Plume House of Prayer

In 1887, Reverend Hannibal Goodwin of the House of Prayer Church, Newark, NJ, invented celluloid photographic film in the attic of the rectory, called the Plume House. This invention was motivated by the frequent breakage of his glass lantern slides, which Goodwin used to teach children bible stories. I found a 1852 sermon from House of Prayer. 174 years later, close to the corresponding day that sermon was first delivered, I attended their Sunday service. It was 90 degrees, and felt more stifling inside the old church than outside it. Nine members of the congregation were in attendance so the service was moved to an air-conditioned back room. As of this year, 2019, the House of Prayer no longer has a minister. Members take turns preparing sermons and tending church business.