Built to replace the original 1857 wood frame worship space, this 1878 Gothic Revival structure served as New Castle’s second black church. (Bethany UAME Church had been established first in 1817).
According to the National Register of Historic Places nomination, prepared in 1983, the church retains some original furnishings such as carved wooden clergy stalls.
The surrounding burying ground at Mount Salem includes several gravestones that commemorate African American soldiers—such as the one for Jerry Myers, who served in the Civil War.
In 2015, the New Castle City Board of Health condemned the church due to “visual verification of mold infestation caused by moisture and flooding in the basement area” and “a strong odor of mildew through the structure,” as the notice states. The notice also explains that there is “probable cause to the believe that the church may be structurally compromised.” The Church’s congregation worships elsewhere.
The Mount Salem Methodist Episcopal Church in New Castle is an historically African American church, which has been closed and is in need of repair. A community group is working to save it led by Ms. Josie Roy.
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