strengthening disciple-making across our region



The mission of the Delaware Baptist Association is to strengthen the disciple-making efforts of churches and pastors in our region. We seek to accomplish this mission through four simple and strategic emphases.


Connecting pastors to each other


Giving oversight to SBC church planting and revitalization efforts


Advocating for resources and assistance for DBA churches within other denominational entities



Overseeing disbursement of DBA ministry funds towards efforts of greatest regional impact


“In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.”

Marco Antonio de Dominis




Delaware Baptist Association was established on October 10, 1967, by eight Southern Baptist Churches located in the State of Delaware who were also cooperating churches in the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware. These original churches were:

The "Initial Covenant" of the Delaware Baptist Association, signed in Dover, Delaware, on 10 October 1967.

  • First Southern Baptist Church, Dover
  • Bethany Baptist Church, Newport
  • Harrington Baptist Church, Harrington
  • Grace Baptist Church, Seaford
  • Calvary Baptist Chapel, New Castle
  • Ogletown Baptist Church, Newark
  • Community Baptist Chapel, New Castle
  • Milford Baptist Chapel, Milford

The Susquehanna and the Eastern Baptist Associations in Maryland were also instrumental in our founding.

Over the last 50 years, we have had six full-time Directors of Missions (formerly called Associational Missionaries or Superintendent of Missions). They were:

  • John Tollison, 1969-1971
  • Joe Paul Turner, 1973-1980
  • Wesley M. Johnson, 1980-1989
  • James McBride, 1990-2008
  • Mal Utleye, 2009-2011
  • Mitch Dowell 2012-2015

Click Here to read An Excerpt from our Association's history.

Or click here to purchase the full history online.



Dr. Blake Hardcastle, Director of  Baptist Student Ministry  (University of Delaware), with a recent group of Student Leaders.

Dr. Blake Hardcastle, Director of Baptist Student Ministry (University of Delaware), with a recent group of Student Leaders.

In 2016, we moved to a part-time leadership structure, dividing the responsibilities between two Associational Church Catalysts:

Today we serve a total of 27 churches throughout Delaware and two in Maryland's Eastern Shore. Two of our latest church plants are EverSpring Church (2011) and LifeHouse in Smyrna (2016).

Additionally, we value our partnership with Baptist Student Ministry on the campus of the University of Delaware, in Newark.