Video of our 2012 Advent Service
Welcome to the Strawbridge Shrine's website.
The Strawbridge Shrine, located in Carroll County, Maryland at the edge of New Windsor, is named after Robert Strawbridge, an indispensable figure in the history of Methodism. Robert and his wife Elizabeth, both of whom had been active in the Wesleyan movement in Ireland, came to America circa 1760 and settled on a farm rented from a Quaker, John England. Robert is credited with establishing Methodist classes and/or preaching in the local community as well as many far-flung places—Leesburg, VA; Georgetown, DC; Harford County, MD, Kent County, MD; Philadelphia, PA; Trenton, NJ; and Huntingdon County, PA to name a few. According to the records found in the Maynard family Bible, Robert performed the first known Methodist baptism, that of John Maynard’s five-year old brother, Henry Maynard. Robert also administered communion to the people. It was Elizabeth Strawbridge, who was responsible for the first American Methodist convert, John Evans.
The Strawbridge Shrine Association was formed on June 18, 1937 to preserve the history of Robert Strawbridge’s ministry. After several unsuccessful attempts at purchasing the farm, thirty-two acres of the Robert Strawbridge farm were bought along with the Strawbridge farm house in 1973 from Mr. Arthur Haines with the provision that he have life tenancy. The John Evans House which sat in a field on a private farm about 5 miles distant was moved to the grounds of the Shrine in 1978. In 1982, a replica of the Log Meeting House, the first preaching place, was built on the grounds. A curator’s house with a Visitor Center in its basement floor was built in 1989. After the death of Mr. Haines in 1999, all buildings on the Shrine grounds have been fully furnished and statues of Robert and Elizabeth Strawbridge have been erected.