“The Rock of our Ancestors”

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Thank you to everyone who joined us at the Carroll Arts Center on June 19th for the premiere screening of the documentary “The Rock of our Ancestors”

The documentary explored the history, and challenges faced by small, local African-American churches and revealed how our local houses of worship are not only a source of strength and comfort, but also vessels of history; some tracing their roots back over 100 years. For these parishioners, the loss of the church is the loss of their legacy.  It is not simply a building or that is at risk, it is the very heritage of their ancestors and the identity of an entire community that is at stake.

The project was initiated by the Rev. Douglas Sands of White Rock Independent Methodist Episcopal Church. Rev. Sands served as Executive Producer for the documentary and thanks his inspiration and tireless efforts, the story of Carroll County’s small churches is being told, in the words of their parishioners. CMC Operations Director, Aaron Chiusano, CMC Intern, Ms. Joan Keith and History Project Coordinator, Marion Ware were producers of the documentary.

The opening reception featured good food and fellowship among attendees and participants from a number of different church congregations. Thanks to Lynn Wheeler and the Carroll County Public Library who provided a beautiful display that included artifacts, courtesy of Michael Eckard, as well as books and posters featuring articles in CCT.  The artifacts included an engraving of “The First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation before the Cabinet,” engraving by A.H. Ritchie, 1866 (painting created by F.B. Carpenter at the White House in 1864).

Special thanks to Sandy Oxx, and the Carroll Arts Council staff for hosting the event. Ms. Dawn Briscoe for leading us in the National Anthem, to all of the choir members under the musical direction of Ms. Joan Holley. Our appreciation also goes out to Ambassador Blango Ross for giving the benediction, and CMC Board Chair William Eckles and Mr. Leo Eaton for their recognitions.

The evening was also an opportunity to honor Ms. Marion Ware for her 20 years of service to the Community Media Center and its mission to serve the residents of Carroll County, as well as her commitment to the Carroll County History Project.

We continue to collect histories and information about our local churches.  If you have information, historical photographs or would like to share your story please contact us at (410) 386-4415.

Stay tuned for more details about distribution plans for “The Rock of our Ancestors” including online and broadcast dates.

In the meantime, please enjoy this slide show from the live event.


Fairview United Methodist Church

Gospel Spreading Church of God

Johnsville United Methodist Church

St. Luke’s United Methodist Church

Strawbridge United Methodist Church

Union Memorial Baptist Church

Union Street United Methodist Church

West Liberty United Methodist Church

White Rock Independent Methodist Episcopal Church


Carroll Community College

Carroll County Genealogical Society

Carroll County NAACP

Carroll County Public Library

Community Foundation of Carroll County

Historical Society of Carroll County

Hoffman, Comfort, Offutt, Scott & Halstad, LLP

JeannieBird Baking Company


Papa Joe’s Mexican Restaurant, Westminster

St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Westminster


Suzanna Brosey, Stephanie Ciarrocchi, Leah Conigland, Mike Fell, Gina Haynie, Patrick J. Minor, Cody McLaughlin, Chris Miller, Josh Pasteur, Martin Pukownik, Brigid Shifflett, Sherry Taylor, Richard Turner

One Response to ““The Rock of our Ancestors””

  1. Rony Young says:

    This was awesome and very well put together!
    I thank the Carroll County Media Center and all who were a part of this for including St. Luke United Methodist Church.

    May God richly bless you,

    Pastor Rony Young


  1. This year’s celebration of Juneteenth in Carroll Co. featured a documentary on the black churches in the area | Kevin Dayhoff Time Flies - […] County, June 19th, 2017 at the Carroll Arts Center, featured a special premiere screening of “The Rock of our…

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Community Media Center

1301 Washington Road, Westminster, MD 21157

Phone: 410-386-4415/Fax: 410-875-2358

Email: info@carrollmediacenter.org