist Church will hold a food drive on Wednesday, August 26 in support of the Food Bank of South Jersey.

Those who wish to donate non-perishable food items are asked to stop by the church’s parking lot between 10 and 11am.

Monetary donations may be made payable to “Oaklyn Community Food Pantry” and dropped off on August 26 or mailed to the First Baptist Church at 124 Kings Highway East. (Write “Food Drive” on the envelope, to ensure that your donation will be correctly assigned.)

Questions? Call Chip Chapman at 856-795-1727.

Drive-by farewell for Pastor Getman

Members of the congregation of the First Presbyterian Church are planning a drive-by salute to Pastor Bill Getman, who will conduct his last service – virtually – at 10am on Sunday, April 26.

The drive-by will begin at 10:45am, after the livestreamed service concludes.

The route for the drive-by: Turn from Lincoln onto Chestnut, then into the church driveway next to the Interfaith Caregivers building. Follow the driveway around the back of the church and past the door where Pastor Getman stands after each service to farewell those who attended the service. He will be there!

Clearly, participants must remain in their cars.

Church livestream will feature 100-year-old retired minister

Among the participants in the Haddonfield United Methodist Church’s livestreamed services on Sunday, April 19 – 9am (contemporary) and 10:30am (traditional) – will be The Rev. Dr. Charles A. Sayre, the retired senior minister of the church. One reason he’s been invited to participate? April 19 will be his 100th birthday.

Dr. Sayre served as senior minister for 25 years, retiring in 1990. He has remained involved with the church during the past 20 years, and also with the Rotary Club of Haddonfield, which he joined in 1965. (Prior to that, he was a Rotarian in Asbury Park for more than ten years.)

Among Dr. Sayre’s many legacies is Respond Inc., in Camden. The program began in 1967 as a daycare center at the State Street Methodist Church. Respond now owns and operates seven childcare centers with the capacity to serve more than 1,000 children, infants to 4 years old, and has branched out into housing, homeless shelters, counseling programs for adults and teens,and drug and alcohol addiction programs.

Respond also offers job training programs in culinary arts, automotive technology, and lawn care and outdoor property maintenance at a center at 8th and Erie Street, named for Dr. Sayre.

The party the church was planning for Dr. Sayre will take place online, as will a family-and-friends celebration during the afternoon.

Click HERE to connect to the livestream.

And HERE for Dr. Sayre’s “Meditation on my One Hundredth Birthday.”

Easter Sunday Services


  • 11:15am – Worship Service
  • National Cathedral, Washington DC
  • Video link HERE (website).


  • First Baptist Church of Haddonfield
  • 11am – Worship Service.
  • Audio link HERE (website). Video link HERE (Facebook).


  • Christ the King Catholic Church
  • 9am
  • 10:30am
  • Video link HERE (website).


Grace Church in Haddonfield

6:30 am – Sunrise Worship

Video link HERE (Facebook).


  • Lutheran Church of Our Savior
  • 10:30am
  • Video link HERE (Facebook).


  • Haddonfield United Methodist Church
  • 9am – Contemporary Worship
  • 10:30am – Traditional Worship
  • Video links HERE (website) and HERE (Facebook)


  • First Presbyterian Church of Haddonfield
  • 10 am
  • Video link HERE (website)

Good Friday musical selections

The First Baptist Church of Haddonfield will provide a a 30-minute livestream of music by Robert Gardner on Friday, April 10 at 12n. The Facebook livestream may be accessed through the church’s website, HERE.

Audio-only version will be available on the website following the livestream.

Pastor warns of gift card scam

The Reverend Jenni Ovenstone Smith, the rector of Grace Church in Haddonfield, has reported that hackers posing as pastors are asking people to purchase gift cards to assist those in need.

She said that in at least two instance the fake emails purported to come from her.

“Scams in which hackers create false accounts posing as pastors are continuing,” she wrote in a message to her congregation. “These are not from me!”

She provided the following advice:

“Firstly, do not go out. Especially at this time when all advice is to stay home even from what might be considered an ‘essential errand,’ if possible. Don’t go to the store! And don’t respond to the email, or make purchases online. This is a scam.

“Secondly, even during ordinary times, you may expect requests for outreach assistance to come from direct Grace communication channels such as this ‘Grace Notes’ mailing, or on the web. Thank you to those who received these emails and knew to check first, as this request seemed unusual.”

Pastor Jenni concluded by writing: “While we realize that there are those exploiting our vulnerability and our compassion right now, I am grateful we have each other to strengthen and support the real efforts of love and care that sustain us in Christ at this time.”

Church services go online

Haddonfield churches are adapting to the current disruption by livestreaming worship services on their websites, or via Facebook or YouTube.

  • Christ the King Catholic Church has its weekday 8am mass online. The Saturday evening 5pm service is also live streamed, as is the Sunday 9am mass. .
  • First Presbyterian Church is livestreaming its Sunday 10am service.
  • Grace Church in Haddonfield (Episcopal) has videos and online worship available on their YouTube channel and on Facebook.
  • Haddonfield United Methodist Church continues bringing its Sunday 9am contemporary worship service to Facebook Live. The 10:30am traditional service is livestreamed, and also available via Facebook.
  • Lutheran Church of Our Savior is livestreaming its Sunday 10:30am worship service on Facebook Live.