New Jersey Beach Town Ordered to Open on Sunday Mornings For First Time in 155 Years

A coastal town in New Jersey will open its beach on Sunday mornings for the first time in 155 years.

Ocean Grove, New Jersey, has reportedly kept its mile-long strip of Jersey Shore beach closed for religious observation until noon on Sundays since 1869.

Following ongoing pushback from the state of New Jersey, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association (OGCMA) has now been ordered to open the beach.

Ocean Grove will provide lifeguards on Sunday mornings for the safety of beachgoers, in the meantimeFollowing ongoing pushback from the state of New Jersey, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association (OGCMA) has now been ordered to open the beach.

“For 155 years, we have closed our beach on Sunday mornings to honor God — a core pillar of this community since the founding of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association,” the group wrote in a statement.

“Now, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) is ordering us to open our privately owned beach on Sunday mornings.”

The OGCMA announced that it will challenge the order “to preserve our property rights and religious freedom.” 

“Our application for an emergent stay is pending, but we have no indication when an Order will be entered. We are currently compelled to comply with the NJDEP order to open the beach, but have not ceased nor abandoned our quest to protect our religious and property rights,” the association wrote.

Ocean Grove will reportedly provide lifeguards on Sunday mornings for the safety of beachgoers as the order gets sorted out.

“We continue to do ministry by providing opportunities for spiritual birth, growth and renewal through worship, education and cultural programs,” the OGCMA concluded in its statement. “As always, we welcome all to join us in ‘God’s Square Mile.’”

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