We remember your work that comes from faith, your effort that comes from love, and your perseverance that comes from hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ 1 Thess 1:3
The good news of Christ has been proclaimed from a church perched here above Nanjemoy Creek for over 350 years. Our early parish records (1774-1952) are housed in Annapolis at the Maryland State Archives as Special Collection MSA SC 2604. Our cemetery is cataloged on the FindaGrave website.
A Timeline of Events at Durham Church
1684 – First recorded public ceremony, a marriage in June between William Dent and Elizabeth Fowke, solemnized by The Rev. John Turling. William Dent bequeathed the money for the chalice and paten, which were cast in England in 1706 and given in 1708.
1692 – Parish chartered by the Colonial government, one of the original thirty parishes that were declared the official church of the colony. That preferred status ended during the Revolutionary War.
1732 – Construction of the present brick church was begun. Prior to that a log building served on the same site.
1771 – On March 17, George Washington recorded in his diary a visit to this church while spending a weekend with his close friend William Smallwood.
1792 – Complete restoration of the church building was necessary in 1792, due to its deplorable condition after the Revolutionary War. Existing walls were raised to the present height and a Vestry Building, no longer in existence, was constructed. Slave galleries were built on three sides of the church, and inside and outside stairways were added to reach them. A raised pulpit was placed at the north side. Entrance was where the south middle window now is. There were box pews.
1809 – First visit by a Diocesan Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Thomas John Claggett, who consecrated the building and confirmed 80 persons.
1843 – Church building renovated to approximately the present arrangement. The slave galleries were removed from the east and south sides, the outside stairways removed, a new, attached Vestry Room added, and the interior changed to its present configuration.
1932 – Construction of the churchyard wall from 250-year-old bricks taken from the remains of the Neil Hotel in Port Tobacco, paid for by the Colonial Dames of Maryland.
1942 -Completion of the Smallwood Memorial Bell Tower, in commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the Parish and in memory of General William Smallwood.
1960 – Completion of Parish Hall.
1965 – Completion of Rectory across the street.
2011 – Parish celebrates its 350th anniversary with a visit from Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori.