Photo credit: MHT File Photo , Undated Photo

Property Name: Rehoboth Presbyterian Church
Date Listed: 11/5/1974
Inventory No.: S-71
Location: Rehobeth Road, Rehoboth, Somerset County

Description: Rehobeth Presbyterian Church is a simple one-story brick building, three bays wide by three deep. Random glazed headers and stretchers are used throughout the Flemish bond construction. In 1888 the church was remodeled and the original clear glass windows were replaced with the present leaded ones. Also at this time the door was moved from the south side to the west end and the pulpit from the north side to the east end. The old pews and galleries were also taken out. The double door in the west central bay is surmounted by a semicircular fanlight with delicate curved muntins. In each flanking bay is a single round-arched leaded glass window. There is a two-string belt course between the first floor and gable. There is a 6/6 light window surmounted by a brick segmental arch centered in both the east and west gables. The church sits on a brick foundation with a simple step watertable made of two square protruding bricks. The south wall of the church has a single round-arched leaded window in the east and west bays. The original doorway in the central bay has been bricked in. The north wall has only a single round-arched leaded window in the east and west bays. The east end has been covered with stucco. It also has a single round-arched leaded glass window in the north and south bays. Inside, the church has a barrel-vault wooden ceiling. The box pews have a single raised panel on the ends. The gallery across the west end is also paneled.

Significance: The Rehobeth Presbyterian Church, erected about 1706, is significant because it is typical of early-18th century Maryland church architecture and because its congregation was served in the 18th century by the Reverend Francis Makemie (1658-1708), known as the "Father of American Presbyterianism." A long-standing tradition holds that Makemie organized the Rehobeth Church, but the absence of early church records makes it difficult to substantiate this claim. It is known, however, that Makemie preached his first sermons to the Presbyterians in the Rehobeth area upon his arrival in the province, and that he had "a long, if sporadic, relationship" with them in the years that followed.




close