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“Cookman M. E. Church was organized in 1888 and named for the Rev. Alfred Cookman. On July 4, 1888, the first floor of 1307 Scott St. was rented, the second floor being occupied by a fife and drum corps. The Rev. W. W. Taylor proceeded to prepare the room for services. The first meeting was held on the afternoon of July 29, 1888. Preaching was held immediately after the Sunday School meetings. On Aug. 26, a Sunday School Board was elected. The name “Cookman” was adopted on Aug. 30. On Sept. 1, Cookman was received as one of Asbury’s Sunday Schools. The Rev. W. W. Taylor died on Dec. 1 and the monument over his grave is inscribed “The founder of Cook-man M. E. Church.” When the members assembled on Dec. 31, for watch-night services, they found the fife and drum corps going “full tilt” on the second floor. The members were in a quandary but their problem was solved when the music subsided at five minutes of twelve.


As the congregation grew larger it was decided to erect a substantial church building. They were incorporated on May 29, 1891. A lot on the n. e. cor. of 14th and Dupont Sts. was purchased on Jan. 7, 1892. The ground was broken on Mar. 6, 1894. One of the Sunday School teachers paid $25.00 for the privilege of turning the first spadeful of earth. The Revs. John Y. Dobbins, D.D., and A. T. Scott conducted the ceremonies. The corner-stone was laid on Apr. 9, 1894, by the Rev. L. E. Barrett, the Presiding Elder.


The first service, in the new building, was held on July 15, 1894 and the dedication services were held on Dec. 30, 1894 by Pres. Elder L. E. Barrett. He was assisted by the Revs. E. Stubbs, M. Hulburd, F. B. Short, J. D. C. -Hanna and J. B. Quigg.


The West End Reading Room property, adjoining Cookman Church, was purchased on Mar. 20, 1922. Because of declining membership. it was decided, on Mar. 5, 1936, to close the church. The property was sold to the First Independent Church on June 2, 1937.” (1)


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Text Source:

1. Frank R. Zebley, The Churches of Delaware, Wilmington, Delaware, 1947, p. 45.

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