All Saints’ Church, Sunderland

All Saints Sunderland Font 2All Saints’ is one of the original 30 Anglican parishes created in 1692 to encompass the colonial Province of Maryland when the Church of England was established as the state religion of Maryland. At the same time, the Maryland Assembly addressed the problem of paying for construction and supporting the parishes by levying a tax of 40 pounds of tobacco a year on each taxable person. In early 1774 the Assembly passed a law authorizing the construction of a new building for All Saints’ “to promote and advance religion and render the attendance of public worship more safe and agreeable.” The new brick church was built over a three year period (1774-1777) near the original log church and paid for by a tobacco tax of 200,000 pounds collected by the All Saints’ vestry.

All Saints’ “Project to Reconcile Our Past” was created in 2013 to discover and reconnect to our history, particularly the role of African Americans, free and enslaved, in the life of the parish. We want to recognize those who contributed to the foundations of our church but whose lives and efforts have never been honored. We do not seek to re-write history, rather we seek to discover and complete our story. Our journey to discover our past is hindered by the fact that many of Calvert County and All Saints’ records from the 17th and 18th centuries, including baptismal and confirmation records, burned in fires. Find these and other facts on our website:

  • In 1724 the Rev. James Williamson of All Saints’ reported that some “negroes” were baptized into the Anglican Church in the original All Saints’ log structure.
  • All Saints’ was the home parish of the Rev. Thomas Claggett who served 1769-1776 and 1786-1792 until becoming the first bishop of Maryland and the first bishop ordained on American soil. Claggett was a slave owner, as were most of the Anglican clergy during the colonial period. Slavery was central not only to the wealth gained by tobacco production but also in the daily lives of the clergy and their families.

Learn more:

100 Lower Marlboro Road/Junction Routes 2 and 4
Sunderland, Maryland 20689