Rural Methodist Church Represents Extinct Community, Avery, Avery Road, Derwood, Montgomery County, Maryland
While many maps and “cross roads” in rural America bear the name of some long lost community of the early twentieth or some earlier century, there is often nothing left to remind one of the former settlement. And on the rare occasion that some buildings remain, they are usually derelict or inconspicuous dwellings. Such residences, here and there, often go unnoticed as they have almost always been obscured by vinyl siding or some other character defining alteration.
Within the large zip code of Derwood Maryland, and the even larger arena of Rockville and the greater Montgomery County, was once a small community called Avery. On what is now known as Avery Road around the cross streets of Dimes Road and Southlawn Lane was the aforementioned community. Ask the locals of what exists from this former period of a forgotten community and the answer is nothing. But what of this is true?
At the “T” of Avery Road and Southlawn Lane is a small one-story, one-room edifice. This is what some might remember as “the Old Methodist Church”. The unpainted wood-frame building is clad in “German” siding and sits on a stone foundation. The building is very rudimentary with very few details. It has essentially been left to ruin as there are even holes in the roof, no doors on the front and/or south side entrances, and no windows except for that of the transom over the front door. When the Free Methodist Church, now of Rockville, Maryland, left the rural community of Avery, they also left this tiny building.
Within the community of Avery was a small African American population that resided in houses on Dimes Road. The Free Methodist Church was an offshoot of the general Methodist sect that opposed slavery, which evident given its date of origin—1860 in Illinios and western New York State. The denomination also promoted a mixed congregation, and it was most likely the case within the walls of this particular church.
While we deplore the state of the building, at least they keep the trash in the back.