Makemie Memorial Presbyterian Church History
On March 12, 1672, Somerset County gave permission to Presbyterians in the region to gather for worship along the rivers at four locations in what are now Somerset, Worcester, and Wicomico Counties. Thus, the churches had already been meeting for eleven years when Rev. Francis Makemie, considered the founder of American Presbyterianism, came as pastor from Scotland in 1683. A 350th anniversary celebration was held on the banks of the Pocomoke River on June 26, 2022.
In 1883, for the 200th anniversary of the organization of the church, it was resolved to build a new building and change the church’s name to Makemie Memorial Church in honor of its founder, Reverend Francis Makemie (1658 – 1708). The present building was designed by noted Philadelphia architect Isaac Pursell and is on the National Historic Register. It was started in 1887 and dedicated on June 29, 1890. The Gothic Revival structure is built of red brick with red sandstone trim. There are five beautiful memorial windows in the sanctuary, and the vaulted ceiling is supported by hand hewn, exposed wooded arches. It has two tall towers. Maryland Senator Ephraim King Wilson II (1821 - 1891) is buried in the adjacent graveyard, as is Revolutionary War soldier Captain Levin Handy.