Jerusalem-Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church Hosts Juneteenth Festival to Raise Funds for Stained Glass Window Restoration

 

 

 

 

Rockville, MD— Jerusalem- Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church will host a Juneteenth Festival on Saturday, June 22, 2024, from 10 am – 4 pm on the Church grounds at 21 Wood Lane, Rockville, MD 20850.  The event is a fundraiser to help raise funds for the restoration of the stained-glass windows in the historic African American Church.  The Festival will feature a yard sale, food sales, children’s activities, information tables, historic presentations and an Open House to view the windows.   

Jerusalem-Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church was founded in 1835 and is the oldest African American Church in Rockville, MD.  The Church and its members have long been involved in the community, supporting education, outreach and social actions.  It housed Rockville’s Negro school for several years after the school building was burned down in 1912.  The Montgomery County Chapter of the NAACP was founded in the Church in 1937. 

The stained-glass windows which were installed in the Church in the early 20th century are memorial windows that commemorate persons and organizations associated with the Church.  The estimated cost for restoration is $200,000.  Among the memorialized are: 

  • George Meads who served as Chief of African American volunteers who provided fire services before the Rockville Volunteer Fire Company was established in 1921 and was also a Deputy Sheriff
  • William Johnson who was one of the “colored citizens” who helped to extinguish the fire at the Rockville Presbyterian Church in 1873 and received payment from the Town Commissioners for his actions
  • Edward Williams – who owned a 125-acre dairy farm in Germantown and was one of the first Black farmers to ship milk

HISTORIC PRESENTATIONS

Peerless Rockville partners with Jerusalem-Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church at their Juneteenth Festival for two educational lectures.

At 12 pm – Jerusalem: A Pillar of Faith and Community

Church historian Chiquita Sorrels will share the history of this pillar of the Rockville community – one of the oldest active churches in Rockville. Discover how the church evolved from its founding in 1835 with a racially mixed congregation to an all Black congregation after the Civil War. This church has been at the forefront of Civil Rights in Rockville since before the Civil War playing a key role in segregated education efforts and founding the Montgomery County chapter of the NAACP. Learn theses stories and hear about some of the individuals and organizations memorialized in the stained glass windows.

at 2 pm – Juneteenth: Rockville Troops in Texas

Several thousand U.S. Colored Troop soldiers were in Texas at the time of Juneteenth, including men from Rockville. During the Civil War, Black regiments were recruited from all states of the Union. Nearly 180,000 Black soldiers – including over 8,000 from Maryland – served during the last two years of the war. Their service was crucial to the Union success. After the Confederate surrender, the U.S. Colored Troops were ordered to Brownsville, Texas, to become the Army of Occupation along the Texas border. On their way, storms forced a ship to dock in Galveston, resulting in several USCT regiments there June 18-20, 1865, when General Granger issued General Order No. 3.

Both free and enslaved members of the Rockville African American community in the US CT were in Texas at this time. This presentation will discuss some of their lives: before, during, and after their service.