Salem Methodist Epis­co­pal Church plans home­com­ing

Record Observer - - Church -

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.

PHOTO BY DOUG BISHOP

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.

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