An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

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Old Swede's Church, Wilmington, Delaware

Officially named Holy Trinity from its consecration on Trinity Sunday, July 4, 1699, it was the oldest of the Swedish Lutheran churches. The congregation existed from the establishment of the first Swedish settlement at Fort Christina in 1638. Gradually the Church of Sweden withdrew its support and the members began to speak English. On Feb. 7, 1795, the church's colonial charter was changed. The new charter stated that the name of the corporation was changed from "the Swedes Lutheran Church, called Trinity Church in the Borough of Wilmington" to "the vestry-men and church wardens of the Swedish Lutheran Church called Trinity Church in the Borough of Wilmington." Under the provisions of this amended charter, the vestry was elected on Mar. 2, 1795. A few days later they elected the Rev. Joseph Clarkson, an Episcopal priest, the first rector, and the congregation became an Episcopal church. It continues as an Episcopal congregation.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.