EMMANUEL PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH - CHESTERTOWN
The Act of the General Assembly of Maryland, through which the present Episcopal Church was erected, was passed- in 1768, with an appropriation attached, in addition to five hundred pounds in currency subscribed - by the people for the purpose of erecting a chapel in Chestertown, in place of the old church. For greater convenience, the act read that it should be erected on a part of the public court house ground, 90 feet on High street and 120 feet on Cross street. The provision in former acts not proving sufficient, another act was passed in 1770, assessing three hundred and sixty pounds currency on the parish, to be applied by the trustees for the finishing of the chapel and enclosing the burying ground.
In June, 1784, the war being over, the Rev. Dr. Smith, the President of Washington College, called a meeting of the Episcopal clergymen who could be found in different parts of the country, to meet at Washington College, for the purpose of organization; but on account of the small attendance nothing was effected. Another meeting was called and due notice served on the clergy to meet in the chapel at Chestertown the following October. At this meeting the name Protestant Episcopal Church was adopted as the name of the church, under which name the convention met in May of the following year at Bordentown, N. J. It had previously been interesting history. The brick of which it is constructed came from England, and the mechanical laying of the walls-peculiar to the olden time - is an interesting feature of the building today. This building was at first considerably taller than at present; and had a belfry at the west front, in which was held the bell which served for so many purposes of public utility as well as for the call to church worship. In 1881 the building was thoroughly remodeled inside and a choir building known as the Church of England. Emmanuel Church is the local name. The rectory, on Queen street, was purchased in March, 1866, of John Greenwood, for $3,500.
The present church building, of itself, has an erected on the site of the robing room. The former interior had galleries on three sides, with choir space and organ in the western end. The pulpit was located on the northern side and the main entrance was on High street. H. M. Stuart was the contractor for the improvements, and his most important work was to lower the walls, which he did, without tearing off the roof.
The Vestry at that time was as follows: Geo. B. Westcott, Dr. W. H. Meeteer, W. N. E. Wickes, Joseph A. Wickes, Wm. S. Walker, G. W. T. Perkins, James A. Pearce. Wardens - N. G. Westcott, Thos. S. Wickes. The following comprise the present Vestry: James A. Pearce, Allan Harris, E. F. Perkins, George B. Westcott, Lewin W. Wickes, Wm. W. Beck, C. E. Crane, T. G. Wroth. Dr. Henry B. Martin is rector, succeeding Dr. S. C. Roberts in February, 1900.
Dr. Roberts, who received the call here in December, 1871, had a continuous pastorate of twenty-nine years. Some of Dr. Roberts' predecessors were Parsons Jones, Gordon, Bradley, J. B. Hubard, A. A. Curtis (afterwards a Bishop of the Catholic Church), E. H. C. Goodwin and others.
A splendid addition to this church has been built during the rectorship of Dr. Martin. This addition is used as a Sunday School room and chapel, and has all modern conveniences, such as kitchen, gas ranges, etc. A new bell was also bought and placed in a new tower.
Page(s) 85-87, History of Kent County, Maryland, 1630-1916, by Fred G. Usilton, 1916
Transcribed by Nathan Zipfel for the Maryland History and Genealogy Project