CHAPTER 245

PROVIDING FOR TRANSFER OF PREMISES OF ST. THOMAS METHODIST CHURCH

AN ACT AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING THE SECRETARY OF STATE TO CONVEY THE PREMISES OF ST. THOMAS' METHODIST CHURCH OF DAGSBORO HUNDRED, SUSSEX COUNTY, DELAWARE, TO THE SUSSEX TRUST COMPANY OF LAUREL, DELAWARE, AS TRUSTEE UNDER CERTAIN TERMS AND CONDITIONS.

WHEREAS, on February 15, 1841, the Trustees of St. Thomas' Methodist Church was an unincorporated body; and,

WHEREAS, the land conveyed to the Trustees of St. Thomas' Methodist Church by indenture dated February 15, 1841, has escheated to the State of Delaware under the provisions of the Laws of the State of Delaware now in existence; and

WHEREAS, The church buildings and grounds of St. Thomas' Methodist Church in Dagsboro Hundred, Sussex County, Delaware are of deep historic interest; and

WHEREAS, it is desired that the land and buildings be conveyed in trust for the preservation of same as far as possible and practical and subject to the conditions set forth in the deed set out below to the Trustee; NOW, THEREFORE,

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

SECTION 1. The Secretary of State is hereby authorized and directed to execute a deed conveying the church property formerly conveyed to the Trustees of St. Thomas' Methodist Church in Dagsboro Hundred, Sussex County, Delaware by indenture dated February 15, 1841, and now escheated to the State of Delaware to The Sussex Trust Company, Trustee, said deed to be patterned according to the following:

THIS DEED, Made this ____ day of _____ in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and fifty-three.

BETWEEN THE SECRETARY OF STATE, State of Delaware, party of the first part,

-AND

THE SUSSEX TRUST COMPANY, TRUSTEE, County of Sussex, State of Delaware, party of the second part,

WITNESSETH, that the said party of the first part does hereby grant and convey unto the said party of the second part,

ALL that certain lot or piece of land, situate, lying and being in Dagsboro Hundred on the East side of the Main Road leading from Laurel Town to the head of Indian River in the County of Sussex and State of Delaware, butted and bounded as follows, to wit: BEGINNING at a marked Red Oak standing on the East side of the Main County Road, thence running South sixty-nine degrees (69) East sixteen (16) perches to a post; thence North twenty-five (25) degrees East seven (7) perches to a post thence south fifty-eight (58) degrees west twelve (12) perches to a post then with a right line home to the beginning, containing and laid out for three quarters (8/4) of an acre of land be the same more or less.

BEING the same land conveyed to Trustees of St. Thomas' Church by Levin Hopkins and Leah Hopkins, his wife, by deed dated 15th, day of February, 1841 and of record in Deed Record Vol. 49, page 423.

Not absolutely but in trust, subject to the conditions of a Trust Agreement to be entered into, on even date with said deed, between The Sussex Trust Company and Nutter D. Marvel, an individual, said agreement being as follows:

THIS IS A TRUST AGREEMENT, Made and Entered into this day of ____, A. D. 1953, By and Between THE SUSSEX TRUST COMPANY, a corporation of the State of Delaware, having offices at Laurel, Delaware, party of the first part, hereinafter called the "trustee", and NUTTER D. MARVEL, an individual serving in a representative capacity for the friends of St. Thomas' Methodist Church, in Dagsboro Hundred, Sussex County, Delaware, of Georgetown, Delaware, party of the second part.

WHEREAS, the church building and grounds of St. Thomas' Methodist Church in Dagsboro Hundred, Sussex County, Delaware, are of deep historic interest; and

WHEREAS, since the said church is no longer active, and in the absence of such a trust as the one hereby created, a definite possibility exists that the persons whose ancestors have had connection with the said church might eventually become so scattered that there would be no practicable means of raising money to repair and maintain the premises; and

WHEREAS, it is deemed worthwhile that friends of that institution having affection for the same, should establish some trust fund so that the church and church grounds could be decently maintained forever;

NOW, THEREFORE, this agreement witnesseth:

1. The trust fund hereby established shall be known as the "St. Thomas' Methodist Church Trust Fund".

2. The sum of One Thousand Three Hundred Sixty Dollars ($1,360.00), being the amount of money that has been heretofore paid by many interested contributors to The Sussex Trust Company to hold for the establishment of a trust fund, is intended only as the original amount of this fund, and it is hoped and intended that the party of the second part and others having an interest in St. Thomas' will from time to time add to the said fund until it reaches such proportions as will permit the accomplishment of the purposes hereinafter set forth, all of which may simply be done by giving or bequeathing money or other property to the Trustee with the simple direction that the said gift, devise or bequest shall become a part of the "St. Thomas' Methodist Church Trust Fund".

0. Party of the second part executes this contract in a representative capacity for friends and interested parties of the church. Any other party paying money into the trust fund shall have the same right to rely upon this contract as the party of the second part.

4. The said trust fund shall be administered by the Trustee according to the following uses and trusts:

A. To invest and reinvest the said funds, having full power to deal with the same as if they were its own.

B. To carry fire insurance with "extended coverage" upon the church building.

C. To maintain the church, grounds, graves and monuments in a decent state of repair, including the power to make capital expenditures for the restoration or improvement of the same, if resources available so permit.

D. To sell cemetery lots or the right of burial in the church grounds, upon such terms as the Trustee sees fit, and to apply the proceeds of such sales to the trust fund hereby created.

E. If there is a surplus of income more than is needed to maintain the property in a decent state of repair, and if the corpus has been built up to a point where in the judgment of the trustee it will be sufficient to continue to do so, any such surplus of income shall from time to time be used for a worthy charitable cause.

. If there are not sufficient funds, and the income is not sufficient to maintain the church and grounds in a decent state of repair, and the church has fallen into disrepair, then the trustee is authorized to have the same burned or removed from the site, and to expend of the principal a sum not exceeding Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) for a suitable monument to be erected on the spot selected by the Trustee.

A. In case of fire, windstorm, or other destruction or loss of the buildings and the collection of the insurance, the trustee is directed not to attempt to rebuild the church from the funds of this trust or the insurance monies, but to erect a simple monument, to be selected as hereinabove provided, likewise not to cost exceeding One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00).

H. So long as the church building stands, it may be made available, in the sound discretion of the trustee, for use for the benefit of any worthy cause, not inconsistent with the religious history and dignity of the place, either with or without payment of rent, as the trustee sees fit to allow, provided that church services for any Christian denomination shall have preference over other uses, and provided that any Methodist congregation desiring to use the premises shall always have first preference.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the party of the first part has caused these presents to be executed by its proper officers, and has caused its corporate seal to be hereunto affixed and attested, party of the second part has hereunto set his hand and affixed his seal, the day and year aforesaid.

THE SUSSEX TRUST COMPANY

By ___________

President

Attest __________

Secretary

___________________ (SEAL)

NUTTER D. MARVEL

Section 2. The Secretary of State is hereby authorized and directed to execute the deed provided for in Section 1 within thirty days after the receipt in his office, at Dover, Delaware, of an executed copy of the Trust Agreement also provided for in Section 1.

Approved July 1, 1953.