In the fall of 1857, at the suggestion of some of the citizens of Frostburg, the Committee on Missions of the Winchester Presbytery
took measures to have occasional preaching in Frostburg.
Subsequently, the Synod of Baltimore requested the committee to attend to this “matter of having occasional preaching in that
destitute place called Frostburg, Md.”
The Rev. John Phillips, pastor of the Keyser Presbyterian Church, preached regularly during the early part of the summer of 1858
in Frostburg, at the Redmen’s Hall, located at that time, on Broadway Street.
In September of 1858, the first ordinance of the Lord’s Supper was administered according to the order of the Presbyterian
It was administered in the Methodist Church (which was offered for the occasion), by Rev. W. H. Foote, pastor of Romney
Presbyterian Church and Rev. John Phillips, to those who wanted a Presbyterian Church in Frostburg. At the close of this
gathering the fourteen persons who had taken Communion presented the petition requesting that a Presbyterian Church be
organized in Frostburg. All who had signed the petition claimed they had been members of some Presbyterian Church
elsewhere, but most of them were from Scotland.
The petition was taken to the Winchester Presbytery. The Presbytery met on September 16, 1858, in Mount Zion Church, Hardy
County, Virginia. The Presbytery appointed Rev. William. H. Foote to lay the matter of the Frostburg church, before the
Presbytery of Carlisle, Pa., and the Baltimore Synod, which met there also. Both bodies, willing to organize a church in
Frostburg, requested Winchester Presbytery to go ahead with the organizing of the church.
The Winchester Presbytery them appointed Rev. Wm. H. Foote, Romney, Virginia; Rev. M. W. Woodworth of Burlington, Virginia;
Rev. John Phillips of Keyser, Virginia, and Elder J. C. McCarty of Keyser Church to proceed with the organization of the church
On Saturday, December 11, 1858, they came to Frostburg and met with those who had signed the petition. One of the ministers
preached that evening and afterwards called the names of the fourteen persons who had signed the petition, all answering, and
making profession of their faith publicly. They were admitted to membership under the care of the Winchester Presbytery of
Virginia, and the church was to be known as “The Presbyterian Church of Frostburg.”
The names of those members received are as follows: Archibald McDonald, John McDonald, Jane Percy, Jane Russell
McDonald, Anna Percy, William Mclindor, Mary Mclindor, John Patton, Jane Patton, Hugh Simpson, Margaret Simpson,
Alexander Tennant, George Tennant, and Maria Tennant.
They elected Archibald McDonald, James Patton and George Tennant as Elders. James Patton was elected Clerk and served for
On Sunday morning, December 12, 1858, Rev. Wm. H. Foote preached and called a meeting of the Session at which time six
more persons were admitted to membership. They were: Alexander Sloan and his wife, George Percy, Janet Smith, Mary Percy,
and Helen McDonald. Mary Percy and Helen McDonald were admitted, but were sick and unable to attend. A motion was made
and carried that the six just received along with the fourteen received earlier be named charter members of the Frostburg Church.
Rev. Woodworth, Rev. Foote and Rev. Phillips preached off and on until 1864. At this time the war was going on between the
North and the South. Winchester Presbytery was in the South and Carlisle Presbytery in the North, and there was enmity between
them. The Winchester Presbytery wanted a dividing line, to which the Carlisle Presbytery agreed, but wanted the Winchester
Presbytery to take Hagerstown and all west of it in Maryland. The latter was willing to take Hagerstown and Cumberland, but did
not want the Coal Valley (Georges Creek).
Agreement was finally reached, whereby the Potomac River would be the dividing line with the Winchester Presbytery taking the
south side and the Carisle Presbytery taking the north side. This continues to be the dividing line between the two Presbytery’s.
The land was purchased for the church on December 27, 1859 from an individual named Newton for the sum of $400.00.
The Rev. Wm. B. Sibbit was pastor of the church from 1864 to 1867, and the Rev. D. L. Rathbun from 1868 to 1870. Alexander
Rankin became an Elder in 1869. During Rev. Rathbun’s pastorate two things happened for which offenders were disciplined.
In 1948, Enoch Prichard, presented a history of the church at the 90th Anniversary celebration. He related the following story: "(o)
ne woman, accused of being drunk and disorderly, was called before the session. She admitted being disorderly but said she was
"not drunk," but may have had “a few too many.” A charge was brought against two men for drunkenness; both pleaded “not
guilty.” They were later found guilty and suspended."
About the year 1871 a large group of Welsh people came from South Wales and settled in Frostburg. They wanted a church
home and finding the Presbyterian’s not holding services at this time asked permission to use the church. Permission was granted
by the elders of the church on condition that they elect Presbyterian ministers and be governed by the Baltimore Presbytery, to
which they agreed.
Rev. G. Humphrey, a Presbyterian minister from New York, was their first pastor. A man by the name of Zephaniah Jones, a great
choir leader from South Wales, soon became affiliated with the church, and was elected director of the choir of forty-five or fifty
singers. Rev. Humphrey suggested that they challenge the Welsh Baptis choir in a singing contest, which they did, with the result
that the Presbyterians won most of the prizes.
The minister evidently did not approve of their singing for money, for on the following Sunday at class meeting, after the
preaching service Rev. Humphrey said: “All those who took part in the singing contest are suspended from the roll of this church
unless they come before the session and apologize for taking part in it.” All the singers and others who “were active in the affair,”
arose and walked out. Rev. Humphrey was compelled to leave because he had no congregation.
There were transaction records kept during the time the Welsh imagrants used the church, however, it was written in Welsh, and
an elder who had had access to the records tore it out because he couldn’t understand it.
Some of the people of Frostburg were eager to re-open the church again for services, so on April 8, 1874, quite a number met, at
the home of Alexander Rankin, who was the only elder left in the church (Elder Alexander Sloan had moved to Lonaconing in
1873). They invited Rev. J. K. Black, pastor of the Lonaconing Presbyterian Church, and Elder Alexander Sloan of the same
church to attend this meeting. Those present from Frostburg were: Thomas 0. Evans, Morgan Rees, Thomas A. Evans, Reuben
Anthony, Francis Rees, John H. Thomas,and Gershon Anthony.
Three elders were elected and installed: Thomas A. Evans, Thomas 0. Evans, and Reuben Anthony; with Mr. Rankin, who was
already an elder, making four. Reuben Anthony was elected clerk of the session and served for thirty years.
Those who attended the meeting solicited the town and found thirty others who wished to have the church opened. On April
26th, another meeting was held, Rev. John Thomas preached and the following persons united with the church: William Phillips,
John Henry, Mrs. Sarah Gunter, Mrs. Ann Jones, Mrs. Mary Evans, Mrs. Elizabeth Crump, Mrs. Elizabeth Anthony, Mrs. John H.
Thomas, Mrs. Rachel Anthony, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. H. Evans, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Evans, Mr. and Mrs. Simon Evans, Mrs. Mary
Price, Miss Maggie Thomas, Miss Lizzie Evans, Miss Leah Anthony, Mrs. Mary Evans, Mrs. Hannah Jones, Mrs. Mary Anthony,
Mrs. Ann Llewellyn, Mrs. Ann Evans, Mrs. Morgan Rees, Mrs. Joseph P. Thomas, Mrs. Jacob Llewellyn, Miss Diana Anthony, John
Thomas, Jr., Morgan Rees, Gershon Anthony, Thomas 0. Evans, Alexander Rankin, Frances Rees, Reuben Anthony, andThomas
On July 14, 1874, Rev. John Thomas was installed as pastor, and remained for two years. During this time twelve persons were
admitted to membership. Under Reverend Thomas's guidance the church was first incorporated as: The Old School Presbyterian
Church. (Note: At a later date the names was changed to "First Presbyterian Church, Frostburg, MD., Inc.")
Rev. William A. Powell was installed on August 10, 1879, and held the pastorate two years.
Rev. A. T. Rankin, D.D., supplied the pulpit for one month. During this time, August 7, 1881, Mrs. Diana Thomas Colborn was
admitted to membership in this church.
A call was extended to Rev. D. D. Jenkins on September 18,1881, and he was pastor for nearly two years.
Mr. I. C. Lambert supplied the pulpit for four months, during which time with the help of Rev. King of the Lonaconing Church
thirteen persons were received into church membership.
March 21, 1886, Rev. J. A. Whittaker became pastor and served two years. During 1888 and until September 1889, the church
was without a pastor.
Rev. A. C. Thompson received a call and remained for three years. During his pastorate, the church sustained "damages due to
the cyclone of the fall of 1891." Still the church grew admitting Mrs. Mattie Thomas Metzger and Mrs. Laura Thomas Ecker were
received into membership March 27, 1892. Mrs. Lillie Thomas Taylor united with the church February 1, 1895. They are sisters
of Mrs. Diana Colborn’s.
Rev. R. S. Meily supplied the pulpit for one year. Rev. F. S. Kurtz was pastor for two years. Other members who united with the
church more than fifty years ago are, namely: Mrs. Sadie Smith Pascoe, April 7, 1895; Mrs. Janet Taylor Park, May 26, 1895;
Mrs. Annie Lewis Hanson, July 11, 1895; Mrs. Annie Morgan, July 11, 1895; Enoch B. Prichard, July 11, 1895. During the year
1895, the church was extensively remodel into what is now it red brick colonial pattern.
Rev. Harry S. Ecker accepted a call to become pastor of this church on September 26, 1897, and remained eleven years. The
membership numbered eighty-five at this time, and they were five thousand dollars in debt. It was a colossal task at a time when
money was scarce and times were poor, but he tackled the job. With the help of God and a group of loyal members the debt was
paid, and new members added to the church. Rev. Ecker deserves much credit for the work he accomplished while here, and
perhaps no minister was ever more beloved than was he by the members of this churSh.
On October 23, 1908, Rev. J. N. Beall, D.D., (possibly Beal Ed.) became pastor and was here for nine and one-half years.
On Good Friday, 1918, the church was reborn in faith. The north wall, facing Water Street, crumbled and fell. The church was
extensively damaged and Pastor Beall said that the church was "done for". Massive damaged included destruction of some of
the seating, floor damage and and the crushing of two beautiful memorial windows. His reccomendation to the Presbytery was to
take over the church, and to get what money they could from the sale of the property. Beall soon thereafter resigned.
In true christian fashion, members of the church "rolled up our sleeves" and went to work. Rubble was removed, repairs made,
and in three months time the church reopened to hold services. All of the repairs and materials were paid for, except one bill
which amounted to less than five hundred dollars. The church was without a pastor at that time in 1918. Two members of the
congregation, Daniel Kropp and Enoch B. Prichard, conducted services, until Pastor Clews answered the call.
During the next eleven years - 1918 to 1929, five different pastors served the church. The longest tenure was about two years,
served by four of the five. The pastors included: Rev. William Clews, Reveredy Seth Downey, Reverend Raymond Muthart,
Reverend J.C. Clark, and Reverend C. J. Hunt. All were well received, and brought their own special atributes to the church.
Rev. Henry Little, D.D., was pastor for seventeen years, beginning in 1930. many improvements were accomplished during his
pastorate. The interior of the church was re-decorated twice, a pipe organ was aquired, and a steam furnace installed.
additionally, $1,600.00 collected toward the Restoration Fund
Reverend John Cameron Taylor, D.D., came to Frostburg highly recommended by the president of the seminary from which he
graduated. Late in January, 1947, he came as a candidate, bringing Mrs. Taylor with him. He preached on the following Sunday
morning. Everyone was very pleased, and he was given a unanimous call by our church. Reverend Taylor was installed as pastor
of the church on Tuesday evening, July 1, 1947.
Reverend Taylor saw that Societies were at once organized to include every age group in the church and church school. The
Westminster Fellowship was organized for the teenagers and the Door-keepers for the young adults.
Mrs. Taylor, reverend Taylor's wife, organized and directed two choirs, one the chapel choir for children from seven to twelve
years of age, and the senior choir. Mr. Franldin H. Chermock was director of the later choir during the late 1940's.
During Reverend Taylor's time as pastor some fifty-four new members were added to the church roll, causing our congregation to
grow rapidly. Other important events accuring during the pastorate of Reverend Taylor include: paying off the Restorate Fund -
$1,900.00, a kitchen, lO x 36 feet in dimension was built during the summer of 1948, with most of the work being done by the
menbers of the church. "It is conveniently furnished, having a hot water tank, a ten burner gas range, a double drain board sink, a
serving window, and plenty of cupboard room." Also, during 1948 the sanctuary and classrooms of the church were re-decorated.
Crica 1948, there were three other societies: the Deborah Society, organized around 1908 during the pastorate of Reverend
Ecker, as the Sewing Society. At some point the name changed to Deborah Society. The Sunergoi Society, the larger of the two
groups, celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary on February 18, 1949. These two societies have made many contributions toward
the progress of the church, both socially and financially. The Missionary Society is made up of women belonging to the Deborah
During 1954, while Reverend Illingworth was pastor, the sactuary was again remodeled. The next major event was to occur in
May of 1959.
Reverend Paul Caravetta was pastor for the 100th anniversary of our church. A wonderful and memorable celebration took place
on May 19 1959.
1960 saw the beginning of construction on the "new educational building" to the rear and north of the church. This new building
replaced the old wooden structure that had been in use for many years. William Prichard was the Building Committee chairman
for this project.
In 1969, just before the pastorate of Reverend Washburn, the manse, immediately south of the church, was removed.
During the pastorate of Reverend Steve Washburn, the new Narthex was completed and dedicated, "featuring indoor steps." the
ceremony took place on May 19, 1974. Revenend Washburn was also responsible for having new pews install in the church in
february of 1976. a church history was complied and a booklet issued for the Bicentenial in 1976, marking 118 years of the