St. James Long Branch—Congregation Profile

Contributed by: Kevin Bates, St. James Long Branch

Part of a series of profiles of congregations across the Diocese. See more here. Submit your congregation’s profile here.

St. James’ in Long Branch, a gothic style church, is located one mile west of the Atlantic Ocean and was built on its current site more than 100 years ago. Originally Long Branch was a destination for wealthy vacationers and St. James’ a spiritual destination. President Garfield worshipped at St. James’. Long Branch has seen many changes over the decades, going from a rural to suburban to urban setting. The demographics changed from wealthy to middle income to lower income, from an English-speaking neighborhood to a predominantly Spanish-speaking neighborhood. But what has not changed in the last 100 years and remains constant to this day is the message that St. James’ sends to the world. The message is, “God is here with you, always. God loves you, always. God forgives you always.”

We have two very large ministries, both of which serve the community of Long Branch and beyond. Twice weekly St. Brigid’s Pantry & Kitchen provides groceries and a hot meal free of charge to anyone who comes in. The number of people served often runs upwards of 1,000 people per month. Our thrift shop serves the community with household items, clothes, and toys at greatly reduced costs. The thrift shop also celebrates milestones in the lives of our community by collecting prom dresses for teens or wedding dresses for brides. Both of our ministries are run entirely by volunteers with the exception of our kitchen chef.

We have a gifted organist who plays every Sunday and has done concerts celebrating certain events or holidays.

We celebrate the seven sacraments of the church within the traditional Anglo-Catholic worship of the Episcopal Church (Book of Common Prayer 1978) with modern language and modern music from a variety of ancient and contemporary sources. Masses are held at 10 am in person and are streamed as well.

Our Mission: St. James’ Episcopal Church is a community of faith, fellowship, and forgiveness

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