Friday, March 10, 2017



The Old Ebenezer Methodist Episcopal Church Cemetery, aka Old Methodist Church Cemetery, is located on Quakertown Road, aka, Savannah Road, route 9 highway, west of Lewes, one mile from 4th Street in Lrwestown.

It is thought to be the oldest burial plot in Sussex County and describes as ' Ancient Colonial burial ground at entrance to Lewes, no longer in use.'

The graves were “uncovered” by men of the Lewes Conservation Corp Camp, the CCC, in 1935 during the towns observation of “Old Sussex Day”.

The 100 or so, slate and granite stones found in heavy underbrush had inscriptions of “Chaucerian” spelling of an extinct orthography.

Recorded in the Georgetown Court House, March 28, 1788, a Board of Trustees, Ebenezer Church, incorporated with purpose to build a church. The trustees were; John Wiltbank, William West, William Coulter, Abraham Hargis, Shepard Prettyman, William Prettyman, and Thomas Coulter.

This board of trustees purchased on 7 May, 1788, a lot of 70 square perches for 7 shillings, lawful money of Delaware on Delaware, the lot on north west side of South Street, near the the south west of the maim branch of Canary Creek which crosses the street, on Shankland's Lane. Exactly one mile from 4th Street Lewestown on Delaware., this being the site of the Ebenezer Church.

Prior to the erection and organization of this church, circuit riders, traveled settlement to settlement, preaching in private homes, Rhodes Shanklands home being one of them.

An entry in the journal of Frances Asbury, dated 25th September 1779 “ Rode to Shanklands near Lewestown, who is the son of a New Light Presbyterian”. Asbury declares Shanklands home the first open to him. Rhodes Shankland, Esquire, surveyor and landowner.

A wood frame building was erected in 1788 and named Ebenezer. The Hebrew meaning being “Stone of Help”. It later was destroyed by fire and never rebuilt on the same site. The cemetery remained.

The second Ebenezer Church , dedicated 4 January 1858, located on a road toward Loves Creek, on a lot ½ acre in size, on farm of Mrs Abbie Marsh, a frame building 36 x 40 with a gallery. This church ceased in 1934 and was demolished in 1955. The grave yard remains.

Source: & records found in basement of Bethel Methodist Church, Lewes, by 'Gennie”

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