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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Poplar Springs in Howard County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Simpson & Mount Gregory United Methodist Churches

Creating a Unified Community of Strength

 
 
Simpson & Mount Gregory United Methodist Churches Marker image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Busta-Peck, February 24, 2008
1. Simpson & Mount Gregory United Methodist Churches Marker
Inscription. Methodist churches were a source and inspiration for the budding African-American community as people moved westward along the Baltimore and Frederick-Town Turnpike, part of the National Road system. Both enslaved and free African-Americans worshipped, at first, in white churches in the early 1800s. Forced into balconies away from the white congregations, they ultimately sought to create a unifying community of strength by building their own churches. Simpson Poplar Springs, the “Mother Church,” as it was called, served a widespread community. The church was developed on a farm donated to black sharecroppers in 1893. The one room church served a dozen or so parishioners, most of whom lived in Shaffersville, a small black neighborhood now part of nearby Mt. Airy.

Mount Gregory United Methodist Church began its services in 1898, in the lower level of the Warfield Academy. The old stone building was deeded for the sole purpose of educating black children in nearby Cooksville, on the National Road, and grew out of a movement to educate African-American children after the Civil War. The congregation stayed at this location while waiting for a new church to be built.

The current structure was built in 1927 after the original church burned in 1922. Outreach and leadership efforts continued to grow as many became
Marker at Simpson United Methodist Church image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Busta-Peck, February 24, 2008
2. Marker at Simpson United Methodist Church
leaders of African-American Associations and Clubs. The United Methodist Women, once called the Ladies Aid Society, and the United Methodist Men, who provided funds for labor and upkeep of the church, filled a critical void in post Civil War black society by providing reading programs, aid to the disabled, and meals to those in need.

(Sidebar)
Reverend Robert H. Robinson
Reverend Robinson was the pastor of 19 Methodist Churches, many of them along the National Road from Baltimore to Cumberland. His life and service demonstrated the role Methodist itinerant pastors played in meeting the needs of their dispersed flock. The creation of African-American United Methodist Churches as separate from their white brethren was largely due to his dedication and leadership at the first United Methodist Colored Convention held in 1861, in Washington, D. C. At last, African-Americans could build their own churches and support their newly developing communities.
 
Erected by America's Byways.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the The Historic National Road marker series.
 
Location. 39° 20.302′ N, 77° 6.101′ W. Marker is in Poplar Springs, Maryland, in Howard County. Marker is on Hardy Road, on the left when traveling
Simpson United Methodist Church image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Busta-Peck, February 24, 2008
3. Simpson United Methodist Church
west. Touch for map. The marker is at the west end of the parking lot for Simpson United Methodist Church. Marker is in this post office area: Mount Airy MD 21771, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Poplar Springs (approx. 0.6 miles away); New Lisbon (approx. 1.8 miles away); Parrsville & Ridgeville (approx. 3.7 miles away); Mount Airy (approx. 3.9 miles away); Civil War Memorial (approx. 3.9 miles away); All Wars Memorial (approx. 3.9 miles away); The Mount Airy Station (approx. 3.9 miles away); The Mount Airy Rail Yard (approx. 3.9 miles away).
 
More about this marker. In the sidebar is a portrait of Reverend Robert H. Robinson. The background of the marker is "National Road at Fairview Inn" which is the standard for markers in this series. An elevation diagram of the national road is displayed on the bottom of the marker's face.
 
Also see . . .  Simpson & Mount Gregory United Methodist Churches. PDF version of the marker. (Submitted on March 12, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.) 
 
Categories. African AmericansChurches, Etc.Roads & Vehicles
 
Mount Gregory United Methodist Church image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Busta-Peck, February 24, 2008
4. Mount Gregory United Methodist Church
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 25, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. This page has been viewed 1,652 times since then and 63 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 25, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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