August Quarterly Worships Kickoff #inWilm

August Quarterly

The August Quarterly, founded in 1814, is the nation’s oldest African-American festival, born right here IN Wilmington, where the first independent black Christian Church in the U.S. was also founded. It’s a week-long celebration of religious freedom, freedom of speech and the right to assembly, rights that were not always granted to people of color in the United States.

The week of festivities will open with a worship service this Sunday, August 19, at 10 a.m. in Peter Spencer Plaza, on French Street between 8th and 9th streets. A series of evening religious revivals will be held throughout the city, from Monday August 20 through Thursday, August 23, all beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday, August 25 is Children and Youth Day and Gospel Explosion, featuring performers and events as well as food and other vendors at Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park from 2 to 7:30 p.m. It concludes Sunday, August 26 with a worship service at 9 a.m. at the Chase Center on the Riverfront, followed by the traditional “Big Quarterly Celebration” back at the park featuring FREE performances by local, regional and national gospel groups throughout the day.

The festival’s founder, Rev. Peter Spencer (1782-1843), will be honored with a wreath laying and ceremonial street renaming of the 800 block of North French Street as Reverend Peter Spencer Way. He was born into slavery in Maryland and once freed, he founded the first independent black Christian Church in the United States, the A.U.M.P. Church on French Street in Wilmington, which is still in existence. Land for the church was purchased with the help of another historic Delaware figure, abolitionist and Underground Railroad conductor Thomas Garrett.

Rev. Spencer’s impact on the community is demonstrated through the long-standing August Quarterly, which showcases African-American heritage, music, crafts, vendors, food, activities and more for children and adults alike.

Visit the August Quarterly website for complete event details!