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Among the oldest Episcopal churches in Maryland, Christ Church Durham Parish, Nanjemoy is one of the original 30 churches chartered in the Providence of Maryland by the Colonial Assembly in 1692. Its congregation, though, was formed in 1661. The original church, on the same site, was a log structure. The replacement building, completed in 1732, was a simple one-story Flemish-bond brick structure that makes up the first floor of the current church. In 1791-93, the second floor was added.
Still in use is the church’s communion service, a chalice and paten, or communion plate, of London Silver of 1707, said to be one of the oldest in the United States. The chalice was bequeathed to the church in 1708 by William Dent, the owner and builder of Friendship House – one of Charles County’s oldest homes, built around 1680. A log church was first erected on this site as reported by the vestry to the Governor in 1694. In 1732, the same year George Washington and William Smallwood were born, construction began on the brick church that would replace the original log structure. The walls were raised to provide galleries and major repairs were completed in 1793.
Christ Church Durham Parish, or Old Durham Church as it is also known, is listed on the Maryland Historical Trust but is not yet included on the National Register of Historic Places.
In the next post we will go a little over 3 miles down the road to Nanjemoy Baptist Church.
Click here for some more images of historic Charles County.