Vivid piano music and heat, highly effective voices echoed from the doorways of Asbury United Methodist Church on Monday night.
Inside, a small line of congregation members closed their eyes, swayed backwards and forwards, and belted Christian hymns and gospel music. Dozens sat within the pews earlier than them, listening spellbound.
Asbury United Methodist Church — among the many oldest African American church buildings in Frederick — was one among practically a dozen Christian historic homes of worship that welcomed guests for excursions on the day after Christmas.
For the previous two years, Go to Frederick, the organizer of the occasion, has hosted the annual tour on-line due to the pandemic. On Monday, nevertheless, a number of hundred individuals walked the town’s streets, bundled from the chilly and clutching small informational pamphlets.
Asbury United, on the intersection of West All Saints and Courtroom Streets, was listed because the fifth cease on this yr’s tour. A volunteer inside supplied a small booklet that listed highlights from the church’s historical past.
Its congregation grew from one established practically 300 years in the past at All Saints Episcopal Church. Inside the home of worship on East All Saints Avenue, enslaved individuals worshipped with slaveholders, although the teams had been saved separate.
Notable members of the Episcopal congregation included Francis Scott Key — a slaveholding lawyer who wrote the lyrics for “The Star-Spangled Banner” — and Roger B. Taney, the U.S. Supreme Courtroom justice who delivered the bulk opinion in Dred Scott v. Sandford, ruling that Black individuals couldn’t be thought of U.S. residents.
The start of Asbury United because it exists at present dates to the “Outdated Hill Church,” erected in 1818 on East All Saints Avenue. About 50 years later, towards the top of the Civil Struggle, the constructing’s Black congregants got here in full possession of the home of worship.
For a few years, Asbury United has been a significant establishment in Frederick’s Black neighborhood. Congregants have included Claude DeLauter, the town’s first Black alderman, and Dr. Ulysses Grant Bourne, the primary Black doctor to apply medication in Frederick County.
Positioned on East Church Avenue, the Evangelical Lutheran Church was among the many oldest homes of worship included in Monday’s tour.
It was organized in 1738 at a website in northern Frederick County that’s nonetheless a thriller to researchers, mentioned Marcia Hahn, a tour volunteer for round 15 years.
Development of the constructing that at present homes the Evangelical Lutheran Church was accomplished in 1855. It was solely seven years previous when, through the Civil Struggle, it served as a hospital for Union and Accomplice troopers, Hahn mentioned.
However to Hahn, the church is greater than a historic website. It’s the place she grew up.
She was baptized in the home of worship and has been a congregant since she was a little bit lady. And since her mom was the substitute organist, Hahn spent many days roaming the sanctuary along with her brother as she practiced. They needed to entertain themselves.
“My brother specifically is aware of each nook and cranny of this constructing,” she mentioned.
Observe Angela Roberts on Twitter: @24_angier