History of

St. Paul’s

Parish

 

St. Paul Episcopal Church was built in 1841, the parish was taken from St. Marks, Petersville which was originally a part of All Saints, Frederick.  Two deeds under date of August 18, 1843, one from Daniel S and Ann C. Duvall and one from John Wirts each gave half acre of ground to St. Pauls Vestry, where the church and graveyard now stand.  Cornel Duvall’s wife, Ann Belt, was the first person in the graveyard in 1843, it is largely through her efforts the church was built.  Ellen Moffett who married Benjamin Snouffer, the mother of Arch Snouffer, and Sarah McGill who married J. Lloyd Belt, mother of McGill Belt, as young girls solicited subscriptions on horseback to build St. Paul’s church.

On October 26, 1843, the present building of St. Paul’s, Point of Rocks, Maryland, was consecrated by the Rt. Rev. William Wittingham.  Two years before, in 1841, several members of the church petitioned the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland to form a separate parish from St. Marks, Petersville, for the convenience of having a church closer to the Point of Rocks area.  The church was built by slaves from the nearby Duval Plantation.  The bricks were made on the plantation and the timbers used in the church’s construction were cut from trees on the land.  It is built in the late Federal style featuring a Dutch gable with a Palladium window.  The clergy of St. Mark’s parish continued to serve St. Paul’s Church for forty years with the first resident minister being the Rev. Thomas S. Bacon, D.D., who came during the 1880’s.

During the Civil War, St. Paul’s was used by Union troops of the United States Army.  Colonel Cole’s Cavalry occupied the church for sometime.  The interior furnishings were used as barricades and for firewood.  The building also served as a hospital and for cooking purposes.  Following the war, the Vestry sued the United States Government for compensation and was awarded $1,000 by the 59th Congress (1905 - 1907) for war damages.  The payment was used for restoration purposes.

Church members later decided to build a more accessible chapel in the town of Point of Rocks, and in 1887, the cornerstone of St. Paul’s Chapel was laid.  The first service was held in 1889, with the consecration being held in 1890.  In June 1889, a severe flood placed the chapel under twelve feet of water.  When several more minor floods invaded the building, it became obvious that higher ground was needed.

The cornerstone of Holy Trinity Church, Point of Rocks, was laid in 1911, with the consecration being held in 1912.  Holy Trinity was built with bricks hauled to the site from St. Paul’s Chapel by horse and wagon.  The furnishings and twelve stained glass windows were also moved from St. Paul’s Chapel to Holy Trinity.  Funds for the erection of this church were chiefly received from public subscription in a drive spearheaded by the Rev. Richard W. Trapnell, who was later interred beneath the altar.  St. Paul’s Church at this time was used only twice a year - Memorial Dany and Parish Day (Homecoming).  Until 1980 St. Paul’s never had regular worship services.  Holy Trinity was closed in 1966 when it was decided that two Episcopal churches were not needed in the area.

St. Paul’s Church in 1966 was in need of extensive restoration.  The joists, floor, walls, pews, alter rail and sacristy all needed repairs from termite damage.  In 1969, with the completion of the repair work, a revitalization of membership began.  A slow but steady increase in members has added a new life and spirit to St. Paul’s.  A parish house, Hickman Hall, was erected in 1982 and consecrated by the Rt. Rev. Theodore Eastman.

St. Paul’s was registered as a Frederick County landmark in 1961.

This photo was taken between 1892 and 1901.

Newly built Hickman Hall was consecrated and dedicated in March of 1983.

St. Paul’s was listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1961.