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Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church record book

Identifier: MSS 0097-Item 0094

Scope and Contents

This volume contains records from the Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church of Wilmington, Delaware, from 1885 to 1914.

A printed table of contents divides the volume into seven sections: Record of Pastors, Record of Official Members, Record of Classes, Record of Members in Full Connection, Record of Probationers, Record of Marriages, and Record of Baptisms. The Record of Pastors shows that nine pastors ministered to the church between 1885 and 1914. The Record of Official Members lists members who held a position in the church as a local preacher, exhorter, steward, leader, trustee, or Sunday School superintendent. All of the positions were held by men apart from three women acting as stewards. The Record of Classes shows that five different classes were offered to congregants.

The Record of Members in Full Connection is arranged alphabetically with the names of charter members listed at the beginning. This record provides information on congregants’ names and marital status, as well as how they were received into the church and if they were removed from membership. Congregants could become members with a letter or certificate from another congregation stating that they were in good standing. They could also undergo examination or be subject to a probationary period. Congregants were removed for various reasons, including moving to another congregation (with or without a certificate), expulsion, or death. Other explanations for removal include notations that the congregant did not attend, “backslid,” or was simply “no good.” The Record of Probationers follows a similar format, recording probationers’ names, marital status, residence, and the outcome of their probation. Most probationers were either dropped or received into full connection with the church.

The volume also contains records regarding marriage and baptism. The first marriage was performed in October 1886 and the last in February 1896. These records provide information on the bride and groom’s name, age, and residence at the time of marriage. The baptismal records show that most congregants were baptized as infants, but a large number of adults were baptized as well. Some baptisms were performed at the church, but others were done offsite. The first baptism was performed in February 1885 and the last in March 1896.

This volume is bound with black cloth over boards with a leather spine and corners. There is gilt decoration on the edges of the spine and the corners of the covers. The edges of the pages are marbled. The volume has a printed title page which reads “The Church Record of the Wesley Methodist-Episcopal Church Wilmington Delaware” with “Wesley” and “Wilmington Delaware” handwritten in black ink. The volume contains printed space for records and handwritten entries in black ink and pencil. A list of trustees is recorded in pencil on the back flyleaf. The volume contains 168 pages.


  • Creation: 1885-1914


Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Biographical / Historical

The Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church grew out of a meeting of Methodists in Wilmington, Delaware in late 1884. The church organized a Sunday school in January 1885, which was held in a store at the corner of Maryland Avenue and Linden Street. Religious services were first held on the second floor of the Weccacoe Fire House before the completion of a small brick church at the corner of South Jackson and Linden Street in 1887. The church building soon became too small to accommodate the congregants and a new church was constructed at the same site in 1890. The church ceased activities in 1925 and the building was used as a community center for several years. In 1934, the building was sold to the Knights of St. Hedwig, an organization connected to the nearby St. Hedwig’s Roman Catholic Church.

Zebley, Frank R. The Churches of Wilmington. Wilmington, DE: Frank R. Zebley, 1947.The Evening Journal, Wilmington, DE, August 22, 1908, p. 5 Information derived from the collection.


1 volume : 168 pages ; 29 cm


This volume contains records from the Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church of Wilmington, Delaware, from 1885 to 1914.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Henry Clay Reed, 1965

Related Materials

This item forms part of MSS 0097 Diaries, Journals, and Ships' Logs collection.

Shelving Summary

Item 0094: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0097

Processing Information

Processed and encoded by Elizabeth Jones-Minsinger, July 2017.

Finding aid for Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church record book
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
2017 July 10
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Delaware Library Special Collections Repository

181 South College Avenue
Newark DE 19717-5267 USA