Posted Thursday, December 13th, 2012

The Morris County Heritage Commission will dedicate the latest addition to its Historic Marker program Sunday, Dec. 16, at 12.30 p.m. at a ceremony at the Morristown Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church.

The Bethel AME Church was incorporated in 1843 and was the first AME congregation in Morris County. The Bethel Mite Society, the congregation’s ladies auxiliary, raised funds for the construction of the first church building.

Among the many notable men and women who contributed to the history of the church as well as Morristown’s rich history is Bishop Willis Nazery. Born into slavery in 1803, he became the first pastor of the new church in 1845. After being ordained a bishop in New York City in 1852, he immigrated to Canada where he is now honored for his work resettling escaped American slaves.

The original carpenter-gothic style church was located a few hundred yards away from the current structure, which was one of Morristown’s urban renewal projects and was dedicated in 1970.

Since 1975, The Heritage Commission has placed markers at significant historic sites throughout the county.

More information about the Heritage Commission’s Historic site marker program or any of the other programs sponsored by the Commission may be obtained by calling the Commission at 973-829-8117, or visiting the Commission’s website,