Untitled Document
(African Union Methodist Protestant)
Friends of Historical Cherry Hill AUMP, Inc. | 2426 Offutt Road | P.O. Box 1042 | Granite, Maryland 21163

During the slavery era in the small community of Granite in Baltimore County, Maryland many slaves were hard at work in numerous granite quarries that dotted the area between Granite and Woodstock in Howard County. To give an example of just how many slaves were involved, according to an article that appeared in one of the Baltimore County newspapers, the Worthington family from the Reisterstown, area brought and "Army" of slave to the Granite area to work in the many granite quarries.

Before slavery ended, numerous slaves were able to buy their way out of slavery and resided in shacks on Offutt Road in Granite while they worked in the quarries for money to enable them to purchase still enslaved family members out of slavery. These freed African Americans remained residing on Offutt Road for many years following slavery, until the quarries no longer become profitable, and both whites and African Americans began seeking other communites to relocate to, it was not until December 5, 1884 when John Dorsey, a large landowner in Election District 3, sold 0.739 acres of land more of less to the African Union First Colored Methodist Protestant Connection. Since that time, the church had numerous names, such as: African Union First Colored Methodist Protestant Congregation, Sacret Heart Chapel of the Church of God Inc. and the African Union Methodist Protestant Church.

In any case, John Dorsey sold these freed slaves a plot of land in 1884 for a "Colored Meeting House for local Black laborers and a buying ground. It was on these grounds that the Cherry Hill A.U.M.P Church was built, with cornerstone with a date of 1887 on it. It is believed that the freed slaves had earlier built some type of a temporary church much earlier on these grounds in the 1860s, possibly during the slavery era because according to the Sun Newspaper dated June 19, 1869, the following article appeared: "AFFAIRS IN BALTIMORE... Destructive Storm – On Sunday night, 13th, a terrible storm passed over the second district in this county, from the direction of Woodstock to Randallstown, and in its course completely unroofed the house of Caleb D. Owings, and carried it fifty yards from the dwelling. Large forest trees upon the property of Noah Worthington were twisted from their roots, and the colored people's church on the road leading from the Quarries to Woodstock blown down." This "Colored Church" had to be Cherry Hill A.U.M.P. Church because the only other "Colored Church" in the area was the former Marcella Chapel that was abandoned by the White congregation and turned over to a "Colored" congregation in 1877. Therefore, it is quite possible that Cherry Hill A.U.M.P. Church was built during the slavery area, probably a small log cabin.

The little church remained active as a Methodist Church until the early 1970s when African Americans who worked in the quarries ran out of work, and departed the Granite area seeking work and places in other communities in the County to rear their families. In 2001, and Lenwood Johnson were able to track down Mrs. Helen Johnson, the last surviving trustee of the church who had a strong desire to save her church, and Louis and Lenwood promised that they would, gave the church over to them who in turn had it deeded to the Friends of Historical Cherry Hill A.U.M.P., Inc. on February 20, 2002. During the following years, the Friends of Historical Cherry Hill A.U.M.P., Inc., has been seeking grants to restore the church and convert it to a mini-Museum to house artifacts, photographs, etc., of African American life in Baltimore County. The group had minimal success, but not enough to restore the church, until 2007 when Delegate Adrienne Jones was able to secure a $300,000 grant from the State of Maryland to complete the renovation and conversion of this historical little African American church.

This grant was later extended to close to $400,000 after Louis S. Diggs with Adrienne Jones appeared before the Appropriations Committee of the State Legislature to justify the increase. The actual start of the renovation and conversion of the church to a mini-museum did not begin until 2014 and named in honor of Louis S. Diggs and Lenwood Johnson as the "Louis S. Diggs and Lenwood Johnson Mini-Museum of African American History in Baltimore County, aka "The Diggs/Johnson Mini-Museum."