CAMPFIELD A.M.E. CHURCH

The Campfield A.M.E. Church at 7140 Walnut Street in Pikesville, shown here, was noted on an 1855 map of Pikesville as a "colored meeting house" on Campfield Road, in the Villa Nova section. According to the oral tradition handed down by William G. Penn, a 90 year old in 1969, a 'Mr. Cook', a white developer, wished to buy the original site as part of a small houses development. When the congregation refused to sell the church, the building mysteriously burned down and its burying ground almost disappeared. Ashby Hawkins, an African-American Baltimore attorney took the case, searched the records and located the original deed. After a four day trial, in which the star witness was an 80 year old woman who remembered being taken to the church as a little girl, the congregation won, along with an award sufficient to allow it to buy land and to build the 1914 replacement structure shown in this series of images, taken in 1981 by G.W. Fielding. The graveyard carried with it a 99-year lease. In 1981 it was still hallowed ground, though no interment had taken place for 80 years. The congregation at the Walnut Avenue chapel had dwindled to about 12 to 15 regulars by 1981.The old Campfield Road cemetery was sorely neglected and overgrown with weeds.

Date: 1981
Photographer: G.W. Fielding
Source: unknown
(The digitized image of this photograph has been edited to improve its appearance.)

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