Union United Methodist Church located in the heart of St. Michaels, under the current leadership of the Rev. Dr. William T. Wallace, Sr., is a very devout and close-knit congregation and a key part of the community. The congregation is largely African American and dates from 1852 when a small chapel was constructed on Fremont Street. To accommodate an increasing membership, the church was relocated to the corner of Fremont Street and Railroad Avenue and has been renovated several times. The education building was added in 1990.
Union United Methodist Church is very much a community church with outreach that is vital to many individuals in St. Michaels and the surrounding areas. Besides hosting ecumenical events, the church provides a weekly Senior Adult Ministry that includes food and activities for seniors. Thursday Bible School provides a scriptural and spiritual foundation for the children and includes nutritious meals and crafts. These programs are provided from October to May. A Community Vacation Bible School is held in June each year.
Through Union’s Outreach and Emergency Fund, the church provides assistance for rent, utilities, food and other personal necessities, which occasionally has included financial assistance for funerals and perpetual care. Union also supports the St. Michaels Community Center, Jeannie’s Community Café, St. Michaels Housing Authority and the St. Michaels Youth and Law Enforcement Program (S.M.Y.L.E.). For more information, please visit Union’s Facebook page.
With the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic last Spring, in-person worship services were cancelled and the church was closed. The church is currently worshiping virtually each Sunday at 10 a.m. (call in Number 712-770-5505/code: 649099.) Once the church was closed, certain mechanical systems in the church were turned off or set to a minimum to reduce costs.
2020 was one of the wettest years in recent memory and it played a major role in the problem that developed. Sometime during the rainy summer, the sump pump under the church failed and water caused by the excessive rainfall remained in the crawlspace. This was exacerbated by poor drainage around the perimeter of the building with water that migrated into the crawlspace.
The resulting dampness inside the church made air circulation critical. The HVAC duct system, which was quite old and damaged, was not able to handle the need. With water in the crawl space and inadequate air circulation and ventilation, the church, the attached education building and much of the contents became infested with mold.
When this situation was discovered late last year, efforts to ameliorate the problems were discussed. The first step will be to correct the drainage problem around the outside of the buildings. This will be followed by encapsulation, insulation, and mold removal in the crawl space as well as the replacement of sump pumps. The entire duct system under the church building will need to be removed and replaced to provide proper airflow for both heating and air conditioning units.
Once these steps have been completed, the inside mold remediation of walls, carpets, pews, and all contents can commence. Removing the mold from the beautiful historic pipe organ will require a specialist. The hymnals, bibles and other worship materials cannot be salvaged, and all must be discarded and replaced.
Estimates have been received for most of the work and a projection of the total cost to make this historic church whole again is in the vicinity of $140,000 to $150,000. The church does not have the resources to do most of this work. Fundraising events are underway. The congregation also is looking into funding sources, including grants and individual donations. The need is urgent, as the mold will only get worse if not treated.
For over 168 years this vibrant and inclusive church has served the community and the Bay Hundred area of Talbot County. The pastor and members are anxious to resume ministries of hope to the community and welcomes your assistance. Help is needed to restore, preserve and once again reopen the doors at this historic Union United Methodist Church in St. Michaels.
If you would like more information on the work and cost involved as well as how you can help, please email Marlene Thomas at: firstname.lastname@example.org Donations can be mailed to: Union United Methodist Church, Attn: Mrs. Andrea Wayman, PO Box 978, St. Michaels MD 21663. Checks should be made payable to: Union United Methodist Church. Please include the words Capital Improvement Fund on your check.