Church Celebrates 168th Anniversary, Rededicates Gateway

Event Date: July 23, 2017 at 10:00 am Event Location: St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 18313 Lappans Road, Boonsboro

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church celebrates the 168th Anniversary of the Consecration of the Historic Church with a re-dedication of the gateway on Lappans Road.  The gates and stone pillars were recently restored by Mason Dan Shaffer using the original stone.

In a History of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Ann McKinely Bushong wrote, “In 1848, Dr. James Thomas Notley Maddox had just moved from St. Mary’s County to a 200 acre farm near “Jones Crossroads.”  He bought the land from the old Tilghman estate and built Woodley, the historic house still standing along Sharpsburg Pike.  At his instigation, the Rev. R. H. Clarkson, then living at the College of St. James, held religious services at a stone school house near Fairplay.  The response was so promising that a Sunday School was started and it was decided to build a church.  Dr. Maddox immediately offered an acre of land along Lappans Road.

A local carpenter, Upton Morin, was contracted to build a stone church, “fifty feet long by twenty five feet wide; seventeen feet high from the top of the joice (sic)…in the rear of the church to be attached a chancel, ten feet long by fifteen feet wide, 11 feet high from top of joice (sic)…the rafters of chancel to be fifteen feet long….The main building is to be six windows…and one in the rear of the chancel…all the flooring to be quartered, tongued and grooved….the board agree on their part to pay …Morin as follows:  for all the materials, work, painting, glazing, except stonework, $720. And for all mason work and materials $1.25 per perch, to be measured in the usual way of measuring stone buildings.”  (Details taken from “The Story of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church” by Ann McKinley Bushong, 1974.)

The final design of the church provided for a somewhat larger structure, to be 40 feet long and 21 feet wide.  In addition, it was decided to add a gallery with “appropriate benches” for use by the enslaved persons owned by the founders and others who might attend religious services.  This gallery was restored in 2014 as a place of prayer, remembrance and pilgrimage.  The cost of the completed building in 1849 was $1385.

The contract to build the church was signed in February 1840 and the church was consecrated on July 25, 1849 by the Rt. Rev. William R. Wittingham, Bishop of Maryland.

In 1922, a stone wall was built around the church at a cost of $3200.  This replaced a dry laid stone wall which was been there for many years.  There is no record of the pillars along Lappans Road receiving any restoration until this year.  The pillars and the gate will now last for many more generations to come.

The re-dedication of the gateway will take place at 10 AM on Sunday, July 23, weather permitting.  The public is welcome to come and gather with the members along the front walk inside the stone walls.

For more information and directions call 301-582-0417 or go to the church website:  www.stmarkslappans.org

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