Simpson & Mount Gregory United Methodist Churches

Simpson & Mount Gregory United Methodist Churches (HM3BE)

Location: Mt Airy, MD 21771 Howard County
Country: United States of America

N 39° 20.302', W 77° 6.101'

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Creating a Unified Community of Strength

Methodist churches were a source and inspiration for the budding African-American community as people movedwestward along the Baltimore and Frederick-Town Turnpike, part of the National Road system. Both enslaved and free African-Americans worshipped, atfirst, in white churches in the early 1800s. Forced into balconies away from the white congregations, they ultimately sought to create a unifying community of strength by building their own churches. Simpson Poplar Springs, the "Mother Church," as it was called, served a widespread community. The church was developed on a farm donated to black sharecroppers in 1893. The one room church served a dozen or so parishioners, most of whom lived in Shaffersville, asmall black neighborhood now part of nearby Mt. Airy.

Mount Gregory United Methodist Church began its services in 1898, in the lower level of the Warfield Academy. The old stone building was deeded for the sole purpose of educating black children in nearby Cooksville, on the National Road, and grew out of a movement to educate African-American children after theCivil War. The congregation stayed at this location while waiting for a new church to be built.

The current structure was built in 1927 after the original church burned in 1922. Outreach and leadership efforts continued to grow as many became leaders of African-American Associations and Clubs. The United Methodist Women, once called the Ladies Aid Society, and the United Methodist Men, who provided funds for labor and upkeep of the church, filled a critical void in post Civil War black society by providing reading programs, aid to the disabled, and meals to those in need.

(Sidebar)
Reverend Robert H. Robinson
Reverend Robinson was the pastor of 19 Methodist Churches, many of them along the National Road from Baltimore to Cumberland. His life and service demonstrated the role Methodist itinerant pastors played in meeting the needs of their dispersed flock. The creation of African-American United Methodist Churches as separate from their white brethren waslargely due to his dedication and leadership at the first United Methodist Colored Convention held in 1861, in Washington, D. C. At last, African-Americans could build their own churches and support their newlydeveloping communities.
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Details
HM NumberHM3BE
Series This marker is part of the The Historic National Road series
Tags
Placed ByAmerica's Byways
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 at 11:33am PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 318873 N 4356432
Decimal Degrees39.33836667, -77.10168333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 20.302', W 77° 6.101'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 20' 18.12" N, 77° 6' 6.06" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)301, 443, 410, 240
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 16901 Hardy Rd, Mt Airy MD 21771, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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