In 1882, when the present building of the Orchard Street Methodist Episcopal Church was dedicated, it was called "an honor to the colored race and handsome ornament to the city." The Orchard Street congregation commissioned architect Frank E. Davis to design a new place of worship, as it had outgrown its previous structure. The 1882 building is the third church erected for the congregation on this site.
Truman Pratt, a former slave of John Eager Howard, founded the congregation in 1825. In 1837, the employers of Pratt's wife donated land at Orchard Street near Ross Street (now Druid Hill Avenue) on which to build a church. According to legend, slaves and freeman built the church at night under the flickering light of torches held by the women. The first church was completed in 1839. A second church stood on this site from 1853 to 1882.
"Father Pratt, " as Truman Pratt came to be called, was not an ordained minister, but acted as elder and trustee of the church. He remained an active participant in the church's activities until his death in 1877 at the age of 102.
Demolition threatened this historic church in the early 1970s, but the intervention of neighborhood groups saved the building for future generations.
(Inscription under the image on the right) Interior, Orchard Street Church.
Rawlings-Blake, Mayor-Baltimore City Landmark, National Register of Historic Places.