201 South Main St.
P.O. Box 234, Federalsburg, MD 21632
Phone: 410.754.7567 (office)   |   410.754.8734 (kitchen)
church history

History of Christ United Methodist Church, Federalsburg

(in The History of Caroline County, Maryland, From Its Beginning, 1920, pp. 267-280

The present structure, now known as Christ Methodist Protestant Church of Federalsburg, was originally Federalsburg Presbyterian Church, therefore, any sketch or history of Christ church in order to be in any way complete must include the history of the Presbyterian church which was the beginning of it.

In the year 1871 under the leadership of a Rev. Mr. Boing a congregation was assembled and October 6th regularly organized as a Presbyterian church. Mr. H. P. Chambers was elected Secretary and Messrs. Jas. A. Sanders, Edward R. Goslin, John Wilson/, Jacob Rhoads and H. P. Chambers were the Finance Committee. The original trustees were Edward R. Goslin, H. P. Chambers/, W. C. Logan, R. Mithchell, J. Rhoads, J. A. Sanders, Dr. W. D. Noble and John Wilson.

A hall was rented and properly seated and the services proceeded regularly until the present fine structure was erected. The lot on which it stands was bought from Dr. Noble and the building erected during the years 1872 and 1873.

Regular services were held after this until the year 1897. At this time most of the congregation had moved away or died and it was decided to abandon the work and leave the property in the hands of the New Castle Prebytery. The last meeting of the session was recorded on Sept. 30th, 1897, by S. A. Logan, Clerk. Rev. Mr. Blackwell was Pastor at Bridgeville and served this church in connection with that charge.

For about five years after that the church remained closed. In 1902, a number of Methodist Protestant families having moved into the town and vicinity, it was decided to form a Methodist Protestant church. Mr. James B. Wright, a loyal Methodist Protestant, seeing the need, bought the church building from the New Castle Presbytery and advanced the money until such time as the congregation should be able to repay him. Rev. Herbert F. Wright, who was then Pastor at Reliance, opened services in the church building and June 12, 1902, Christ Methodist Protestant church was duly organized.

Since that time services have continued to be held continuously and the church has gained until it has reached its present strength and usefulness and has become one of the strongest powers for good in the community. By Rev. J. L. Nichols.

(in Manna from God's People, 2002, a cookbook compiled by the UM Women's group)

Christ Church was organized in April 1902 and incorporated in February 1903. The organization of the church came about as a result of a 'three week protracted meeting,' held by Rev. Herbert F. Wright. Rev. Abraham Downs Dick, a retired minister, became the first charter member of Christ Church.

A Presbyterian Society completed the church building in 1873 from timbers milled in the forest near Federalsburg, for a cost of $1,000. Robert Mitchell was the architect and also built the original pews of local lumber. The original church bell, weighing 1,000 lbs., hangs in the present steeple. Inscribed on the bell are these words, 'The Lord Loveth a Cheerful Giver; Donated to the Church in the Wilderness, Response from Many Loving Hearts.'

The 150-foot steeple was destroyed by fire caused by lightning during a severe thunderstorm on April 7, 1930. The fire started in the pinnacle of the steeple. The local fire company was unable to force a stream of water to that height. The fire burned to a point where the firemen were able to extinguish the blaze. The steeple was reconstructed as it stands now.

The first Methodist Protestant service held in the church was June 12, 1903.

The original windows in the church came from Germany. The present church and vestibule windows were dedicated in 1952. The Mary V. Wright Memorial Chancel window was dedicated April 10, 1955.

The cornerstone of the Sunday School auditorium was laid in 1910. The first session ini the new area was February 12, 1911.

The basement section of the church was added during the pastorate of the Rev. G.E. Leister (1927-1937), who was largely responsible for the work.

The Kilgen organ, a two manual pipe organ, installed in 1930, was replaced with a Hammond electric organ in 1948. In 2001, a new Lowry electronic organ was purchased.

The addition of the Sunday School auditorium was dedicated February 19, 1956.