Probably a few years after 1692, when the first thirty parishes were established in Maryland, a small frame building was first erected on the present site of St. Barnabas Church. The building was a "Chapel of Ease" in the northern sector of St. Paul's Parish. Then, in 1704 (the second year of the reign of Queen Anne of England), St. Paul's Parish was divided. The northern sector became Queen Anne Parish "by and with the advice and consent of her Majesties Governour, Council, and Assembly." Within a few years, a small brick church was built to replace the wooden chapel. Two acres of land on which the church stood were given by John and Mary Duvall.
By 1772, a new and larger house of worship was needed. The Vestry let a contract to Christopher Lowndes "to make, erect, build, and set up a new Brick Church near the place where the Old Brick Church in said parish now stands, to contain sixty feet in length and forty-six feet in width." The rector at the time of the building was the Reverend Jonathan Boucher, who was tutor for George Washington's stepson. As Washington records in his diary, he and his family, together with Governor Eden, went to St. Barnabas Church on October 4, 1772. Shortly before the Revolution, Boucher, who had become increasingly unpopular because of his Tory views, wrote in his autobiography that "for more than six months I preached, when I did preach, with a pair of loaded pistols lying on the cushion; having given notice that if any man, or body of men, could possibly be so lost to all sense of decency and propriety as to attempt really to do what had long been threatened, that is, to drag me out of my pulpit, I should think myself justified before God and man in repelling violence by violence." Boucher subsequently fled to England.
In 1974, this "new Brick Church," which had undergone several remodelings, was carefully and authentically restored under the direction of Walter Macomber, a distinguished architect specializing in the Colonial period. The restoration was made possible largely through the bequest of a lifelong parishioner, W. Seton Belt.
St. Barnabas' Episcopal Church
14111 Oak Grove Road
Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20774
Phone: (301) 249-5001 Fax: (301) 249-3838
Sunday Worship: 7:30 and 10 am, Fellowship after both services Sunday Faith Formation programs for adults and children