In 1778 a Methodist Society was organized in this area by Freeborn Garrettson. Desiring a permanent place of worship, the group constructed a brick “preaching house” at his location in 1780. The site was provided by Society member Phillip Barratt, and the building was named in his honor. On November 14, 1784, a large crowd gathered here for Quarterly Meeting. The sermon was given by Dr. Thomas Coke, who had recently arrived from England with directions from Methodist founder John Wesley to meet with church leaders and plan the future of American Methodism. Coke was accompanied by Richard Whatcoat, who had been ordained by Wesley before leaving England. During the service, the sacramental ordinances were administered for the first time by Methodist clergy in America. Following the sermon Coke was greeted by Francis Asbury, the country’s leading Methodist _____ At a meeting later that day, plans were formulated for the establishment of the Methodist Episcopal Church as an independent denomination in America. Known today as “The Cradle of American Methodism” Barratt’s Chapel is a Heritage Landmark of the United Methodist Church. The property was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.
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The Delaware Public Archives operates a historical markers program as part of its mandate. Markers are placed at historically significant locations and sites across the state. For more information on this program, please contact Sarah Denison at (302) 744-5016 or via email at Sarah.Denison@state.de.us.
LOCATION: Northbound side of Route 1 just north of Frederica.