Salem Methodist Episcopal Church plans homecoming
CENTREVILLE — The 81st Annual Homecoming Services will be held in Salem Methodist Episcopal Church on Maryland Route 213, four miles north of Centreville, on Sunday, Sept. 11. The church will observe the 188th anniversary of the report to the 1828 Annual Conference of the founding of a Methodist Class in the Salem community after a revival was held there in 1827.
At that time, forming a Methodist Class was the first step in founding a local church. The church was closed for regular services during the Great Depression, and the annual Homecoming Services were begun in 1935. The church is open only this one day every year. There is no congregation for the church, but former members, their children and friends still gather each year on the second Sunday in September to hold Homecoming.
At 2 p.m. there will be an oldfashioned Song Service and Testimony Meeting. The Testimony Meeting will be opened by Henry Convington Sr., a church trustee. The singing of classic revival hymns and spiritual songs will be directed by Nancy Cook, the director of music at Centreville United Methodist Church. The organist will be Robert Payne from Salisbury.
The afternoon Preaching Service will be held at 3 p.m. The Rev. K. Wayne Grier, a retired Elder in the Peninsula-Delaware Conference, will preach during the afternoon service. Grier was pastor of the Centreville United Methodist Church for a number of years. Deceased former members and friends of Salem Church will be remembered by name during this service.
Salem M.E. Church is one of the oldest sur viving Methodist meeting houses in Queen Anne’s County and was built in 1845. There are approximately 90 graves in its cemetery, but many are not marked by tombstones. Much effort has gone into compiling a record of the burials in the church cemetery and the names on the list now account for almost every grave.
The building’s interior has hardly changed since the church was closed in the 1930s, and the building and its cemetery are lovingly cared for by former members of the church and their descendants. Because it was closed as part of the former Wilmington Conference of the M.E. Church before the 1939 Unification of the three former Methodist Church denominations and before the 1966 Merger of the Methodist Church with the Evangelical United Brethren Church, Salem Church has never been affiliated with the Peninsula-Delaware Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Salem Church Homecoming services are always held on the second Sunday in September and are among the first in a series of Homecomings held on Sunday afternoons in Methodist Churches every fall in Queen Anne’s County.
A cordial welcome is extended to anyone who would like to join the friends of Salem Church in this once-yearly worship service and to see a glimpse of Methodist history in this area.
For more information contact Arthur Leiby at 410-648-5586.