PORT NORRIS, N.J. –One historic church in Cumberland County has become the focal point for an upcoming art show at the Bayshore Center of Bivalve.

In the 1800s, a church was built on the corner of High Street and Miller Avenue in Port Norris, and for more than a century the unique building has been a landmark for the small town. Now, community members are being asked to help in putting a gallery show together.

“The strange thing to me always was that no matter where someone was from, they remember this church,” said Susan Zipper, the director of the Bayshore Gallery of the Bayshore Center at Bivalve. “[It’s] an iconic image.”

Zipper is asking for the community’s help in tracking down any photographs, sketches, or paintings of the church from throughout the years.

“They don’t open it up for anything, but it’s something that everybody seems to pay attention to,” said Zipper. “It’s sort of standing on its own. It has a very emotional appeal to people, even though it’s falling apart. But when you look at it, you can kind of feel the history of it, which you can see in the artwork.”

Members of the Port Norris Historical Society believe the structure may have once been a Methodist church. It once operated with names like “The Mission Church” and “The House of Jacob,” and the people who gathered there helped assist others in need around the Bayshore area.

Despite storms of rain and people throughout the years, the landmark has become a focal point for various works of art.

“It seems to have this connection with people,” said Zipper. “People look at it and maybe feel what it was; sometimes that happens with older things.”

Zipper has put out a “call for art,” asking artists and non-artists alike to submit any work of the “Old Church” for the May 9th gallery exhibit.

“I like to encourage people because I think we all have something artistic about ourselves,” said Zipper. “Just because we’re human.”

Whether the pictures and portraits are old or new, submissions will be accepted until Saturday, May 6th, to showcase this historic landmark in Cumberland County.