The deed for the Mayberry Church of God was first recorded in Frederick County, Md. It is believed that the first church stood on the same spot as the present building, but was a log frame structure. In 1859, this land was deeded to church trustee, Josiah Eckard. In 1887, the land was deeded to the church after being bought from Jesse Eckard and his wife Angeline. The cornerstone on the present building reads 1880 but other records indicate that the brick building was built around 1887.
The first known trustees were J. W. Rodkey, Uriah Yingling, Peter Lookingbill, Ezra Stuller, and Francis Williams. The minister at that time was the Rev. G. W. Seilhamer. The cemetery behind the church was apparently started while the log church was standing, as the oldest grave is that of Mr. George Rodkey who died in Novemeber, 1851.
Church attenders came on foot and by horse and buggy in the early 1900s. As many as 100 could be found here for Sunday School which was then divided into numerous classes. Some would walk as far as ten miles to get to a service.
The appearance of the church building was somewhat different from today. Two coal stoves were used to heat the church; one on each side of the building. The walls and ceiling were made of plaster and coal oil lamps hung from the ceiling for lighting. The platform for the pulpit was the only deviation in the floor level. There were no musical instruments allowed at the time, but there was some discussion about obtaining an organ around this time. Men and women sat on opposite sides of the church. The church has no center aisle so there was a divider down the middle of the center section. The front of the church still has 2 doors. During the early days, ones was for men and one was for women.
Revival services were held each fall for two full
weeks. A special long "mourner's" bench was brought in
especially for these services. Usually more chairs were needed as
these services were largely attended. Baptisms were held in the
millrace on the stream down the hill from the church. Communion
was held two times a year and was conducted much the same as now.
Old Eldership journals indicated that the annual Eldership meetings
were hosted by Mayberry in 1884, 1888, 1902, and in 1920. Meals
for these meetings were served in individual homes nearby.
The church population began to decrease until 1927 when the recorded church membership was 41. The church was closed in he late 1930s or early 1940s for about 4 or 5 years. Rev. Hoch reopened the church. Cleaning, painting, and plastering were done to ready the building for services once again. The ceiling was lowered with the help of Rev, Harold Beck. Rev. Jamison came as the pastor in the early 1960s. The church was unorganized with only a few members, and when Rev. Jamison left in 1966, the church closed once again. In 1967, some members of the Uniontown Church of God used the building on a part-time basis. Mr. Lloyd Carl, and Mrs. Cora Lawyer were the only members still on the roll at Mayberry. On May 16, 1973, the members of the Uniontown Church of God transferred their memberships to the Mayberry First Church of God on a full time basis. Rev, Robert Morrison was the pastor at this time. A new floor was laid along with a new front stage area. Carpet was purchased, benches were lowered and new lights were installed. The dedication service was held on May 4, 1974. An electric organ was donated to the church in 1975, replacing the old pump organ that was powered by the exhaust from a vacuum cleaner. The congregation worked hard in support of the church and each other.
Rev. Morrison left the Mayberry pastorate in April
of 1976 and Robert Wills, Jr. began serving as lay pastor in May
of 1976. In late spring of 1977, a new period in Mayberry history
began as work began to enlarge the building. On June 4, 1977 a vision
was to have its beginning as the first shovel full of dirt was removed
from beneath the Mayberry sanctuary. Previous to this, the only
area under the church that was dug out was just enough room for
a converted coal furnace, accessible only by a "cella"
door. The sanctuary had been the only area available for ministry
use. An old "General Store" owned by Mrs. Lawyer down
the hill from the church was used for fellowship events and Vacation
Bible School. There were 4 "dig days" during that first
year. Dirt was moved by hand with the help of an electric jackhammer
and a dirt conveyor. The dirt and rock was hauled away at first
by tractor and wagon and then a small dump truck.
The summer of 1978 brought many hot Saturdays of digging. The first cement was poured during this time. The work continued over the winter. In January of 1979, the freezing and thawing that occurred during that winter, loosened some of the stones in the old foundation causing a partial collapse of part of the north wall into the forms that had been built for the concrete retaining wall, causing services to be cancelled until repairs could be made. That spring, the old furnace was removed and plans were made to finish pouring the remaining retaining walls and the floor so that a new furnace could be installed before winter.
1980 was the year for finishing touches. Wiring, doors,
windows, and paneling were all added. The digging of a new entrance
took place in the spring, followed by painting and other finishing
touches. The basement was dedicated on October 19, 1980 to coincide
with the 100 th anniversary of the church (according to the cornerstone.