First Presbyterian Church was organized in 1810 by Joseph S. Hughs, a Presbyterian licentiate from Pennsylvania. In the beginning, there were 14 members. In 1815 the congregation began using worship facilities provided by the county in their new courthouse. It was there Rutherford B. Hayes was baptized as an infant. It was there also that President John Quincy Adams attended church services. Hughs died during the epidemic of 1823 after having served 13 years, and was succeeded by another Pennsylvanian, Henry Van Deman, a full-fledged Presbyterian minister.
In 1825 a small stone church was erected at the present site. In 1841, after a history of problems on both the national and local level, 54 members left to organize an officially-recognized Second Presbyterian Church of Delaware.
In 1843 a new brick structure replaced the stone church. Van Deman’s eventful 34-year Delaware pastorate ended in 1859. Eleven years later, in 1870, the dissident group was happily reunited with this, the parent church, and a new era began.
Today this more than 200-year-old congregation continues to play a highly visible and influential role in Delaware’s religious, educational, and community life.