Dover, Delaware: "fervent Dover" established Wesley United Methodist as the first state government was establishing it's first state house.
Delaware was the first state to sign the U.S. Constitution. The old state house in Dover was constructed from 1787 to to 1791. Wesley United Methodist Church was established in 1778 and became a center for early preachers. Their first chapel was finished in 1784 with considerable help from Kent County Chief Executive Caesar Rodney. Bricks from this chapel were used to build the present church on State Street in 1850 one block north of the old statehouse. By 1931 the need for a new state capitol building resulted in the Delaware Legislative Hall being built on the Green to the East.
This is what I found when I arrived on an April night in 2013. The church and state buildings looked like they were properly planned and separated, but still connected as common neighbors around the central green. I returned in August of 2021 and connected the Dover dots of history in this space. Various signs around the green point to the carefully planned seeds of church and state here. I highly encourage a trip away from the Interstate to the Delaware Capitol in Dover.