College Park United Methodist Church History (1874-1953)
College Park United Methodist Church has a rich history in this area. This is the church's history from 1874 to 1953 when the church was started.
Prior to 1874 there was a girls' school, located near Brown's Mill, later Mowatt’s Mill, Edmonston Road, conducted by Miss Marianna Keech and her sisters, and these girls and the families of Mr. John F. Tucker, Mr. John Baker, Mr. Brown, Mr. Daniel Carson, Mrs. William Hall, Mrs. Lester, Mr. Bewley, General Carrington and the Misses Joyners (Ada and Elsie) held Church and Sunday School Services in the public one room log school located on the Edmonston Road, Charlton Heights, Md, and Mrs. Mary King: mother of Mr. Leonard P. Steuart, a very prominent business man of Washington, D. C., played the organ.
These same people together with Rev. Samuel W. Haddaway organized Haddaway Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church South which was built in the year 1874 on a lot containing one acre, on the Branchville Road approximately one thousand yards east of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Station, which was formerly owned by Jonathan T. Walker and donated to the church by his family.
Rev. Samuel W. Haddaway was the pastor in charge when Haddaway Chapel was built, and in appreciation for his fine work the church was named Haddaway Chapel.
The church was built of pine lumber with a brick foundation, and consisted of an auditorium, a vestibule and a room on the west side of the building, which was used by the primary department of the Sunday School. The main auditorium was approximately 30x40 and 20 feet high, a good size church for a small community. The pews were built of select yellow pine, and were not uncomfortable to sit on.
In the surrounding rural community there lived approximately one hundred people, and of this number about fifty of them attended the Sunday School and Church Services. However, during revival services the auditorium, which seated approximately one hundred and fifty persons, was filled to overflowing.
Mr. G. W. Beall of the Beltsville Church rendered fine service, serving as Sunday School Superintendent during the early years of the church.
Around the year 1893 the Trustees of the Church sensed the need for a burying ground and decided to turn the church lot into a small cemetery, in which there has been buried some fifty persons. Among the first ones to be buried in the cemetery were an adult, Columbus C. Bacon, died 1895, and a child, Elsie L. Maddox, born July 5, 1894, and died July 25, 1896.
One of the saddest incidents in the life of the church occurred on December 7, 1901. while Rev. J. H. Du Laney was conducting the funeral services of Mrs. Cora Lilley (Wilson) Duvall, mother of William A. Duvall, Superintendent of the Church School, Mr. Pinkney A. Scaggs, a pallbearer and an official member of the church, father of Mrs. Walter R. Harr and Miss Lucie Scaggs and Mrs. Edwin L. Rembold, was stricken with a heart spell and died instantly,
But one year later, on December 2. 1902, the church was the scene of a happy occasion when Dr. J. H. Du Laney united in marri.age Virgie M. Hughes and William A. Duvall, who were the first couple to be married in the church.
On February 12, 1907, the Trustees of Haddaway Chapel were incorporated, and they were, as follows Rev, Frank A. Tyler, Pastor, Chas. A. Ricks, James E. Taylor and J. P Boileau.
Then in October, 1907, while Rev. Chas, H. Buchanan was serving as pastor the church burned to the ground. The janitor of the church was cutting and burning dry grass in the church yard when suddenly the wind came up and the fire got out of control and ignited the church building, and it was only a matter of minutes before the entire structure was ablaze. The janitor, Mr. Baker, worked heroically to put out the fire, but due to the lack of water and help it was physically impossible, hence the building was a total loss and the only things saved were the pulpit and organ. The most unfortunate thing was that the insurance had lapsed. The congregation was distressed at its loss, but not disheartened.
The embers were still burning when the preacher of the Berwyn Presbyterian Church, Rev. Reed, visited the home of Mrs, Cora L, Scaggs, a member of the congregation, and offered the use of their church. The members of the congregation were very grateful to Rev. Reed and the members of his congregation for their fine offer, but it was not necessary for them to accept as there was a hail in the community owned by Mrs. Cora Scaggs, and she offered it for use until such time as the members of the church could build a new church.
Mr. Pinkney A. Scaggs, who was a Trustee of Haddaway Chapel and one-time Superintendent of the Sunday School, during his lifetime was desirous of seeing the church moved to a more central location, and before his death December 7, 1901, donated a plot of ground on which the new Church and Sunday School building are located. Although he had a vision of better and greater things to come, he never lived to see them realized, as he died five years before the old church burned. However, his heirs are still active in the church.
The congregation, led by their Pastor, Rev. Wilmer P. Johnston, set out at once to devise ways and means to raise funds to build a new church on the lot donated by Mr. P. A. Scaggs and when in March, 1909, Rev. Wilmer P. Johnson was succeeded by Rev. George H. Fielding, Rev. Fielding worked untiringly with the congregation to accomplish their goal. Success crowned their endeavors, and the new church was started in the year 1909, and on February 22, 1910, the cornerstone was laid and the church dedicated to the worship of Almighty God, ceremonies were conducted by the Pastor Rev. George H. Fielding, and the Birmingham Lodge of Masons. The Knights of Phythias of Berwyn, the same afternoon, donated to the church a handsome golden-oak pulpit table, which the congregation accepted with grateful appreciation.
The church was then opened for public worship, although unfinished on the inside. The Board of Trustees continued with volunteer help to plaster and trim the interior, and special effort was made to get it ready for the wedding of M. Elinor Scaggs to Walter R. Harr, which took place June 29, 1911. Mr. and Mrs. Harr were the first couple to he married in the new church, and the ceremony was conducted by Dr. J. H. Du Laney who was assisted by Rev. George H. Fielding, pastor in charge. Incidentally, Dr. J. H. Du Laney had performed the marriage ceremony for Miss Scagg's mother and father.
The Sunday School grew to such an extent that in the year 1919 it became necessary to build an addition to the church auditorium, and an addition was added to the west side of the building.
Then in the year 1924, having finished paying for the church building, the congregation felt that as there was no public hall in the community in which to have social gatherings that they should build a hall which could be used for Sunday School, Epworth League and social events. To help them in getting started, the heirs of Pinkney A. and Cora L. Scaggs donated the building known as Scagg’s Hall. This was the hall in which the congregation had met after their church burned. The old hall was razed and the material was used mostly for framework in the new hall.
On March 11, 1947, the corporate name of Haddaway Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church, South was changed to Haddaway Chapel Methodist Church, as the Methodist Uniting Conference held in Kansas City, Missouri, from April 26 to May 10, 1939, adjourning after the "Declaration of Union", which made the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and the Methodist Protestant Church into one body: "The Methodist Church". The certificate was duly signed by William A. Duvall, President of the Board of Trustees and attested by E. P. Cowgill, Secretary.
In May, 1947, a meeting of the Church School Workers, Preacher, Stewards and Trustees was held and it was decided that there was a great need for additional classrooms to meet the ever-growing demands of the Church School. After much discussion, a motion prevailed giving the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, William A. Duvall, authority to proceed with the construction of twenty additional classrooms. On June 30, 1947, this work was started, and an addition was added to the north, south and east sides of the Church Hall. This undertaking was completed February 10, 1948, at a cost of approximately $18,000.00, and the Church School now has twenty up-to-date classrooms and adequate facilities for some time to come.
A parsonage was built beside the church buildings in 1950. The Reverend John R. Esaias, Jr. and family resided there.
Due to the rapidly increasing membership, ground has been purchased on the upper right hand corner of Rhode Island Avenue and Hollywood Road in College Park, on which the church would erect a new church building.
In 1953 a new Baldwin Organ was presented to us by Mr. Leonard P. Steuart, in loving memory of his mother, who was our first church organist.