A History of St James United Methodist Church at Dennings, MD
In the 1700’s John Wesley preached in the hometown of Robert Strawbridge in Ireland. Strawbridge converted and in ca 1759 settled in Maryland, where he preached the gospel. John Evans was one of the first converts to American Methodism and offered his home in Carroll County for public Methodist worship. In 1878 under the leadership of one of his daughter’s descendents, Pinkney James Bennett, St James Church was built in Dennings and made part of the Linganore Circuit. In 1907, St James became part of the Freedom Circuit and in 1942, part of the New Windsor Circuit.
The original church had two entrances, one for the men and one for the ladies, who sat separately. In 1944 an addition was made to the church to include three classrooms and a fellowship hall. The two doors in the front of the church were closed and a bell tower and vestibule were added, with doors in the center front of the church.
In 1947 St James became part of the Pipe Creek Circuit. In 1948 a painting of Jesus the Good Shepherd was added to the sanctuary, and in 1956, stained glass windows replaced the original plain glass windows. Additional land for the cemetery was purchased. From 1957 to 1961 a kitchen and three more Sunday School rooms were added, and the sanctuary was renovated. The old chimneys were removed and cherry paneling was put up. In 1963 St James joined with Stone Chapel to form a new circuit, which would have a parsonage and a full-time pastor. This continued until 2000, when St. James broke ties with Stone Chapel. The church continues to be served by its own Pastor. More recently we have been assessing the needs of the parishoners and making improvements to our church facility in order to meet the spiritual challenges of today.