Our History

“The LORD helped us” 1 Samuel 7:12

Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us. (1 Samuel 7:12)

This Church was born 1931 and rebuilt in 1984.

In 1931, a group of Christians assembled and held service in a house of 411 East 8th Street, in Wilmington, DE. They organized a church and named it Ebenezer Baptist Church. The church was incorporated by the State of Delaware on November 12, 1940.

In 1940, a more suitable place was found and purchased at 811 Walnut Street. The building was remodeled in 1942 under the leadership of the late Rev. W.C. Simmons.

The Board of Deacons was: Bro. Bosie Reeves, Chairman of the Board, Bro. Johns Robinson, Bro Robert Pritchett, Bro.Warren, Bro. W.C. Berryman and Bro. Dunn.

The Board of Trustees was: Bro. W. H. Wright, Chairman of the Board, Bro. Hurbert Stalling,

Vice-Chairman, Bro. Samuel Robinson, Bro. Richard Henry, Sis. Bertha Richards, Sis. Maude Campbell, Sis

Okra Stallings, Secretary and Financial Clerk, Sis. Annie L. Robinson, Treasurer and Sis. Flora B. Howard who also served as the church organist for over 30 years and Mother of the Church after the church relocated to 2200 Claymont Street, Wilmington, Delaware.

Ebenezer Baptist Church has been under the pastoral leadership of the following leaders: Rev. D.

  1. Hoaper, Rev. Roberts, Rev. Morrell, Rev. A.B. Adkins, Rev. W.C. Simmons and Rev. Dr. P.B.Bynum.

(All deceased)

In September 1959, under the pastorate of the Rev. Dr. P.B.Bynum we purchased the edifice at

731 Vandever Avenue and the Parsonage at 2101 North Church Street Wilmington, DE. With much prayer, sacrifice and cooperation in working together we were free of debt, and our mortgage was burned in April 1965. God had richly blessed us!

In May, 1971 Rev. Lewis Johnson answered the call to become pastor. He was installed as pastor on Sunday, August 1, 1971, by the late Rev. L.J. Freeman, Pastor of Morris Chapel Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The charge to the pastor was given by the late Rev. Arthur R. James. The charge to the church was given by the Rev. W.L. Shumake, and Deacon Andrew Debrule, was chairman of the Deacon Board at this time.

Rev. Johnson was a native of Williston, South Carolina in Barnwell County. He received his early education in South Carolina. He came to us from Shiloh Baptist Church in Chester, Pennsylvania. There he served on the Deacons Board. He was licensed and ordained under the pastoralship of the late Rev. J. Freeman. He studied at Bolden Academy and Seminary, Inc., the Crozy Theological Seminary and the New Era Seminary where he received his Doctorate of Divinity.

Rev. Johnson was an organizer and a builder. He had a vision from God and Walking by Faith in 1975, he encouraged us to change the church site and build a new edifice. For ten years, with prayers, energy and searching God’s plan and blessings plans were put in place for the new edifice of the Ebenezer Baptist Church at 2200 North Claymont Street. The Grand March to the new edifice was held on Sunday morning February 10, 1985.

Rev. Johnson was very active throughout his pastoralship at Ebenezer. The church continued to grow and was made up of varied backgrounds and occupations, all having one common purpose: to give service. With Rev. Johnson’s steadfast leadership the church was able to burn the mortgage on April 6, 2003.

In December of 2004, after 34 years of faithful and dedicated service, GOD needed an angel and called Rev. Johnson home. Rev. Johnson was eulogized by Rev. Jeremiah Witherspoon with a service attended by hundreds which included family members, clergy, life long friends, and a faithful congregation.

With heavy hearts the Ebenezer Church Family was now placed with the daunting task of selecting a new Pastor. With much prayer and again, Walking by Faith, the Ebenezer Baptist Church search committee comprised of Deacon David Eaddy, Rev. Willie F. Tymes. Deacon Willie McBride and Sister Eartha Rogers along with the congregation prayed and sought the guidance of GOD. GOD answered our prayers and in April 2005, sent to us Gilbert S. Hamm Sr., along with his beautiful and loving wife, Mrs. Viola Hamm. They have two adult children, Rev. Gilbert S. Hamm Jr. and Michele Hamm.

Pastor Hamm was born in New York and raised in Sharon Hill and Chester, Pennsylvania. In 1965 he was licensed to preach by the late Rev. L.J.Freeman at the Shiloh Baptist in Chester, Pennsylvania. Pastor Hamm furthered his biblical training at Boulden Academy and Seminary Inc. and graduated in 1968. Also, in 1968 he was ordained through the New Hope Baptist Association by his pastor the late Rev. L.J. Freeman of Shiloh Baptist Church in Chester, Pennsylvania.

Under the leadership of Pastor Hamm, the Ebenezer Baptist Church has continued to grow to become a soul winning and tithing church. We have been able to acquire additional transportation vehicles to transport our members, and have been able to complete various renovations within the church to include a new roof for our sanctuary and fellowship hall, dividers for our fellowship hall, and new carpeting throughout the entire church. We have also added two additional pulpit chairs and a portion of the church has been painted.

With Pastor Hamm’s unwavering support, encouragement and love for the young people of the church he designated the 5th Sunday of each month as Youth Sunday, where the youth carry out the entire service. Pastor’s Hamm love for music and knowing that music ushers in the Holy Spirit for worship approved the formation of the Sanctuary Choir in 2007. Since its inception, in addition to the music ministry functions at Ebenezer, the Sanctuary Choir has been privileged to sing by invitation, for many local church celebrations, have participated in Christian musicals and other seasonal productions and concerts, community festivals, musical workshops and special music projects.

Pastor Hamm is a visionary and is teaching his followers to listen and to obey the call of GOD.

His visions are moving and elevating the church to where GOD is calling us to be. Pastor Hamm & 1st Lady Viola Hamm have truly been a GOD-sent. We could have not asked for a more humble Pastor and 1st Lady at the Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Since 1931, it would have been impossible for us to come this far without the prayers, sacrifices, dedication, and hard work of those gone on before us. If those who labored from the inception of the ideal of the church could be here today, they would rejoice in knowing that they did not labor in vain.

The Ebenezer Baptist Church will continue this same spirit for the generations to come. God built our church on a solid foundation therefore we can do nothing but go forward in serving him.