Immanuel UMC History

1879 to Present Immanuel Church
1840 – 1879 Emory Chapel
1793 – 1840 Smith’s Meeting House

Immanuel is one of the earliest Methodist congregations in America.  In the late 1700’s, families still lived so far apart that it was necessary to have worship in family homes.  Few would be in attendance due to the impassible roads.  William Colbert, an itinerant preacher wrote in his journal of traveling on the Prince George’s Circuit and preaching to a small congregation at Isaac Smith’s house (one of the original Trustees for the founding church of Immanuel’s congregation).

The first mention we have of an original church building was Smith’s Meeting House (1793), located about three miles south of the present church.  Rev. Isaac Smith and his wife, Mary, deeded one-half acre of land for seventy-five cents to the trustees.  The church served the Aquasco and Horsehead areas; the first Bishop of the Methodist Church, Francis Asbury, preached there in March of 1813.

From 1840 to 1879 Emory Chapel and school building replaced Smith’s Meeting House as the Methodist area church.  Emory was built in the shape of a cross and located several miles south of the current building.  Circuit-riding preachers served the congregation and 12 other churches as far away as Bladensburg.

Immanuel – 1905

The congregation of Emory Church chose to move to the present site in 1879 because Horsehead was a population and trading center, with a general store, millinery shop, blacksmith shop, post office, and the Horsehead tavern at the crossroads.  The name was changed to Immanuel Methodist Episcopal Church, South.  In 1895 the original building burned; it was rebuilt by members and neighbors joining together as a community of Christians rebuilding in God’s Kingdom and rededicated the present church in September of 1896.  The interior shown here is the only description available at this time.

Immanuel United Methodist Church is one of over 700 churches in the Baltimore-Washington Conference; it has served a unique ministry for over 200 years in Southern Maryland and continues to be an integral part of the Church community.

by: Sandra Cross, Historian