Old St. Maryland Baptist Church, Leary

Saint Maryland Missionary Baptist Church is one of the oldest and most historic African-American congregation in Calhoun County, dating to the time of slavery. This structure, likely built in the early 20th century, was replaced by a more modern facility next door in the late 1970s. Member Shirley Barnes suggests that the congregation would like to restore the old church building and is open to suggestions.

I am not sure how it got its interesting name, but perhaps it was a nod to the importance of Maryland in the Underground Railroad. That’s just a guess.

According to their website: This church was organized by black citizens in 1857.  The White citizens of Leary and Morgan came together and granted the Black citizens permission to hold meetings in the old building across the yard from our present building.  The Blacks held services on the second Sunday in each month and the Whites held service on the first Sunday. They also assisted in the appointing of our first pastor in 1857.  His name was Min. Verge Pittman.  The second pastor was Min. H. E. McKinley.  We do not know how long they served.


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