Saturday, February 12, 2011

The History Of Pocomoke By Murray James (25) The End

214 History of Pocomoke City. 


In IS36, Rev. William Quinn settled on his farm adjoin- ing New Town. He was born in Queen Anne's County, Md., about the year 1790. On his father's side he was ol pure Celtic blood, as his name will indicate. At about fifteen years of age he embraced Christianity and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was apprenticed to learn the carriage-making business, but it was discovered that his talent and inclination led in another direction After his majority he joined the Philadelphia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

He traveled several years and then took a supernumerary relation and located in Princess Anne. Md., where he commenced the carriage- making business, having for a partner Teagle Townsend. He afterwards moved to Eastville, Va., where he carried on the carriage-making business for a few years and then came to New Town, Md. In 1840, he took an active relation to his conference, for during the time of his location he sustained a super- numerary relation. He traveled five years and finally retired from the active ministry.

Formerly New Town. 215

During his long so-journ with us, the writer had ample opportunity to know and form his conclusions of him. His intellect was beyond the common order of minds. In his preaching he was clear and forcible, and was good in debate. In his social life, he was of a genial nature, frank and pleasant; if there was one trait of his character that towered above the rest, it was that of forgiveness. The writer can speak from experience upon this feature of his character. When times were perilous, and debate was rife, and sharp cutting words would be used on both sides ; but, when we would meet again, there would be exhibited that same genial, frank and social bearing as though nothing had happened.

He was thrice married, and was father of John W. Ouinn by his first wife, James, William and Lawrence by his second wife, and Doctor Samuel S. Ouinn and Mrs. Vir- ginia Merrill, surviving children by his last wife. During his last sickness he was hopeful and trusting. He died in the latter part of 1867, approximating four score years.

In 1840, the old church was lathed and plastered and became more comfortable, and things in general began to look up somewhat. In 1855, the present commodious house was built ; it cost, probably, three thousand dollars. This church has a large cemetery. The Sabbath School belonging to this church is the mother of Sabbath Schools in Pocomoke City. Some of the most influential men of other churches in Pocomoke City were, when little boys, members of this Sabbath School. It is in quite a flourishing condition, having on the school roll the names of one hundred scholars, and an average of seventy in actual attendance.

216 History of Pocomoke City, 

 The school takes eighty- Sabbath School papers weekly and has 138 volumes in library. The reader will observe that I have not said anything about the long list of the sainted dead, who were members of this church. But I will now say that as a general thing they died well. Oh ! how many, during the last forty five years, have I visited in their death sickness, and have heard the last shout of victory, and witnessed their trumphant death.

Prominent among this long list of the dead, with whom the writer was most intimately acquainted, was Sally Murray, James E. Ouinn, Eljabeth Long, first wife of Jesse Lee Long, and daughter of Genl. Ebenzer Hearn, Amanda C. Clarke, first wife of William J. S. Clarke, Harriet H. Clarvoe. mother of Amanda C. Clarke, Harriet Taylor, grandmother of the children of John H. Clarke by his first wife and Sally E. Hearn. The remembrance of these persons is held very sacred and dear by many who are yet living in Pocomoke City.

These were God's noble children. They are now before the throne clothed in white robes and bear palms of victory in their hands. Oh ! how pleasant it is to call up in memory the christian fellowship with such persons, during their life time and while standing around their dying beds and witnessing their trumphant exit from a world of sorrow, to the home of the blest on the other side of the river.

Formerly New Town. 217

To close up the history of the Methodist Episcopal Church in New Town and not give a list in detail of its ministers would be, to say the least of it, a partial history. I shall, therefore, give as correct a list of their names as I am able. I shall first name the Bishops, then the Presid- ing Elders, and lastly the traveling preachers. The Bishops were : Francis Asbury, Beverly Waugh, Edmund S. James, D.D., and Levi Scott, D.D. The Presiding Elders were : Dr. Chandler, Lawrence Lawrenson, Henry White, David Daily, Levi Scott, D.D., Jas. A. Massey, John D. Onins, Thos. J. Thompson, D.D., Henry Colclazer, Adam Wallace, D.D., Solomon Cooper, Vaughn Smith, John L' Taft, N. M. Brown and Thomas J. Williams. The traveling preachers were : Lorenzo Dow, Bayne, Avra Melvin, John Collins, Matthew Sorin, D.D., Lummas, Sparks, William Connally, John A. Roach, D.D., Samuel McElwee, James L. Houston, W T illiam Ouinn, George Lacey, M. D., Isaac R. Willetts, Shepherd Drain, James Hargis, John S. Taylor, Leeds K. Berridge, Charles Karsner, M.D., William Bishop, John Allen, Joshua Turner, Zachariah Webster, [as. A. Brindle, Charles Schock, Thomas J. Burroughs, Charles Hill, Jonathan Turner, Curtis Turner, Robert Pattison, D.D., Daniel Titlow, William Merrill, John F. Chaplain, D.D^ N. W. Bennum, Charles McDermond, Edward G. Erwin, -George S. Conway, T. B. Killiam, John W. Pearson, Jas. Mi 1 er, Albert Jump, George W. Covington, T. E. Mar- 218 History of Pocomoke City, tindale, James Murray, George D. Watson, D.D., A. A. Fisher, Thomas Poulson, William Potter, George W. Wilcox, E, J. Ayres, A. P. Prettyman, William Passwater, William L. P. Bowen, Thomas O. Ayres, Charles A. Grice, Robert Roe, William I. Baine, John D. C. Hanna and George \V. Townsend.

A brief sketch of incidents of some of the above list of preachers, may be of interest to the reader. John Collins was a positive, burly Irishman. He was preaching at a certam place on a certain occasion, and there was a young man in the congregation who stood up during preaching,, much to the annoyance of the preacher ; Johnnie Collins, for that was his ordinary name, seeing the yonng man would not sit down, said : "He wished when a tailor made a coat for a man, that he would publish it, and not put the man who wore it to the unnecessary trouble to stand up in the congregation to show it ; that had the desired effect and settled the young man for the time being. But when the services were over, and Mr. Collins went to get his horse, where he had hitched him, the young man and his young associates were there waiting for him. He called Mr. Collins' attention to the insult which he had passed. "O yes !" said Mr. Collins, "are you the young man that stood up in the congregation during preaching?" "Yes," said the young man, "and I am going to whip you for insulting me so." Johnnie Collins said, "I have preached this morning, and have to ride many miles and preach twice more to-day, and it would be a pity to get a flogging in the bargain."

Formerly New Town. 219 

This kind of talk only made the young man more bold, and he told Mr. Collins to get ready for he was going to whip him, "well !" said Mr. Collins, "if I must, I must, but before you begin this business, I want to inform you that, before I embraced Christianity, my name was fighting Jack Collins, and when I became a Christian, I promised the Lord that I would whip the Devil wherever I found him," and with that he brushed up his sleeves and said, "now come on and I will whip every devil of you." The fight was then over without a blow, and Mr. Collins mounted his horse and rode off.

Another incident is related of Mr. Collins to the following effect. He was leading a colored class, which met on Sunday mornings before preaching, when he called Jacob so and so  before this, however, he was informed that Jacob had stolen a pair of breeches, " Jacob " said he, "let us hear how you are getting along ? ' Jacob said, "my breathering, I-s-e come here to give in my sperience, I've come to tell you that I am sometimes up and sometimes down, but yet my soul is heaven bound, and if you never no more sees me, you may look for me on that mornin', for I spec's to scale heaven and get to glory." As it was usual to give a word of advice or encouragement after the experience was given; Mr. Collins said, "Jacob let me feel your pulse?" Jacob held out his hand and Mr. Collins felt his pulse when all of a sudden, he exclaimed in a loud tone, "what! what ! Jacob does your pulse beat breeches ? breeches,'and then addressing himself to all, the class said, "Jacob has been stealing a pair of breeches !"

 220 History of Pocomoke City, 

Lawrence Lawrenson was a man of great pulpit power, and although it has been said that he was most self-distrusting ; he was an orator of the first magnitude, and were he living now, he would stand abreast the first pulpit orators of the day. Henry White and David Daily were men of precious memory, though very dissimilar in their make up. Henry White was a positive man, he had no compromise to offer in preaching the gospel ; indeed he was the most powerful man in the pulpit, in wielding the Sword of the Spirit that I ever knew.

I have witnessed the effect of his preaching, when with streaming eyes and tremulous limbs, he would deliver his message, the most intelligent men of the place would be in tears like little children. David Daily was placid and pleasant, he was a strong preacher, and was also a poet ; he was one of the committee who revised the hymn book in years past. Matthew Sorin was raised and educated a Roman Catholic, and it has been said that he was intended for the priesthood; but when he embraced Christianity he became a traveling preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church. An incident occurred in relation to him while he traveled Snow Hill circuit (which embraced this place), which is here recorded. He was preaching at a certain appointment and some of the most aristocratic of the county were to hear him. During the discourse he said something to which exceptions were taken by one of the above class.

 Formerly New Town. 221 

After the services were over this gentleman stood at the door until Mr. Sorin came out. He called his attention to the remark, and said he was going to whip him for it. They were both large men, standing at least six feet in the clear. If there was any difference in size, I think Mr. Sorin was the lighter of the two; but he was clear built, muscular and plucky. He wore a straight-breasted frock coat that buttoned up to the neck, and when the other told him what he was going to do, he commenced buttoning up his coat until the last button was fastened, when he said to him then : "Sir, it takes a man to whip me.' That was the last of it. He filled some of the best stations in Philadelphia ; became an author, and for distinguished talent, he received the degree of Doctor of Divinity. He died but recently, at the probable age of four score years. In reviewing the history of the Methodist Episcopal Church in New Town, I am authorized in saying that it has been a great power for good. It has given force and strength to moral sentiment, and has reached out a helping hand to the lost and straying and has been instrumental in saving an untold number that otherwise might have been lost. It is the mother of churches in New Town, and like a fostering mother, it has furnished to all its sister churches a member now and then. In its present outlook it has church property, including church, parsonage and cemeteries, amounting to, in original cost and present improvements, probably $7,000. It has a membership of ninety members and probationers and a fine Sabbath School, which has already been described.

222 History of Pocomoke City, 

In taking the past year as a basis in calculating the running expenses of this church, including preacher's salary, conference collections, etc., will amount to something over $1,100. It holds a very elevated position as a great evangelizing power, and is now, as it has been in the past, like the beacon-light to the ocean-tossed mariner, warning sinners of the breakers and pointing them to the harbor of rest.


The Methodist Protestant Church was organized in New Town in 1832. The first class formed was composed of Rev. Avra Melvin and wife, Drucilla Powell, Theopilus Powell, Mary Powell, Sarah M. Powell, Com- fort Powell, Levin Davis and wife, William Tilghman, George S. Blades, William Payden, Ibba Chapman, Polly Blades, James Blades, Edward Young and wife, Leah Mills and Thomas Melvin.

The first preachers sent to the circuit were Revs. Avra Melvin and Stephen Taylor. The first preaching places were the old school- house Sally Jones's hotel and Rev. Avra Melvin's house on the the farm now belonging to Col. William J. Aydelotte. The class meetings and sacramental services were held at Mr. Melvin's house. In 1833, the preachers held a camp-meeting on the old Quinton Camp-ground, near Nassawango Creek Bridge. At this camp-meeting the renowned Thomas H. Stockton preached on Sabbath morning. There was a large concourse of people in attendance. After the preliminary service was over the preacher took his text, which embraced the Bible as the sib'ect in der consideration.

"224 History of Pocomoke City, 

While he proceeded to unfold and present, in graphic- style, the blessedness of God's holy book, all eyes were upon him, for he seemed more like a living skeleton or an angel; he raised the Bible from the stand and folding his skeleton arms around it ; he pressed it to his bosom and exclaimed, in the way in which he alone could do it :. "God bless the book ! " Some of the people were greatly moved, not only by his oratory, but by his ghostly appearance, exclaimed : "God bless the man!' Mr. Stockton was a good man, and an orator of the first magnitude.

In 1834, the society purchased of Sally Jones, the piece of ground where the present church now stands, and also an old store house belonging to John Burnett, which stood at the corner of Market and Second Streets, where Henry King, Esq., now lives, this they moved on the ground they had purchased, and fitted it up to worship in. This house stood for four years, when they sold it and built a new one with a belfry, in which they hung the first church bell in New Town. This house, however, was not what they wanted, it was too small and too temporarily- built. In 1853, they built the present one, and it, though a good building is also too small ; and they now have in course of erection, a larger and more commodious temple in a more central part of the city. The foundation has already been laid, and the laying of the cornerstone was conducted with Masonic ceremonies 0:1 the 2nd, day of June, 1882. 'I he dimensions of the church are 40 by 70 feet; the basement is 10 feet between floor and ceiling; the audience room is 20 feet from floor to ceiling.
Formerly New Town. 225 

The tower in front is 14 feet square, and its height is 104 feet. It has a recess for pulpit 14 feet front with 5 feet projection. The main audience room is 40 by 60 feet. The church is two stories high ; the basement is for sabbath school, class and prayer meeting purposes, and the second story is the audience room for preaching. This church when completed will cost, including the cost of the ground, $6,000, and will be the finest temple in Pocomoke City. This church has a membership of one hundred and fifty-three, and a flourishing Sabbath school; composed of six officers, eleven teachers and one hundred and two pupils, with an average of sixty in attendance. The School takes one hundred and twenty-five Sabbbath school papers, and has two hundred and sixty-eight volumes in the library. The property belonging to this church consists of the church, two parsonages and a cemetery, aggregating a value of $5,000, and the new church and ground when completed will add $6,000 more. The whole church property, then, will amount to 11,000 dollars. The running expenses for this church annually amounts to, including preacher's salary, conference collections, incidental expenses of church and Sabbath School, 765 dollars. It is due the pastor of this church, for me to say that he receives a salary of 700 dollars, but having another appointment at James Town in Somerset County, that appointment pays 250 dollars of his salary.

226 History of Pocomoke City, 

The preachers who have preached in this church from its organization, in regular succession, are as follows : Revs. Avra Melvin, Stephen Taylor, Geo. D. Hamilton, Elias Williams, Thos G. Clayton, William Sexsmith, A. G. Grove, Reuben T. Boyd, John Keller, John R. Nichols, Henry Miller, Levin A. Collins, A. S- Eversole, John A. Jackson, William Fisher, Johnson C. Davis, Thomas A. Moore, Daniel F. Ewell, William Rienick, Theophilus Burton. R. S. Norris,J- M. Sharpley, J. M. Ellegood, Thomas M. Bryan, C. M. Littleton, B. F, Brown, G. S. May, J. W. Pennewell, James Thomson, C. Eversole, James K. Nichols, L. W. Bates, W. M. Strayer, Henry Nice, C. F. Cochel, Daniel Bowers, J. W. Gray, W. McK. Poisal, J # B. Jones, Jesse Shreeve, W. D. Litsinger, Samuel T. Graham, H. E, Miskiman, Robert S. Rowe, A. T. Melvin, D. L. Greenfield, J. E. Maloy, James T. Lassell, B. F. Benson, J. E. T. Ewell and S. A. Hoblitzell. In this list of names are some of the ablest ministers of the Maryland Annual conference. The Rev. Avra Melvin was born near New Town, Worcester County, Md., in 1780. He embraced Christianity, joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in 1800 he was licensed to preach.

Some time after this he joined the Philadelphia conference. He traveled several years in the conference and then took a location and settled on the old homestead, where he remained in the capacity of a local preacher until 1832, when the Methodist Protestant Church was organized in

Formerly New Town. 227 New Town.

He was the chief spirit in its organization and for his service in that instance the Methodist Protestant Church in New Town owes more to him than any other man. It has been said of him that he has preached more funeral sermons, periormed more marriage ceremonies and baptized more persons, than any other man in this section of the country, in his day. He was a good preacher, had a wonderful memory and consequently had always in store a plenty to say on short notice. He died on his farm near New Town in 1853, in the seventy third year of his age. L. W. Bates traveled his first year on this circuit, since that date he has filled the best appointments in his conference. He has been president of the Maryland Annual Conference, and president of the General Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church. He has had for distinguished mental abilities and broad culture, the degree of Doctor of Divinity conferred upon him.

James K. Nichols is one of the best of men, he is an able preacher, has been president of the Maryland Annual Conference, and has received lor his great worth the degree of Doctor of Divinity. While there are a host of others, who have preached the gospel in this city and are deserving a place of remembrance in this history, yet I must pass them by with this remark, that they all have helped to build up a strong church. The Rev. S. A. Hoblitzell is the present pastor, and he is a good preacher and a faithful worker. He also served this charge twenty -three years ago with Doctor James K. Nichols. Rev. Wm. Dale is an unstationed minister belonging to or holding his membership with this church.

228 History of Pocomofce City, 

He was born in St. Martin's district, in Worcester County, Md., on the 1st day of January, 1823. He was educated at Snow Hill Academy and at Windsor Theological Institute, located in Baltimore County, Md., Rev. Francis Waters, D.D., principal. He embraced Christianity when a youth and joined the Methodist Protestant Church. At the age of 20 years, he entered the traveling connection in that church and continued in that relation for fifteen years, when he located and has remained so to the present time. Mr. Dale is a leading man in his church, and in the community at large, he is chairman of the state board of public shools for Worcester County, and one of the wealthiest men of Pocomoke City.

In reviewing the history of the Methodist Protestant Church in New Town, the reader will observe, by noticing the date of its organization, that this year, 1882, is the semi-centennial year of its existence, and the statistics show it to be in quite a flourishing condition. In 1844, the Presbyterian Church, in Xew Town, w r as built, and on the ist day of January, 1845, it was dedicated to the worship ol Almighty God. The reader will be informed that the Presbyterian organization in New Town is a branch of the Pitt's Creek Presbyterian Church at Beaver Dams, which was organized by the Rev. Francis Makemmie as early, probably, as A. D. 1683 or 1684.

Formerly New Town. 229 

At this primitive church, the Presbyterians of the surrounding country, worship in the days of yore. When in the course of time the population of New Town increased and the members of the Presbyterian Church became more numerous in the town and in its immediate vincinity, the necessity of the situation demanded a house of worship in New Town, and hence the present establishment in 1845. The Pitt's Creek Presbyterian Church at Beaver Dams and New Town is a unit in name, each having their names upon the same church record. They are a unit in doctrine, in church polity, and in every interest that constitutes one church ; the pastor of one is the pastor of the other, and they all, in common, are responsible for his support.

The Presbyterian Church in New Town is built of the best material, and in work- manlike manner. It has good proportions and is kept in the neatest style. It stands on a small elevation on a beautiful lot on Market street, and presents, to the passer by a picturesque appearance. Nearly all of those who aided in its erection have passed away. Chief among contributors were Handy Mills, David Smith, Jacob Boston, Stephen Hargis, John S. Stevenson, James T. Dickinson and Thomas W. Hargis. This church has been endowed with some legacies- The venerable Handy Mills bequeathed to it two farms, worth at that day, probably, seven or eight thousand dollars, and David Smith also bequeathed to it a valuable farm.

230 History of Pocomoke City,  

The church in New Town and the ground upon which it stands cost four thousand dollars. It has a beautifully located parsonage which cost thirty-two hundred dollars. The church owns a beautiful cemetery on the old Winter Quarter farm. The cemetery cost about eight hundred dollars. The whole property of the Presbyterian Church in Pocomoke City, cost eight thousand dollars. The membership of this church including Pitt's Creek is one hundred and ten. The church in Pocomoke City has a fine Sabbath School with fourteen officers and teachers, and the names of seventy pupils on the school roll, and fifty in average attendance, and three hundred volumes in the library. I will say as a J J matter of justice to this school, that it lost, by removal, during the year 1880, twenty-six scholars, which has detracted from its average standing in numbers. The running expences of the church and Sabbath School in Pocomoke City annually, including pastors salary, benevolent collections and incidental expenses amounts to 1300 dollars. There is an item of history connected with Pitts Creek Church that will be interesting to the reader. The facts are these. The orignal church was built by Francis Makemmie the pioneer of Presbyterianism in this country while it was yet subject to the dominion of Great Britain, consequently it was among the first Presbyterian churches built in this country. Again, Mrs. Holden, of Accomac Co., Va., the daughter of Francis Makemmie, left a legacy to the church at Pitt's Creek, the interest of which is annually appropriated to the support of the gospel in said 'church.

Formerly New Town. 231 

The pastors who have served this church from its organization so far as I have any means of ascertaining, are as follows : first, Francis Makemmie. How long Mr. Makemmie was pastor of this church, I have no data upon which to fix the term of his pastorate, and indeed, I have no record of any pastor of this church, from the days of Francis Makemmie, until the time when the Rev. Samuel McMaster was its pastor. I can only say that I have had dates of his pastorate from 1795 to 1801, and there the record stops until 1818. It may be of interest to the reader, to be informed that the Rev. Samuel McMaster was the grandfather of Samuel S. and Dr. John T. B. McMaster. In 1818, the Rev. S. Sanders was pastor of Pitt's Creek Church. How long Mr. Sanders was in the pastorate is unknown.

The Rev. Thomas B. Balch D. D. succeeded Mr. Sanders in the pastorate, but dates are wanting to show the time when he entered and retired from it. But this much I can say of him, that the name of Dr. Balch was a household word in the community. In 1831, the Rev. Cornelius Mustard was pastor of the church. After Mr. Mustard retired, then followed in succession, the Rev's. J. J. Graff, James M. Olmstead, B. G. McPhail, Elkanah Mackey, William D. Mackey, Joesph L. Polk, L. P. Bowen and James Conway. Mr. Conway has but recently resigned the pastorate of this church, having had a call to serve another church in the state of Delaware.

232 History of Pocomoke City,  

Consequently the church is without a pastor for the time being. The above list comprises the names of all the ' ministers, so far as I have any knowledge or means of ascertaining, who have been pastors of the church from its organization to the present time. The Presbyterian Church in Pocomoke City is quite popular and prosperous.


In 1845, November, 13th the St. Mary's Protestant: Episcopal Church in New Town was consecrated, by Rt. Rev. William Rollinson Whittingham D. D. Bishop of Maryland. This church was built through the inde- fatigable labors of the Rev. John Crosdale D. D., who from the day of its consecration to the day of his death was its rector. This is a beautiful church, particularly its; inside look, and there is connected with it a fine cemetery.. The Church also owns a good parsonage with a spacious; lot attached. The whole property cost between seven and eight thousand dollars. This church has 85 com- municants and a fine Sabbath School of 65 scholars enrolled, with an average attendance of 35. It has ten teachers and 150 volumes in its library. The current expenses of this church, including rector's salary, benevolent contributions, and incidental expenses amount to 815 dollars. This church has a small invested fund, the interest of which is appropriated to the rectors salary. This is a growing, prosperous church with Rev. Francis W. Hilliard, a man of erudition, for its Rector.

234 History of Pocomoke City,

As the Rev. John Crosdale, D.D., was the originator of this church, it is but doing justice to his memory that a record of his life, in connection with his church which he served so faithfully, should here be recorded. He was born in the City of Baltimore on the 18th day of July, 1818 : died in Pocomoke City March nth, 1878. Ordained in Rehoboth Church on the 4th Sunday in Advent, 1842,. he thenceforth, with occasional intermissions, ministered ii Coventry Parish. When Pocomoke Parish was set off there- from, he became and continued until death its devoted rector. The diocese of Easton, established chiefly by his exertions, preferred him to every post of trust and responsibility. His brethren and children in the faith loved him dearly, while integrity, wisdom and benevolence led all the people to hold him in honor. "Neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God." The foregoing account of him I have taken from his monument in the cemetery of St. Mary's Church in Pocomoke City. In 1874, he received the honorary degree of D.D. from the Washington College, Md. There are but few men who for thirty-five or more years could sustain themselves in ministering to one congregation, with that acceptability which Dr. Crosdale did. He literally devoted his talent of mind, time and means to the interest of his church and the cause of the poor. His history speaks in tones louder than words, ''The zeal of thy house hath eaten me up." Here is a record that is worthy of admiration.

Formerly New Town. 235 

The Baptist Church in New Town, now Pocomoke City, was built in 1853, and was dedicated by the Rev. J. W. M Williams, D.D., of Baltimore, Md. It is situated at the corner of Market and Fourth Streets in an eligible part of the town. This church is built of good material and by one of the best workmen in the country, Mr. Isaac Marshall, deceased, of Somerset County, Md. It is well proportioned and has the handsomest steeple upon it of any church in the town. The Baptist Church in Pocomoke City has a membership of 87 on the church roll, and has a fine Sabbath School of 75 pupils enrolled and an average attendance of 50, with 100 volumes in the library. This school has had but two superintendents from the time of its organization to the present time, namely, J. C. Riley and I. H. Merrill, Mr. Merrill being the present one. The church has a good parsonage in the heart of the town and a cemetery but a short distance in the country. The estimated value of the church property including parsonage and cemetery, is 5600 dollars. The running expenses of this church and Sabbath School, annually, including the pastor's salary, benevolent collections incidental expenses, etc., amounts to 610 dollars. The names of the ministers who have served as pastors to this church from its organization to the present time are as follows, Revs. S. C. Boston, A. ( '.. 236 History of Pocomolce City, Harley, O. F. Flippo, James G. Council, E. M. Burns, L. D. Paulling, H. J. Handy and James A. Wolf, Mr. Wolf being the present pastor. These men have served the church with fidelity, and have been the chief instrumentality in building it up and giving it a name, and standing for usefulness among its sister churches that reflect honor upon them. The colored Methodist Episcopal Church in New Town, now Pocomoke City, was organized in 1864. It has a membership of 186 including probationers. It has a good Sabbath School of 115 pupils and teachers, with an average attendance of 85, and 150 volumes in the library. This church has a missionary chapel in connection with the church, a parsonage and cemetery. The whole property is estimated, in value, to be worth 1,710 dollars. The running annual expenses of the church, including the pastor's salary, benevolent collections, incidental expenses etc., amounts to 355 dollars and 50 cents. The ministers who have occupied the pastorate of this church from its organization to the present time are as follows : Revs. Handy Long, David Eaves, Isaac Broughton, James Webb, Abraham .Brown, William Phillips, Charles Wing, G. M. Landon and George H. Washington, Mr. Washington being the present pastor. The African Methodist Episcopal Church in New Town, now Pocomoke City, was organized in 1872. It has a. membership of 79 including probationers, a Sabbath School with 51 pupils enrolled, and 25 in average attendance, with 66 volumes in the library.

Formerly New Town. 237

The church building is a good one, and quite creditable and it, together with the lot of ground on which it stands, and an adjoining house are estimated in value at 1,200 dollars. The pastors who have served this church since its organization are as follows. Revs. George W. Jones. Charles C. Reeder, John Budd, Charles Young and Thomas M. Cole, Mr. Cole is the present pastor. In reviewing the history of the two Colored Methodist Churches in Pocomoke City, I will say they have made decided advancement over their former condition in ante bellum days. When I think of their intellectual and moral degradation in the days of slavery, when on the large plantations in the South^ they would sing, in their religious meetings, their degenerated ditties, such as the following : " Oh ! where shall we go when de great day comes. En' de blowing o' de trumpets an' de bangin' o' de drums, And if a poor sinner is kotched out late, Der'll be no latch ter de go 1 den gate. De song o' salvation is a mighty sweet song, De Paradise winds dey blow fur and blow long. An' Aberham's bosom, it is saft an' its wide, An' right dar whar's de sinner aughter hide. Ch! don't be stoppin' an' a lookin', If you fool wid old Satin you'll get took in ; En' you'll stand on de edge an' git shoved in, If you don't quit stoppin' an' a lookin'." I say, when I think of the degradation of their intellec- tual and moral powers in their former condition and draw the comparison between that and the present, they have made decided advancement intellectually, morally and religiously.

238 History of Pocomoke City,  

They have their regular pastors, their regular appointments, and they worship in their public congregations like the white people, and they sing the standard hymns of the Methodist Church. In summing up the religious outlook of Pocomoke City, I will say there are seven churches in the town ; the total number of members and probationers is 705. There are seven Sabbath Schools, and the number of scholars and teachers aggregating 638 names on the school rolls, with 1,171 volumes in the libraries, and a good supply of Sabbath School papers. The total amount of church property in Pocomoke City isp37,6io. The running annual expenses of all the churches and Sabbath Schools is something over $4,300. We have also four orders of secret societies in Pocomoke City, namely, Ancient and Accepted Order of Free Masons, Knights of Pythias, Independent Order of Hephtasophs and Ancient Order of United Workmen. Some of these societies are benevolent while others are both benevolent and insurance. They are composed of many of the chief citizens of the town. J It is but simple justice to say that there are gentlemen living in the neighborhood of Pocomoke City, who have given material aid to its business life, and whose interest in it has been so great that they have helped on its successful course by their influence and the use of their names, and chief among these are Thomas W. Hargis, Samuel S. McMaster and Samuel K. Dennis.

Formerly New Town. 239  


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

RE: The Presbyterians....The church at Beaver Dam is old, I don't know exactly how old but I have been up in the attic area and can tell you there are NO NAILS holding the rafters together. Everything is fastened with wooden pegs! The pews have no nails, either, but rather wooden pegs as well. Iron nails were very expensive and hard to come by way back then.

There is a balcony across the back of the church with a stairway on either side. The balcony was for the use of the servants and slaves.

There is also a legend that the Presbyterian church in Rehobeth wasn't supposed to be there but rather in Snow Hill. The parishioners had cut the logs and shaped the timbers at a site along the river in Snow Hill and somebody pissed of the local Indian population so they snuck in one night and threw all timbers into the river. The parishioners chased after the valuable lumber and finally caught up with most of it at Rehobeth. Because the shaped lumber was valuable, and it would be hard to transport it back to Snow Hill, they built the church at its present location near the river in Rehobeth.

The first tale about the wooden pegs is definitely true but the legend about the logs is unverified.