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On Oct. 17, 2016, St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, located at 103 W. Mispillion St. in Harrington, Del., was 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 1895, the church has continuously served Harrington’s Black community for more than 120 years. According to Frank Zebley, a Delaware church historian, St. Paul represents the last of the 11 African Methodist Episcopal churches built in Kent County between 1867 and 1895. Church records indicate that its congregation was established in 1830 just 17 years after the African Methodist Episcopal Church was organized by Richard Allen and one year before his death.
The church building is a frame, one-story, rectangular vernacular structure designed in the Gothic Revival style. Significant architectural features include a steep gable roof; an offset bell tower capped by a pyramidal roof with bell-cast eaves; and pointed-arch-shaped Gothic Revival style windows with multi-colored glass panes with scissor-like wooden muntins and mullions. Textured glass-panes include a variety of colors such as off white, golden yellow, orange, turquoise blue, light sage and burnt umber.