Limestone Presbyterian Church USA,  Wilmington, Delaware

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A Little History

  The local paper in Wilmington, Delaware reported on Thursday, July 5, 1956:

Delaware's newest mission church, a Presbyterian congregation in the Limestone Road area, will hold its first service on Sunday, July 8, at 10:00 a.m. in the Harmony Grange Hall.

The Grange has made the meeting place available until the church erects its own building. The hall is on Limestone Road exactly one mile west of Capitol Trail.

The Rev. Kenneth Read has been called by the Presbytery of New Castle to lead the organization of the new church. He will preach Sunday on "The Life of the Church." His wife will be soloist.

No permanent site has been chosen for the church, but when the committee of the Council of Churches of Wilmington and New Castle County approved its establishment, it was with the thought that it would serve the general area centered at Capitol Trail and Limestone Road. 

Red Clay Creek Church is the nearest Presbyterian congregation and has grown to 700 members, or as many as it can carry without losing its historic rural character. It is the sponsoring church for the new mission.

Forty-nine people attended this first service, and Limestone Presbyterian Church was begun. The 57 original members of the new congregation were officially welcomed to membership at a service of organization on December 2, 1956. The same month, the church received its charter, the founding pastor was installed and the new church's officers were ordained and installed.

The new congregation continued to meet in the Harmony Grange Hall until a site for a church was purchased from Marvin Klair, a charter member, next door to their first home at the grange. Groundbreaking for the new church was in March 1959. A brick church, 50 by 120 feet, with about 6,000 square feet of floor space was built and the congregation first met for worship in the partially completed sanctuary on December 10 of the same year. As the church has grown, two major additions have been made to the building.

These are the facts of the church's beginnings, but our history involves much more than facts. Those 57 original members were devoted to the Christian faith and to sharing it. They dreamed dreams, made plans, and started a church. It took faith and hope, money, and lots of hard work and dedication. 

For fifty-five years, Limestone Presbyterian Church has welcome worshippers, provided opportunities for Christian Education and spiritual growth for all ages, cared for and supported each other, and responded to the mission needs of the local community and the world.

Music, including choirs, organ, piano and other instrumental music has been part of worship. Today, both traditional and contemporary services are held at Limestone. Each time a child is baptized, the congregation promises to help him or her grow in the knowledge of God. Our original members took this seriously. A Sunday School was begun immediately and still welcomes children, youth and adults.

Fellowship has been an important part of Limestone Church since the church began. Sharing a meal at a church dinner or picnic, a program or a work project is an opportunity to get to know each other and to affirm and encourage each other. There are Youth Fellowships, Presbyterian Women's Association, Men's Ministry, the Limestone Players and other small groups. An active Caring and Sharing Committee and a Stephen Ministry are ready to provide help and support as needed.

Support to missionaries was a top priority for the early members of the congregation. For forty-eight years Limestoners have continued to serve God with their time, talents, and treasure. They support such missions as the Limestone Food Closet, Meeting Ground (ministry to the homeless), Emanuel Dining Room, Ulster Project Delaware, Church World Service, and many more.

Limestone Presbyterian Church has been served by the following pastors:

  Pastors   Assistant/Associate Pastors   Interim Pastors  
  Kenneth M. Read, Jr.
Willett Smith
Lyle J. Dykstra
Bruce and Carolyn Gillette 
  Roberta U. Kinney 
Sarah M. Foulger  
Laurel P. Loveless  
Timothy P. Coombs  
Elizabeth G. Dick 
David Larkin 
  Robert M. Snable 
David Lovelace
Tucker Thompson
Neta Pringle
John Potter 

The church's 60th anniversary celebration was held in December 2016. Here is a Summary of the 60 year history.

The church's 50th anniversary celebration was held in December 2006. Members of the congregation reflect on the past fifty years in 50 Years of Reflection.

More information about the history of the Presbyterian Church (USA) is available from the Presbyterian Historical Society.


Copyright Limestone Presbyterian Church USA | 3201 Limestone Road | Wilmington, Delaware 19808 | 302.994.5646 | Email