Dickerson A.M.E. Church - Frostburg
"Walk in the Spirit, Live in Peace"
The Dickerson African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) congregation of Frostburg was established in 1845. The original church was located on Ormand Street and known as Hall's Chapel. In 1881 the present Dickerson A.M.E. Church was constructed at the corner of West Mechanic and Pine Streets. From 1924 and throughout the 1930s, circuit-riding ministers served A.M.E. churches in Frostburg, Westernport, and Oakland, Maryland, sometimes traveling to all three congregations in a single day.
Renovations and remodeling to both the church's interior and exterior have occurred over the years in 1924, 1952, and again in 1999. It was in 1999 that the church had an indoor restroom installed for the first time. Until that time, congregational members used the facilities located in a nearby communicant's home.
From the 1996 history of the church:
Originally the church was believed to have been established in 1845, located on Ormand Street and was known as Hall's Chapel. Its first preacher was believed to be Jeffrey Golden, a freed slave, while another free slave Pastor Rev. Thomas W. Henry was forced to flee Frostburg because of his connection with the famous Harper's Ferry abolitionist, John Brown.
In 1881 the church’s name was changed to Dickerson African Methodist Episcopal after the thirteenth Bishop of AME churches. It was then relocated on the corner of Mechanic and Pine Streets. The land for this new location was donated by Kr. Thomas Mitchel, Sr. The approximate cost of the building including the pulpit and pews was $800.00.
Remodeling of the exterior at the present edifice was completed and rededicated on Sunday, September 30, 1956. The burning of the mortgage was the main feature of the day.
Today, more than 130 years after the establishment of the black congregation of free negroes, this black church is still serving Frostburg. "We're keeping it alive now only by the sweat of our brow," proclaims Mrs. Georgia Waites, who shares the title of eldest member with Mrs. Garnell Stamper.
Mrs. Dorothy Davis, as a little girl, remembers when the cornerstone of the present church was laid in 1927. She stresses the fact that the congregation has dwindled from about 50 active members two decades ago to 11 today.
In May 1976 we were blessed to have Rev. Leroy Jackson to commute from Seabrook, Maryland to serve as pastor of our church. He was recently ordained as a pastor for both Dickerson and Metropolitan AME Churches.
Text: Frostburg Sesquicentennial Souvenir Book, 1812-1862 and the Cumberland Times-News, April 19, 1999. The 1996 Dickerson A.M.E. Church of Frostburg publication was courtesy of Pansye Atkinson
Photograph: Albert Feldstein
Allegany County, Maryland
African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.
Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008