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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
near Clarksville in Sussex County, Delaware — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Blackwater Presbyterian Church

American Presbyterian and Reformed Historical Site

 
 
Blackwater Presbyterian Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, October 11, 2010
1. Blackwater Presbyterian Church Marker
Inscription. In The 17th century, the colony of Maryland was founded as a refuge for Catholics and members of other religious faiths then subject to persecution. Many of the early settlers of this region, then a part of Maryland, were Presbyterians who had been denied their freedom of worship.
For many years local Presbyterians were forced to travel a great distance to the nearest church. In 1763, a congregation was organized in this area by Reverend Charles Tennent, the charismatic son of William Tennent, founder of Princeton University. Services were held in the homes of members until 1767 when the present Blackwater Presbyterian Church was constructed. Over time the travel conditions faced by many members resulted in the formation of separate churches in the growing communities of Ocean View and Frankford. By the late 19th century regular services at Blackwater had been discontinued. Occasional meetings were held until 1921, when the church organization was formally abolished. Since 1949 the property has been managed by a Trust established by the Tunnell family, who have been active supporters of the church since its founding. Blackwater Presbyterian Church was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
 
Erected 2004 by Delaware Public Archives. (Marker Number SC-190/141.)
Blackwater Presbyterian Church Marker, looking east along County Road 54, Omar Road image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, October 11, 2010
2. Blackwater Presbyterian Church Marker, looking east along County Road 54, Omar Road

 
Location. 38° 32.757′ N, 75° 9.717′ W. Marker is in near Clarksville, Delaware, in Sussex County. Marker is on Omar Road (County Route 54), on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 33131 Omar Road, Frankford DE 19945, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. St. George's United Methodist Church (approx. 0.8 miles away); Union Wesley United Methodist Church and Campground (approx. 0.8 miles away); Baltimore Hundred (approx. 2.3 miles away); U.S. Army Radar Site 11 (approx. 3.2 miles away); Our Community's Role in World War II (first marker) (approx. 3.3 miles away); Our Community's Role in World War II (second marker) (approx. 3.3 miles away); Our Community's Role in World War II (third marker) (approx. 3.3 miles away); Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church (approx. 3.8 miles away).
 
Regarding Blackwater Presbyterian Church. National Register of Historic Places:
Blackwater Presbyterian Church (added 1976 - Building - #76000583)
Architect, builder, or engineer: Unknown •
Area of Significance: Religion, Architecture •
Period of Significance: 1750-1799, 1875-1899 •
Historic Function: Religion •

Blackwater
Rear view, Blackwater Presbyterian Church and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, October 11, 2010
3. Rear view, Blackwater Presbyterian Church and Marker
Presbyterian Church is one of 445 American Presbyterian and Reformed Historical Sites registered between 1973 and 2003 by the Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS), headquartered in Philadelphia. Approved sites received a metal plaque featuring John Calvin’s seal and the site’s registry number (PHS marker location unknown).

The following text is taken from the Presbyterian Historical Society website:

Organized in 1763, the Blackwater congregation constructed the church building in 1767. This small gray building with white trim and green shutters consists of one room with a stairway and gallery. Regular services ended here in 1907, but an annual service is held every October. The small cemetery next to the church contains the grave of U.S. Senator James M. Tunnell, Sr. The property, now owned and maintained by the Sussex Company, Trustee for the Tunnell Association, is the site of an annual reunion of the Tunnell family.
 
Also see . . .  National Register of Historic Places datasheet. Statement of significance for this church (Submitted on August 22, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon.) 
 
Categories. Churches & Religion
 
Blackwater Presbyterian Church Front Entrance image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, October 11, 2010
4. Blackwater Presbyterian Church Front Entrance
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 6, 2018. This page originally submitted on October 31, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 617 times since then and 46 times this year. Last updated on August 22, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 31, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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