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. 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 our current 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.
Today, there is a new charge to move from membership to discipleship. We are engaged in discipleship training. Cowdensville AME Church is alive and empowered by the Holy Spirit to do the work of the Lord. Ministries are being revised such as the Women’s Missionary Society. Adult Church School is exciting! The youth and young adults are being challenged. Vacation Bible School was wonderful. Outreach concentrates on seniors at the Caring Hands Adult Facility and the youth. We continue to teach and preach Jesus Christ who is our Lord and Savior!
Rev. Aaron Hudnall Jr.
1st Gentleman &
Alicia Rachele Hudnall also known as Lisa was born in Silver Spring Maryland to the late and great Frances A. Black. She grew up in the AME church and has held membership and served in various capacities at Bethel A.M.E. in Reidsville, North Carolina, First AME in Manassas, Virginia, and Falls Road AME in Baltimore Maryland.