Rev. Arthur G. Tippett and Christ Free Church
Off South Forklanding Road, Maple Shade

Arthur G. Tippett-

The following quotation is from Arthur Cutler's original Story of Maple Shade article-

Several acres of land at the westerly corner of Sunset and Rudderow Avenues were purchaced by a Canadian, the Reverend Arthur G. Tippett, on November 5th, 1913. At the time, Rev. Tippett had a Gospel Wagon in Philadelphia, operating around the carpet mills in Kensington, as most weavers were English. In the early part of the following year, he proceeded to build his home and Church, which is believed to have been known as the Church of God, on this site. The lumber and the millwork for the church were donated by C. B. Coles and Company, and the William Scudder Company of Camden. On Sunday, his English followers from the carpet mills would come out by trolley to the corner of Main Street and Forklanding Road. Here the minister would meet them with his large Peerless touring car and take them to church, and return them from services. This continued until some time in 1918, when Rev. Tippett returned to Canada to enlist for service in the First World War. Later, the church was sold and remodeled into a home.

Arthur Tippett's church wasn't called Church of God, but Christ Church and Christ Free Church. Since we know by the featured newspaper article that Arthur Tippett was from England and not Canada, perhaps, and it does make greater sense, he returned to England due to World War One. Or maybe he went from England to Canada first?? The below is a title chain segment concerning the Church's location.

Robert Jaquett
took title on August 22, 1918
under deed book 546 page 338
sold by Arthur G. Tippet

Being part of lands and premises which Thomas Ryan by deed dated January 21, 1916, Book 523, pg 7 & c. granted to Arthur G. Tippett and Ada Tippett his wife.
on the NW corner of Rudderow Ave. and County Ave., containing thereon a Church building.

Note- County Avenue used to loop from Forklanding Road to Rudderow Avenue. Later part was renamed Sunset Avenue.


In the early years of Maple Shade, during the time when William Brown was the editor of the Maple Shade Progress, 1916- 1917, There were three Churches in town. Christ Free Church, The Congregational Church, and St. John's Episcopal Church.

To not honor Arthur G. Tippett and his wife Ada would be a wrong, so let us honor them now.

We first heard of Arthur Tippett from Arthur Cutler's story of "Maple Shade" which was printed in a Real Estate booklet. That contained some facts and a few errors as he was recalling information from long ago, but the photos to the left and the following article are more of a first hand account. They are from the Philadelphia Public Ledger, March 11, 1915.


The Rev. and Mrs. Arthur G. Tippett Finish Task Begun Nearly a year Ago in Spirit of Religious Zeal.

The Rev. Arthur G. Tippett thought there ought to be a church in a little settlement on the southern side of Maple Shade, which lies in New Jersey, less then 10 miles from Philadelphia. he preached a sermon there and explained his idea, But when he called for volunteer carpenters the only persons who held up their hands were the preacher and his wife, Ada Tippett.

No workmen, no money and not even a road to the place where the church was to be built- that was the way the thing started. Now the church is ready to be dedicated, because a clergyman who had never driven a nail had energy, and because his wife, in the midst of household work and caring for a baby, helped him haul stones, carry bags of cement, lift heavy sticks of timber and use a hammer and a saw. She was his partner in building a road through an uncleared wood and together they managed to put up a parsonage at the same time they were building a house of worship. The work was done in the few hours a day that were left after the preacher came back from his mission work in the Kensington mill district.

The building, called the Christ Free Church, is on Fork Landing road, a mile and a half south of the Maple Shade railroad station. It will be dedicated on Easter Sunday. Thirty-eight by forty feet in size, it has a two story tower in which is built a study for the self appointed pastor, who will have no salary. Three hundred people will be seated in it.

When work was started last May there was no road to the site. The first work was to build a roadway through a mile of swamp land. The preacher and his wife did it. Then they sharpened their axes and cut away enough land to erect the church and the parsonage, next door. That done, they marked out on the ground with a stick, the boundaries of their proposed edifice.

One hundred wagon loads of stones from neighboring fields and the same number of bags of cement was donated after assiduous soliciting by the preacher carpenter, and the timber came in the same way. There are 20,000 feet of lumber in the building. It consists of knotty pieces of many varieties of wood, contributed by lumber dealers, and hauled by the minister in his milk wagon. When this part of the work was going on, last fall, the clergyman's horse foundered and in trying to help him out he himslf was caught in mud and almost freezing water for four hours. The details of the building operation suggest the conditions under which frontier missionaries worked in the West half a century ago.

Seventy five dollars is the total cash contributions which have received by the builder. Opera chairs were donated for seats and an organ was given by a Philadelphia church. The Pennsylvania Railroad Company donated an engine bell, which is being placed in the tower.

The Rev. Mr. Tippett and his wife were born in England. He was a preacher at 15 years of age when he worked in tin mines in Cornwall. His grandfather, "Billy Bray, the Cornish Miner." was an itinerant preacher and built several stone churches with boulders wheeled from the mines in a barrow. Tippett's mother was an ordained minister, and the preacher builder ascribes his tendencies to heridity. He is non sectarian. During the week he does mission work in the mill distrcit of this city, where he is a familiar figure. During the summer he operates a "Gospel Car" in Bridesburg and Kensington.

Christ Free Church in the 1916-1917 Maple Shade Progress

November 18, 1916 Progress ad, September 14, 1917 Progress ad, and the April 6, 1917 Progress Easter Service 2nd Anniversary notice for Christ Free Church.

Christ Free Church advertised services about every issue from November 1916 until the April 1917 Easter anniversary service, then no ads appear that I've found until September 7, 1917 , the issue Frank Gerkins took over the paper with.

At this time the Assistant pastor was C.H. Whootton, and his sermon notes are featured, etc... with no mention of Arthur G. Tippett. Perhaps Rev. Tippett was on a Gospel Car trip during this time.

There has been A biography written of the Rev. Arthur G. Tippett called "The Hustling Parson, or The Adventures of an Unconventional Evangelist" By Cusden, Richard A. J, in 1930, published by the New York: Gospel Car Mission Publishing House / Edward J. Howell, Inc.

In 1917 Arthur Tippett lived in the Little Red Schoolhouse on Main St.

Title Chain segment-

Arthur G. Tippett, and Ada Tippett his wife
took title on February 14, 1917
under deed book 532 page 259
sold by William V. Fisler

Beginning at a stone standing in the edge of the Mount Holly stage road on the Northerly side thereof, about four chains and twenty three links from the middle of the arch of a small stone bridge standing in said road, and runs thence...

Being the same land and premises which Joseph Burrough by deed bearing date December 16, 1811, and recorded in the office of the Clerk of the County of Burlington in Book No. X of Deeds, page 303 etc. granted and conveyed unto Samuel Rudderow, etc...


From a 1917 Progress

From the Progress, March 30, 1917

Gospel Car photo from the Philadelphia Public Ledger, May 16, 1917.

Rev. Arthur G. Tippett Christmas Sermon from a 1916 Progress.

Three web pages at den's Maple Shade History website
containing information about Rev. Arthur G. Tippett-
Rev. Arthur G. Tippett, Christ Church The Hustling Parson, Maple Shade church Chesterford school, Burrough, Kaighn, Tippett