Franklin United Methodist Church
Thursday, September 19, 2019
MANY MEMBERS, ONE IN THE BODY OF CHRIST!

FRANKLIN U.M. CHURCH HISTORY

A BRIEF HISTORY OF 154 YEARS OF MINISTRY

RECORDS AND HISTORY MINISTRY
Sister Elaine Matthews
Chairperson-Records & History Ministry
Members: Sisters Elaine Brown, Olivia Thompson, Brenda Holland,
Patricia Gross, Elinor Thompson and Rev. Ann Parker-Offer
 
Franklin United Methodist Church has been a congregation of people determined to worship and praise God for the past 154 years. The church is located in the southeastern part of Anne Arundel County, 17 miles south of Annapolis, Maryland.
 
Franklin's Minutes dated 1865 list Franklin as one of the churches on the Potomac District of the Washington Conference. It is assumed that Franklin became a separate congregation with the Appointment of the Rev. James W. Ockermy, the firs past according to Conference documentation.
 
During our research, we found the church listed under many names: Franklin Meeting House, Franklin Chapel, African Franklin Chapel Church, Franklin Methodist Episcopal Church and Franklin Memorial Methodist Church. In 1968, the Methodist churches and the Evangelical United Brethern Church United became the United Methodist Church. Since that time, Franklin has been officially known as Franklin United Methodist Church.
 
The Franklin Years: We have had 44 ministers appointed to Franklin from 1865 to 2019.
 
1879     Land was granted unto the Trustees of the African Franklin Chapel Church for the sum of $24.00 by Benjamin Wells of Anne Arundel County.
 
1890     One acre of land was deeded to the Trustees of three churches which were on the same charge (Franklin, Carters and St. Matthews) for the purpose of building the parsonage at a cost of $60.00.
 
1901     Franklin Memoria Methodist Episcopal Church was built during the pastorate of the late Rev. James H. Jenkins by the late Mr. C.O. Younger, a contractor from Calvert County, Maryland.
 
1938     Rev. A.T. Middleton, served the Franklin-St. Matthews Charge until 1952, his tenure was the longest; serving the charge for 14 years. Under his leadership extensive repairs were done in 1944 to the interior of the building.
 
1952     Rev. Rufus S. Abernathy, Sr. ministered to the people of the community until 1955. Under his leadership the Vacation Bible School became revitalized. He kept his members knowledgeable of the different missions of the church and their responsibilities. He was instrumental in supplying Disciplines to the church officers.
 
1955     Rev. Charles Y. Trigg, a retired pastor from the New York Conference, served until 1957. Under his administration Franklin's entire roof and bell tower were repaired.
 
1966     The Educational Building/Multipurpose Room was added by the late Andrew Thompson under the pastorate of the late Rev. Walter H. Sewell.
 
1975     Franklin became a part of the newly formed Annapolis District.
 
1982     Rev. Richard T. Herbert, Sr. inspired the History Committee to write a formal history of the church, ("The Franklin Years" published in December) He encouraged the church to participate in the Time to Grow Campaign, a financial program from the Annual Conference.
 
1983       Rev. Eddie Smith served until 1989. He was the first known pastor to be ordained a Deacon and Elder while serving our church.  Seeing the need for improvements to our sanctuary, a building committee was organized and on December 20, 1986 Franklin was demolished by James Smith's company of Edgewater. We thank Rev. Smith for his leadership in establishing the many fundraisers that led to the building of our new sanctuary. Preparations for rebuilding began under the leadership of the Reverends Eddie Smith, George Stansbury and Charles Walker.
 
1990     Grown breaking for the new edifice was held on June 30, 1990 under the pastorate of Rev. George Stansbury. Construction of the new church began with George Pettigrew, Project Manager/Architect and the Building Committee as the general contractor.
 
1991     Rev. Diane Dixon-Proctor was appointed as our pastor, our first female pastor. The Franklin United Methodist Church Family jubilantly realized their dream and entered into the new sanctuary. Her pastorate from 1991 to 1998 led to a time of "New Beginnings." - a new pastor, new visions for ministry; and a new building.
 
1998     Rev. Jimmie Ward led the men in purchasing a fifteen (15) passenger van for the church. The church purchased St. Matthews; interest in the charge parsonage making Franklin the sole owner under his tenure.
 
2000     Rev. Adirenne Terry led the congregation until 2003 in the teachings of the Bible by encouraging the Outreach Committee to reach out to the streets of Washington, DC; giving food and clothing to the homeless. Under her leadership the History Committee completed "The Franklin Years - Part II"   The theme was, "Continuing to Build on a Firm Foundation in the New Millennium."  
 
2003     Rev. Johnnie Washington became our 42nd pastor serving from 2003 until his untimely passing on May 24, 2008. Our membership grew, 35 persons gave their life to Christ, attendance in the worship service increased, and the children, youth and young adult ministries were revitalized. The parking lot was paved, he led the families of the church in donating new chairs for the narthex, a new television, chairs and tables for the multi-purpose room, the first pictorial directory was published for the church's 140th Anniversary.  In 2006-2007 Rev. Ann Parker, Retired Elder was appointed as Franklin's first Associate Pastor with Rev. Washington as the Lead Pastor. The first Franklin Summer Enrichment Camp was initiated in 2007 serving 40 children and youth of the church and community through a grant from the Har-Pearl Spruill Foundation, Inc.  In 2008 Franklin became one of the Acts II Churches of the Baltimore-Washington Conference. One of his visions was seeing that our Liturgical Dancers perform at the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference. He was instrumental in working with Conference in realizing this vision; they danced at the Multi-Ethnic Celebration at the Annual Conference at the Gaylord Hotel on May 23, 2008 to the Glory of God and received many accolades.
   
2008     The Rev. Dr. Eugene W. Matthews was appointed to Franklin United Methodist Church as our 43rd pastor. During his tenure, Franklin held its first All Saints Sunday on November 2, 2008. We fondly remembered those whom had passed during the year. A retreat was held on November 15, 2008 to assess and set goals with Bishop Forest C. Stith as facilitator. Rev. & Mrs. Matthews held an Open House at their home for a Christmas Fellowship in December of 2008 until 2012, the entire congregation was invited!  Mrs. Jane Matthews, First Lady initiated and taught a Sign Language Ministry on June 20, 2009, the intergenerational class ministered to Franklin until their departure worship service in June, 2013. A birthday Party was held for the oldest members of the church, the oldest member was Titus Blunt, Sr., who was celebrating his 104th birthday.  The first church-wide Bible Study was held during the month of May of 2009; the congregation was engaged in "The Five Practices of a Fruitful Congregation" The Five Practices of Radical Hospitality, Passionate Worship, Intentional Faith Development, Risk-Taking Mission and "Service and Extravagant Generosity have been adopted as our new church structure, which we continue to use.  
 

2013     Rev. Alhassan Macaulay, our present pastor was appointed to Franklin United Methodist Church as our 44th pastor effective July 1, 2013. We were blessed to also receive his wife, Mabel Macaulay as a Certified Lay Servant. During the tenure of Rev. Macaulay, we have received 22 new members. Rev. Macaulay is adamant about Bible Study; we presently have a Tuesday night Bible Study which he teaches and a Women’s study taught by Sister Patricia N. Gross, Certified Lay Servant on Sunday mornings prior to morning worship. Pastor Macaulay initiated Franklin’s Food Pantry along with the Risk-Taking Mission & Service Ministry. The Food Pantry was started in September of 2014 in cooperation with the Maryland Food Bank with a goal to eradicate hunger in Maryland. The Food Pantry serves approximately 35 households and is open the second Saturday of each month. Emergency food is also available when requested by a needy family. We have also been certified by the Maryland Food Bank to operate a soup kitchen on the second Saturday of each month. We will continue to provide a six week summer day camp for boys and girls ages 5-13 years. The camp is free of charge to the parents because of grant from the Har-Pearl Spruill Foundation; this is the 11th year of the camp which offers activities in language arts, math, arts & crafts, Bible Studies, special events and special guest speakers with a weekly field trip. The program is designed to enrich the campers and to keep them from falling behind academically in the summer months. We have been truly blessed to become debt free; praise be to God, we have paid off the church mortgage. Worship Service is presently provided at the South County Rehabilitation Center on the Second Sunday of each month, the message is given by the lay servants and music by the various choirs. The pastor is looking to expand the Nursing Home Ministry to Brightview Assisted Living. Rev. Macaulay has been in contact with Chaplain Penn at the Prince George’s County Detention Center in Upper Marlboro to provide Prison Ministry Bible Study at that facility in the near future.

Franklin United Methodist Church continues to be blessed with great spiritual leaders. We thank God for the great

things he continues to do through us and for us. “To God be the Glory!”