Delaware churches — one white, one black — find new life by merging

Leaders see God in the circumstances that brought these two disparate congregations together.

By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle

WILMINGTON, Del. — In its heyday, the Cedars Church of Christ sometimes topped 350 in Sunday attendance.

Many Christians came from the Bible Belt to work for DuPont, the chemical company headquartered in this Mid-Atlantic city.

Those workers and their families formed the core of the congregation, which was active in mission works, from the Blue Hens for Christ campus ministry to a Bible college built in Ghana.

“When DuPont was moving people in and out of here, the congregation was quite large,” said Boyd Reed, 53, a data analytics architect with the company. “But there were a lot of layoffs with DuPont, and a lot of people left.”

Others retired and returned to hometowns in places such as Texas and Tennessee.

Those changes left an older, mostly white church of 80 to 100 people with an uncertain future. When preacher Brad Carman stepped aside because of a serious health issue, the 75-year-old congregation wasn’t sure it could afford to hire a new minister.

Doug Mattis, one of the Cedars church’s three elders, put it this way: “We were a dying church.”

Read the full story.

This story appears in the March 2018 edition of The Christian Chronicle.

Author: Bobby Ross Jr.

Bobby Ross Jr. is an award-winning journalist who has reported from all 50 states and 14 countries.