August Quarterly Festival 2013The August Quarterly (often referred to as the Big Quarterly") was started in 1814 by Peter Spencer. This is the nation's oldest African American Festival celebrating religious freedom, freedom of speech and the right of assembly.

Here is some history on the African independent church movement:

"The African independent church movement began some years before the Big Quarterly festival. In 1805, Peter Spencer, born in captivity, but who at that time had his freedom, led a group of approximately 40 people out of the predominately white Asbury Methodist Episcopal Church. Although Spencer and the others started a separate church at that time, they remained connected to the white denomination under uncompromising guidelines. by 1813, Peter Spencer and William Anderson, another leader with Spencer, led a group of persons to leave the church to organize the Union Church of African Members in September 1813. The Big Quarterly is a commemoration and celebration of that religious exodus."


August Quarterly

Come share in the heritage and enjoy the August Quarterly in downtown Wilmington at the Harriet-Tubman Riverfront Park. There are activities for children and adults with music, vendors and fun for all ages.

August QuarterlyFor me, I have enjoyed attending in the past; the program consists of prayer services rotated among the largest black churches in Wilmington, Delaware. The annual celebration lasts for a week. Some of the churches are Mother AUFCMP at 9TH and Franklin Streets, Mother Bethel and Ezion Mount Carmel on Walnut Street. Preachers come from various states to conduct services emphasizing their lack of communication of knowledge which caused the slaves to remain an additional year in servitude. However, the emphasis is placed on education, communication and efforts never to repeat the past.

I love to attend all of the services and have found the themes of the gospels related not only to former slaves and slave holders but also were relevant to the multi-cultural nation in which we live today. Family values and relationships are stressed. Also encouraged was the need for innovation and excellence in whatever field was chosen now that everyone has to compete worldwide. It is a message that must be heard, respected, and implemented.

Attendance is always good and in most cases, standing room only in churches with capacity of around 200 people. People of all races and ages attend.

AUGUST QUARTERLY - August 24- 31, 2014

Ella McDougall
Membership Assistant
Greater Wilmington Convention and Visitors Bureau


About Ella:
I'm Ella McDougall and I am the Membership Assistant for the Greater Wilmington Convention & Visitors Bureau. I've enjoyed working at the GWCVB for 17 years. As an art lover, the Bureau opens the door for a greater appreciation for the arts. I enjoy visiting the many museums, variety of festivals and lots more. I hope you will enjoy reading my blog!