St. Paul’s United Methodist Church celebrated its 50th anniversary at Foulk Road this year.
Banners line the walls of the main sanctuary in St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in North Wilmington, shouting “Celebrate!” in bold letters to all who enter. No wonder. This year is special for St. Paul’s, as the church celebrates its 50th anniversary on Foulk Road—an impressive accomplishment for a congregation that’s been uprooted twice since its founding in 1845. St. Paul’s was originally built on Market Street in downtown Wilmington, where the beginnings of this resilient community formed until it moved to Jackson Street in 1911. Here, St. Paul’s continued to grow, but the thriving church was challenged with the construction of I-95 in 1960. Situated direct in the highway’s path, it was forced to relocate to its current location. Despite a snowstorm the week prior to the scheduled Easter Sunday opening service, the new church opened its doors to members in 1964. In the years that followed, surrounding suburban neighborhoods grew, membership remained strong, Sunday school programs expanded and music programs flourished. “We consider our church one of the warmest churches,” says Jerry Martin, the church’s self-proclaimed archivist and historian who has been a dedicated member since 1971. And the secret of St. Paul’s success? “I really think it’s the respect and love for one another,” Martin says.