The Christ Church Guilford, historically known as the "Old Brick Church," is an historic Episcopal church located about one mile from Guilford, now part of Columbia, in Howard County, Maryland. The small Georgian church was completed in 1809. It was constructed of handmade brick laid in English garden wall brick bond with unmarked joints.
Christ Church Guilford
|Location||North of Guilford at 6800 Oakland Mills Rd., Guilford, Maryland|
|Area||2 acres (0.81 ha)|
|NRHP reference No.||78001469|
|Added to NRHP||January 30, 1978|
The oldest artifact used by the church is a bible published in 1701 provided by Queen Anne. The original church was established in 1727 as Queen Caroline Parish Church. Trinity Church (Elkridge, Maryland), grew out of Christ Church. The structure replaced a ca1711 log frame building and is the second church building to be built on the 2-acre (0.81 ha) plot deeded to the parish in 1738 by Caleb Dorsey. It is the oldest church building still in use in Howard County.
The brick church has a steep gabled roof and is laid in English garden wall brick bond. The structure, two bays wide and three bays deep, faces east with twin entrance doors in the north and south bays. Each bay is rectangular, surmounted by a Federal-style transom and reached by two stone steps. The nave windows are rectangular, holding twelve-over-twelve lites and, decorated with splayed brick flat arched lintels. The interior contains a gallery which extends around three sides of the church.
The Christ Church was funded by a parishioner poll tax on tobacco at Elkridge Landing, paying church and sheriff expenses. During the early 1800s the Episcopal Church in Maryland grew very slowly. The American Revolutionary War created tremendous conflicts within the Episcopal Church in the colonies. The clergy, who had been ordained in England, had taken an oath of allegiance to the king. This conflicted with their Oath of Fidelity required by the local assembly. Some clergy returned to England and others simply stopped preaching. After the end of the Revolutionary War the Church of England, the Episcopal Church's parent church, was disestablished as the state religion. Having lost its official government support, the church was low on funds, and few new churches were built.
In 1789, Anglican congregations in nine states adopted The Protestant Episcopal Church as their name and was formally separated from the Church of England. The American Episcopal church was incorporated as “the first Anglican Province outside the British Isles.” Churches that were built during the period of time after the founding of the American church were usually of an economical design. In 1809, the Christ Church was one of the first Episcopal churches constructed in the state after the Revolution. Judge Henry Ridgely ovesaw the construction of the brick structure. The only architecturally sophisticated feature is the three-part window over the entrances. In the interior, the paneled gallery is a simple and direct interpretation of much larger churches built during the 18th century in major Episcopal cities like Philadelphia and London.
The Reverend James MacGill was chosen in 1728 as Christ Church's first full-time rector. MacGill was a native of Perth, Scotland who served in the church for 50 years., living in nearby Athol Manor. The Rev Thomas John Claggett was rector from 1781-1782; he became the first Bishop of Maryland in 1792, and was the first Episcopal bishop consecrated in America. In 1806 Rev Oliver Norris was appointed director. In 1830 Rev Billop was appointed rector.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
- "Maryland Historical Trust". Christ Church Guilford, Howard County. Maryland Historical Trust. 2008-11-21.
- Stein, Charles Francis (1972). Origin and History of Howard County Maryland (First ed.). Charles Francis Stein, Jr. p. 245.
- "Old Brick". Christ Episcopal Church. Archived from the original on 8 August 2012. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
- Ruth Besse (17 May 1985). "Traveling Back in time". The Washington Post.
- "National Register of Historic Places—Application" (PDF). United States Department of the Interior. December 1, 1976. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
- "A history of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington". History of the Diocese. Episcopal Diocese of Washington. Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
- Howard's Roads to the Past. Howard County Sesquicentennial Celebration Committee, 2001. 2001. p. 82.
- "Convention of Maryland". The Christian Journal, and Literary Register: 3. 1 January 1830.
This article incorporates public domain text from the United States government.