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Photo Credit: Paul Tukey

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Scotland A.M.E.’s Enduring Spirit

Historic church undergoes reconstruction, it continues to inspire in the Potomac community

Article by Stephanie Green

Photography by Paul Tukey

Originally published in Potomac Lifestyle

Scotland African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church is not just a spiritual home for its congregants, but a lesson to the community in history and hope.
“Most African Americans were either brought up in the church or witnessed their parents’ or grandparents’ faith. Because of this, they will always know that the church is what kept them and will keep us,” explains Bernard Scott, who is a member of Scotland’s second century campaign to make sure no one forgets his congregation’s struggles and triumphs.
The Church was founded in 1906 as the Scotland Warner Church by Rev. J.W. Ricks. At that time, the original land mass of the Scotland community was comprised of over 400 acres and more than 100 families of enslaved people, according to Scott. Today, he says, there are 100 townhouses of which 25 are owned by descendants of those slaves.
“Descendants who have been scattered throughout the county and state and across the country in some cases, form a diaspora, who still consider Scotland their home, and the church, their home church,” he says.
This is a special place for homecoming; however, it is undergoing major repairs, both to its original structure and the land on which it stands, which has been damaged due to flooding.
Under the leadership of Evalina Huggins, the church’s pastor, the “Friends of Scotland” $10 million dollar fundraising campaign has inspired people of all races and backgrounds to throw their support behind the church’s reconstruction. They hope it will be completed by late 2024— in time for the 100th anniversary of the church’s affiliation with the A.M.E. Zion Conference.
Scott says that this effort is not only about building a church, but also including Scotland in the greater community. “We want to be involved with all things Potomac, instead of being a community isolated.”

"The restoration of the church...will allow the Scotland community to move forward into the next century with hope and a promise of a better future” Bernard Scott

  • Scotland A.M.E.'s Potomac Day Parade float placed number one, which Scott says is evidence that their church is “a symbol of unity."
  • Photo Credit: Paul Tukey
  • Photo Credit: Paul Tukey
  • Photo Credit: Paul Tukey
  • Photo Credit: Paul Tukey
  • Photo Credit: Paul Tukey
  • Photo Credit: Paul Tukey
  • Scotland A.M.E. Zion Church choir performs at Strathmore