Martinsburg was an African-American community consisting of about 30-40 homesteads that formed as the Civil War was coming to an end. The intersection of White’s Ferry Road and Martinsburg Road was the epicenter of this town. Its three most important buildings, the church, school, and lodge (renovated in 2019) are still standing in what was once the heart of Martinsburg. It is the last such site in Maryland to retain all three of these structures.
The site is comprised of the Warren United Methodist Church, the one-room Elmer School, and the Loving Charity Lodge Hall.
The original church site is about a mile away from the Warren Historic Site. The original cemetery remains there, but the church was moved to its current location in 1876. The new church was named after Isaac Warren, one of the original members of its first board of trustees.
The school served grades 1-5 and about 50 students matriculated through the school’s doors. The Loving Charity Lodge Hall was the headquarters for the Loving Charity Society, which was founded to provide sick and burial insurance, along with services for community members who were not able to obtain insurance elsewhere.
The congregation of Warren United Methodist Church was active until 1993 when it merged with the congregation of Mount Zion United Methodist Church.
Know Before You Go
While there is no active congregation today, the site is lovingly cared for by the Warren Historic Site Committee, formed in 1997. With the help of volunteers, they run fundraisers to maintain the building and host weddings and community events at the site.