Church History

Christ Church emerged from the seeds planted by John Croes, elected in 1815 as the first Episcopal bishop in New Jersey. Over his 17 years of leadership, Bishop Croes helped found the General Theological Seminary, the General Missionary Society, and the Episcopal Sunday School Union. Upon Croes’ death in 1832, George Washington Doane assumed leadership and, over his 27 year tenure, expanded the church’s presence in New Jersey with 100 clergy serving 85 parishes.

In 1854 Bishop Doane commissioned the Reverend William Herbert Norris to serve as a Missioner to Woodbury. Under Norris’ guidance, property was secured and the current church structure was built in 1856. Christ Church in Woodbury was consecrated on September 17, 1857. From that time, the church flourished under the watchful eyes of 12 rectors who helped the church grow in membership, programs, buildings and furnishings, while keeping the church structure updated through multiple renovations.

Our current Rector, the Reverend Brian K. Burgess, SSC has led our parish since 2005 as the 13th Rector of Christ Church. In 2016, we celebrated 160 years of Anglican worship in Woodbury. We cherish our rich past, and continue to move forward in the unity of spirit and purpose. Read more of our history here.


“And Christ Church, Woodbury, solid in stone, and ‘beautiful, exceedingly,’ and fitted for all sacred uses, stands, in the eye of God, the very gem of the Diocese”
– Spoken by Bishop George Washington Doane at the 1858 Convention of the Diocese of New Jersey on behalf of Christ Church Woodbury.