This is an excerpt from the coming-soon book, 181 Great Events on Delmarva, which includes more than 100 suggested side trips that are located nearby one of the featured events.
Just three walls remain standing at Coventry Parish, which was built in the late 1780s. Those post-revolutionary years were tumultuous times in American religious history. The British Anglican Church that formerly ruled the roost in Maryland fell on hard times due to its association with the losing side. This building was part of the effort to reinvent that faith as an all-American institution, the Episcopal Church. Folks worshipped at Coventry for a century before abandoning the place in the late 1800s.
The nearby Rehobeth Presbyterian Church is chock full of history as well. Believed to be the country’s oldest Presbyterian church building in continuous use for services, it was erected in 1706 and has been remodeled a couple of times since. The “Father of American Presbyterianism,” Francis Makemie, probably preached here. Many of the faithful back then would have traveled to hear him by way of the Pocomoke River rather than along overland roads.
If you are traveling through Somerset County, Md. along Route 13, you will want to turn north on Route 667 (Rehobeth Road), winding this way and that before turning onto Coventry Parish Road, where the ruins will soon appear.
• Coventry Parish info here.
• Rehobeth Presbyterian info here.
The photo up top here is from 1967 when experts got to work trying to stabilize what’s left of Coventry Parish. This side trip is associated with the Delmarva Heritage Days, a celebration of decoy carvers and their artistry held in March at the Delmarva Discovery Center in Pocomoke City, Md. The turnoff indicated here is a little way north of Pocomoke City.
–posted by Jim Duffy on June 2, 2020 for Secrets of the Eastern Shore and Whimbrel Creations, LLC. All rights reserved.