History of the Elkton United Methodist Church

Our church family grew from the groundwork of some of the most distinguished preachers of their day, including George Whitefield, Joseph Phillmore, and Captain Thomas Webb. Francis Asbury, the father of American Methodism, passed through Elkton repeatedly and preached here in 1787 and 1815.


In 1799, our congregation was formed at the home of Richard Updegrove on Red Hill. By 1801, meetings were moved to town, and in 1813, a small church was built on East High Street. For nearly 20 years, it was the only house of worship in Elkton.


By 1833, our church numbered 114 whites and 24 blacks. In 1849, the black members organized their own church which became the Providence United Methodist Church. This congregation now worships in our original building.


The present sanctuary was begun in 1859 and was finished a year later on land donated by sisters Martha Ellis and Jane Torbert.


Between 1870 and 1890, our church birthed four other nearby congregations (Jones Chapel, Crouch's Chapel, Wilna Chapel, and the West End Chapel), more than any other church in the conference.


Major renovations in 1902 included the vestibule, the main staircase, the current pews, and the memorial window behind the pulpit, dedicated to Francis Asbury Ellis, a "beloved member and trustee of the church."


Other changes have included the Education wing (1949) and Weldin Hall (1974).


In 1992, a new roof and the wood ceiling in the sanctuary were installed along with a taller more graceful steeple. This greatly enhanced the beauty of our church which was once described as the "prettiest country church within a week's ride." In 1998/99, the church was made more accessible with ramps to the front entry, an expanded rear entrance and an elevator.


Each generation honors the work of its forefathers, takes pride in its own achievements and looks forward to the accomplishments of its children. This building and her people stand as a testament that in this town, in this land, in this time and in all times, God shall be praised.