Salem Methodist Episcopal Church plans homecoming
CHURCH HILL — The 82nd annual homecoming services will be held at Salem Methodist Episcopal Church on Maryland Route 213, four miles north of Centreville, on Sunday, Sept. 10.
The church will observe the 189th anniversary of the report to the 1828 Annual Conference of the formation of a Methodist Class in the Salem community after a revival was held there in 1827. At the 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 old-fashioned Song Service and Testimony Meeting. The Testimony Meeting will be opened by Henry Covington Sr., a church trustee. The singing of classic revival hymns and spiritual songs will be directed by Nancy Cook. The organist will be Robert Payne, from Salisbury. There also will be be a guest male soloist from Kent County.
The afternoon Preaching Ser vice will be held at 3 p.m. The Rev. David Kelley Jr., pastor of the Galena-Worton Charge in Kent County, will preach during the afternoon service. Kelley is a Kent County native who grew up in the Rock Hall United Methodist Charge and attended Kent County Public Schools.
He is a “second vocation preacher,” having become a minister following an earlier first career in another filed. Today, Kelley is pastor to three United Methodist Churches: Olivet UMC in Galena, Worton UMC in Worton, and Warwick UMC in Cecil County.
Deceased former members and friends of Salem Church will be remembered by name during prayers in this ser vice.
Salem M.E. Church is one of the oldest surviving 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.
The church trustees are involved in a very expensive repair and painting project on the exterior of the church building. This is the first time the building has been painted for more than 30 years.
Salem M.E. Church Home Coming 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 onceyearly worship service and to see a glimpse of Methodist histor y in this area.
Early Morning Seminary teachers Terri Rathel of Easton, left, and Eric Vanderlinden of Centreville, are shown Sunday afternoon, August 27, following worship services at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Chester. The two will teach high school students from Talbot and Queen Anne’s counties in the church’s traditional scripture study program throughout the school year, starting Wednesday, Sept. 6, beginning at 6:20 until 7:10 before the beginning of each school day. The volunteer teachers do this each school day morning before they go off to their professional jobs.