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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Historic church to add new auxiliary building to grounds

SHOWELL — Historic St. Martin’s Church, which has provided a number of services to the area since its construction in 1756, will soon feature a new auxiliary building to better service functions held at the landmark.
After receiving two grants throughout the past three weeks, the St. Martin’s Church Foundation, which oversees all church involvements, is moving forward with phase two of a renovation project that has been going on since 1993.
According to foundation President Sherrie Beckstead, once phase two of the project is complete, there will be a new building located at the back of the church that will offer additional space for guests who attend events there. Additionally, bathrooms will be installed inside the new structure, marking the first time such a feature has been available at the church.
“It’s a little hard to have functions without adequate bathroom facilities,” said Susan Mariner, secretary of the church foundation. “The church will be able to have more events.”
The grants were awarded by the Mary Humphreys Foundation — an organization founded by the Berlin women before her death in 2009 to financially support the community — and the Worcester County Arts Council, which promotes arts throughout the county.
Beckstead did not specify the amount of funding awarded by both organizations, but she said the additions would not be happening if it weren’t for the grants.
For many years, Historic St. Martin’s Church has served as a museum and venue for special events, such as weddings.
Mariner said the site’s visual appeal continues to bring visitors to the church.
“When you step on the driveway, you’ve stepped into another time,” she said.
Phase one of St. Martin’s renovation project, a completely restored foundation, was completed in 2001.
Beckstead gave no estimate for the beginning and end of phase two’s construction, but said work will start soon.
“I think what’s important is that we’re beginning the project,” she said.
Historic St. Martin’s Church is open to the public every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For more information on booking tours or events, visit