Rehoboth Church of God in Christ Jesus Apostolic

The site of this Franklintown Road church has been home to a church since 1835, when Colonel John Berry helped establish Summerfield Methodist Episcopal Church. Today, the Rehoboth Church of God in Christ Jesus Apostolic occupies a Gothic Revival landmark that replaced the original country church in 1920. The building was designed by Wyatt & Nolting and G.N. MacKenzie and has been the home of the Apostolic congregation since 1954.

A devout Methodist, Colonel John Berry purchased the site of this church in the early 1800s. Tired of traveling three miles from Calverton Heights to the closest Methodist Episcopal Church, Berry decided to establish a new chapel close to his Baltimore County home. A stone chapel was dedicated in the fall of 1836, the church expanded in 1878, and in the 1880s, a Sunday School building was constructed.

By 1920, the congregation had outgrown the stone chapel. Even with several later additions since 1835, the building seated only 275 people—a fraction of the over 450 Methodist families in the parish. The congregation decided to demolish the original chapel and construct a new church.

The present Gothic Revival structure was designed by G.N. MacKenzie and Wyatt & Nolting, a prominent local architectural firm. An article published in The Christian Advocate following the completion of the church stated that "A fine plant has been erected with adequate Sunday school rooms, an auditorium that will seat 900, a gymnasium, and other desired features." The cornerstone was laid on July 19, 1920, and the church was dedicated on April 25, 1921.

By 1920, the congregation had outgrown the stone chapel. While the chapel had several additions since its construction in 1835, it only seated 275, and there were over 450 Methodist families in the parish. The decision was made to demolish the original chapel and construct a new church. The present church was designed by George Norbury MacKenzie and Wyatt & Nolting, a prominent Baltimore architectural firm. G.N. Mackenzie, III worked for James Bosley Noel Wyatt and William G. Nolting. Both Wyatt and Nolting were Fellows of the AIA.

On December 16, 1954, the Central-Summerfield Methodist Church sold their building to the Rehoboth Church of God in Christ Jesus (Apostolic). The latter congregation was founded twenty years earlier as a house church with five members, meeting in the Presstman Street home of Mother Mayfield. Mother Mayfield and Elder Randolph A. Carr soon began holding tent-meetings twice a summer on Gilmor Street.

Bishop Carr purchased the group's first church on N. Mount Street. The small congregation then left the Church of God in Christ for the doctrine of the Apostolic Doctrine in Jesus Name, and was renamed Rehoboth Church of God in Christ Jesus Apostolic. In 1945, the congregation branched off from the larger Apostolic organization, forming its own denomination. The same year, the congregation moved to another church on N. Fulton and Riggs Streets. In 1954, the congregation purchased the former Summerfield Church at 700 Poplar Grove St, where they are still located today.

Images

Rehoboth Church of God in Christ Jesus Apostolic (2014)

Rehoboth Church of God in Christ Jesus Apostolic (2014)

Exterior view of the Rehoboth Church of God in Christ Jesus Apostolic on Poplar Grove Street and Arunah Avenue. | Source: Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation | Creator: Lauren Schiszik View File Details Page

Door, Rehoboth Church of God in Christ Jesus Apostolic (2014)

Door, Rehoboth Church of God in Christ Jesus Apostolic (2014)

View of the red exterior door at the Rehoboth Church of God in Christ Jesus Apostolic. | Source: Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation | Creator: Lauren Schiszik View File Details Page

Street Address:

700 Poplar Grove Street, Baltimore, MD 21216 [map]

Official Website:

Rehoboth Church of God

Cite this Page:

Lauren Schiszik, “Rehoboth Church of God in Christ Jesus Apostolic,” Explore Baltimore Heritage, accessed July 23, 2017, http://explore.baltimoreheritage.org/items/show/496.
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