5400 Mackall Road, Saint Leonard, MD, United States
The History of Waters Memorial Church
According to the archives of the Baltimore Conference Methodist Society, Baltimore, Maryland, a Calvert Circuit existed in 1781 with Pastor Reed, visiting as a traveling preacher. The first reference to a "church" in this site was recorded in 1827. It was listed in the first quarterly conference report of the trustees as Ireland Creek Chapel and in the fourth quarterly conference report as Island Creek Chapel.
In 1835 the Calvert Circuit had 130 people to become members of the church. Also in that year Ireland Creek Chapel was selected by the conference to host two days of meetings for the church. At those meetings, a total of $3.45 was collected and turned over to the conference.
The possibility that Ireland Creek Chapel was the original building on this site is primarily rooted in the fact that when Island Creek Church appeared in the conference records in 1844, the name Ireland Creek Chapel disappeared from the records.
It is however, an established fact that a log cabin meeting place locally known as the chapel "down in the bottom" did exist. The origin of this chapel is unknown. The log cabin "in the bottom" originally used as a meeting place and chapel was later used as a school and even moved to a different site and continued to be used as a school.
In 1842, Sewell Davis Waters began construction of a church "up the hill" from the Chapel "in the bottom". This church was completed in 1843 and the name Island Creek Church appeared for the first time in the records of the Baltimore District in 1844. This church was of frame construction and had a seating capacity of about 175 people. The sanctuary was divided with men on the right, and women on the left and a divider in between.
A balcony was included for the black people, for there were numerous slave owners in the congregation. White and black worshiped together in this manner for approximately 30 years and then the black members decided to build their own church. Mr. Waters gave a piece of land about 100 yards away for the construction of a church for the "colored members". This is the site of the present Brook's Church.
In 1907, the congregation decided to erect a new church building with a Sunday School room. Soon after the construction of this new building, the church was renamed "Waters Memorial" in memory of Sewell Davis Waters.