East New Market

Property Reports

23 Academy Street

First Baptist Church

First Baptist Church East New Market

The present First Baptist Church was built in 1923.  The present Church building replaced an earlier building at the same location.  The original structure was falling apart due to an underground stream running beneath it.  The original Baptist parsonage was an historical residence now known as Anderton's Desire.  The Church later sold the original parsonage and bought a another residence that current serves as the current Baptist Parsonage.

History of Baptist Churches in Maryland Connected with the Maryland Baptist Union Association - By George F. Adams Publisher: J. F. Weishampel, jr. 1885 (page 186)  

1875 East New Market Baptist Church

In 1868, thirteen Baptists, living in the neighborhood of “Cabin Creek,” Dorchester County, members of the Vienna Church, fourteen miles distant, prompted by a desire for a more convenient place of public worship, erected in their vicinity a plain wooden tent or tabernacle, to hold about a hundred and twenty-five persons. A Sunday school was organized, and a prayer meeting established; and these services were maintained regularly, except in the winter, when the weather was too cold to meet in an unplastered house. Preaching was had occasionally. In 1872, Rev. N.C. Naylor, pastor of the Vienna Church, was appointed to preach frequently at Cabin Creek, which he did, to the good of the field, for a time, until he moved to Delaware. In August 1883, Rev. P.T. Warren was appointed to that ground, and labored faithfully to improve the prospect. In 1874, he held a series of services in the little meeting house for four weeks, preaching and visiting, unceasingly, which resulted in twenty-four conversions. Some of the converts joined other Churches, but eighteen were baptized by Brother Warren into the fellowship of the Vienna Church, with a view of soon organizing a new Church among themselves.

On April 18 1875, these, with the older members, having obtained letters of dismission, met for that purpose. Revs. James Nelson and P.T. Warren, aided by a committee from the Vienna Church, organized the body with thirty-one members. Among the most active of these, we name B. Millard and wife, Samuel L. Webster and wife, and Frank Loomis and wife. Brother Warren was elected pastor.

A movement was now made to build a suitable meeting house in place of the temporary shed, which had become unsuited. A building committee was appointed to collect money and materials, subscribing first nearly $300 themselves. The subscriptions soon reached $500. A lot was bought and a house erected, 24 by 36 feet, with a baptistery. Although not finished in the interior, it was occupied, in the following fall.

Brother Warren resigned the charge in November 1875 and was succeeded by Rev. L.P. Judson of N.Y. in April 1876, who resigned in five months for lack of pecuniary support. For two years, the Church was without preaching.

In 1878, Rev. C.W. Teasdale took charge, and the house was completed, and dedicated in October of that year, at a total cost of about $700. There were then fifty-three members. Brother Teasdale resigned in June 1879. Serious dissensions prevailed among the members, and for a long time the house was closed.

In 1882, Rev. G.V. Board, our missionary at Vienna, made an earnest effort to gather the scattered members. Regular worship and Sunday school teaching were renewed. In 1883, Rev. John B. English, State Evangelist, made a special effort at Cabin Creek, and after protracted services, the Church renewed its vows, and a healthier condition was promoted, with, however, a greatly reduced membership. It was now deemed advisable to dispose of the meeting house to another denomination, and build another in the town of East New Market. The new building is under way. Rev. F.R. Underwood of N.C., our present missionary on the Eastern Shore, has the Church in charge. Members at this time about twenty.

The structure pictured above is the original First Baptist Church, that was built in 1885 and slowly destroyed by structural problems due to an underground stream.  The building was replaced by the current structure in 1923.

East New Market Baptist Church (author and date unknown)

Almost 86 years to the day after the First Baptist Church was dedicated, members of the church and their friends gathered to dedicate their newly renovated and redecorated church building.  It was on October 14, 1885, that the first frame church was dedicated by the Baptists of East New Market.  Those who put up that first church building were unaware that an underground stream ran beneath there.  In time the walls began to spread apart and in 1923 the present brick and masonry structure was built.  Inside the church, steel rods tie the walls together so there is little danger that the building will be undermined.

When it was decided recently that the interior of the present church needed sprucing up, members of the church volunteered their services to panel the walls, paint the wooden trim, and refinish the floors.  A new red rug carpets the aisle as well as the area around the pulpit.

To the exterior of the church has been added a new entrance and steeple, the first the church has had in 45 years.  What has amazed and delighted the church members is the way that men from other churches in Secretary and East New Market pitched in to help with the work.  They sweated through the hot summer so the work would be completed in time for an early fall dedication.

From the Maryland Baptist Convention, the church received a loan of $3600 for the redecoration.  That loan has already been paid.  A member whose family has been baptized and served in the church for four generations commented "We are not going to give up.  We were taught the church comes first in our lives."

When the congregation began the renovation of the building, it did so with the knowledge that its numbers were were small and that it had lost 10 faithful members in the past several years.  The present pastor of the church is Rev. Jackson Brown, a graduate of Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee.  Rev. Brown lives in Milford, Delaware where he also teaches school.

Available records show that Baptist work in Dorchester County centered in Vienna where there was a church building complete with slave gallery.  That building was burned after it had outlived its usefulness.  Members of the East New Market Baptist Church point out that Vienna was the mother church.

Records in the possession of the East New Market Church show that Baptist work was started in Cabin Creek when a "Regular Baptist Church" was organized in April 1875.  By 1878 a new house of worship at Cabin Creek was completed and in April of that year was dedicated.  Five years later that Cabin Creek congregation resolved to move the church to East New Market and the church building was sold to the Methodist Episcopal Church for $600.  The cornerstone for the First Baptist Church here was laid June 9, 1885 and in October, the building was dedicated.

In the days before World War I, the East New Market Baptists were instrumental  in starting a mission in Hurlock.  After meeting in a hall for several years, the Hurlock Baptists put up their own church building and it was officially opened in November 1914.  Eighteen members from East New Market moved from the mother church to become members of the Hurlock congregation.  Meanwhile, the work at E.N.Mkt. continued, the minutes show, with a core of workers remaining faithful to the physical and spiritual needs of the church.

On November 1, 1923 the cornerstone of the present church was laid after the underground stream had endangered  the old building which had stood for nearly 40 years.  The following September the new church was dedicated with appropriate ceremonies.  It is this 1923 church refurbished inside and with a new bell tower, which now stands on the road leading from town to Secretary.

Like other small white churches which nestle beside the roads in rural areas of Dorchester, the E.N.Mkt. Baptist Church symbolize the spirit of a people whose faith has persisted through generations and remains firm today.

From the Maryland Historical Trust State Historic Sites Inventory Form

A decorative tin ceiling in the church. Arched alcove supported by Doric columns.  2 recessed columns for support in corners. Floor in interesting as boards are diagonal and joined in center of floor.  4 metal braces across ceiling for support (the church is built over a spring).

A square, enclosed belfry with replaced steeple.  Asphalt tile roof.  1 story, concrete construction, very high foundation. Louvered arched openings, front and each side, to enhance sound when bell is ringing.  Over all windows there in a brick trim consisting of headers and extending partially around the church is a belt course, also of headers.  In projection at entrance there is a glass window in block design on each side.

Front facade is 3-bay; 2nd has double wooden doors.  A 3-bay wing with 8-pane casement windows. 2nd bay has 6-pane light with 2 recessed vertical wooden panels.  On the left side there are clusters of three 8-pane frosted casement windows.  Transom over windows in quatrefoil design.  3 bay back, casement windows, exposed rafters.  Outline of where a chimney stood.  Two off center chimneys with corbels.  This structure has a Spanish Mission style.