Grace Episcopal Church was organized early in January 1836 in the tiny one-room Talley School on Naaman’s Road, near Shipley Road. The church was named for Grace Church in Philadelphia and was consecrated on June 11, 1836.
By 1872 the congregation had outgrown the School and 10 acres of land were purchased on Concord Pike for $2,000. A stone building was erected for $8,000 in 1874, seen below. It is surrounded by a lovely cemetery with tombstones that date from the late 19th century. Surrounded by farmland, Grace Church hosted social gatherings, harvest festivals and horse shows well into the mid-twentieth century.
A parish house was added in 1928, the rectory in 1929. That rectory now houses the church offices. In 1952 a church school addition was annexed to the parish house. The post-war years were a period of rapid growth as the sleeping farming community was transformed into a major suburban area of Wilmington. In 1960, during the tenure of the Rev. John M. Taylor, Jr., the present church was built and the original church found use as a chapel. The dedication ceremony took place on March 5, 1961.
Since then the congregation has welcomed several succeeding pastors and many new programs to its facilities as our neighborhood has grown increasingly more suburban. Situated near the preserved land of Woodlawn Trustees, our idyllic setting is a refuge for many native animals. One major change to our lovely stone and beam main sanctuary is the addition of a new stained glass window over the entrance installed in the early years of the new millennium. Visit us on a sunny day and watch the colored light dance over the church’s interior.
In 2014, Grace Church celebrated the beginning of a new collaborative ministry with Church of the Ascension and Calvary Church, Hillcrest. Known as the Brandywine Collaborative Ministries, it marks an exciting new phase in our church history. In Fall 2014, the BCM called its Covenant Rector. Who then became rector in 2018.
Picture of "Old Grace Church" on Naaman's Road 1/2 mile east of Perry's Tavern (This sturcture is no longer standing)
Congregation of Grace Church, June 195?
The Rev. Dr. Ketlen Solak - BCM Rector
The Rev. Chris Moore - Assistant to the Rector
The Rev. Marta Illueca - BCM Curate
Pictured from left to right: Rev Chris Moore, Rev Ketlen Solak and Rev Marta Illueca
(Vestry meets on the 3rd Thursday of each month)
Visiting us? Planning an event? Have a matter of faith to ask?