St. Bartholomew’s Church was established on August 23, 1961 when residents of Delaware Township, NJ (later to become Cherry Hill) met with the Reverend Albert W. Van Duzer, rector of Grace Church, Merchantville. A mission chapel was formed and named in honor of Bartholomew the Apostle. Services were first held at the Barclay School, Cherry Hill, on September 10, 1961.
A gift of funds led to the purchase of five acres of land on Rt. 70. With the acquisition of property, the building of the Church, a large cruciform nave, commenced. A four bedroom rectory was later built on the property. The needs of a growing parish family necessitated the construction of the church office / education building. Construction was completed in September 1966.
The Reverend John R. Neilson served as the first Vicar until August 1969. On October 5, 1969, the Reverend W. Perry Winterrowd was installed as second Vicar of the mission parish. Continuing growth spelled the end of mission status and in May 1972, the Diocesan Convention welcomed the parish into full, independent affiliation. Fr. Winterrowd was called to become the first Rector.
The ensuing years were ones of vigor and enthusiasm. St. Bartholomew’s offered two services each Sunday. Lay ministry became an active part of St. Bartholomew’s parish life with the formation of a core of lay readers and chalice bearers. Reverend Charles Brittain and Reverend David Sommerville served as associates.
The St. Bartholomew’s Nursery School was established in 1972. In January 1983 Fr. Winterrowd resigned to accept the Diocesan position of Deputy for Mission and Supply Officer.
The Reverend Wayne Smith was called to serve and was installed as the second Rector of St. Bartholomew’s on November 20, 1983.
During Fr. Smith’s tenure, the church Sanctuary and the Memorial Garden underwent professional renovation and restoration. The staff expanded to include retired priest associates Reverend Myles Gill and Reverend Dudley Pendleton and Reverend Charles Hulet. Reverend Mary Jo Smith served as Deacon. Parishioner Joan R. Watson was ordained to the priesthood and served as youth director until 1988. Parishioners Colleen Spaeth, Leslie Mazzacano, Denise Cavaliere, Arthur Knight and Frances Clark were ordained to the diaconate.
For fifteen years Fr. Smith guided St. Bartholomew’s not only in its efforts to improve the church facility and to increase membership, but more especially in its efforts to grow as a responsible community of faith, love and outreach. Fr. Smith retired in February 2000.
Having arrived on February 1, 2002 as parish priest, the Reverend Peter Manzo was later installed as the third Rector of St. Bartholomew’s on September 8, 2002. Several events have been established under his guidance: the Blessing of the Animals, the multi-language Pentecost Gospel reading, the Second Saturday evening prayer service, and the Blue Christmas service.
Clergy staff expanded to include the Venerable Lynn H. Johnson, Archdeacon, who joined the St. Barts' family in 2004 and the Reverend Arthur Knight, Deacon, who returned to St. Bart's in 2010.
The Nursery School was closed in 2003 and the space was reconfigured to accommodate the successful Thrift Shop.