Harford History

Site acquired for Old Center Church

March 11, 2007

According to a document dated March 9, 1844, "Joseph Harkins and Esther Harkins, his wife, of Harford County in the State of Maryland ... for and in consideration of the sum of three dollars, specie," conveyed a parcel of land to the board of trustees for the building of a place of worship for the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States of America.

Center Church, built in 1865, was on "the west side of the road leading from Belleair to Raitts Mill." This location is in what is now Forest Hill. However, there was no Forest Hill post office until 1852, so until that date the village was known by the names of the roads that crossed there.

As the village grew, other things changed. A new Center Church was built in 1907 to accommodate a growing congregation. The one-room frame Old Center Church, as it then became known, remained standing and was used for many funerals because of its proximity to the cemetery. It was dismantled in 1944.

Today, Center United Methodist Church can be found on Rocks Road in front of Forest Hill Elementary School.

[Sources: Harford Historical Bulletin, No. 29 (Summer 1986); Center United Methodist Church, www.cumcfh.org. Research: Harford County Public Library]

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