Lewes' St. Paul Church up for sale

Methodist Church consolidating its properties
September 8, 2011

If you ever wanted your home to be a house of worship, the perfect property is available in Lewes.

St. Paul United Methodist Church is for sale. The asking price is $370,000.

The church, built in classic farmhouse style, sits on a 30-by-68 foot lot at 6 W. Fourth St., at the corner of Park Avenue.

The Rev. Jerome Tilghman, pastor of the Methodist Church’s Lewes Charge, said the church is selling St. Paul and has plans to sell other local properties to consolidate holdings.

“We have several other properties, but they’re not for sale yet. But our goal is to put them up for sale as well.

“We use St. Paul on special days, and we currently have a nondenominational congregation worshiping there,” he said.

Tillman said the Lewes Charge plans to build a new church in the Lewes-Rehoboth Beach area, but no site has been selected.

He said there had been four churches in the Lewes Charge, but only Israel and Faith remain active. He said although Israel is in the Lewes charge, it is a separate entity.

“In other words, one pastor serves both churches. One pastor worked four churches at one time,” he said. Tilghman said because the churches have merged, he ministers at only two churches.

He said in 2005, John Wesley United Methodist and St. Paul were placed on limited service, in part because the buildings are not accessible for people with disabilities and because they had become a liability and expensive to maintain.

Tilghman said he doesn’t know when St. Paul was built, but he estimated it was constructed between 1900 and 1925. He the church has been on the market for about three weeks.

Listing information shows the building has two bedrooms and no bathrooms. Original features include hardwood floors, stained glass windows and, of course, cathedral ceilings. The structure could be restored and used as a residence.

Tilghman said although the church for years has been part of the black community, the structure doesn’t have a historic designation that would require its preservation.

Tilghman said in recent years the Methodist Church has experienced dwindling congregations just as many other denominations have.

“Folks dying off and the young folks moving away and not coming back,” he said.

For additional information about the church, call Jack Lingo Realtor in Rehoboth Beach at 302-227-3883. Tracy Kelly is the listing agent.

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