Church and Family History Research Assistance for
Primitive Baptist Churches in the State of Maryland

Maryland was one of the original thirteen states of the Union. Churches were established here long before the American Revolution.

An early minister in Maryland, Elder Plummer Waters, wrote a book, which was published in 1838, which gives an account of the opposition which he and others had to the introduction of the modern mission system into the churches in Maryland. The Baltimore Association divided over this issue in 1836; but Elder Waters and others had withdrawn much earlier.



Harford Church was organized in 1754 (another account says 1736) by fourteen brethren and sisters who held to the doctrine of the Particular Baptists (atonement for the elect only). The church immediately united with the Philadelphia Association. Elders Benjamin Griffith and Peter Van Horn were the first ministers. They were followed by Elder John Davis, who came from Pennepek, Pa., and served until his death in 1809. Harford Church was the "mother church" in this area. Some of the other churches which were formed from Harford were First Baltimore, Taneytown, Gunpowder, Fredericktown, and Westminster. Later ministers included Elders Absalom Butler, Thomas Barton, Thomas Poteet, and William Wilson.

The brick for the construction of this building were shipped by permission of Lord Baltimore, from the brick yard of the father of Elder John E. Davis, near London, England, to this country; and Elder Davis conveyed them, by pack-saddle from the Patapsco River, near Baltimore, to the site on which the church is located, a distance of approximately 25 miles. The church building was remodeled and repaired in 1787, using the original brick.

Elder John E. Davis was pastor of the church for more than 50 years. There is erected in the cemetery, just outside one of the entrances to the church, a loving monument to his memory. Elder Grafton also served the church for over 50 years. In 1937, Elder B. E. Cubbage was serving as pastor.

Old Harford Church is still active and is still identified with the old-line Primitive Baptists.


Fredericktown Church was organized in 1773 and united with the Ketocton Association the same year. The first pastor was Elder Absalom Bainbridge. He was followed by Elders William Parkinson, William Gilmore, John Welch, Plummer Waters, and Joseph H. Jones.


Seneca Church was organized in 1773, through the labors of Elders Daniel and William Fristoe, Richard Major, and Jeremiah Moore. It was located near Seneca Creek. Daniel Fristoe served for one year, until his death. Elder Jeremiah More then served for forty years. Elder Plummer Waters then served about the same length of time.



The Baltimore church first met for several years, as an arm of Harford Church, and Elder John Davis (pastor at Harford) preached to them. The Baltimore Church was organized January 15, 1785, by members dismissed from Harford, viz., Elder Lewis Richards, David Shields and wife, George Presstman and wife, Richard Lemmon, Alexander McKim, Thomas Coal and wife, William Hobby and wife, and Eleanor Thomas. The church united with the Philadelphia Association. Elder Lewis Richards, the first pastor, was born in South Wales.


Taneytown Church was organized by members dismissed from Harford, in May 1791, viz., Thomas Jones, Amos Thomas, Ruth Thomas, John Bowden, Elizabeth Chenowith, Rebecca Rial, Isaac Hill, Margaret Hill, Richard Hill, Jane Hill, William Hill, and Mary Hill. Their first pastor was Elder William Clingham. He was followed by Elder Edward Choat.


The Second Baltimore Church was formed by Elder John Healy, and a small band of brethren who came with him from England to Baltimore in 1794.


Ebenezer Church was organized in early 1821, by sixty members who withdrew from the First Baltimore Church, which had been excluded from the Baltimore Association for deviation from the faith. Elder E. J. Reis withdrew on this account, and those who followed him became the nucleus of Ebenezer Church. Ebenezer Church first built a house of worship on Calvert Street, and the Baltimore Association was held there in 1835, but being unable to pay for it, they moved to the Bazaar on Harrison street in June 1835. They met in public halls until 1876 when a stone building was erected on Madison Street near Calvert, where they met thereafter. Pastors who served included Elder E. J. Reis, Francis Thorne, F. A. Chick, and Joshua T. Rowe, up to 1921. Later information has not yet been obtained.



Black Rock Church meeting house dates from at least as early as 1828, the year the congregation was organized. It is a one story gable-roofed stone structure. The original fourteen members were representatives of such local families as the COles, Ensors and Scotts. Having purchased a lot from the Johns family, they erected this stone churvch building. In February 1832, an address expressing the views of the congregation was prepared and adopted. It became known as the Black Rock Address, and was directed to the "Particular Baptist Churches of the Old School in the United States. In 1860, the congregation purchased land for a cemetery from Mr. Evan Davis. The church was reconstituted in the 1980's after several years with no members. Meetings are still being held on a regular basis.


Fellowship Church was organized April 5, 1959, with five charter members, Brother and Sister Oscar Lowery, Brother and Sister Elva Lowery, and Sister Ada Utz. The presbytery was composed of Elders F. E. Thompson, W. H.; Lewis, T. E. Majors, Douglas Heare, and Deacons Wise Edwards, Rayming Link, A. D. Ousler, Thomas G. Weaver, Claus Pepper, James L. Compton.







Snow Hill Church was organized in the Old School Baptist meeting-house at Snow Hill, on Monday, November 20th, at one o'clock p.m.. After singing and prayer the meeting organized for business by the appointment of Elder E. Rittenhouse as moderator and Joseph L. Staton as clerk. The charter members were dismissed from the churches at Salisbury and Indiantown. They were Brother Joseph L. Staton and wife, Mary J. Purnell, Zedekiah Truitt, Gertrude Truitt, and Sallie Truitt. Others in the presbytery included Elder T. M. Poulson (who was chosen the first pastor), from Masongoes; Brethren J. W. Warren, Robert W. Bailey and Littleton Bailey, from Indiantown; D. J. Staton, J. W. Sirmon, William Shockley, and Lemuel A. Hall, from Nassaongo.

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