Photo credit: George J. Andreve , 10/1975

Property Name: Mt. Gilboa Chapel
Date Listed: 10/21/1976
Inventory No.: BA-637
Location: 1221, Westchester Avenue, Catonsville, Baltimore County

Description: Mount Gilboa Church is located on the west side of Westchester Avenue, just north of Oella Avenue. This small stone church, three by four bays, faces east, and measures 28 by 42 feet. A plaque in the front gable bears the date 1859. The front fa├žade is ashlar masonry, but the sides and rear are of rubble. The sanctuary on the principal floor sits on a high basement which is used for the Sunday School and social area. Basement openings are boarded and have large stone lintels and sills. Entry to the building is through double paneled doors at the front of the basement. Inside is a small vestibule flanked by a quarter turn stair with a landing leading up to the sanctuary. The sanctuary is plain, finished with white plaster walls. On the interior the openings, having 4/4 windows, are splayed.

Significance: Mount Gilboa Chapel is significant as an achievement on the part of free black people who built a substantial stone church of about the same size and quality as the places of worship used by other small congregations of the dominant majority. Mount Gilboa of the present is the replacement of an earlier log chapel of unknown origin. It is possible that neighbor Benjamin Banneker attended services in such a log chapel.




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