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Church History

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"Fulfilling the Great Commission"

Matt 28:19-20


The Cowdensville African Methodist Episcopal Church is located at the intersection of Sulphur Spring and Shelbourne Roads, it has been the focal point of the community since the mid 19th century.  Founded in 1857, the congregation originally worshipped in a private home on Garrett Avenue.  The 1870 census list Rev. Stephen Boyd as Minister at the AME Church.  When slavery ended many blacks remained in Cowdensville where they had already established their own community and their own church.  Cowdensville Chapel was used as a school with children coming from Halethorpe, Avalon, and Winan’s Row to seek an education.


In 1904, church members of five Cowdensville families (the John Browns, the Fletchers, the Garretts, the Matthews and the Williams) purchased the ground and built the new Church at Sulphur Spring and Shelbourne Roads.  Members of the community provided materials and labor and in May 1907, the church was completed.  Cowdensville continues to be a beacon of light as it serves the community as the oldest area church.  Throughout its history, the church has provided spiritual guidance and a foundation for the social and cultural life of the community.  In September 1968, the new cornerstone was laid during the pastorate of Rev. Seawood Blackstone. Under the pastorate of Rev. Delores Prioleau the community worked together to preserve historical significance during the building of UMBC in the community.  Due to the Church being condemned in 1997, the congregation worshipped at St. John’s United Church of Christ for five years

Cowdensville was totally renovated under the pastorate of Rev. Michelle Langston. The congregation triumphantly marched back into their sanctuary on July 28, 2002.  Following Rev. Langston, Rev. Suzette Haynes along with the church congregation initiated the grant from the Maryland Historic Society to paint the church.  During the pastorate of Rev. Marlene Jefferson, the church was painted and new inside doors installed.  The Voices of Cowdensville was established. 

Under the leadership of Pastor, Rev. Brenda McClain the floor has been carpeted and for the first time in the history of the Church a new commercial sign was erected so that the community will know that we are here to serve in the name of Jesus. In December of 2015 a car accident caused extensive damage to the church.  Yet the church is still standing after having been renovated inside and out.  In April of 2019, Rev. Ashley Davis was appointed as the Pastor.  It was under his pastorate that Cowdensville was introduced to the world with an engaging website and social media presence.

During the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic Cowdensville held all worship services via Zoom.  On April 24, 2021 Servant Bishop Rt. Rev. James L. Davis appointed Rev. Alicia Hudnall to Pastor this historic congregation. In an effort to carry out the church mission to GO and make disciples of all nations, all services were made available on Zoom, Facebook and YouTube.  In September of 2023 we celebrated the 166th Church Anniversary demonstrated through God's faithfulness to the collective body of believers called Cowdensville. 

Presently we continue to serve our community by providing support to students at University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) College, and Arbutus Middle School.  Offering hope to those grieving by hosting GriefShare Support Group Meetings.  We are grateful that God continues to use this church family to bless His people!

To God Be The Glory!

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by Faith"

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