Federal Hill in Baltimore, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Sailors Union Church
In July 1846, a battered and storm-tossed hulk, the William Penn, was moored at the pier at Light Street wharf across from what is now the McCormick building. A ship chandler, a rigger and other local merchants with interests in the shipping industry bought the ship and converted it into a place of worship for sailors visiting the port of Baltimore.
The "Ship-Church" was ready for service after being fitted with a pulpit and benches holding 600 people. A large roof was built over the decks with 24 windows to let in sea breezes and sunlight. Samuel Kramer, the former skipper of the ship, was appointed minister.
The floating church was condemned in 1852. The congregation built a new church on Lee Street and called it Sailors City Bethel. After several years at that location and a brief stay at a church on Hill Street near Charles, the congregation built the present structure in 1873. In 1881, the name was changed to Sailors Union Bethel Methodist Church.
A model of the William Penn which hangs from the ceiling of the sancutary commemorates the church's origins as a "Floating Bethel" serving the travelers
Erected by the City of Baltimore, Sailors Union Bethel Church, sponsor, and William Donald Schaefer, mayor.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & Religion • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Maryland, Baltimore City historical markers series list. A significant historical month for this entry is July 1846.
Location. 39° 16.656′ N, 76° 36.457′ W. Marker is in Baltimore, Maryland. It is in Federal Hill. Marker is on East Cross Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 452 E Cross St, Baltimore MD 21230, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Grand Army of the Republic (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Federal Hill (about 600 feet away); 226 Warren Avenue (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Leroy E. Hoffberger Shining Youth / Shining Walls (approx. 0.2 miles away); 212 Warren Avenue (approx. 0.2 miles away); Major General Samuel Smith (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Federal Hill (approx. 0.2 miles away); Colonel George Armistead (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Baltimore.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 9, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 13, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. This page has been viewed 1,977 times since then and 75 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on April 13, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.