About Sharp Street
Sharp Street Memorial United Methodist Church has a rich heritage of
leadership and dedication to both the Methodist Church, which is the
Body of Christ, and the community it serves. From the beginning,
this historic congregation has been a powerful force in the
spiritual, social, economic and political lives of African American
people in Baltimore City. Ultimately the impact of this great
leadership spread throughout the world and continues today.
Sharp Street Church was established in
1787 as the first African American Methodist congregation in
Baltimore City. Over two centuries ago a group of proud
persons found their dignity compromised in a racially divided
church. The African American members left to form a separate
fellowship. Under the leadership of Jacob Forte, the "Colored
Methodist Society," was formed. The members met in their homes
to worship until they acquired a building. In 1802, land was
conveyed to the Trustees of the "Colored Society," and they occupied
the first building to become the Church at 112-116 Sharp Street,
hence the name Sharp Street Church.
The present edifice was erected and
occupied in 1898. On July 12, 1982, Sharp Street Memorial
United Methodist Church at Dolphin and Etting Streets, and the
Community House at 1206 Etting Street, were entered in the National
Register of Historic Places by The United States Department of the
Interior. This honor is awarded to structures and locations
significant in American history, architecture and culture. In
addition to this distinction, the Church is on the local list of
Historic Landmarks in Baltimore City, designated in 1982.
Please read the 'Church History'
section for an overview of our rich history compiled by Dorothy
Dougherty, our Church Historian and Church Archivist.