Rev. P. W. Bilderback (1851 – )


One of the strongest members of the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal church in the New Jersey conference is Rev. P. W. Bilderback, who is now serving as pastor at Whitesville, New Jersey. He is a native of Salem county this state, born in 1851, his parents being Edward M. and Elizabeth (Heirhon) Bilderback. He was reared amid the refining influences of a good Christian home and after acquiring his preliminary education in the common schools he continued his education under the direction of G. K. .Morris and subsequently studied theology with Dr. Westwood as preceptor. In 1885 he was admitted to the New Jersey conference and in 1887 was ordained deacon by Bishop Joke, while in 188o he was ordained elder by Bishop Warren. His first charge was in Palmyra, New Jersey, and that he filled very acceptably. He was afterward located successively as pastor of the Methodist churches in New Gretna, Eldora, Aloia, Monroeville, Turkey, Blueball, the Clinton avenue church in Trenton, the churches in Columbus, Hamilton and Wall, and then was assigned to Whitesville, where he is now located.

Rev. Bilderback is a very earnest and zealous pastor, a strong, practical preacher and a fearless advocate of all that is good, true and righteous. He has been very largely instrumental in erecting houses of worship and improving church property, yet his greatest strength is now in strengthening the walls of the spiritual Zion. No man in the New Jersey conference has been more instrumental in bringing souls into the kingdom than he. In his present appointment he has charge of seven churches, with a membership of four hundred and fifty and a Sunday-school of two hundred and seventy-five. The valuation of the church property is about fourteen thousand dollars. Rev. Bilderback preaches three times each Sunday and his earnest words, ringing with the utterances of truth, have been a powerful factor in turning people from the error of their ways to walk in the straight and narrow path.

In 1875 Rev. Bilderback was united in the holy bonds of matrimony with Miss Marietta Ware, of Rumersville, New Jersey, and through the succeeding twenty-five years he has been greatly assisted in his work by her encouragement and aid. Their home has been blessed with three children: Willis E., a graduate of the State Normal School; Horace H., a graduate of Rider’s Business College; and Marion W., who is still in school. Rev. Bilderback is a member of the Junior Order of United American Mechanics, and as a citizen he takes a deep and abiding interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of the community and its advancement and progress. He is a man of strong individuality, and having turned his powers into the channels of greatest good, he is accomplishing a wonderful work for his fellowmen and for the cause of Christianity.”

Source:  The New Jersey Coast in Three Centuries, Vol. III,  by William Nelson, The Lewis Publishing Company, New York and Chicago, 1902, pages 488-9

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