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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.