“A Firm Foundation”
“Therefore thus says the Lord God, Behold, I am laying Zion for a foundation,
a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation…”
Looking north across Queen’s Chapel Cemetery (PG: 62-023-21) towards Queen’s Chapel United Methodist Church (EHT Traceries, 2007)
Queen’s Chapel United Methodist Church is Rich in History
1868 White landowners, William and Henrietta Mannix agree to sell three-tenths of an acre of land to Thomas Queen, Thomas Matthews, Ferdinand Key, James Powell, Knotley Johnson, and Henry Edwards to build a place of worship and a school for the “colored people” of the Muirkirk community on land that was the site of the pre-Civil War cemetery.
- 1870 A log structure was erected and named Queen‘s Chapel. The church became one-fifth of the Potomac District’s Bladensburg Circuit with Rev. William H. Draper as its first pastor.
- 1893-1895 The church was joined with St. Mark’s, a mission in Laurel, and Bacon’s Chapel, now known as Mt. Zion, was added by 1895.
- 1899 -1901 The log cabin chapel was destroyed by lightning. A new church of Georgia pine was built with funds loaned Charles Coffin, owner of the community’s major employer Muirkirk Furnace 1901.
- 1909–1929 Loan was repaid to Charles Coffin in full; the graveyard was enlarged with a purchase of an acre of land.
- 1930-1953 Another building project is started to accommodate growth by purchasing a portion of land across the street from the current edifice; the passage of HR2511 by US Congress authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to convey by quitclaim deed two acres of land. Bill passed in 1947. Efforts to continue fundraising to complete laying the cornerstone in 1953.
- 1953-1969 The church undergoes several governing and administrative changes, which leads to incorporation in 1969.
- 1970-1984 Membership greatly increases and ministries and naming of annual days, e.g., Annual Homecoming Revival, Friends Day. Mass Choir was organized in 1984.
- 1985 The Male Chorus releases its first album, “Going on Just the Same.”
- 1987 Purchase from PEPCO 5.5 acres of land to construct a new edifice or renovate the existing one to include a new sanctuary and educational complex.
- 1992-2000 A Strategic Planning Committee is organized. A Building Committee is then set apart and selects the theme “When God Gives a Vision…All Things Are Possible,” Another building project begins as the congregation continues to grow.
- 2001 Queen’s Chapel moves its worship to Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School. Potomac Capital Investment, Inc. donates land towards expanding the church cemetery and bestows a financial gift of $75,000 towards the building fund.
- 2002 The Building Fund surpasses the $1 million mark.
- 2003 The pledge campaign continues with the addition of a capital campaign feasibility study. A special congregational meeting proposes to reduce the sanctuary’s planned size to reduce the overall cost of the project.
- 2004 Groundbreaking with a loan package for $3.2 million, but the project falters.
- 2007 A year of pastoral appointment change. The Church completes the permit process but enters into mediation with the project’s architectural firm to resolve procedural issues. Under the direction of the new pastor and to move forward with the vision to build a new edifice, the Building Committee’s membership is reorganized and expanded. New programs and ministries are started with an emphasis on youth and young adults. Significant changes to the worship experience, particularly fifth Sundays, were called Radical Sunday to promote innovative, contemporary worship and praise.
- 2009 A new architect, Skorpa Design Studio Architects, is selected to redesign the complex. Also chosen as the General Contractor, Trionfo Builders, Inc. Queen’s Chapel under the assistance of Generis Partners, LLC enters into a three-year “Lifestyle Stewardship Capital Campaign” based on 2 Samuel 24:24—I will not offer to God that which costs me nothing. Queen’s Chapel secures a loan from The Columbia Bank and begins construction.
- 2010 Additional funding is secured for additional costs of the project, which brings the total cost of the project to $5.2 million.
- 2011 Sunday, September 4, the congregation returns to 7410 Old Muirkirk Road, now called “The New Frontier.” Attendance for morning worship was over 600. Homecoming Sunday, October 16, The Reverend Dr. Ianther M. Mills was the celebrant over the new edifice’s consecration. In the months to follow, Queen’s Chapel continues to celebrate its arrival on the “The New Frontier” by developing new ministries and special celebrations.
“And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew and bent upon that house, and it fell not; for it was founded on a rock.”
Marsha L. Brown, Church Historian