Parish History

Probably a few years after 1692, when the first 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 Majesty’s 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 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. In the period prior to the American Revolution Rev. Boucher became increasingly unpopular because of his Tory views. He eventually fled to England.

In 1974, this new Brick Church, which had undergone several renovations, 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.