A Newark Delaware United Methodist Church
Practicing Reconciling Ministries
Newark United Methodist Church is an open and inclusive faith community with open hearts, open minds, and open arms. As a member of the Reconciling Ministries Network, we worship a loving and gracious God and Jesus, His Son, who continues to model God’s love in the world for all. We welcome and affirm you in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior, regardless of your race, ethnicity, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, social or economic status, physical and mental ability, or religious affiliation. We are all God’s beloved children.
Rev. Kevin Benjamin
Pastor Kevin William Benjamin is a native of Wilmington, Delaware. Pastor Kevin is married to Jenneth and is the proud father of Nickeya (25), Kevin Jr.(18), Kenneth (10), Jennifer (8), Kyle (7), and baby Jessica (almost 2).
Learn More about Rev. Kevin Benjamin
Previously, Pastor Kevin served as pastor of Saint Paul’s United Methodist Church in Odessa, DE. Prior to that appointment, Rev. Kevin served as pastor of the Mount Salem (Wilmington, DE) and Summit UMC (Middletown, DE) Charge, the Ebenezer UMC (Delaware City), and St. Daniel’s (Port Penn, DE) Charge. Pastor Kevin’s first pastoral assignment was at Cornerstone UMC, (Bear, DE), as an associate Pastor. Pastor Kevin has several degrees. He received his music education degree from Delaware State University and a Master of Divinity from Palmer Theological Seminary. He also completed a master’s degree in education. He also completed Music education plus credits from the University of Delaware and studied pipe organ under David Herman.
Pastor Kevin received his pastoral care education and certification from Bay-health Care systems and DuPont Nemours Children’s Hospital.
For over twenty years, Pastor Kevin served as a Music Educator in the Christina School District and the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington. Over the years, he taught choral and instrumental music at Bancroft Elementary, Mc Vey Elementary, Brookside Elementary, Shue Middle School, Christ Pour King School, and St. Peter’s Cathedral School. He also served as an adjunct music professor at Wesley College in Dover, DE.
In 2016, Pastor Kevin left the field of music education to answer his full-time call to pastoral ministry. Pastor Kevin serves on the Neighborhood House Board, the Delaware District of Urban Ministry Board, and as president of the Wesley Foundation of Delaware State University. He will leave this role at the end of June.
Occasionally, Pastor Kevin volunteers as a chaplain for DuPont Nemours’s Children’s Hospital. On Tuesday evenings, Pastor Kevin, in collaboration with Ezion-Mount Carmel UMC, provides free piano instruction to students of Urban Promise. Previously, Pastor Kevin served as a volunteer at the Sunday Breakfast Mission. Presently, Pastor Kevin volunteers, every other fifth Tuesday, at Our Daily Bread, in Middletown, Delaware.
Pastor Kevin has a passion for outreach, pastoral care, and music. This passion has been demonstrated during all his previous appointments. Several years ago, Pastor Kevin traveled to Spain to serve in the mission field alongside recording artist, Richard Smallwood.
Pastor Kevin is progressive in his theology and supports social justice and the full inclusion of the LGBTQ community. Pastor Kevin is an active member of PFLAG. The PFLAG Chapter Network provides confidential peer support, education, and advocacy to LGBTQ+ people, their parents, families, and allies. Pastor Kevin is excited about his new appointment to Newark UMC. Lastly, he looks forward to the opportunity to partner in advancing God’s kingdom in the Newark, DE community, and beyond.
The representative leadership body within our congregation that plans, coordinates, and implements our church’s official programs and earmarks the resources to do so. The Council also performs various administrative duties and ultimately envisions, plans, implements, and annually evaluates the mission and ministry of Newark United Methodist Church.
Church Council meets on the fourth Monday of every month (except in December) at 7:00 p.m.; the meetings are public and open to everyone. Required attendees are representatives of our various ministry teams, clergy, and certain staff members. Anyone may submit an agenda item, but they must be submitted at least six days before the meeting. To submit an agenda item, either email the Council Chair or use the Contact Us form below.
Chair: Darrell Sparks
Secretary: Amy Baldwin
Church Council comprises representatives from the following teams/entities/areas:
- Adult Ministries – Diane Ferry, Claire Priester, and Eileen Sexton, Chair
- Christian and Family Ministries – Cherie Wilkins, Chair
- Communications – Sarah Jungling, Chair
- Congregational Care – TBD, Chair
- Congregation in Action – Kathy Werrell, Chair
- Discipleship Leadership – Catherine Rounsely-Maxwell, Chair
- Finance – Tom Dilworth, Chair
- Lay Leadership – Mark Werrell, Lloyd Massey, and Will Logan, Representative
- Lay Member to AC – Karen DeMonte
- Library – Jan Pochan, Representative
- Music Ministries – Rob Kennan, Staff
- Newark Methodist Preschool – Julia Logan, Chair
- Nominations & Leadership Development – Pastor Mary Catherine Miller, Chair
- Outreach – Susan Sheldon and Sue Hollenbeck, Co-Chairs
- Social Justice – Lisa Gensel, Chair
- Staff-Parish Relations – Diane Ferry, Chair
- Team Vision Forward – Bruce Yost
- Trustees – Pete Schmalz, President
- United Methodist Men – Allan Loomis, Representative
- United Methodist Women – Jane Dey, Representative
- Wesley Foundation Campus Ministry – Matt Stauffer, Campus Pastor
- Worship – Metty Mesick, Chair
- Youth and Young Adult Ministries – Will Logan
- Rob Cappiello, Business Manager
- Lisa Santare, Office Manager/Communications Administrator
- Sara Shultz, Director of Christian Formation
- Rob Kennan, Music Director
- Ward Mesick, Wesley Campus Minister
The office of Lay Leader is the highest non-clergy position within a local United Methodist congregation. Individuals who are Lay Leaders are seasoned Christians who can represent the congregation’s concerns to the pastoral staff and Church Council and assist the pastoral staff with a number of church rites, including baptism and reception of new members, and occasionally plan worship services.
Will Logan (Youth)
If you’d like to get in touch with one of the Lay Leaders about any issue, please contact us and select “ATTN: Lay Leaders” as the subject of your message.
Within our episcopal area, we are led by Bishop LaTrelle Easterling, presiding Bishop of the Philadelphia Area of The United Methodist Church, and the Rev. Joseph Archie, Superintendent of the Delaware District of the Peninsula-Delaware Conference.
About our denominational connection
Voting members who currently represent our congregation at the Annual Conference of the Peninsula-Delaware Conference are:
Karen DeMonte (Lay Member to Annual Conference)
Chelsea Spyres (Lay Member to Annual Conference)
Alternates: Dan Logan and Kathy Werrell
The staff at Newark United Methodist Church plays a crucial role in the day-to-day administrative operation of the church, assisting the pastoral staff and allowing them to attend to pastoral ministry. Please call us at 302-368-8774 and use the following extensions:
Rev. Kevin Benjamin, Senior Pastor 302-368-8774 ex. 214
Rev. Ward Mesick, Campus Pastor of the Wesley Foundation Campus Ministry at the University of Delaware ex. 216
Sara Paris, Director of Spiritual Formation ext. 225
Lisa Santare, Office Administrator ext. 213
Rob Cappiello, Business Administrator ext. 218
Pat MacKenzie, Bookkeeper ext. 215
Robert Kennan, Director of Music ext. 220
Brooke Walker, Director of Wesley Foundation Campus Ministry ext. 216
Stephanie Yerkes, Preschool Director ext. 221
Debbie Knight, Preschool Administrative Assistant ext. 221
Jill Hall, Preschool Administrative Assistant ext. 221
Tim Murphy, Facility Coordinator ext. 227
Piedad Luna, Custodian
Araceli Cira-Trujillo, Assistant Custodian
The Newark United Methodist Church Facility
Our church’s meeting place is on the National Historic Register and is located at 69 East Main Street.
“the noisy Methodists had no right to disturb the peace and quiet of the citizens by holding their boisterous meetings on the main street.”
John Fletcher Williamson. “Recollections: The Peninsula Methodist,— —,” 1888.
NUMC’s Congregational History
From its humble beginnings as an unofficial meeting in a paper mill at White Clay Creek, our congregation has stood the test of time and overcome many challenges. Originally called Meteer’s Meeting (after local businessman Thomas Meteer who offered his home and paper mill as a meeting spot), the congregation grew over time thanks to its strategic location as a stopping point for itinerant preachers traveling between Baltimore and Philadelphia. Our location (and name) have changed a few times over the years, but our biggest challenge was the church’s relocation onto Main Street.
Despite the protests from the town, the church managed to purchase a property from an out-of-town owner unaware that no one in Newark would sell the Methodists land on Main Street. The sale took place at midnight, and building began the next morning “to the utter surprise and consternation of our enemies.” Through years of war and peace, hardships and prosperity, the congregation stayed rooted on Main Street, rebuilding after a fire in 1861, and adding additions as the congregation and its needs grew. In 1999 we celebrated our 200th anniversary as a congregation here in Newark. Today, our congregation continues to make a difference in the lives of people locally, regionally, and globally.