Delaware, a state on the Atlantic seaboard of the United States of America, named after Virginia's first colonial governor, Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr. Originally inhabited by the Lenape toward the north and Nanticoke toward the south, it was first colonized by the Dutch in 1631. It became a part of the grant made to William Penn in 1682 and remained under the governor of Pennsylvania until 1776. It was one of the original 13 colonies to sign the Declaration of Independence and the first state to ratify the United States Constitution.
Delaware has an area of 2,490 square miles (6,452 km²) and in 2008 had as estimated population of 873,092. In 2005, 76.01% of the population was Caucasian and 21.51% was African American. In 2001 the religious affiliation of the state's population was as follows: Methodist – 20%; Baptist – 19%; No Religion – 17%; Roman Catholic – 9%; Lutheran – 4%; Presbyterian – 3%; Pentecostal – 3%; Episcopalian/Anglican - 2%; Seventh-day Adventist - 2%; Churches of Christ - 1%; Other Christian – 3%; Muslim - 2%; Jewish - 1%; Other – 5%; Refused to Answer- 9%. - RDT
Pieter Cornelis Plockhoy, a Dutch Mennonite, in 1662 planted a colony in Delaware, but it was destroyed by the English in 1694. The first permanent settlement of Mennonites was established in January 1914 near Greenwood. The Greenwood Conservative Mennonite Church had a membership of 240 in 1955 and supported a mission station in Wilmington. It established the Greenwood Mennonite School in 1928. Old Order Amish Mennonites moved into the state in 1915, locating west of Dover, in Kent County. By 1952 they had five church districts with 282 members. In 1925 they established the Apple Grove Amish Mennonite School at Dover and in 1938 the Green Hill Amish Mennonite School at Cheswold. The Wesley Chapel Mennonite Mission (MC), established at Newark in 1950 under the Ohio and Eastern Conference, had 47 members in 1955. - MG
The Conservative Amish Mennonite settlement near Greenwood in Sussex County consisted of four congregations with a total membership of 467 in 1986 (Greenwood Laws, Canon Central). The Greenwood congregation established the Greenwood Mennonite School in 1928, when Mennonite students were expelled from the public schools for not saluting the flag. In 1986 this school had 151 students in 12 grades and kindergarten. Central Christian School, founded by the Central congregation in 1975, had grades 1-12 with 69 students. The Country Rest Home, Greenwood, founded in 1954 by Mr. and Mrs. L. L. Swartzentruber is a 32-bed facility for senior citizens owned and operated by Mr. and Mrs. Mark B. Yoder, pastor of the Laws congregation.
In 1987 the Old Order Amish community near Dover had eight church districts serving 261 families with a total population of 1,432. It maintained 11 elementary schools.
Tressler Mennonite Church, Greenwood, organized in 1935, is a member of Allegheny Mennonite Conference. In 1986 it had 113 members. Two congregations affiliated with Eastern Pennsylvania Mennonite Church were Highland, near Bear, in New Castle County, (26 members) and Kenton, in Kent County, (41 members). The Kenton Mennonite School had 14 students in 1986.
The Pine Shore Conservative Mennonite Fellowship near Delmar, in southern Sussex County, withdrew from a congregation just south of the Maryland line and numbered 14 members.
The Wilmington Mission was founded by the Greenwood Conservative Mennonite Church in the 1940s. Later it served Spanish-speaking worshipers, under sponsorship of the Lancaster Mennonite Conference (MC). It was closed and the property sold in 1987. - IJM
Anabaptist / Mennonite Groups in Delaware, 2000
ARDA: The Association of Religion Data Archives. "State Membership Report: Delaware, Denominational Groups, 2000." http://www.thearda.com/mapsReports/reports/state/10_1990.asp (accessed 21 March 2009).
Mennonite Yearbook and Directory (1988/89): 20.
Wikipedia. "Delaware." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delaware (accessed 21 March 2009).
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 29; vol. 5, p. 222. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Gingerich, Melvin, Ivan J. Miller and Richard D. Thiessen. "Delaware (USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. March 2009. Web. 20 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/D447.html.
APA style: Gingerich, Melvin, Ivan J. Miller and Richard D. Thiessen. (March 2009). Delaware (USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/D447.html.