Welcome to St. Paul's Episcopal Church
3936 Main Street, Trappe, Maryland 21673
Mail: P. O. Box 141    Phone:1-443-786-2170
www.stpauls-trappe.org
A Brief History of the White Marsh Parish
​ THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEARS OF CHRISTIAN WORSHIP

St. Paul's Church is also known as the White Marsh Parish of the Episcopal Church. The parish  began in the 1600's with the first regular Sunday worship of any kind in the area. The earliest site for Sunday worship was just north of Trappe, halfway between Oxford and the former community of Dover, on what is now called Manadier Road. 

An informed guess is that the congregation was established with regular Sunday worship beginning in 1662-63. The congregation of St. Paul's considers 2013 to be the 350th anniversary of the Christian Church's presence in Trappe's part of Talbot County. The ruins of the original church still stand in the cemetery and are used by St. Paul's for Sunday worship at least once a year.

It is believed that some of its bricks came to America as ballast in sailing ships bound for the Chesapeake to take on bales of tobacco for transport to England. The cornerstone of the present building on Main Street, Trappe is dated 1859. The record of the baptism of Thomas Delahay in 1668 exists and his descendants are still an important part of the present-day parish. 

In the early 1700's the parish started the first school in the county that was open to boys whose  families could not pay for tutors for their education. The parish school was called White Marsh School. It was open to boys of poor and enslaved parents free of charge. It is thought that the parish's White Marsh School was the first racially integrated school in America. It was located near the crossroads now called Hamilton and eventually when the business of providing schooling was taken over by the local government the parish used the former school building as a place where homeless people could live. It was then re-named the Almshouse Road going west from Trappe. The rector responsible for the founding of the school was The Rev. Thomas Bacon. He was also a lawyer. He wrote "Bacon's Laws'' which was a compendium of the Laws of the English Colonies of North America. When he moved from the parish to take a mission in Frederick, Maryland, he gave a silver chalice to the parish which is still used from time to time in Holy Communion at St. Paul’s.

The present church building, on Main Street, Trappe had a fire in 1955 that damaged much of its  interior necessitating considerable rebuilding inside the existing brick walls. Offices have been added at the back of the church. The steeple has been changed, as well, shortening it and decreasing the  possibility of bricks and stone ornamentation falling and injuring someone. The Parish Hall behind the church building incorporates a much older school house that was moved into its present place.

The bells of St. Paul's have electronic enhancements. They ring out the hour upon the hour, play familiar hymns at set times during the day and can be rung in a full English peal of bells on celebratory occasions such as weddings.

For three and a half centuries the people of White Marsh Parish have taken seriously their Christian call to serve as "Ieaven in the loaf” that is their community. Almost from their start, in the business of providing some kind of school, St. Paul's sponsors a pre-school that meets in the Parish Hall. The parish is involved in a number of wider missions including a summer camp and year-round ministry to children who have one or both parents incarcerated in prison. The parish sponsors paper collection for the support of conservation scholarships administered by the Isaac Walton League and collects canned goods to help the food ministry of Scott Memorial United Methodist Church. Weekly Sunday services of Holy Communion are at 9:00 am. Consistent with their Episcopal heritage from the days when they were one of thirty legally established parishes in Colonial Maryland, all people are welcome and invited to receive Communion with the people of the parish.