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History of our Church

History of Mt. Harmony-Lower Marlboro United Methodist Church

Methodism in Calvert County dates back to the late 1700’s when residents of this community held religious services in their homes to apply the principles of Christian living outlined by the people called Methodists. In particular, a group met in a small log house located across the street from the current Mt Harmony church, where the older section of the cemetery is located. This log house, complete with dirt floor, served as a school house during the week and as a church meeting house on Sundays. As the congregation grew, the decision was made to build a church in 1847. At that time wet shared a preacher with Smithville church that had been built in 1840. The Pastor arrived every other Sunday for worship. For many years, Rev. Joseph Fowler and Rev. William Nowell did much for the church and the success of Methodism in this area. Rev. Nowell also served as a school teacher being paid 5 cents per day, per student by the parents. In 1886, another building at Mt Harmony was erected at a cost of $1,600.00 The People of Lower Marlboro The people of Lower Marlboro also had been meeting in homes and found they could not easily make the 12-mile roundtrip to Smithville Church or Mt. Harmony. In 1869, they decided to built the chapel that is still standing today as Lower Marlboro Church. At that time was named Largent’s Chapel and was meant to serve the families of the village and surrounding farms. Three Churches

On June 4, 1882 the three churches; Smithville, Mt. Harmony and (Largents Chapel) Lower Marlboro were organized as a church “circuit” sharing a single pastor. On June 5, 1899 a parsonage was built next door to Largent’s chapel for $855, with funds raised from an Oyster Supper. The proceeds of the supper were $41.05 and were reported to be a success. The three churches would remain together until 1980 when Smithville would have separate church and pastor with Rev. Rob Carter serving as the first single pastor to Smithville.

Mt Harmony erected another church in 1886 (pictured above) at a cost of $1,600.00 which faced north, with frosted arched windows on east and west sides. They church worshipped there until 1923, when the decision was made to build a new church sanctuary at Mt. Harmony.

The total cost of the 1923 church (pictured above) was $11,560 - including the cost to provide electricity for the building. The cornerstone of the 1886 church now rests in the northeast corner of the present church. In 1938, a basement was dug beneath the entire church which allowed for a well-equipped kitchen and a large fellowship hall for children’s Sunday School. (cost $1,900)

Always the smallest church in the charge, Lower Marlboro (pictured below) has served successive generations of local families from childhood to old age. In 1901 a bell tower was added, although the mystery still exists as to where the bell came from. In 1924, it was wired for electricity. In 1983 the Sunday School wing was completed; In 1991 the bell tower was repaired so it could still be rung for Sunday morning service. In 2018, air conditioning was added.

From her early start as log house, Mt Harmony has continued to grow as place for both Sunday worship and mid-week education. In 1984, the Education Building was added at cost of $169,500. The education building included a much valued fellowship hall in the bottom level for church suppers. In 2015, Penelope Williams closed her long-running preschool and asked the church to continue her ministry to children resulting in the Mt. Harmony Preschool. In 2019, the preschool added a kindergarten level and named the school program The Wesley School which is licensed as one of three private schools in Calvert County.

On June 4, 2006 ground was broken on a 1.2 million dollar renovation to connect the sanctuary and the education building, resulting in a renovation that is mortgaged through 2032. Fundraisers, pledges and weekly contributions toward “The Building Fund” or “The Mortgage Fund” meet this mortgage which is now under $400,000.

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