Photo credit: Paul Baker Touart , 06/1986

Property Name: Rock Creek Methodist Episcopal Church
Date Listed: 11/2/1990
Inventory No.: S-363
Location: Deal Island Road (MD 363), Chance, Somerset County

Description: Rock Creek Methodist Episcopal Church, built in 1900, is a cross-plan church supported by a continuous common bond brick foundation. The side walls are covered with aluminum siding over weatherboards. The gable ends remain unaltered with exposed layers of fishscale shingles. Rising in the southwest corner of the cross plan is a three-story bell tower capped by a pyramidal spire. The south (main) elevation is an asymmetrical facade with a gable front and the adjacent entrance and bell tower. The facade has a tripartite Gothic arched colored glass window with narrow lancet windows to each side. In the sanctuary the pews are arranged on a semicircular plan which is echoed by a semicircular altar rail. The pews date from the turn of the 20th century and have decorative ends. The walls are finished with beaded board wainscoting and plaster. Located against the south wall are three rolltop tambour partitions that open in case a larger sanctuary is needed. Hanging from the ceiling are a pair of turn of the 20th century chandeliers. Standing to the west of the church is a single-story L-shaped frame church hall built in 1928.

Significance: Rock Creek Methodist Episcopal church is an important example of the rural Gothic churches built in Somerset County for the Methodist church in the closing decades of the 19th century. As seen in the Rock Creek church, these buildings commonly have complex T and cross plans characterized by corner bell towers, steeply pitched roofs, elaborate tripartite Gothic windows on the principal facade, and elaborately decorated interiors with turnings and panels. Rock Creek's significance is that it is one of the more elaborate examples built and still intact. Distinctive also is the semicircular sanctuary arrangement. In terms of age, this church is one of the last of the Gothic Methodist churches built in the county.




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