The purpose of the Methodist Church of the Atonement is to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ that we will be able to offer to people near and far, by word and deed, through the saving love of God in Christ Jesus.
As servants of God, we are sent into the Claymont community and beyond to reveal the love of God and demonstrate in words and deeds, that we may be renewed after the image of our Creator. To be able to minister in Christ’s name is both a gift and a task. The gift is God’s grace, the task is generous and open-handed service. We are sent out by Christ to live and work together, to profess our faith to the community in order that they might hear the Word of God.
Atonement Church was organized sometime between 1864 and 1866 and included a Sunday School. Congregants met in rooms over Frank Ford’s store which was opposite what was once Naaman’s Tea House. The first church building was erected on its present site in 1866 thanks to the generosity of Thomas Kimber, Jr.
Growth was slow in the early years and it was not until World War I that expansion began. In 1927 an educational building was constructed to the south of the Sanctuary. In the 1940’s the Sanctuary was enlarged, our beautiful stained glass windows installed, the front of the building remodeled and Epworth Chapel erected. The present educational building was completed in 1960. A different kind of expansion occurred in 2013 with the establishment of our sister church, Hope Community Church at the nearby Montessori School.
Atonement has undergone many repairs, renovations and innovations in the past fifty years in an effort to maintain the building’s integrity, keep pace with the changing times and meet the needs of our community. Our real growth, however has not been one of bricks and mortar but rather the extent to which we have fulfilled a vision begun 150 years ago….to connect with the Claymont Community and beyond. Atonement has worked diligently to meet that commitment. Locally, we maintain a food closet, sponsor a youth group for neighborhood teens and have built close ties to the Knollwood Community through our continuous provision of outreach activities. In addition to hosting an outside church, The Claymont 7th Day Adventist, we have five AA meetings/week, and various outside organizations. Throughout the United States we help support 30 outreach initiatives, as well as 12 international ministries. Throughout the U.S. and globally, we help support Samaritan’s Purse, Salvation Army, Chosen People Ministries, Urban Promise Inner-City schools, Door of HOPE Family Center, Ukraine Missionary, Gideon’s International. Locally, Atonement sponsors many service projects and seasonal activities through the Knollwood Community Center. We are honored to be able to spread the word of the Lord to audiences across our nation and abroad to 50 countries each Sunday through our Live Streaming Initiative. Like those who came before us, we remain vigilant in our quest to connect to the Claymont Community and beyond to Christ.
Pastor Amy Peters
Pastor Cliff Werline
Assistant to the Pastor
Director of Music
Youth Director for S.U.R.G.E. Youth Ministry
Worship Team Leader for The Branch