St. Paul’s Parish is in southern Frederick County, in the village of Point of Rocks, and was organized as a parish in 1841. The brick church building was constructed using the labor of enslaved people in 1842 with timbers from the property and bricks made on site. African Americans worshiped in the church building from the beginning but upon entering went to the upstairs gallery.
The church was used as a hospital for Union soldiers during the Civil War and much damage was done to the interior furnishings. The register from this time no longer exists.
After the Civil war, St. Paul’s, as did many others, sued Congress for the damages done by Union troops. Former slaves, Mary Clark and Nathan Hall (brother and sister), testified on behalf of the parish. In the registers that exist from the late 1880s, the baptisms and marriages of African Americans, or colored as it was noted then, are recorded. The Rev. George Washington Thomas was rector at that time.
The parish cemetery holds the remains of two former slave graveyards: the Ballard Farm (disinterred and reburied 1969) and the Duvall Farm (disinterred and reburied 1967). These composite graves are marked with small granite markers. St. Paul’s has never hidden its indebtedness to those of color, freed or slave. It continues today as a small, multi-racial Christ-centered church and has recently been in conversation with a neighboring historic black church to explore mutual interests and projects.
Learn more: https://www.pointorocks.ang-md.org
St. Paul’s Parish
1914 Ballenger Creek Road
Point of Rocks, Maryland 21777
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