Fellowship is important for all faith communities, but especially for African Americans, who could not freely visit restaurants, theaters, and other places of amusement until recently.  Faith communities provided a basis for organizing social and cultural activities that reflected their culture and values.  Women often took the lead in planning and presenting fellowship activities.

Last Grand Excursion, 1866

Last Grand Excursion of
the Season,
Bethel A.M.E. Church,
August 27, 1866
Broadside Collection,
Delaware Historical Socidety



Constitution and by-laws of the Grand Body of the Daughters of Conference AUFCMP

Constitution and By-laws
of the Grand Body of the
Daughters of
Conference of the
A.U.F.C.M.P. Church,
Courtesy of Collection of
Paul Preston Davis
The Daughters of Conference, the main women’s group of the A.U.M.P. church, first organized in New York City in 1835.  The Grand Body, the denominational organization, came together in Wilmington in 1861.  The Daughters of Conference worked in many areas of church life and had a special interest in supporting retired clergy.     


Women of Mother African Union Church, Wilmington, late 1800s

Women of Mother African Union Church, Wilmington
Late 1800s
Courtesy of
Mother African Union Church




Zoar M.E. Church, Selbyville Zoar M.E. Church, Selbyville
Ca. late 1930s - early 1940s
Zebley Collection,
Delaware Historical Society

The continual round of building maintenance provides a source of service and fellowship.  Zoar Methodist Church began in 1883 as Long's A.M.E. Chapel.  In 1924, the church building was moved to a new site and the new name was adopted.  Zoar is still active.

The Annual Women's Day, Ezion M.E. Church, 1932_cover

The Annual Women's Day
Ezion M.E. Church,
March 20, 1932
Courtesy of Ezion-Mount Carmel
United Methodist Church

Additonal pages shown on right


25th Annual Women's Day, Eighth Street Baptist Church, 1940

25th Annual Women's Day,
Eighth Street Baptist Church
October 13, 1940
Thelma Young Papers,
Delaware Historical Society
Since the early 1900s, women in many denominations have presented day-long events that feature worship led by women, fellowship, and fund-raising for church causes.  Women's day programs continue to be an important part of the annual calendar in many African American churches.

Rainbow Club

Rainbow Club,
Bethel A.M.E. Church, Wilmington
November 11, 1934
Sanborn Collection,
Delaware Historical Society

Program for "Great Women of the Bible"
October 10, 1933
A.U.M.P, Records,
Delaware Historical Society


Bethel’s Rainbow Club, founded in 1928, presented pageants, recitals, socials, sacred concerts, and plays.  The club had 71 members in 1934.  One of its productions, “Great Women of the Bible,” presented at Mother A.U. Church, provides an example of interchurch cooperation in Wilmington’s close-knit African American community.





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