Honeycomb Union American Methodist Church
Known as “The Light in the Valley,” the Honeycomb Union American Methodist Episcopal Church in Lima was founded in 1852 and was part of the Underground Railroad movement. The church served as a waystation along a route where free Blacks, Quakers, Methodists, and others opened their homes and provided food and clothing to the freedom seekers.
According to an Article in the Chester Spirit, “These quiet, unassuming citizens risked their lives and the lives of their families to help individuals whom they had never met. If caught, the Underground Railroad conductor ran the risk of immediate loss of property as well as a fine totaling up to $1,000.”
The article notes that William Spradley, John Peters and George Smith came to Lima during the Civil War as slaves who served as scouts for the Confederate Army. While scouting Delaware County, the three men escaped and joined Honeycomb Church.
The piece also mentions the diminutive, but poignant, cemetery located on the church property. “There are sunken areas without stones or markers, including a number of unmarked family plots. There are a small number of foot stones, and a few un-inscribed markers believed to have been erected years later by the families of runaway slaves.” The church remains open today, and visitors are welcome to attend service. Photo credit: Facebook/Honeycomb U.A.M.E
Special thanks to Keith Lockhart, Bob Seeley, Bill McDevitt, Harold Finnegan, Tom Smith, Karen Micha, Kate Clifford, Susan Mescanti, Carol Fireng, Leslie Potter, and Laurie Grant for sharing their knowledge, documents, articles, maps and photos with Visit Delco, PA. Laurie Grant, Executive Director of the Delaware County Historical Society invites those seeking more information to visit their website. “Since 1895 DCHS remains true to its mission of Collecting, Protecting, and Preserving Delco history and tradition,” Laurie notes, “we also have a Museum Gallery, Research Library and Children’s Education Center.”