The Peninsula-Delaware Conference
The Peninsula-Delaware Conference of the United Methodist Church is comprised of approximately 800 lay and clergy members representing 81,100 (434 churches) United Methodists from Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland. It is a part of the Philadelphia Area, which includes the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference headquartered in Valley Forge, PA. The Peninsula-Delaware Conference office is located in Dover, Delaware.
The Peninsula-Delaware Conference traces its roots to the very beginning of the Methodist Movement in this area. Methodist lay “circuit riders,” providing an alternative to the increasingly unpopular state Church of England, emphasized “vital piety” and planted “societies” in nearly every town and crossroads on Delmarva, beginning in the mid 1700’s. These societies became the local congregations around which community life revolved.
The United Methodist Church still exerts a powerful, positive influence in this area. True to its heritage of “warm hearts and helping hands,” United Methodists form the backbone for many of this area’s service organizations. From Delaware Hospice to Boy Scouting, from Salisbury Urban Ministries to Methodist Action Program working as partners with government agencies to provide shelter for the homeless and other health and welfare programs.
The Conference also has its own ministries of outreach and invitation including the Wesley Foundations. The Foundations offer ministry to college students on the campuses of the Delaware State University (DE), Salisbury State University (MD), University of Delaware (DE), and the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore (MD).
The Peninsula-Delaware Conference was the first conference in the denomination to merge its African-American and Anglo Conferences during the Civil Rights Era in 1965.
The Conference has consistently been at the forefront in its efforts to improve race relations and has made the issue of inclusiveness a top priority.
The United Methodist Church provides spiritual leadership to more than 11 million persons in a broad range of settings on four continents, including North America, Europe, Africa and Asia