~Mt. Sinai History ~ 50 Years~​

In the spring of 1963, a group of concerned men and women bonded by their strong beliefs, gathered to discuss the desirability to organize an independent church.
On Saturday, April 13, 1963, the group met at the home of John L. Robinson to form the nucleus of the new church.
The Officials elected were: Deacons: Charlie E. McNeil—Chairman, William Shavers—Vice Chairman, Elliott Cowan—Secretary, James Dunn Trustees: Jerrell Ashton Pretlow Chairman, Shepard Carver Vice Chairman, William Campbell Secretary, George Hickman Treasurer, Charlie Robinson, John Robinson, Mae Nickerson
Church Clerk: Mary Pretlow
Assistant Church Clerk: Julia Reeves
With the adoption of the church name, Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church, the newly formed group went forth to obtain recognition as an incorporated religious organization. On April 17, 1963, Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church became a corporate body consisting of and confined to a membership of persons who subscribed and adhered to the Articles of Religion, Doctrine Discipline, Laws and Usage of the General Religious Sect or Denominations pursuant to, and in accordance with the “Revised Code of Delaware of 1953”.
The church rented an edifice at 811 Walnut Street. The first worship service was held on the first Sunday in June 1963, with the late Reverend Henry Jackson officiating. The Reverend Isaac Holmes of Pilgrim Baptist Church, Newark, Delaware administered Communion.
In September 1963, Mt. Sinai was extended the “Hand of Fellowship” by the United Baptist Association of the State of Delaware, with Reverend Isaac Holmes, Moderator.
In April 1964, Reverend Hillard Lee, was called as the first pastor. During Reverend Lee’s tenure, the church Building Fund Account was formed by members who pledged their monies on a loan basis. Shortly thereafter, they purchased the building at 8ll Walnut Street. A new piano was purchased during this time, and a few Auxiliaries were organized. Mrs. Maude Campbell became “Mother” of the church. Reverend Hilliard Lee resigned after one year of service.
On February 1, 1966, Reverend Elmer Dorsey of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was called to Pastor the Church. Reverend Dorsey was a man with a keen sense of urgency to see the church forge ahead. He stayed and worked diligently with the congregation for one year. During his time, the church initiated an intensive drive to raise money to purchase a site for a new building. The trustees negotiated to purchase a plot on East 23rd Street. On May 4, 1967, the plot was purchased for $7,366.50. Shortly thereafter architectural plans for a new church structure were submitted by William L. Moore. In September 1967, the Walnut Street site was sold to the Wilmington Housing Authority as part of the urban renewal area civic center. The church, however, did continue to use the building by renting it on a short term basis.
In January 1968, Reverend Levi Lockamy of Wilmington answered the call to pastor Mt. Sinai, and was officially installed on February 8, 1968. Reverend Lockamy served for four years. During his pastorate, the membership grew and many accomplishments were realized. The Willing Workers Club was organized by Mrs. Sallie Ann Burton and Mrs. Addie McCants, the Lockamy Chorus was formed with Ms. Carol Smith as President, and other auxiliaries emerged with new vigor. Ground was broken for the new church building on May 10, 1969, but the church was beset with two major disappointments: (1) the general contractor informed the trustees, after several months of delays, that they could not build the structure for the price that had been originally agreed upon. (2) After weeks of negotiation, the building plans had to be finally shelved when a variance could not be obtained from the Zoning Commission for full use of the plot and also when nearby residents opposed use of the property for a church due to the additional traffic an organization would bring to the area. Undaunted by these setbacks, the congregation rallied and began negotiations for the old Ukrainian Orthodox Church building at 623 1/2 South Heald Street. The Ukrainian Church property had been used as a community center for the Southbridge area. Mt. Sinai purchased the building on May 29, 1970 for $25,000.00. Plans for renovating and refurbishing the building were drawn up by Trustee Moore. Work began in July 1970, and on the first Sunday in November, the congregation went by motorcade to the new Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church at 623½ South Heald Street. The property on 23rd street was later sold.
In September 1972 Reverend Lawrence C. Hood of Chester, Pennsylvania answered the call and was installed as pastor of Mt. Sinai. He, his wife Marlene and children were warmly embraced by the officers and members. In the ten (10) years that Pastor Hood led us many new members joined and many former members returned. Under Pastor Hood’s leadership and upon answering the call of God, Alfonzo Brown, Cleveland E. Brock and David Ware, Sr. were licensed to preach the gospel. The worship services were greatly enriched with the purchase of a beautiful Hammond organ, a lighted wall cross and weekly printed bulletins.
In July 1974, the Official Board recommended the church purchase new pews for the sanctuary which were installed in December 1974. In September 1974, the mortgage burning ceremony was celebrated by Pastor Hood and the congregation to commemorate and rejoice after having paid the mortgage in full in just (7) seven years.
In May 1975, the trustees brought forth a proposal to have central air conditioning installed. The system was installed in August 1975. The church continued to grow spiritually, financially and in membership. A van was purchased and a transportation committee was formed to assist in getting members to and from services.
In January 1983 Reverend A. James Collins became the fifth pastor. Under his pastorate the church grew and prospered both spiritually and financially. In July 1983, the church purchased a parsonage on West 40th Street in Wilmington to house our pastor and his young family.
In keeping with our long-range plan to build a new church edifice, in 1985, monies were used to purchase Lot #187 on New Castle Avenue for the future site of Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church.
Under Reverend Collins leadership, Sister Carol Smith gave her trial sermon on January 12, 1986 and was licensed to preach the gospel. Upon Reverend Collins departure, our associate minister, Reverend Alphonso Brown, served as our interim pastor until November 1987.
In November 1987 Reverend Albert L. Walker was called to be the new pastor. He and his wife Rosalynd settled in very well with the congregation. Reverend Walker was a dynamic and richly talented gospel preacher who added a new vitality to the services. Pastor Walker energized the church membership and as a result many of the church’s programs took on a new vigor. Under Reverend Walker’s leadership, four (4) Deacons: Norman Cooper; Kenneth Brown Sr.; Marion Brown; and Lawrence Pierce were added to the Deacon Board and four (4) Trustees: Shirley Jackson-Harmon; Barbara Mitchell; Gwen Woodloe and Jesse Edwards were added to the Trustee Board. A new choir called “Pastors’ Babies” was formed. Deacon William Carter, Xavier B. Hurst and Leonard Quarles answered the call and was licensed to preach. Under Pastor Walker’s administration a Feeding Ministry was instituted.
The Late Mother Maude Campbell was the original organizer of Women’s Day for the Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist church. Mother Campbell was very faithful to her church and pledged her dedication to the Lord through her works. After observing the faithfulness and the dedication that was exemplified in the women of Mount Sinai, Evangelist Carol Smith was inspired through the Lord to give a “Faithfulness Award” to a lady of Mt. Sinai who exemplified the characteristics set forth by Mother Campbell. The award was renamed the “Maude Campbell Award”.
After the resignation of Reverend Walker, led by the Holy Spirit, Chairman Deacon Johnnie B. Wilson, Sr. and the Deacon Ministry continued to guide the church until the call was extended to a new pastor. Under the Deacon Board’s leadership the building process was revitalized. The building committee members continued to hold meetings and work diligently and faithfully to reach our goal, to build a new church on our property at 3079 New Castle Avenue in New Castle. During this time two (2) trustees were added to the Board of Trustees: Phillip Robertson and Robert Bostick.
On November 12, 1996, the call was extended to Reverend Barron Sherrer of Vineland, New Jersey to be Mt. Sinai’s pastor. Reverend Sherrer was a dedicated and sincere man of God. The membership grew tremendously. At the beginning of his pastoring three (3) deacons were added to the board: Jay Wilson; Glenn Smith and Chester Nutter. Five (5) trustees: George DeShields; David Ware; Barrett Greene; Dorothy Taylor and Eugene Turner.
Prayer services and Bible study were held on Wednesday evenings. Pastor Sherrer referred to these studies as Family Night of Prayer and Bible Study. Also on Wednesdays, a noonday Prayer and Bible Study hour was added to help enhance the growth of our senior members and other members who worked nights. Under the leadership of First Lady Cynthia Sherrer, a Deaf Ministry was added, which consisted of a Sign Language class and Interpretation for the Hearing Impaired during services.
On Sunday, February 14, 1996 Reverend Sherrer introduced his vision, inspired by God, to the church. “The Master Plan” for Mount Sinai consisted of three phases over 15-20 years. Under his leadership, the Building Committee members continued to meet and work faithfully. Construction on the new site began in the fall of 1998 after much negotiating by the finance committee. Wohlsen Construction was contracted to build our new edifice at 3079 New Castle Avenue under the direction of the Chairman of Trustees Charles Stallings and the Financial Secretary Shirley Jackson-Harmon.
Construction was completed in January 2000 and on February 13, 2000 we marched from 6231/2 South Heald Street, Wilmington to our new location at 3079 New Castle Avenue, New Castle, Delaware. The march was jubilant and high spirited and included many members and friends. Even though the van followed the march it was very empty. Young, middle-aged and seasoned saints alike marched to the new edifice. It was a grand sight. (Mother McCants, one of our seasoned saints marched the entire route in high heels).
On February 11, 2001 Deaconess Sarah L. Brown gave her initial sermon and received her license to preach the gospel.
In 2005, four (4) deacons were installed: Charles Bodiford; Eric Mouton; Herbert Purnell and Larry Vaughan. Michelle Greene joined the church staff as Administrative Assistant to the Financial Secretary Shirley Jackson-Harmon.
Along with other accomplishments we also purchased a larger passenger van.
From 2007 through 2008, six (6) persons gave their trial sermon and received a license to preach the gospel: Deacon Jay Wilson; Brian Webster; Domonique Cooper; Deacon Larry Vaughan; Mary L. Brown and Deborah Poe. Minister Isaiah White also joined the Ministerial Staff. The Deacons Ministry (note: all auxiliaries and boards are now ministries), added three (3) new members: Calvin Hucks, Sr.; Trustee Eugene Turner; and Mikkel Christie. The Trustee Ministry added four (4) new members: Abria Cooper; Frances Preston; Preston Lanier and Godfrey Streat. Various ministries grew from the vision: Praise Dance Ministry three (3) Groups “Young Youth” ages 2-12 years; “Teens” ages 13-18 years and “Adults”. The Male Chorus was organized under the leadership of Minister Jay Wilson.
On September 6, 2009 Mt. Sinai instituted a second service at 8:00 a.m. to meet the needs of our growing congregation with Pastor Sherrer and our Associates preaching the word. As Pastor Sherrer continued to preach the Gospel, his plea was that all members of Mt. Sinai “Catch the Vision”and move forward with God’s program.
On August 26, 2010 Pastor Sherrer resigned as pastor of Mount Sinai after 14 years of service.
In November 2010 a pastoral search committee was formed and Minister Larry Vaughan became Mt. Sinai’s Interim Pastor.
On March 19, 2011 Minister Vaughan was ordained as Reverend by the Mt. Zion Baptist Association of DE, Inc. From the beginning of Reverend Vaughan’s tenure as Interim pastor his theme was accountability for leaders, restructuring and moving forward for Kingdom building. Rev. Vaughan’s messages were strong encouragement and members were committed to continuing the vision and values of Mt. Sinai. Moving forward after just a few short months, the Youth Department was Realigned to include a primary Youth Director and Coordinator. Adult and Peer Mentors revitalized the “Daughters Destined for Greatness” (DDG’s) for young ladies and the “Young Ambassadors” for young men was formed. A tutoring class and a computer lab was added for our youth. The seasoned saints of Mt. Sinai formed the “Senior Warriors” group to fellowship and minister to other seniors providing them with good Christian fun. Rev. Vaughan and his family continue to work diligently supporting the ministries of Mt. Sinai. His wife Yvonne is a strong member of the Deaconess Ministry and his daughter LaYvonne volunteers her time with the youth during most Sunday services. Under Reverend Larry Vaughan’s leadership it wasn’t long before Mt. Sinai realized by the leading of the Holy Spirit that God had already placed a great under-shepherd in our church, thus the call was extended to Reverend Vaughan on September 15, 2011.
In November 2011 Mount Sinai installed Rev. Larry Vaughan as its eighth (8th) pastor. After Pastor Vaughan’s installation the church had a new vigor, we started the healing process and moved on to “Loving God and Loving One Another”. Mark 12 has become our theme and we love to spread the Love of Jesus. Our worship experience continues to grow to higher heights in Jesus. Mount Sinai welcomed additions to the ministerial staff in the persons of Minister Michael Fenderson and Rev. Dr. Floyd Allen. We also welcomed back Rev. Cecil Simmons who was away assisting another church with pastoral ministry. A Greeting Ministry was added to enhance our fellowship. The Evangelism Ministry was rekindled in the beginning of 2012. The ministry holds evangelism classes to all who want to attend as well as outreach evangelism in the community. The Youth Department continues to remain active. The DDG’s meet regularly executing activities such as the cookie drive at Christmas for the Prison Outreach Ministry. The Young Ambassadors and the Mentors took on the project of repainting the lines in the parking lot. The Men’s and Women’s ministry continue to meet monthly and have become more involved with the youth’s educational and spiritual development. The Feeding Ministry established under Rev. Walker continues to expand serving over 100 meals twice monthly to the community. Over the last year Mount Sinai has continued to remain focused and progressive. We have two (2) Deacons in training: Deacon-elect Mark Arrington and Deacon-elect Jermaine Wilson.
This year as we celebrate 50 years of service we believe that by “Loving God and Loving One Another” we can do all things through Christ which strengthens us. We therefore vow to remain strong, steadfast and unmovable as we “Rejoice in the Lord Always” in this our year of “JUBILEE”.
~2013 Church Anniversary Committee