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Little Creek Hundred Churches

Moore's Chapel Pastors Society of Methodists
First Baptist Church of Delmar
Baptists of Little Creek Hundred
St. Andrew's Protestant Episcopal Chapel
St. Mark's Protestant Episcopal Church
St. Paul's Methodist Protestant Church
Mount Hermon Methodist Protestant Church
Methodist Protestants Society of Methodist Pastors
Society of Methodists Moore's Chapel
First Methodist Episcopal Church

The First Methodist Episcopal Church in Little Creek Hundred, was situated in the north-western part of the hundred about five miles from Laurel. The first building was begun in 1780, and completed the following year. It was a frame structure thirty by thirty -six feet, and was built entirely of heart pine. The original name given to the church was Mount Pleasant, doubtless on account of its position on the edge of an oak grove, extending north and west, while a pond lay on the south. It was soon afterwards called Moore's Chapel on account of the many families of that name in the neighborhood connected with the church. The first board of trustees consisted of George Moore, William Moore, Isaac Moore, Charles Marine, John Cordry, George Adams and Isaac Vincent. In 1799 a Quarterly Meeting was held at Moore's Chapel. The people came from all the country roundabout, and on Saturday night there were so many at George Moore's, that a large hall was spread with bed-clothes for them to sleep in. This was continued for many years during Quarterly Meetings. In 1801, during a love feast, the colored people gave such a shout in the gallery as to cause it to fall on the white people below, who were so densely packed that they escaped uninjured. In 1805, a camp-meeting was held at Moore's, which was doubtless the first in Sussex County. In 1824, a second-hand stove was purchased at Salisbury and placed in the church. Previous to this, with the exception of one or two persons who owned a foot- stove, the people worshipped here without stove or fire. In 1830 while Rev. Mr. Benson was engaged in the first prayer at Moore's Chapel, a blind horse owned by Elijah R. Moore, ran at full speed against the end of the church opposite the pulpit, forcing his head through the inch weather boarding. The building was shaken and the people rushed for the door. Order was restored when the cause was learned, and the preacher continued his prayer from the place where he had left off. The horse was young and spirited and was frightened by William Kinikin, who blew in its ear.

In 1830, there were eighty-five members at Moore's. In 1842 the building was repaired and backs for the first time put on the benches. The old church remained until 1863, when the present building was erected. The dedicatory services were conducted in the fall of that year by Rev. Dr. Roberts, of Balti-more. The new church was named Mount Pleasant.

The building committee were Rev. Elijah Hitch, William B. Records and Charles M. Walston, and the builder, Rev. Lewis Chambers. The church has experienced several wonderful revivals of religion, and at present has one hundred and fifteen communicants. The following compose the present board of trustees: C. M. Walston, J. A. Collins, E. P. Ellis, C. H. Hastings, L. A. Walston, J. E. Ellis and J. H. Henry. A flourishing Sunday-school of one hundred and ten scholars, under the superintendence of C. A. Hastings, is connected with the church.

Moore's Chapel was first connected with Somerset Circuit, and later formed a part of Salisbury Circuit until 1840 when Laurel Circuit was created and Moore's assigned to it. It was thus connected until 1858, when it was placed in Quantico Circuit, and remained there until 1863, when it formed part of Sharptown Circuit. In 1871 Sharptown Circuit was divided and Mt. Pleasant (Moore's), Hepburn, Union and Delmar set off by themselves as Delmar Circuit. Through its various changes it has been served by the following pastors:

Pastors of Moore's Chapel 1781 - 1887

T. McClure 1781
J. Wyatt 1781
J. Everett 1781
J. Atklus 1781
G. Moore 1781
F. Garrettion 1782
W. Hickson 1782
J. Margary 1782
W. Partridge 1783
A. Cloud 1783
S. Hawkins 1784
W. Ringold 1784
H. Ogburn 1786
A. G. Thompson 1786
T. Foster, presiding elder 1786
J. Riggan 1786
J. Merrick 1786
F. Garrettson, presiding elder 1787
L. Ross 1787
C. Spry 1787
B. Whatcoat, presiding elder 1788-89
J. White 1788-89
B. Prior 1788-89
E. Reed 1789
G. Callahan 1789
J. Everett, presiding elder 1790-92
J. Milbourn 1790-92
J. Jenell 1790-92
J. Beard 1792
J. Smith 1792
B. Whatcoat, presiding elder 1793-95
W. Bishop 1793-95
M. Howe 1794
R. Stockett 1794
J. Falcoin 1795
W. Beck 1705
C. Spry, presiding elder 1796-99
J. Milbeurn 1796-99
I. Jewell 1790-99
J. Moody 1797
A. Smith 1797
D. Crouch 1798
D. Stevens 1798
T Dodaon 1799
J. Ruth 1799
T. Ware, presiding elder 1800-01
W. Colbert 1800-01
D. Ryan 1800-01
J. Everett, presiding elder 1802-03
G. Armstrong 1802-03
B. Lyan 1802-03
D. James 1803
H. White 1803
W. P. Chandler, presiding elder 1804-07
J. Dunham 1804-07
J. Ridgway 1804-07
J. Dunn 1806
J. Scull 1805
P. Vaneet 1806
J. Mitchell 1806
J. Collins 1807
T. Emory 1807
S. Sharp, presiding elder 1808-11
J. Atkins 1808-11
J. Sharpley 1808-11
J. Aydolotte 1809
S. Martindale 1809
J. Herron 1810
S. Griffith 1810
G. Wooley 1811
J. Price 1811
J. Smith, presiding elder 1812-14
J. Collins 1812-14
J. Wiltbank 1812-14
W. Williams 1813
J. Goforth 1813
W. Williams 1814
J. Colgan 1814
W. Bishop, presiding elder 1816-18
J. Smith 1816-18
T. Davis 1816-18
J. Polhemus 1816
A. Melvin 1816
J. Collins 1817
E. Reed 1817
D. Daily 1818
W. Boss 1818
H. Boehm, presiding elder 181&-21
A. Melvin 1819-21
W. Wright 1819-21
A. Melvin 1821
W. P. Early 1820
J. Moore 1821
W. Lummis 1821
L. Lawrenceson, presiding elder 1822-26
P. Price 1822-26
J. Moore 1822-26
L. Warfield 1823
J. B. Ayars 1823
L. Warfield 1824
M. Sorin 1824
C. Reed 1826
J. Cary 1826
H. White, presiding elder 1826-29
A. Smith 1826-29
E. Stephenson 1826-29
A. White 1827
J. Henry 1827
M. Sorin 1828
J. Bell 1828
W. Torbert 1829
J. A. Massey 1829
D. Dailey, presiding elder 1830-33
W. Torbert 1830-33
B. Benson 1830-33
S. McElwee 1831
G. Wiltshire 1831
W. Allen 1832
S. McElwee 1832
A. Smith 1833
W. Spry 1833
Levi Scott, presiding elder 1834-35
D. Lamdin 1834-36
C. W. Jackson 1834-36
J. Rayne 1836
J. Hanterson 1836
H. White, presiding elder 1836-39
J. Bayne 1836-39
G. Wiltshire 1836-39
J. A. Massey 1837
J. Johnson 1837
J. K. Willett 1838
J. Carlisle 1838
J. Carlisle 1839
W. Quinn 1839
James Allen 1840
John D. Long 1840
James Allen 1841
Vaughan Smith 1841
James Hargis. 1842
John A. Watson 1842
Levin M. Prettyman ^843
John A. Watson 1843
Samuel Grace 1844
Richard Adkinson 1844
James L. Wallace 1844
Samuel Grace 1846
Wm. England 1846
Henry Atmore 1846
V. Gray 1846
Robert R. Richardson 1846
Valentine Gray 1847
S. M. Cooper 1847
Isaac R. Merrill 1848
Adam Wallace 1848
Isaac R. Merrill 1849
J. B. Quigg 1849
A. W. Milby 1850
Daniel Titlow 1850
A. W. Milby 1851
J. W. Hammeraley 1851
Jonathan Tamer 1852
W. P. Ames 1852
Joseph E. Smith 1853
Thomas Childs 1853
Joseph E. Smith 1854
Brother Dobson 1854
James Hargis 1855
Samuel Powers 1855
Jeremiah Jones 1855
James Hargis 1856
Samuel Powers 1856
Jeremiah Jones 1856
W. Merrill 1857
K G. Irwin 1857
J. Connelly 1857
J. Hargis 1858
G. Cummins 1858
J. Hargis 1859
J. W. Hammersley 1860
J. H McLaughlin 1860
J. W. Hammersley 1861
T. L. Tomkinson 1861
J. Cummins 1862
T. S Hodson 1862
J. M. Purner 1863-64
T. B. Killiam 1865-66
R. B. Hazzard 1867
J. T. Kenney 1867
Samuel Webb 1868
J. A. B. Wilson 1868
Samuel Webb 1869
J. Rich 1869
G. S. Conway 1870
J. Rich 1870
G. S. Conway 1871
Joseph Dare 1872-73
J. Conner 1874
G. W. Burke 1876
T. R. Creamer 1876-78
S. T. Gardner 1879-81
G. W. Wilcox 1882-83
Albert Chandler 1884-86
Charles Baker 1886-87

The first Methodist meetings in the north-eastern part of the hundred were held in the residence of Phillip West, in 1816. The services were conducted by the ministers in charge of the Somerset Circuit. The class leader was Isaac Short. On February 2, 1820, George H. Vinson conveyed to Philip W. Matthews, Joseph Betts, John Wootton, Wingate Calaway, Newbold Vinson and Isaac Betts, trustees, a tract of land on which in 1823 a one-story frame church, twenty by thirty feet was erected, at a cost of five hundred dollars. This was known as the Bethesda Methodist Episcopal Church, which name it still retains. Services were held in this building until 1879, when it was removed, and the present frame structure, twenty-nine by thirty-six feet, was erected at a cost of one thousand three hundred dollars.

The present membership is thirty-seven. Samuel H. Dobson is the superintendent of the Sunday-school, containing forty-eight members.

The present officers of the church are: Pastor, John F. Anderson; Trustees, Henry C. Matthews. Joseph M. Carmon, Elijah Hudson.

In 1842 a Society of Methodists was formed by Rev. James Hargis, in an old dwelling-house belonging to William C. King, situated on the opposite side of the road, from 'the present residence of Wm. F. King and about half a mile south of King's Church. The members of the first class held in the old house, were John and Amelia Wootten, Elijah and Mary Williams. William and Elizabeth Gordy, Alaphare Williams, Sarah King, Sarah I. Wootten, Thomas and Elizabeth Adams, Susan Elliott and several children of Elijah Williams. Money and materials were contributed for the erection of a church which was completed the same year, and named Hepburn, after a Philadelphia man of that name, who promised twenty dollars towards paying for the church, provided it was so called. It stood in the woods twelve or fifteen feet from the county road, and was not plastered on the inside until 1848. Services were held in this building until 1885. In 1881 an' effort was made to erect a new church, bat nothing was accomplished until 1884, when a building committee was appointed. They decided to build a church thirty by forty feet with a recess pulpit. It was finished early in the winter, and was to have been dedicated on December 21, but the rain prevented the people from coming. The dedicatory services were conducted by Revs. E. L. Hubbard and I. T. Fostnocht, of the Wilmington Conference, on January 26, 1885. The people objected to the name Hepburn, and by a vote of the congregation taken the day before the dedication, it was decided to call the new church King's. The first religious service in the church was the marriage of Miss Lelia E. Beach and Mr. George H. Waller, on December 24, 1884. The church since its organization, except from 1858 to 1868, has been connected with the same circuits as Mt. Pleasant, and has been served by the same pastors. The pastors from 1858 to 1868 were:

Society of Methodist Pastors ~ 1868 - 1867

W. Merrill 1858
Wm. Ware 1858
J. Dyson 1859
J. M. Purner 1859
J. Dyson 1860
J. S. J. McConnell 1860
J. A. Massy 1861
C. F. Sheppard 1861
J. Edwards 1862
C. F. Sheppard 1862
J. Edwards 1863
T. S. Hodson 1863
J. Cook 1864
S. McBirney 1864
J. Carroll 1865
J. W. Connelly 1865
J. Carroll 1866
E. E. White 1866
J. Carroll 1867
G. D. Watson 1867

In connection with the church is a flourishing Sunday-school of one hundred scholars, under the superintendence of J. W. Magee. The following compose the present board of trustees of King's Church: L. W. James, J. W. Magee, S. M. Lowe, George E. King, and M. F. James.

The first divine services in the immediate vicinity of St. George's Church were held in private houses by Rev. Elijah Hitch in 1842. After several meetings, the privilege of holding services in Beach's school-house was tendered Rev. Mr. Hitch and accepted. Fourteen persons professed religion at his meetings there. He informed Rev. James Hargis, pastor of the circuit, that he thought a good work could be done there. In July of that year, it was decided to hold a camp meeting in this neighborhood. A suitable piece of ground was procured of Samuel Kenney and prepared for camp. At this meeting more than two hundred were converted, one hundred and fourteen of whom joined St. George's. It was decided to build a church and the contract was awarded to Shelly Ken-ney. The church lot was donated by Samuel Kenney Sr., William S. Kenney and James Kenney. The weather boarding was given by Hon. William H. Ross, afterwards Governor, and the shingles by William L. Hearn. The church was dedicated by the preacher in charge, but was not plastered until 1844. In 1878, it was repaired and a recess pulpit built at a cost of two hundred and fifty dollars. Since its organization the church has been connected with the same circuits as Mt. Pleasant (Moore's) and has been ministered to by the same pastors. It at present has sixty members.

A prosperous Sunday school of seventy-five members under the Superintendence of Joseph W. Beach is connected with it.

The present board of trustees is composed of Samuel Bacon, James Hill, Job Sirmon, M. M. Ellis and Jos. W. Beach.

Through the efforts of T. A. Melson, the first religious services in Delmar were held on September 4, 1867. Rev, Joseph Cook, then preacher in charge of Salisbury Circuit, officiated. The place of meeting was the yard in front of the residence of M. M. Hill. The next sermon was preached October 6th in Mr. Hill's' house, and regular services were held there until January 26, 1868. The congregation had become too large for the dwelling, and a plank house was promptly erected on the land of Elijah Freeny. The building, nineteen by thirty feet, called after John Wesley, was dedicated February 16, 1868, by Rev. Joseph Cook. The first class was formed November 3, 1867, at the residence of J. T. Hearn, and was composed of Nathan West and wife, T. A. Melson and wile, Richard Stevens, wife and daughter Amanda, Leah Ann Hearn and James T. Hearn, a probationer. Nathan West was appointed leader. In 1871 the plank house was abandoned, and services held in the school-house. In 1872, through the labors of Rev. Joseph Dare, a church was commenced, which was completed and dedicated on November 30th by Rev. Enoch Stubbs, assisted by Rev. W. E. England. The building cost two thousand two hundred dollars. In 1884 a tower and steeple were added, and a parsonage erected for the circuit. Since its organization the church has been connected with the same circuits as Mt. Pleasant, and the same pastors have officiated. A flourishing Sunday-school, containing two hundred scholars, is connected with the church. L. W. Perdue is the superintendent. The church at present has a membership of eighty. The board of trustees are M. M. Hill, J. W. Melson, F. P. Elliott, T. A. Melson, W. B. Elliott, H. B. Sirmon, and B. W. Parker.

On April 30, 1832, James W. Phillips granted one-fourth of an acre of land at Portsville to John Allen, Thomas J. Phillips, Levi Collins, James M. Rider, Cyrus Collins, William Adams and Obadiah Marvel, trustees. On this land they were to erect a house to be denominated "The Portsville Academy and Chapel," to be used for religious worship and school purposes. The building was erected, and was used until 1868 by the Methodist Protestants for church purposes. In that year the present one-story frame edifice, thirty by thirty-six feet, with recess pulpit was erected, and has since been used. The land on which it stands was conveyed by Isaac G. Phillips to Doughty Collins, William G. Hearn, Isaac G. Phillips, William S. Phillips and James H. Jackson, trustees, February 24, 1869. The church was called Mount Lebanon, and now has a membership of about fifty, Services are conducted every other Sabbath by Rev. George R. McCready. There is connected with the church a Sunday-school of sixty members, under the superintendence of F. S. Burford. The present board of trustees are James H. Smith, James H. Lowe, D. W. Ralph and Jacob M. Gootee.

In 1835 the Methodist Protestants, to the number of about twenty, organized and erected a church, known as "Mt. Moriah," on a lot granted by Robert Elzey to Joseph Ellis, George A. Moore, E. C. Cooper and Joseph Phillips. The building was a one story frame structure, about twenty-four by twenty-eight feet, and cost three hundred dollars. It was used for divine worship until 1875, when it became very much dilapidated. It was decided to erect a new church on another location. A lot of land was donated by E. M. Lowe, and on it was built a one-story frame edifice, thirty-two by thirty-eight feet, which is now known as the Providence Methodist Protestant Church. There are at present fifty-seven members. Ebenezer M. Lowe is the superintendent of the Sabbath-school, and the trustees are Charles B. Elzey, George W. Ellis, William Kinney and E. M. Lowe.

Methodist Protestants 1835 - 1875

The following is a list of the pastors who have ministered to this congregation:

Geo. D. Hamilton 1835
T. G. Clayton 1836
J. Keller 1836
J. W. Everist 1837
J. K. Nichols 1837
R. T. Boyd 1838
W. W. Tipton 1838
R. T. Boyd 1839
J. H. Ellegood 1839
L. A. Collins 1840
G. D. Hamilton 1841
T. Bemick 1841
G. D. Hamilton 1842
J. A. Jackson 1842
Jno. H. Kennard 1843
R. Adkinson 1843
D. F. Ewell 1844
David A. Shermer 1844
D. F. Ewell 1845
J. McClelland 1846
L. W. Bates 1846-47
H. J. Day 1846-47
W. O. Pool 1848
T. A. Moore 1848
H. P. Jordan 1849
J. W. Smiley 1849
H. P. Jordan 1850
J. Shapley 1850
T. M. Wilson 1851
J. Clay 1851
T. M. Wilson 1852
J. F. Whiteside 1852
J. Morgan 1853
J. Thompson 1853
J. Morgan 1854
A. D. Dick 1854
A. S. Eversole 1855
G. H. McFaden 1856
A. S. Eversole 1856
B. F. Benson 1856
A. S. Eversole 1857
F. G. Wright 1858
R. Livingstone 1858
B. F. Benson 1859
R. Whinna 1859
H. J. Day 1860
H. Nice 1860
H. J. Day 1861
J. Thompson 1861
J. A. McFaden 1862
T. H. B. Austin 1862
J. A. McFaden. 1863
J. W. Gray 1863
J. A. McFaden 1864
S. T. Ferguson 1864
A. D. Dick 1865-66
W. M. Strayer 1867
S. A. Hoblitzel 1868-70
C. T. Cochel 1871
A. T. Melvin 1872-73
S. T. Ferguson 1874-75

During the year 1876 Providence was built, and Mount Moriah abandoned about that time or shortly afterwards, for in 1880 Mount Hermon was built.

W. G. Holmes 1876-79
J. L. Straughn 1880-82
C. M. Thomson 1883
J. M. Elderdice was appointed in 1884, but died, and his son, Hugh L. Elderdice, finished out the year.
Geo. R. McCready 1885
A. A. Harriman 1886
Geo. R. McCready 1887

Mount Hermon Methodist Protestant Church was built in 1880 on land donated by John Cooper, Sen. to William G. Hearn, John Cooper, Major D. Bradley, Barney Beach and James F. Bradley, trustees. The church building is a one-story frame structure thirty-four by forty-four feet and was erected at a cost of one thousand dollars. The first membership was thirty-six, which by a steady growth has increased to fifty-eight. A Sunday-school of sixty members is held under the superintendency of James F. Bradley. The present trustees are the same as mentioned above. The church has been connected with the same circuit as Providence and has been supplied by the same pastors. Services are held once in two weeks.

St. Paul's Methodist Protestant Church was organized in 1866, in Sharp's school house, by Rev. T. H. Burgess. The original members were Elizabeth Gordy, Leah Gordy, W. L. Gordy and John W. D. McGee. In 1868, under the pastorate of Rev. Jeremiah Clay, active measures were taken for the erection of a church building. The effort met with success, and three years later the edifice was dedicated by the pastor them in charge, Rev. W. D. Litsinger. It is a neat one-story frame structure, twenty-eight by thirty-eight feet, and cost eight hundred dollars. The church has a present membership of twenty-six. The following pastors have served since Rev. W. D. Litsinger: Revs. J. H. Ellegood, J. L. Leilich, William Crouse, J. M. Elderdice, J. E. Nicholson.

St. Mark's Protestant Episcopal Church, situate near the central part of the hundred, was begun in 1867 and completed the following year. Its erection was due to the labors of the Rev. Richard F. Cadle. The building was consecrated May 28, 1858, by Bishop Lee. Services were held previous to this for several years at the house of Stephen Ellis. The one-story frame structure, twenty-two by thirty-five feet, then erected on land purchased of Samuel Ralph, still standing and is used for worship. The first officers of the church were: Wardens, Samuel Kinney and Charles N. Moore; Vestry, C. W. Dickerson, Stephen Ellis, Jonathan Bailey, Isaac Giles and William J. Ralph.

There are at present about thirty communicants of this church. A Sunday-school of seventy members is held under the superintendence of Jackson L Ralph.

The present officers of the church are: Wardens, Wm. J. Ralph and Wm. J. Knowles; Vestry, Geo. W. C. Ellis, Jonathan W. Ellis, Benj. B. Freeny, Levin W. Ellis, Jackson L. Ralph, Mathias R. Ellis, Stephen T. Ralph.

St. Andrew's Protestant Episcopal Chapel at Ellis Grove was erected in 1880, on land donated by Joseph Ellis. It is a one story frame structure, twenty-eight by forty-four feet, and was first opened for service in June of that year. The valuation of the building is about twelve hundred dollars. Rev. George W. Johnson, its first rector, still officiates once in every two weeks. It is a mission chapel, and numbers about eight communicants. A flourishing Sunday School, with sixty scholars, is connected with the chapel. Jacob H. Adams is the superintendent of the school

Previous to 1802 the Baptists of Little Creek Hundred and vicinity worshipped in a house situated north of Delmar, on a farm now belonging to Wm. Hastings. In that year Gillis Smith conveyed to Charles Wildy and Levin Hitch, trustees, one acre of land north of Marshall Smith's grist-mill. On it, in the same year, was erected a one-story frame edifice, twenty-eight by thirty feet, at a cost of five hundred dollars. This was known as the Smith Mills Baptist Church until a meeting-house of the same faith was erected in Broad Creek Hundred, when the name was changed to Little Creek. In the following year the church was constituted, with thirty-nine members. The church then built still remains, but the congregation have in contemplation the erection of a new building in 1888. It is connected with the Salisbury Association and services are held the third Saturday and Sunday of every month. The number of communicants at present is fifty-four. In 1883 a lot of land in Delmar was purchased, and a neat one-story frame building, twenty-eight by thirty-six feet, was erected at the cost of one thousand dollars. This has never been constituted a church and is not in the association. It is used as a place of worship for the convenience of those living at a distance from the other churches. This congregation retains the doctrines of the Old School or Primitive Baptist Church. Both properties are under the same board of trustees, composed of B. B. Hastings, W. S. Marvil, Handy Culver, Levin Hastings and C. J. Morris. The clerk of the church is John H. Ellis.

The following pastors have ministered to this congregation: Revs. David Green, J. C. Windsor, James Rounds, Warren Staton, Leonard Hastings, Thomas Waters, George W. Staton, Thomas M. Poulson and E. Rittenhouse.

The First Baptist Church of Delmar was organized through the missionary labors of John T. Craig. In 1883 the church edifice was built, at a cost of $2000. The first trustees were E. M. Sprague, James B. Venables, E. M. Dunn, Dr. A. B. Slemons and William L. Sirmon. Bev. Mr. Craig was succeeded by James M. Hope, who was the last pastor of this church. The present Sabbath-school has a membership of forty-five, under the superintendence of S. K. Slemons. No regular church services are now held, but the organization is retained under these trustees:

James B. Venables
S. K. Slemons
William T. Dunn
E. M. Dunn
Louis Redish
John Culver
W. L. Sirmon
Dr. A. B. Slemons

Sussex County

Source: History of Delaware, 1609-1888, Volume I, by J. Thomas Scharf, L. J. Richards & Company, Philadelphia, 1888.

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