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St. Philip's Church

St. Philip's Church Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


This is the altar that served St. Philip's Church on South Smallwood Street. St. Philip's had begun as a "missionary enterprise" of the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in 1890. Black Episcopalians would regularly attend services at Emmanuel and be seated in what was historically known as the "slave balcony" (see the write-up on Samuel Semmes). When the balcony was removed during a renovation, Emmanuel held special services and Sunday school for its black congregants in the Parish Building which at that time was located at the corner of Washington and Greene Streets.

This was the first home of St. Philip's and served until 1901 when a parcel of land was secured on South Smallwood Street and a small chapel constructed. About seven families belonged to St. Philip's at that time.

St. Philip's served as a center for worship, church, and community based activities for many years until its closing in 1966. The church was located where the alley-way is now on South Smallwood that leads up to the parking lot of the Allegany County Board of Education. The altar portrayed in this photograph was originally in the Emmanuel Episcopal Church. It was given to the St. Philip's "mission" in 1906 by Emmanuel Episcopal upon the arrival and installation of their new altar.


Text: Dolores Gates-Thomas, Romaine Franklin, and The Church on the Fort - 150 Years of Emmanuel Parish

Photograph: Dolores Gates-Thomas

Collection Location:
Allegany County, Maryland

African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.

Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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