Deerfield United Methodist Church
Once a year, a little country church with a small congregation hosts an event that is standing room only. Joined by members of several churches and the community, Deerfield United Methodist Church brings a 2000-year-old event to life. “The Journey to the Cross”, a live passion play, is performed on Palm Sunday and Good Friday every year. The production covers miracles and other events in the life of Christ through his last days and resurrection.
During the rest of the year, members of the congregation worship together at 10:15 a.m. on Sunday mornings. Along with readings, prayers, hymns, and a message by Pastor Ray Dudley, everyone enthusiastically participates in “passing the peace of Christ” with handshakes and hugs. A communion service, held on the first Sunday of the month, is followed by refreshments.
Community service is an important part of their ministry. Pastor Ray said, “If there is a need that arises in the community, we go ahead and help as much as we can with it. There was a need for a chair lift and we gave funds to help buy that chair lift.” Several families in need are provided with food for a meal at Thanksgiving and gifts for children and the elderly at Christmas. Teachers at Sabillasville Elementary school, which is located less than a mile from the church, are treated to a “back to school” luncheon each year. Kate Krietz, Sabillasville Elementary School Principal, said that the staff is very grateful for the annual home-cooked luncheon and they appreciate the generosity of the church. Deerfield United Methodist also supports families doing mission work. Colorfest gives the church members the opportunity to raise funds to support these outreach programs. With the help of friends, they not only have a food stand, they also park cars and rent spaces to vendors.
The tight-knit group enjoys social activities throughout the year. The Mother’s Day Tea is a family event. Appetizers, soup, scones, sandwiches, tea and desserts are served to the ladies by husbands and children. Of course, there is a Father’s Day breakfast for the dads. The annual summer picnic is held in the Thurmont Community Park. In the fall, everyone enjoys a hayride and bonfire complete with hot dogs and marshmallows. During the Christmas season, they go Christmas caroling at nursing homes and at the homes of shut-ins. During the cold winter months, there are movie nights in the church hall.
The history of the church began in 1878 with revival services held in a log school house in Smithfield (which later became Deerfield). In 1879, the Smithfield United Brethren Church was built on land purchased for the sum of $25. The church became the Evangelical United Brethren Church in 1946. The final name change occurred in 1968 when they joined with the Methodist Church. The Deerfield United Methodist Church is located at 16405 Foxville Deerfield Road near Sabillasville. Join them for the 10:15 a.m. Sunday service. You will feel very welcomed.
Pastor Ray Dudley (back row on the left) with members of the Deerfield United Methodist Church.