Thomas Run Church
A beautiful scenic picture of the Watters Meeting House, taken October 2, 2011
|Location||Northeast of Bel Air off Maryland Route 136, near Bel Air, Maryland|
|Area||2 acres (0.81 ha)|
|NRHP reference #||78001466|
|Added to NRHP||January 3, 1978|
Thomas Run Church, also known as Watters Meeting House, is a historic Methodist church located at Bel Air, Harford County, Maryland. It is a one-story, rubble stone, three-bay church with a slate-covered gabled roof. It was among the first structures used by Methodists in colonial America.
Harford County is a county in the U.S. state of Maryland. As of the 2010 census, the population was 244,826. Its county seat is Bel Air. Harford County is included in the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA Combined Statistical Area.
Slate is a fine-grained, foliated, homogeneous metamorphic rock derived from an original shale-type sedimentary rock composed of clay or volcanic ash through low-grade regional metamorphism. It is the finest grained foliated metamorphic rock. Foliation may not correspond to the original sedimentary layering, but instead is in planes perpendicular to the direction of metamorphic compression.
On October 16, 1751, Henry Watters was born near the present site of the church. After being converted to the Methodist faith at the Presbury meeting in 1771, he came back to his home to start a church. He was known as being one of the first American "itinerant" preachers. Around the same time, a log structure was built on the site. It was known as the "Watters Meeting House", but unfortunately the structure was destroyed by a fire years later. The current structure, made of stone, was erected around 1840 on the very spot that the previous log building once stood. It served the Methodist church for many years. The church grew and later became the home of Daniel Ruff, a circuit rider of the Methodist Episcopal Church.According to records at the Lovely Lane Methodist Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, the Church was part of the Darlington Methodist Charge, which included Darlington United Methodist Church and Rock Run United Methodist Church. Records from the Lovely Lane Museum also show that the church celebrated its 150th anniversary in August 1932. It was shared with the other churches in the celebrations, which lasted for a couple weeks. In 1931, Reverend Raymond E. Manley came to serve the charge. In his memoirs, he writes of the interesting travel to the church every week:
Circuit rider clergy, in the earliest years of the United States, were clergy assigned to travel around specific geographic territories to minister to settlers and organize congregations. Circuit riders were clergy in the Methodist Episcopal Church and related denominations, although similar itinerant preachers could be found in other faiths as well, particularly among minority faith groups.
The Methodist Episcopal Church (MEC) was the oldest and largest Methodist denomination in the United States from its founding in 1784 until 1939. It was also the first religious denomination in the US to organize itself on a national basis. In 1939, the MEC reunited with two breakaway Methodist denominations to form the Methodist Church. In 1968, the Methodist Church merged with the Evangelical United Brethren Church to form the United Methodist Church.
Darlington United Methodist Church is located in Darlington, Maryland. It is a pre Civil War structure, built in 1852, with white siding, large windows, and many historically original architecture. It is a church within the Baltimore Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church. It is also one of two churches part of the Darlington Methodist Charge, the other being Dublin United Methodist Church in Street, Maryland. Prior to July 2014, the church shared pastors with Rock Run United Methodist Church, located in nearby Level, Maryland. There was a third sister church, Thomas Run Church which closed its doors in 1945.
"There were three churches- Darlington, Rock Run, and Thomas Run. It was an adventure to go to Thomas Run which was miles back from the main road and the road leading to the church was not kept, which made it hard on a car. This church was kept up by one family and they paid their part regularly."
In 1945, the church closed its doors. It has remained with the Darlington Methodist charge since. For many years, activities still occurred at the church. In 1947, it is known that youth activities from all three churches met there for an entire weekend. Currently, services are held semiannually with one on the first Sunday of June and the other on the first Sunday of October. In March 1996, an arson set fire to the building resulting in complete destruction of the interior. Luckily, photos were used to help reconstruct the inside as close as possible. The church was re-dedicated in October 2000.
The church was purchased by Blanche and Lester Pyle in 1963 from the Methodist Conference. It is now run by the Thomas Run Foundation, Inc.
It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the United States federal government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance. A property listed in the National Register, or located within a National Register Historic District, may qualify for tax incentives derived from the total value of expenses incurred preserving the property.
Darlington is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in northeastern Harford County, Maryland, United States. The population was 409 at the 2010 census. The center of the community was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Darlington Historic District in 1987. Median household income is $66,563. The percentage of people in poverty is 5.3%.
Dublin is an unincorporated community in Harford County, Maryland, United States. Dublin was founded in the early 19th century by George McCausland and a friend who migrated from Dublin, Ireland.
Baldwin Hall, also known as the Cross Roads Church, was built as the Severn Crossroads Methodist Episcopal Church and is currently a historic church at Millersville, Anne Arundel County, Maryland. It is a one-story gable-front frame structure in the Italianate and Carpenter Gothic-styles built in 1861. It was moved about 1930 and again in 1981. An addition, constructed about 1933, duplicates the exterior detailing of the original part. It is currently operated by the Severn Cross Roads Foundation, Inc., as a wedding and banquet facility known as Historic Baldwin Hall.
Rigbie House, also known as "Phillip's Purchase", is a historic home located at Berkley, Harford County, Maryland. It is a 1 1⁄2-story, frame and stone structure built about 1781. It was one of a series of forest outposts fortified against the Indians and representing Lord Baltimore’s claim of 1632 to land extending north to the 40th parallel. In April 1781, it was the place where the Marquis de Lafayette’s officers quelled a mutiny that might have prevented his army of New England troops, who had been headed homeward, from turning south again to join General Greene and General Washington at Yorktown, in which case that battle might never have been fought.
Deer Creek Friends Meetinghouse is a historic Friends meeting house located at Darlington, Harford County, Maryland. It is a one-story fieldstone structure, six bays long on the south, four bays on the north, and three bays wide. It was constructed in 1784 to replace a building of 1737 and renovated in 1888. The interior is divided into two spaces by an original paneled partition and the benches are original, with 10 benches in each room and an aisle down the center. The property also includes a five-stall horse shed and a cemetery with burials dating from 1775 to 1930.
Gunpowder Meetinghouse is a historic Methodist church located at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Harford County, Maryland. It is a one-room brick structure that may date to 1773.
The Presbury Meetinghouse is a historic Methodist church located at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Harford County, Maryland, United States. The original portion of the building is a two-story brick structure and was built about 1720. It is approximately 40.5 feet by 20.25 feet. The building consists of a central hall with a room on either side on both floors. It is frequently mentioned in journals of early Methodist preachers and was the site of 14 visits for preaching and overnight rest by Bishop Francis Asbury between 1772 and 1777.
Berkley School, also known as Hosanna School, is a historic school for African Americans located in Darlington, Harford County, Maryland. It was built in 1867 and is a rectangular two-story, three-bay frame building which rests on an uncoursed rubble-stone foundation. It is one of four structures erected in Harford County in the years immediately following the Civil War for the purpose of educating freed slaves. The school was officially established with funds provided by the Freedmen's Bureau for construction and teachers salaries. The Harford County School Commissioners took over operation of the School in 1879. It continued to function as a school until 1946 when the school ceased operation. In 1954, Hurricane Hazel destroyed the second story but left the ground floor intact. The second floor was restored in 2005.
Dudley's Chapel is a historic Methodist church located at Sudlersville, Queen Anne's County, Maryland. It was built in 1783 and is a simple brick structure with a moderately pitched gable roof. A coat of stucco was added in 1883, covering all of the original brickwork. The chapel has a prominent place in the early history of the Methodist Church in Maryland. It is one of the earliest surviving Methodist churches in Maryland, and was the first Methodist church built in Queen Anne's County. Many of the prominent early leaders of the Methodist Church are known to have preached both at Dudley's including Francis Asbury, Thomas Coke, Richard Whatcoat, Jesse Lee, and Freeborn Garrettson.
St. John's Methodist Episcopal Church and Joshua Thomas Chapel is a historic Methodist Episcopal church complex located at Deal Island, Somerset County, Maryland. The complex consists of St. John's Methodist Episcopal Church, an 1879 frame Gothic building; Joshua Thomas Chapel, an 1850 Greek Revival frame structure; and the surrounding cemetery with 19th and 20th century burials and markers. The church features a three-story bell tower. The chapel is the oldest site in Somerset County in continuous use for Methodist meetings, which began in tents in 1828.
Johnsville is an unincorporated community in Frederick County, Maryland, United States.
Lovely Lane United Methodist Church, formerly known as First Methodist Episcopal Church, and earlier founded as Lovely Lane Chapel is a historic United Methodist church located at Baltimore, Maryland, United States.
Old Goucher College Buildings is a national historic district in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. It is an approximate 18-block area in the middle of Baltimore which developed in the late 19th and 20th centuries.
Berkley Crossroads Historic District is a historic district at Darlington, Harford County, Maryland, United States. It is a small rural crossroads community dating from the late 18th century through the early 20th century, and is one of the few remaining rural crossroads in Harford County. The entire area is agricultural in nature, and mostly consists of two- and three-story residences. The earliest structures, dating from the late 18th and early 19th century are of log construction, in whole or in part. It was also an important 19th century Free Black community.
Darlington Historic District is a national historic district at Darlington, Harford County, Maryland, United States. It includes approximately 100 small-scale structures in the village of Darlington. They include four churches including the Darlington United Methodist Church and the Deer Creek Friends Meetinghouse, a dozen shops and stores, barns/garages, meathouses, chicken houses, and other outbuildings, a lodge hall, a grammar school, a cemetery, and three working farms. They date particularly from the late 19th century through the early 20th century.
Lower Deer Creek Valley Historic District is a national historic district near Darlington, Harford County, Maryland, United States. It comprises approximately 15,020 acres (60.8 km2) in north central Harford County. The primary building material is stone taken from local quarries and used to construct houses, mills, schoolhouses, and churches. Also constructed of stone are many dependencies including springhouses, stables, tenant houses, meathouses, ice houses, and barns. The district's contributing standing structures date from the mid 18th century to the 1940s, and mostly built in vernacular styles. The valley contains approximately 350 separate historic properties.
Silver Houses Historic District is a national historic district near Darlington, Harford County, Maryland, United States. It is a group of mid-19th century farmsteads and a church in rural east central Harford County. The district comprises a total of 36 resources, including four stone residences with related agricultural outbuildings, and the site of a fifth stone house, marked by a large frame barn, a frame tenant house, and two outbuildings. The houses were built between 1853 and 1859 by members of the Silver family. The district also includes the Deer Creek Harmony Presbyterian Church, a Gothic-influenced stone building of 1871, designed by John W. Hogg.
Maryland Route 161 is a state highway in the U.S. state of Maryland. The state highway runs 5.38 miles (8.66 km) from MD 155 in Hopewell Village north to U.S. Route 1 in Darlington. MD 161 connects Havre de Grace with Susquehanna State Park and northeastern Harford County. The state highway was mostly constructed in the late 1920s and early 1930s.
Rock Run United Methodist Church is a one-story building, with stone walls and a slate-covered gable roof, located on a 1.24 acre plot of land at the corner of Craig's Corner Road and Rock Run Road near Level, Maryland, USA, and approximately six miles south of Darlington, Maryland. It is a sister church to Darlington United Methodist Church, which forms the Darlington-Rock Run Methodist Charge and is a part of the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church, headquartered in Columbia, Maryland. It was listed on the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties in 1977 by the Harford District Commission with code title HA 565. The church also includes a cemetery behind the building along Rock Run Road. An old school house used to reside on the property.
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