Preservation volunteer workday in Charles County, 2017.

Six-to-Fix Update: Cemetery Workday at Mt. Hope Baptist Church in Charles County

12/04/2017
By Meagan Baco

Preservation Maryland convened dozens of volunteers at the historic Mt. Hope Baptist Church in Charles County this October for a volunteer workday addressing church history, cemetery conservation, archaeology, and historic preservation projects.

Building on a year-long Six-to-Fix partnership with the Coalition to Protect Maryland Burial Sites, the goal of the workday was to work with the congregation to begin a comprehensive assessment of the Church property and early family property that includes several structures and burials sites within the historic cultural landscape.

The workday was coordinated in part by Rev. Ruby Thomas and graciously hosted by the congregation of Mt. Hope Baptist Church. Volunteers from the congregation and community, and the Coalition to Protect Maryland Burial Sites, the Association for Preservation Technology International, and regional archaeology groups joined professionals from the Charles County Government, Mosko Cemetery Monument Services, Grunley Construction, and WJE Engineers.

The volunteer work centered primarily around five major project areas:

All of the work products of the day were coordinated with the congregation and will become part of their archive and maintenance plans. When appropriate, documentation will be shared with County officials for future planning or regional historical societies for educational access.

HISTORY FROM THE MARYLAND HISTORICAL TRUST

Mount Hope Baptist Church is the site of the oldest Baptist African American congregation in Charles County. Established in 1867 by Rev. A. A. Watts, it was the founding church for three other African American Baptist communities including Oak Grove in Nanjemoy, Pleasant Grove in Marbury, and Little Zion in Hilltop, all located in western Charles County. The site includes a 1941 chapel, a cemetery established in the late 19th century, and an early 20th century schoolhouse. Together they reflect the emergence of African American communities after the Civil War and the importance of religion and education in that evolution.

Additional CHURCH History

CEMETERY RESOURCES

 

Meagan Baco · Director of Communications

Meagan Baco shares the stories of the Old Line State’s important history and unique places – and the people working to preserve it, through Preservation Maryland’s website and publications.

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