Photo credit: J.D. Simpkins , Undated Photo

Property Name: Manokin Presbyterian Church
Date Listed: 11/21/1976
Inventory No.: S-16
Location: Cemetery Lane & North Somerset Avenue, Princess Anne, Somerset County

Description: The Manokin Presbyterian Church is a 1 1/2 story brick structure with a three-story entrance tower on the east end. The walls of the main section were built in 1765 and the tower was added in 1888. A small extension to the rear of the building was made in the remodeling of 1872-1873. The main body of the church has three windows on the south wall and two on the north. There are windows on each side of the entrance tower on the east end. All of these have double-hung sash with diamond-patterned leaded glass. In the west end are two window openings with segmental arches that are presently bricked in. The brick of this section of the church was laid in Flemish bond with a single row of headers forming the arches over the windows. A new chimney stack stands on the north side of the building, probably housing a furnace flue. The building has a bracketed cornice and a belt course that stretches between the ends of the cornice on both the east and the west facades. The roof of this section, presently covered with asbestos shingles, was raised in the 1872 remodeling, creating the present steep gable roof. There are two shed roof dormers on each slope of the roof, containing small stained glass windows. Also in the 1872 remodeling, a small addition was built on the rear of the building. It is one story high, with a gable roof that imitates the pitch of the main roof, and has stained glass windows with segmental arches and arched transoms on either side. The entrance tower was added in 1888. It has three stories which are divided by belt courses, a stepped one between the first and second floors and a bracketed one (formed by bricks) between the second and third and at the top. On the first floor of the east wall there is a stained glass window, the Makemie Memorial window, which was added in 1922. In the north and south walls are the entrances, each containing double doors with three inset panels of horizontal boards and arched transoms. On the second floor there is a window in each wall of the same type as those in the main section. There are two louvered vents in each face of the third story. Projecting corner piers of brick rise for several courses above the hip roof. All of the openings on this facade have brick arches over them consisting of three rows of headers.

Significance: Manokin Presbyterian Church is one of the first organized Presbyterian Churches established in America. In 1672, a group of Presbyterians who had settled on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, petitioned the Grand Jury of Somerset County for a civil permit to hold services of worship and to have their own minister. The permission was granted and Robert Maddox was called by the Grand Jury to preach on the third Sunday of each month, at the home of Christopher Nutter, 'at the head of the Manokin River,' the present site. In 1680 a request was sent by Colonel Stevens of Rehobeth to the Presbytery at Laggan, Ireland, for an ordained minister, and three years later, in answer to that request, the Reverend Francis Makemie, a 25 year old, recently ordained minister, arrived in Somerset County. Under his leadership, this church, and those at Rehobeth, Pitts Creek, Snow Hill, and Wicomico were organized.




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