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$1 Million Gift and $8.2 Million Dollars Raised Positions the Scotland A.M.E. Zion Church to complete the Historic Restoration and Addition of a New Sanctuary in 2024


SCOTLAND A.M.E. ZION, POTOMAC, MD. — In July of 2019, the historic Scotland A.M.E. Zion Church watched the foundation and walls of their church collapse after a devastating once-in-a-lifetime flood hit the Washington-Maryland-Virginia corridor. Without a worship site but a newfound faith, Bishop W. Darin Moore, Presiding Prelate of the Mid-Atlantic Episcopal District, appointed the Rev. Dr. Evalina Huggins, who was the Presiding Elder of this Charge, as its Pastor on October 10, 2019.

While the task was clear, Dr. Huggins encouraged this congregation by laying out what she calls a “God-Sized Vision” to rebuild their church. With no money in hand and no clear-cut way to acquire financial resources, the Rev. Dr. Evalina Huggins began to write one grant after another, and as quickly as the flood waters came, so did the grants the church was able to acquire as a historical site in the State of Maryland. The grants were indeed a blessing, but the congregation knew they needed so much more. After turning to God for answers, the wider community seemed to be the only place the church could acquire the 11 Million dollars needed to alleviate future flooding and repair the church.

Prior to the opening of the 195th Annual Session of the Philadelphia and Baltimore Conference, Bishop W. Darin Moore, Presiding Bishop, visited the Scotland site to see its progress. While Bishop Moore and the church’s leadership remain in constant communication, he has not visited the site since the ground-breaking ceremony last year. Bishop Moore applauded the work of the Pastor and people and quickly turned his attention to the contractors about various aspects of the construction. What appeared tragic on the surface caused this congregation to strengthen its Ecumenical ties and reach out to its community for support. Well, needless to say, the community at large responded with in-kind support, finances, and a genuine desire to see this historic African-American pillar of the community restored.

The Glenstone Museum blessed the Scotland Church with its initial $3 million dollars, and the Jewish Community has embraced both Pastor and people and has contributed collectively over $1 million dollars along with our Episcopalian, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Universalist Unitarian, Baptist, and other A.M.E. Zion Congregations. If this were not enough, the Washington Commanders held Scotland night at its game against the Chicago Bears, after which they auctioned off their shoes and cleats, with all proceeds being given to this local congregation.

You would think this was enough, but the Adventist Hospital provided a gift of $100,000, the National Trust for Historic Preservation $250,000, Governor Larry Hogan from the State Legislature $300, and the new Governor of Maryland Wes Moore recently provided a bond initiative for additional funds. Along with the church’s fundraising team, called the 2nd Century Project, which has collectively raised approximately $5.1 million dollars for a total raised at the writing of this article $8.2 million dollars in three years.

David Marriott offered a stunning surprise on behalf of the family foundation established by his grandparents. “I’m here today with the great news that the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation will be giving a $1 million gift to the Scotland community,” said Marriott, instantly eliciting a festive mixture of cheers, clapping, and tears of joy from the Pastor (while traveling the church) and members of the church who were present. “The other trustees and I are thrilled to support this effort and to be a small part of your rebuilding effort as you work to get this church and community back on its feet.”

The Marriott gift brings the current total of cash and pledges to $8.2 million toward the 2nd Century Project’s $11 million dollar goal. If the remaining fundraising and construction milestones are met by year-end, the expanded church is expected to hold its first faith services in December 2024.

Scotland’s pastor, the Rev. Dr. Evalina Huggins, issued a statement upon hearing of the Marriott’s gift, “This is a major investment in the community, not just for Scotland A.M.E. Zion Church, but for Montgomery County and this country,” said Huggins, Scotland’s Pastor and the Presiding Elder of the Baltimore District, Mid-Atlantic Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion conference of churches. “As the pastor of this historic church, I want to express our thanks to the Marriott family and Foundation on behalf of the local congregation and the A.M.E. Zion Church worldwide.” The Pastor and congregation are making plans to lay the cornerstone in July 2024 to celebrate what God has done and continues to do.

Visit: www.scotlandamezion.org

Scotland A.M.E. Zion Church, rebuild, $1 million dollars, Adventist Hospital, Governor Larry Hogan, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Governor of Maryland Wes Moore, Bishop W. Darin Moore, Rev. Dr. Evalina Huggins, David Marriott


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