Photo credit: JSE , 11/1969

Property Name: Thomas Run Church
Date Listed: 1/3/1978
Inventory No.: HA-49
Location: Thomas Run Road, Churchville, Harford County

Description: The Watters Meeting House, or Thomas Run Church, is a one-story, rubble stone, three-bay church with a slate-covered gabled roof of moderate pitch. The entrance is centered on the east end, and consists of a pair of two-paneled doors, the upper panel being arched, with a shallow three-light transom above. A simple Greek Revival molding finishes the exterior surface of the transom bar. Steps up to the door are of stone with slate treads, flanked by solid stone podia coped with slate. Three 12/12 windows on each side and two similar windows flanking the pulpit in the west end, all with counter-balanced sash, light the church. Two 6/6 windows high in the east end light the gallery. A rectangular panel of plain granite, perhaps intended to display the name and date of the structure, decorates the east gable. The east bay, which contains the gallery, is somewhat longer than the other two bays (and may actually be considered two bays); on the north side, close to the northeast corner, a former single-width door has been closed with rubble stone masonry. Traditionally, this was the direct access to the direct stair, although there is no obvious evidence that the existing stair has been changed. A simple Greek Revival crown molding decorates the eave and rake cornice, both of which extend over a foot beyond the stonework.

Significance: The site of the Thomas Run Church, formerly known as the Watters Meeting House, was among the first used by Methodists in colonial America. The structure standing on the site today is of interest for its architecture as well as for its association with the history of Methodism in America. The general proportions of the church, including the roof pitch, suggest a typical, small, Greek Revival temple church, without the characteristic portico. It is similar in form to many other Methodist churches in Harford County, including Rock Run (dated 1843), Darlington, and Mount Tabor. Calvary (dated 1821) exhibits both an earlier form and earlier detailing. There is no evidence of alteration to this church structure, which remains in excellent condition.




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