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“Welsh Tract Primitive Baptist Church is located, two and one-quarter miles south of Newark, at the foot of Iron Hill. The first church was built, in 1703, by a group of Baptists who had settled on a grant of land known as Welsh Tract. The present church was built in 1746 on a lot of six acres, four of which had been donated by James James. The church was incorporated on Feb. 9, 1788.


The gable-stone dated 1746 1s, so far as the writer can determine, the oldest gable-stone or corner-stone on any church in Delaware. It was the mother church from. which sprang the churches at Wilmington, Kenton, Cow March and Mispillion. Patches in the side brick walls show where a cannonball from the battle of Cooch’s Bridge passed through the church taking an angular course with a heavy descending angle.


Additional land adjoining the church property was purchased from Alexander Coulter on Apr. 23, 1853 and from Levi G. Cooch on Sept. 3, 1863. There is a large and well-kept graveyard. The oldest tombstone that the writer could find is dated 1707. It bears an inscription in a combination of Welsh and Latin. Translated it reads:— “Riceus Rychiough, born at Danwenog county Cardiganshire and buried ae here in the year of our Lord 1707. Aged 87.”


As this tombstone does not have a more definite date it ranks as the third oldest legible tombstone in Delaware. Nearby is a field-stone inscribed, Elis Price, 1712. Services are now held monthly with an annual home-coming in the fall.


The 200th Anniversary was celebrated on Oct. 17, 18 and 19, 1903. The exercises were conducted by Elders J. G. Eubanks and N. W. Meredith.” (1)

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Text Source:

1. Frank R. Zebley, The Churches of Delaware, Wilmington, Delaware, 1947, p. 158.

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