Written by Judith Atkins Roberts, 2003
Presbyterianism came early to the Eastern Shore and Sussex County as Scots and Scotch-Irishmen sought refuge from the oppression of Charles II of England. In 1683, the Presbytery of Laggan, Scotland sent Rev. Francis Makemie to America. He is considered the Father of Presbyterianism in America and through his leadership the church grew rapidly. In 1683, he organized a church in Rehobeth, Maryland.
The congregation at Lewes was established under Rev. Samuel Davis, one of Makemie’s “young men,” in 1692. In 1707, the congregation built a small wooden church on one hundred feet square of land which was part of an original land grant. This frame building is believed to have been the second Presbyterian Church in Delaware.