Iron Letters on the Church
Old Swedes Churchyard Walking Tour
Notice the numerals on the bell tower's north side and the letters on the south side.
The church was built with a hip roof at both ends. Before the consecration in 1699, Matthias de Foss, a blacksmith of the colony, forged iron letters and drove them into the mortar high up on all four walls. On the west wall, the abbreviated Latin letters translated, "If God be for us, who can be against us?" They acknowledged Proprietor William Penn, English King William III, Swedish King Charles XI, and Pastor Ericus Björk. On the east wall, the translation was, "Light from on high, shines in the darkness." The west wall letters were removed and used in alternate sites when the bell tower was built in 1802.
Many of these letters can still be seen. Note the small "1802" above the larger "1698" on the north side of the bell tower.
Erected by The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America of the State of Delaware. (Marker Number 8.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & Religion • Colonial Era
Location. 39° 44.314′ N, 75° 32.443′ W. Marker is in Wilmington, Delaware, in New Castle County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of North Church Street (U.S. 13) and East 7th Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 612 N Church St, Wilmington DE 19801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Stidham Family (here, next to this marker); "M. B." Stone (here, next to this marker); Brinckle Family (a few steps from this marker); Charles Springer (a few steps from this marker); In Memory of John Hendrickson, Sr. (a few steps from this marker); Maj. Gen. James H. Wilson (a few steps from this marker); Burr Family Vault (a few steps from this marker); Judge Ignatius C. Grubb (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wilmington.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 6, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 6, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 58 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 6, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.