Growing Sectarianism/Old School versus New School

It was during Dr. Gilbert’s ministry that the church at the corner of King and Hanover Street was built. The Old Stone Church had become too small “for the comfort of the congregation, hence it was necessary to build elsewhere.” The church was dedicated on March 12, 1829, and in 1831, the congregation was chartered under the name of Hanover Street Church. Members of the congregation could not agree on a new name for the church and in the interest of compromise they took the street name on which the new church was located. “The erection of so large a building was no small undertaking for those days; the people were comparatively poor, yet they devised liberal things for those who came after them. So far as the audience room is concerned, no more capacious or comfortable church has been erected in our city,” Dr. Marks would say 40 years later. It was brick and built in the Colonial style with magnificent columns on the King Street entrance. It had box pews in the balcony and on the lower floor. The choir loft and hand-pumped organ were in the rear balcony.

The church was the largest in Wilmington, and in 1856, Session approved its rental by civic organizations for use of lectures, graduation exercises and exhibits. Prior to the Civil War, in 1858, the Mayor of Wilmington requested and obtained Session approval for the use of Hanover’s Lecture Hall for the oration of the Honorable Edward Everett, the renowned statesman and teacher. He spoke to a large gathering on the “Life And Character of Washington.” On Feb. 27, 1864, a public meeting was held at Hanover “in aid of suffering Union refugees from the rebel states.”

“During the 1830s, a growing spirit of narrow sectarianism, with divisive tendencies, was manifested in the country at large. This flared up in the Presbyterian Church in 1837. The Church was split into the Old and New School, in the ratio of about five ninths to four ninths,” Judge Latchum writes. “The causes of the schism were disputes on theological matters; a sectarian spirit, which demanded exclusive denominational control over agencies which before had operated interdenominationally; fear of the Plan of Union (1801) with the Congregationalist Church; and, the fear on the part of the Old School churches that the abolition sentiment among the New School ministers would divide the church on the slavery issue.

“The controversy resulted locally in a schism within the New Castle Presbytery in 1833. Those ministers who held New School views formed the Presbytery of Wilmington. The leading minister of the New School views in Wilmington was Dr. Gilbert and Hanover was a New School Church. The schism lasted until 1870 when the New and Old School Churches reunited in the New Castle Presbytery.”

Rev. Christie’s history on Presbyterianism in Delaware points out that while the Old School churches were considered neutral, if not actually in favor of slavery, and the New School was considered predominately anti-slavery in its views, the New School Presbytery of Wilmington passed a pro-slavery resolution in 1853:

“This committee submit that the Assembly have reaffirmed that slavery, with certain exceptions, is an offense in the sense of the Book of Discipline, which evidently means that slavery, with the said exceptions, is a sin of such character as that it ought to be removed out of the church by discipline.

“Resolved, therefore, in the judgment of this Presbytery, that the said doctrine is contrary to the teachings and ministerial example of the Word of God, and to the practice of the founders of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, and is a new sense attempted to be put upon the Book of Discipline.

“Resolved 3d, that the whole subject of slavery, as regards members of the church, belongs under the constitution, to the Presbyteries where Slavery is, and that interference with said Presbyteries by Presbyteries where Slavery is not, either directly or through the General Assembly, is extra-constitutional, embarrassing and mischievous.” The New School Presbytery of Wilmington went on to resolve that further action would tend to break up the connection with churches in the slave-holding states, and they felt the General Assembly should protect the Southern churches “from farther annoyance.”

The reference in the above resolution, to the Book of Discipline reminds us that in the 19th century the church concerned itself with more than just the religious life of its members. “The sessional records are filled with disciplinary trials of erring members. The offenses charged ranged from intoxication, uncharity of conduct, embezzlement, intemperate language — most of the charges now heard in our State criminal courts. Many members as a result of the trials before Session were suspended from communion and Church privileges, while others were acquitted of equally serious charges.”

Previous | Next

amphetamine weight loss pills a diet pills benefits of massage for weight loss diet pills for tummy fat medi weight loss mobile al what diet pills have amphetamine keto diet food list free best bread for weight loss extreme weight loss pills 2021 keto diet retaining water best over the counter weight loss pills fda approved how to lose weight for 11 year olds regal slim weight loss pill protocol diet pills post pregnancy weight loss pills fahrenheit weight loss pills orange and blue diet pills feline weight loss stimulants diet pills wiki keto diet keto diet poster diet pills and depression form weight loss pill total keto pills weight loss pill featured on dr oz yoga weight loss before after

buying cialis online usa mega male male enhancement pill dick on viagra buy male enhancement pills in ft lauderdale sildenafil vs levitra tiger x male enhancement reviews how can i fix erectile dysfunction aspirin and viagra ready man male enhancement reviews over the counter penis enhancement pills actual male enhancement do all girls get horny ed pills non prescription ways to increase male libido naturally erectile dysfunction drugs natural what age does erectile dysfunction occur what pill is better than viagra viagra football commercial girl 7k male enhancement sex pills mnfclub penis growth pills a list of penis enlargements pills control libido male nature way pills to increase penis birth control pills that mimic testosterone weight gain and its enhancement of sex best foods for male libido

cbd oil studies cbd oil in oshawa retailers tommy chongs cbd oil medicinal cannabis oil canada where to buy thc oil how many mg cbd oil for anxiety cbd oil and benadryl cbd oil pics how to test cbd oil khus khus cbd oil how much thc oil to get high cbd oil for chihuahua how to buy good quality cbd oil cbd oil for high cholestrone review of american science cbd oil highland farms cbd oil cbd oil co2 extraction diy cbd oil explosive diarhea spruce cbd oil promo codes shopify sites cbd oil do you need a doctors note for cbd oil in ohio budder bros cbd oil white addition cbd oil hemp oil for headaches cbd oil in carry on luggage whats it like on cbd oil