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A little over three miles from Christ Church, Durham Parish is Nanjemoy Baptist Church. Also located in Charles County it is one of the oldest continuously used Baptist churches in Maryland. Its history is unique in that it is the mother of the Southern Baptist churches in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s Counties, commonly referred to as the Tri-County area of Southern Maryland.
As early as 1790, four men from Virginia crossed the Potomac and started to preach in Nanjemoy. These men, William Fristoe, Jeremiah Moore, Andrew Leach, and Henry Hagen, were often personally insulted and abused, but they continued to preach and the congregation continued to grow. In 1791, one acre of land was purchased for the purpose of building a meeting house which is believed to have been completed in 1793. All evidence supports the belief that this is the building being used today.
Through the years, the membership has increased and many improvements and additions have been made. The majority of the church as seen today dates from 1905 when extensive renovations were completed. In 1925 the stained glass windows were installed. This was also the year the 75-foot bell tower was installed on the eastern end of the church. Over all the tower together with some of the other architectural features leads one to describe this building as a local interpretation of Victorian-Gothic architecture even though the basic structure pre-dates the Victorian era.
Nanjemoy Baptist Church is listed on the Maryland Historical Trust but is not yet included on the National Register of Historic Places.
Click here for some more images of historic Charles County.