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Morning Star Institutional Church of God in Christ (Whatcoat Methodist Episcopal Church)

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Whatcoat Methodist Episcopal Church
1856–1857. 255 Camden-Wyoming Ave.
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)

This somewhat dilapidated front-gabled brick edifice has housed four religious denominations in 150 years. Although the church originally served a white congregation, historians of the Underground Railroad point to two tunnels beneath the building as possible hiding places and note that among the bricklayers were free blacks Absalom Gibbs and his son Abraham, the latter known to have worked with Harriet Tubman. Stained-glass windows are said to be English-made. The current, African American congregation took over the vacant structure in 1986 as their second choice to building a new facility in the countryside. Other historic black congregations in town are Star Hill A.M.E. Church (1866; Voshells Mill–Star Hill Rd.) and the Classical Revival, frame Zion A.M.E. Church (1889; Center St.).

Writing Credits

W. Barksdale Maynard


What's Nearby


W. Barksdale Maynard, "Morning Star Institutional Church of God in Christ (Whatcoat Methodist Episcopal Church)", [Camden, Delaware], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Delaware

Buildings of Delaware, W. Barksdale Maynard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008, 235-236.

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