BNHA Old Otterbein United Methodist Church


Baltimore City Landmark

National Register of Historic Places

Interpretive Framework

Seeking Prosperity on the Chesapeake: Baltimore History from Colonial Times through the 1800s

Shaping a Monumental City: The City’s Growth in the 20th Century

Star Attractions

Charles Street Byway

Resource Type

Points of Interest

112 W Conway St

Baltimore, Maryland 21201

Designed by Jacob Small, Sr., this is Baltimore's only 18th-century Georgian style church building still in use today. It was built between 1785-1786 for a congregation of Germans who, under the leadership of Pastor Philip Wilhelm Otterbein, had separated from the Lutheran Church. In 1789, in this building, the Church of the United Brethren was organized and Pastor Otterbein was elected bishop. Now the church is part of the United Methodist denomination, following a merger in the 1960s.

The building is architecturally unique. Its octagonal cupola is reminiscent of the work of the English architect, Christopher Wren. Much of the original glass remains in the arched windows. The nails throughout the building were handmade and the bells, cast in Germany and installed in 1789, are still in use. Pastor Otterbein's grave is in the churchyard, marked by a monument erected 100 years after his death. The church was designated a city landmark in 1971 and listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1969.

Site summary courtesy of the Baltimore City Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation