As Ellicott City, Maryland celebrates its sestercentennial (250th year), we want to highlight a snippet of Black history from the city.
Rev. John H. Goodrich (1856-1930s?) was pastoring as early as the 1880s in Annapolis, Maryland according to our census research. In the early 1900s, Goodrich became the pastor of Mt. Zion Methodist Episcopal Church (now known as Mt. Zion United Methodist Church) in Ellicott City, where he served for a number of years. While there, he "burned the mortgage" (a 19th century custom where churches physically burned the mortgage document once they had made their final payment).
In 1907, when Goodrich was about to serve his sixth year the church, the Baltimore Afro American Ledger described him as a "clean Christian gentleman and a hard worker."
Goodrich also pastored in Pasadena, Maryland and Otter River, Virginia. He also guest pastored in churches in Baltimore, including St. Paul Methodist Episcopal.
Interesting tidbit: In 1902, Goodrich officiated the marriage of Grace Miles and Herbert Powell at the Howard County Courthouse. Powell had been jailed for assaulting Grace Miles and was released from jail on the condition that he would marry her. (Baltimore Sun, March 25, 1902)
Let that marinate.
Before the year is over, we'll post more about Black history in historic Ellicott City.