Our History

450 Third Street

Chesapeake City, MD 21915
Pastor Neil Gutmaker
(410)885-5641
pastorneilg@verizon.net

Chesapeake City United Methodist Charge

Trinity United Methodist Church

Painting of  the Original Meeting Hall (by M.S.H Prigel)

In the early 1800’s, the little Village of Bohemia began growing with the digging of the Chesapeake & Delaware (C&D) Canal.  Methodists in the area began holding “class meetings” for spiritual growth in the Cropper home and country store (still standing at the corner of Bohemia Ave. & First St.).  As membership increased, another “class” formed meeting a block away where the old Town Hall is now situated.  Then, in the 1830’s, while renting the public school located on George Street near the current edge of the historical district for their worship services, the Methodist congregation elected seven trustees to purchase property.  On October 20, 1846, the deed was signed to purchase property on Bohemia Avenue extending along 3rd Street to George Street.  They built a small frame structure known as Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church, the first place for Christian worship built in the village now called Chesapeake City.


Dedicated in 1847, the little frame chapel, known as Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church, was the first known sanctuary in Chesapeake City.  As the congregation continued growing, they felt the need for a larger sanctuary.  After serving the congregation for over forty years, a farewell worship service was held in the little frame chapel the evening of May 19, 1889.  The next morning demolition began.

A stone mason and a supervisor were hired and along with the volunteer efforts of the members and townspeople, a new, larger, grander, Port Deposit granite church was built, complete with stained glass windows of imported Bavarian glass, over the foundation of the old frame chapel.  A year after beginning construction, the new church was dedicated on May 18, 1890.

The education/fellowship building was added in 1958.  The name change came in 1968 with the national merger of various branches of the original Methodist Episcopal Church.  Now known as Trinity United Methodist Church, it still stands as a witness to the community, not only as a house of worship, but providing many groups in the community with a place for meetings.

The chandeliers are original, made of tin, and have been converted to electric.


Wooden Cross (located on the Altar wall)

Thomas H.P. Jaggers, a local craftsman, designed and handcrafted this impressive cross. He considered Trinity’s architecture and décor, and measured so that his design would fit perfectly. The cross is of Spanish cedar and embellished with carving in relief. The dogwood blossoms and leaves give a beautiful contrast to the natural sheen of the Spanish cedar. The cross was dedicated on August 4, 2002, in memory of Ellison Ireland, who was an active member of our church and community for many years.


Stained Glass Windows

While visiting out sanctuary, please take time to look at our beautiful, stained glass windows. These windows were installed when the church was built about 116 years ago, probably early 1890. They consist of irreplaceable, hand-made glass from Bavaria, Germany. The faded, yet still visible, over all patterns are grisaille, a French decorative painting in shades of gray and/or black that was used for stained glass at that time. The windows also contained spun-rondels, pressed jewels, faceted glass, and flash glass.
The process for flash-glass is intricate which requires skilled artisans. Basically, two layers of clear and red glass are fused together. Then the red layer is cut away and etched to reveal the design in the clear glass. Stains are added to define and enhance the design. These are incorporated into many beautiful designs of Christian symbols. The dedications at the bottom of the windows reflect church families and community history.


Painting of Original Meeting Hall (by M.S.H Prigel)

The painting at the back of the sanctuary, of the little frame chapel was painted in 1996, by M.S.H. Prigel, from an early photograph of the original structure. The painting was presented to Trinity United Methodist Church and now permanently hangs in our sanctuary.