During the spring of 1779, Methodist pioneer Freeborn Garrettson visited this area to bring the message of his faith to the people. The efforts of Reverend Garrettson and others who followed were met with considerable success. Numerous “societies” or “classes” were organized as a result. Meetings were often held in private residences, there being a considerable distance to travel to the nearest organized church.

Around 1880 a group of local residents began to hold services in the Good Hope School House. Soon after, they started to conduct “woods” or “bush” meetings in the open air nearby. A camp meeting ground was subsequently constructed. In 1892, on one day alone, fifty-eight youth were baptized at Westwoods Camp. While meetings were well-attended, they were discontinued in the mid-1890’s when the services were merged with those that were being held at other churches nearby.

In 1890 the congregation began the construction of a church. On March 23, 1891, trustees were elected, and the land where the church was built was conveyed to them by Joshua G. West. The building was completed later that year. The church was affiliated with the Gumboro Circuit of the Methodist Episcopal denomination. It was given the name Westwoods to reflect its wooded surroundings, and to honor Joshua G. West and the other members of his family who had been instrumental in its creation and growth.

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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 Connor Graham at (302) 744-5019 or via email at connor.graham@state.de.us.

LOCATION: North of Gumboro. North side of Road 426 (Westwoods Road), approximately .75 miles west of the intersection of Road 426 and State Road 30.