Lanham United Methodist Church
1830 - 2020
Lanham United Methodist Church enjoys a rich heritage,
and our roots go deep into the history of this region. Our
190-year old church is part of the community built by
Christians working together and serving God. In the early
years, the local area was covered by forests and roamed
by the Conestoga Indians. Then came the settlers who
began small settlements. Later the Baltimore, Annapolis
and Washington Railroad was built. We became a lumber center and many of the first roads in the area were made by logs being dragged to the sawmills.
George Whitefield, a friend of the Wesley family, came
through this area in 1744, more than thirty years before
the Declaration of Independence. There were many
Methodists here at that time. We know from circuit records that prior to 1830, members were meeting in homes; then subsequently met in the McGregors’ School. That building still currently stands beside the site of our present Church. It is the home of the Trueman Haskell family. When Whitfield Road was widened, the house was moved back and repositioned to face Whitfield Road instead of Stevens Lane. Perhaps someday we can acquire this property which is the site of the founding of Lanham Church.
In December 1830, Trueman and Mary Lanham donated
a piece of land for the building of a place of worship. Our
church cemetery is located on the donated land.
On the 3/4 acre of ground given by the Lanham family, the original Church was built in 1837. The entrance was
flanked by two cedar trees, which it is believed, are still in our cemetery. At Lanham United Methodist Church, even in the early days, both African-American and Caucasian members worshiped on Sundays. Ours remained a small Church as did the Bladensburg Circuit of which we were apart. In 1864 records show 140 black members, 97 white members, and 50 probationers. The minister's salary then was $600.
The second church building, a frame structure, was built in 1881-1882 and was dedicated in 1885. The old structure was sold to the Negro Methodist congregation for $1. This building was moved down the road and remained in use until 1976 as the Ebenezer Methodist Church. The membership at Lanham in 1885 was 25 persons. The land, where the present parking lot is, was given by Mr. E.C. Stevens and a parsonage was built in 1889. Additional land was donated in 1891 by Mrs. Sarah
Howser. This land is now part of the cemetery along
In 1918 the old building which was remodeled in 1906, was beyond repair and a new one much needed. Though pledges were taken to cover the cost, many did not materialize, so some members mortgaged their homes to raise the funds. Services were held in a tent until the new building was completed. The total building cost was $21,000. This was our first brick church. The congregation numbered 75. The cornerstone was laid in 1921 and has the dates of the three buildings on or near the site. A metal box containing the names of the dedicated contributors is sealed within the granite block. Our fine organ was acquired in 1945.
Although we have come a long way from our early days,
today, we are proud to remain true to the following
articulated principles and aspirations:
Our Core Values:
We value the development of a RELATIONSHIP with
Jesus Christ through learning and education, being Christ-like and supporting one another through this process.
We value CARE AND CONCERN for all God’s people
whether churched or unchurched.
We value MISSIONS and COMMUNITY relationships that
reach beyond our church doors.
We value YOUTH AND CHILDREN’S MINISTRIES which
encourage growth in Jesus Christ in a safe, loving
environment, and will strive to nurture an inter-
We value VOLUNTEERS who express their faith by using
their spiritual gifts and God-given talents in action.
We work together to invite and connect with our global
community; to develop a personal relationship with Jesus
Christ through a journey of faith and worship.
Centered in Christ, Lanham United Methodist Church will
Pray, Learn and Serve.