First Tabernacle Beth El, Wilmington

First Tabernacle Beth El, Wilmington

Church of God and Saints of Christ

Timothy T. Hurtt I, Local Pastor
717 East 7th Street, Wilmington, DE 19805
(302) 652-5495 |Email Us

History of the Tabernacle

First Tabernacle Beth El, Wilmington, Delaware was established in May 1901.  Oral history says that Elder Robert Lewis was the first pastor and that Bishop J.W. Brent came to assist him.  Elder Lewis first preached on the street and later was able to secure a place of worship at 12th and Orange Streets.  Prophet William S. Crowdy visited the congregation at this address and preached from St John 5:43 and he sang “A Little Talk with Jesus Makes It Right, All Right”.

A family named Jones regularly attended, but the first member to join was named Maggie Moon.  Her brother, Douglas Moon, was the first ordained deacon in the Wilmington Tabernacle.

The second place of worship was in the 800 block of Tatnall Street, still under the pastorate of Elder Lewis.

The saints rejoiced in the Spirit of Prophecy as they moved in 1904 to their new place of worship at 841 Walnut Street.  In the minutes of the First Eastern District Assembly held in Newark, NJ, in 1901, Wilmington is listed as Tabernacle No 1 and Elder Hall is listed as the pastor.

A report from Wilmington, printed in the minutes of the 1907 Assembly in Richmond, VA is signed by Elder W.L Epps, Pastor-in-Charge; St. Rachael McQuay, Secretary.

In 1903, Elder C. N. Butler, who later became pastor in Wilmington, is listed as a member of the Presbytery Board during the 1903 Assembly in Philadelphia.

In a later report, in the minutes of the 1911 Assembly in Philadelphia, Elder Epps signed again as pastor, and St Georgia Taylor as Secretary.  Minutes of the 1917 Assembly lists Evangelist Charles Napoleon Butler as pastor of Wilmington.

Tabernacle Locations:

  • 12th & Orange Sts​​​ – 1901
  • 800 Block of Tatnall St – ​​1902
  • 841 Walnut St​​ – 1904
  • Taylor & Pine Sts​
  • 13th & French Sts
  • 11th St Bridge on Forrest St
  • W. 14th St between French & King
  • 9th & Spruce Sts
  • Current Location 717 E. 7th St. – 1975​ (Built 1901)

Local Pastors:

  • Elder Robert Lewis ​1901 – 1904
  • Bishop J.W. Brent ​1901 – 1902
  • Elder Hall​ 1904 – 1907
  • Elder William Epps ​1907 – 1917
  • Evang Charles Napoleon Butler​ 1917 – 1923
  • Evang Nathaniel Butler ​1923 – 1926
  • Elder John H. Wood​ 1927 – 1934
  • Elder Harry Littles Dawkins ​1934 – 1973
  • Elder Samuel McCollum ​1973 – 1978
  • Elder Elfreth John Prince Walker Jr​ 1978 – 2000
  • Elder Benjamin R. Keeling ​2000 – 2007
  • Elder Philip B. Henry III ​2007 – 2019
  • Elder Timothy T. Hurtt I 2019-present