Residents for a Better Beltsville (RBB) working to restore historic Methodist Slave Cemetery
Updated: Aug 1, 2022
Residents for a Better Beltsville (RBB) is working to restore the historic Methodist Slave Cemetery located in Beltsville.
Please note the historic overview and current photos taken of the location on May 21, 2022. Connect with RBB on our Social Media: Twitter:@BetterBville; Facebook:/BetterBeltsville; and Instagram: /BetterBeltsville
From History of the Methodist Church in Beltsville
In June 1836, Evan and Verlinda Beall Shaw sold one acre of land to five Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church ($5 a person) for the purpose of building a structure for worship. This land was part of the Shaw plantation, located in Beltsville. The church was named Ebenezer Meeting House and stood at the northeast corner of the intersection of what is now Gunpowder Road and Powder Mill Road. The late Miss Susie Beall recorded in her writings the following: “The church building was a small log structure with a gallery across the rear of the church. The plantation slaves sat in the gallery which was reached by an outside ladder. A small graveyard surrounded the church. Some stones were still standing after 1900. The cemetery contained whites of the community and slaves. The congregation was led by Circuit Riders and later by the father of Marcellus Roby.” Today this land belongs to the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission, and about a dozen graves are marked only by field stones. From 1842 to 1848, Ebenezer was part of the Bladensburg Circuit. Ebenezer and more than a dozen other churches were probably part of the Bladensburg Circuit before 1842. Evan Shaw’s will, dated January 1857, stated that his slaves were to be freed and were to inherit his plantation at his and his wife’s death. Mr. Shaw died in 1858 and his wife, Verlinda, died a few years later. Land records from 1866 show that the former slaves sold 100 acres of the plantation, and in 1877 they sold the remaining acres. This included the one acre of land where Ebenezer Meeting House stood and the surrounding cemetery. No record has been found showing that the Baltimore Conference has ever claimed the one-acre purchased by the trustees in 1836. Apr 14, 2007 · Ebenezer Meeting House was built on this location and was in use until about 1861. A cemetery was located near the log meeting house. Several gravesites still remain. Erected 1986 by the Prince George’s County Historical Society. Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Churches & Religion. Location.