On May, 18, 2015, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs received notification from the National Park Service that the Hebron Methodist Protestant Church and Cemetery, located at 18282 Seashore Highway west of Georgetown, Del., has been officially listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the United States government’s official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects deemed worthy of preservation.
Constructed in 1888 in the vernacular Greek Revival style, Hebron is one of nine Methodist Protestant churches constructed in rural Sussex County, Del. between 1870 and 1888. The church’s history parallels the development, evolution and popularity of Methodism in southern Delaware during the 19th century. Unlike other Methodist churches which began consolidating first in 1939 as the “Methodist Church” and ultimately as the United Methodist Church in 1968, Hebron chose to remain independent under the governance of its own board of trustees.
Although Hebron ceased holding regular worship services in 1934, its trustees continue to develop special services, supervise burial arrangements, develop plans for annual homecoming events and undertake initiatives ensuring the preservation and maintenance of the historic structure.
Overall, Hebron Church retains a high level of historical integrity and is devoid of modern amenities such as heat, water and electricity. Noteworthy features of the exterior include the original door and window surrounds, multi-paned colored light transom above the front entrance, electroplated door hardware and porcelain door knobs, approximately 90% original clapboards and the original double-hung windows in the apse.
The building’s interior features original wainscoting which lines the walls and extends up to the window-still level. Original diagonal and straight bead-board cover the remainder of the walls and ceiling, respectively. Hebron’s unusual paneled interior is the only-known example of its kind in Sussex County. Traditionally, the interiors of rural Methodist churches were lathed, plastered and painted. Additional interior features include the original communion rail, pulpit, pews and pine flooring in the raised pulpit area.