Black churches have a long tradition of ushering as a ministry of service undertaken by committed men and women of all ages.  Ushers learn a system of silent hand signals that insures that the service runs smoothly and that any situations that may arise are taken care of unobtrusively.  Ushers are also highly organized, both within individual churches and at the state level.  In Delaware, four churches in Wilmington formed an Ushers Union in 1908. This grew into the Interdenominational Church Ushers Association of DE, which celebrated its centennial in 2008.  The congregational and state organizations provide a strong foundation that enables ushers to provide many additional services to their churches and enjoy fellowship with each other.

Users, Eighth Street Baptist Church

Ushers, Eighth Street Baptist Church,
April 15, 1900 or 1906
Courtesy of Anonymous lender;
This is a copy made in the 1920s from an older photograph. J.W. Washington, an African American, had a photography business at 1002 French Street, from 1923-4 until 1928-29.


Male and females Ushers Board, Bethel A.M.E. Church

Male and female Ushers Board,
Bethel A.M.E. Church,
November 12, 1934
Sanborn Collection,

Delaware Historical Society


Ushers follow a traditional dress code of white dresses for women and dark suits for men.
By-laws of the Usher's Association, 1909

By-laws of the Usher's Association,
Bethel A.M.E. Church,
Courtesy of Collection of
Paul Preston Davis



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