A new preservation plan for Wicomico County’s oldest historic church building, Green Hill Church in Quantico, circa. 1733, is being unveiled at the annual opening of the ancient church to the public on Green Hill Sunday, Aug. 21, during the 10 a.m. worship.
The plan indicates what work needs to be done to preserve this important historic landmark for future generations. The public is invited to attend.
Green Hill Church is situated on the banks of the Wicomico River 10 miles downriver from Salisbury.
Green Hill Church Sunday is a tradition that began over 150 years ago when the local Episcopal churches in Wicomico County began making their annual pilgrimage to their mother church in late August for a joint service and picnic afterwards on the church grounds.
Green Hill Church no longer has a regular worshiping congregation. It is owned by the Episcopal Diocese of Easton and maintained by the diocese’s Green Hill Church Committee, composed of members of local Episcopal Churches.
“The Preservation Plan for Green Hill Church provides the first comprehensive and in-depth report on its history and present condition, as well as recommendations for next steps as we continue with the restoration and preservation of this unique survivor from our colonial past,” said Lee Ellen Griffith, the Chair of the Green Hill Church Committee.
“The plan will guide our work as we look forward to Green Hill Church’s 300th birthday in 2033. There are some surprising discoveries about the church in the report that we’ll share on Green Hill Sunday,” Graffiti said.
More than a year of work went into researching and then writing the plan by preservation architect Barton Ross. The committee at the Aug. 21 Green Hill Sunday service and picnic will present the final report and announce what area of the church will be the focus of preservation work in the next year.
Green Hill Church was constructed in 1733 through the support of the colony of Maryland as a colonial church of the Church of England. It was the parish church of Stepney Parish which included lands on both sides of the Wicomico River and stretched northeast to parts of lower Delaware.
After the Revolutionary War the church, which became part of the Protestant Episcopal Church, went into decline and the congregation went to other churches. Repairs were made in the 1850s under the direction of the Rev. William Augustus White and the first annual pilgrimage to the historic church was made under his leadership.
Through the years the building went through cycles of decline and repairs. Bishop Adams of the Episcopal Diocese of Easton in 1887 consecrated the church as St. Bartholomew’s. Ever since Green Hill Sunday has been held on the Sunday closest to St. Bartholomew’s feast day on Aug. 24. This year Green Hill Sunday falls on Sunday, Aug. 21.
The church is well preserved as a wonderful example of 18th century colonial architecture. Two years ago new historically accurate doors were constructed and placed in the church.