Harford Designates 135-Year-Old African-American Church as Historic Landmark

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Harford County Executive Barry Glassman and his chief advisor, Billy Boniface at Clark’s Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church in Bel Air. The date 1883 is visible above them.

Clark’s Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church has been designated a Harford County historic landmark. The 135-year-old church has one of the oldest, historically African-American congregations in the Bel Air area.

County Executive Barry Glassman requested the designation for the church and adjacent graveyard, which was unanimously approved by the Harford County Historic Preservation Commission, and by a vote of the County Council on Tuesday, February 2, 2021.

The one-story, stucco stone church was built on Kalmia Road between 1883 and 1885 as a replacement for an even earlier building. The congregation, originally comprised of free and enslaved African-Americans, has occupied the property since 1855.

“We are proud to protect this important piece of Harford’s history during Black History Month,” County Executive Glassman said. “With this designation, we can preserve the building and the story of its African-American congregation for future generations.”

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