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Bethesda Meetinghouse
Bethesda Meetinghouse, Bethesda, MD.jpg
Front elevation, 2008
Bethesda Meeting House is located in Maryland
Bethesda Meeting House
Location in Maryland
Bethesda Meeting House is located in the United States
Bethesda Meeting House
Location in the United States
Location 9400 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, Maryland
Area 0 acres (0 ha)
Architectural style Greek Revival, Queen Anne
NRHP reference No. 78003557
Added to NRHP July 17, 1978

The Bethesda Meeting House is a historic Presbyterian church complex in Bethesda, Montgomery County, Maryland, US. Its name became the namesake of the entire surrounding community in the 1870s. It sits on Maryland Route 355 (known as Rockville Pike at this point) just inside the Capital Beltway. It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1977.


The Bethesda Meeting House property includes the 1850 meeting house itself, the mid-late 19th-century parsonage to the south, and the associated cemetery. The church is a large, wood-frame structure built in the Greek Revival "temple" form, albeit with Gothic-style windows. To the south of the church is a two-story frame Victorian parsonage built on a cruciform plan, with some Queen Anne-style embellishments.


The church was built on the foundation of an 1820 Presbyterian church that burned down in 1849. Opened in 1850, it served as the Bethesda Presbyterian Church until 1925, when the congregation erected a new church on Wilson Lane, farther south in Bethesda. When the church moved to its new location in 1925, the trustees sold the building and 7 acres (2.8 ha) of land to Mrs. May Fitch Kelley. The Presbyterian congregation, however, retained ownership of the cemetery.

Mrs. Kelley lived in the church building for many years. In 1945, the property was sold to a French Algerian Catholic missionary group called the Missionaries of Africa, commonly known as the White Fathers. In the 1950s, the property was transferred again, this time to the trustees of the Temple Hill Baptist Church.


In the 1860s, the church's pastor, Rev. Edward Henry Cumpston, began lobbying the local postmaster, Robert Franck, to rename his post office from "Darcy's Store". Franck did so in 1871, and the surrounding community took the name as well.

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