St. Thomas’s Then…
In 1842, a group of professors at Newark College [now the University of Delaware] and others felt a need to establish an Episcopal presence in the growing village of Newark. Under the guidance and leadership of the Reverend George Allen, who served as a professor of literature and language at the college, St. Thomas’s Parish was established.
The first church was built and dedicated on February 24, 1845, and continues its presence as the Bayard Sharp Hall for the University at the convergence of Main and Delaware Streets.
The churchyard and cemetery continues to be used by St. Thomas’s, and is maintained by the loving hands and hearts of our parishioners. The parish moved to its current location in 1955.
We stand on the strong, faithful, and gracious shoulders of the saints of St. Thomas’s Parish history, lay and ordained. Now, it is our time to serve in our parish history.
St. Thomas’s Now…
Today, we stand solid in our vision and mission for the future.
St. Thomas’s Parish strives to be a safe and inclusive community of worship that welcomes everyone as a child of God, and values everyone’s ministry in the Church and the world.
St. Thomas’s is a diverse community of young and old, different races, languages, and nationalities, cradle Episcopalians and those new to our tradition. We are conservative and liberal, single and married and partnered, socially active, spiritually reflective, deeply committed to being the Gospel in our community, our diocese, and our world.
We seek to live this vision and mission in many and varied ways, such as…
Stewardship and Service – We support in time, talent, and treasure local assistance programs such as the Newark Empowerment Center, Emmaus House, Hope Dining Room at Kingswood United Methodist Church, Habitat for Humanity, and the Episcopal Campus Ministry to students, faculty, and staff. We also offer our space in ministry of outreach to AIDS Delaware, three AA meetings, Girl Scout troops, and other programs.
Worship – Under the leadership of our talented organist and choirmaster, Marc Cheban, we offer a lively choral and music program. The gifts of lay leadership guide our young choir, and the Lights. Through the generous gift of a parishioner, our four octave set of hand bells have been refurbished.
Education – Through the dedication of Belinda Young-Payne and countless volunteers, our education program seeks to form our children and youth in the foundations of our faith. Our Confirmation program, led the past 20 years by Bob Rys, is top notch in the formation of youngpersons for living as adults into their baptismal vows. Sunday adult offerings and bible study during the week add to our desire to deepen our knowledge and love of the Lord.
Evangelism – Along with Stewardship & Service, we seek to engage and incorporate the students of the Episcopal Campus Ministry into the life of St. Thomas’s in worship and fellowship. Ongoing programs to welcome and incorporate newcomers to St. Thomas’s through Newcomer Dinners, Thanksgiving Dinner for the students, and so on, allow us to serve the Christ in all persons.
Pastoral Care – Through a well organized and effective network of care, we seek to serve the needs of people in difficult times through transportation, pastoral visitation, caring meals and cards, prayer shawl, Lay Eucharistic Visitors, and many other ways to share the compassionate healing presence of Christ to all.