Our Mission: It is to equip and build God's church for the next generations to come!

Meet Our Pastor


Pastor Sterling T. Harris, M. DIV

Servant Leader

God looked down through time and saw a child whom His favor would be granted and through whom His plan could be filled.  That man of valor, vigilance, and vision is pastor, Rev. Sterling T. Harris.  He has a tremendous passion for God’s word coupled with a love for God’s people. He has a contagious and charismatic spirit that flows through every facet of his personality and ministry.

Rev. Harris served as the Student Intern Pastor at the Historic  Warren Memorial United Methodist Church in Atlanta, GA. Having received his mandate from God, Rev. Harris obediently fulfilled his calling to his first appointment as the Associate Pastor at Mays United Methodist Church, Crossroads United Methodist Church, and Martha’s Chapel United Methodist Church in the Greenwood District of the South Carolina Annual Conference.  On July 1, 2022, Rev. Harris began a new journey as Pastor of New United Methodist Church at the Shore in Chester, Maryland.   Our motto is “A Church on the Shore that loves everybody.” Embracing the motto" A church on the shore that loves    everbody." Pastor Harris has inspired us to build a sanctuary for God's people, uniting current and future generations in faith and love. His unwavering commitment and boundless love for God's people continue to guide us towards a brighter spiritual future.

Pastor Harris started early dedicating his life service to God.  It is evident that God has his hands on him as He guides him through service to Him.  Born and raised in Greenville, SC, he is a life-long member of St. Mark United Methodist Church in Taylors, SC.  Rev. Harris has acquired all the credentials needed to further the Kingdom of God.  He studied Religious Studies at Claflin University in Orangeburg, SC, and obtained a B.A. in Religious Studies from North Greenville University in Tigerville, SC.  Rev. Harris has also obtained a Master of Divinity from the historically African American Gammon Theological Seminary, a United Methodist constituent member of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, GA.

One of Pastor’s Harris’ favorite scriptures is “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path.  (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Rev. Harris is a spirit-fed, Bible-led evangelistic pastor-preacher, who is born of God, engrafted into Christ, and is a habitation of the Holy Spirit.  He is not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ because he knows that it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes it.  

Our History

The History of NEW United Methodist Church
Past and Present

The church has been in existence for over 114 years.

In the early 1800’s there were three small areas on Kent Island where the black residents gathered for worship.  The black families who lived south of Stevensville were in the Batt’s Neck area, “Fredericktown”, those north of Stevensville to Love Point were Stevensville or on the “Lot” and others east of Stevensville lived in Chester.

On July 5, 1873, Mr. Samuel Ringgold and his wife, Mary E. Ringgold acknowledged a forgoing deed to be their respective act. This act was testified by Mr. John O. Phillip, one of the Justice’s of the Peace of Queen Anne’s County, Maryland.  This deed was to the land where Wesley Episcopal Church was built along with land for burial purposes.  

On August 2, 1873, another deed was recorded by Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Ringgold for another piece of land adjoining the first piece.  This land was purchased for the sum of three hundred dollars.  Its purpose was to be used for a parsonage for the pastors.  The persons who purchased the land were men from all three communities and they were Alexander Hazelton, Perry Lee, Charles Dunn and Alexes Lee.  These men were the first charge trustees.

The Wesley church property at one time had a separate building that was used as a school and was later torn down when the building on the Love Point Road was made available to Negroes.  One of the earliest School teachers was “Aunt Rachael Lee”!  She taught some children in the community how to read and write.  She was also the church organist.  

The first church of the 1800’s was replaced in 1912 by a second one.  Some of the former trustees were: the late Robert Green, Clinton Spence, James Dorsey, Robert Fisher, Dorsey Dunn, Janie Green, Cornelius Sewell, Jacob Lee, Aquilla Lee, Charles Heath, Eugene Cromwell, William Dorsey, Mr. Anderson, and Daniel Smith.  Wesley served as a meeting place for the St. Luke’s Society.  The late Mrs. Julia A. Spellman organized a Gospel Choir and a singing and praying band was an organization within the church. 

The late William Tanner, a farmer of Kent Island owned the land which now houses NEW United Methodist Church located in Chester.  In February 1878, the late Alexander Hazelton, Henry Heath, and William King purchased the land to build a place to worship for a minimal fee of $50.  These men became the first trustees of the church.  This place of divine worship was to be known as “Methodist Episcopal Church.”

According to the cornerstone laid in October 1909, the church services began under the name of “Union Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church.”  The church property also had a separate building that was used as a one room school for African American children in Chester.

In Fredericktown, as it was then known, on Batt’s Neck Road, in Stevensville, Maryland is where “Ezion Methodist Episcopal Church” was located. 

In 1878, Dr. J. H. Weedon, “in consideration of $1, deeded to Thomas Stansbury, James Brown, Henry Wilson, Solomon Heath, Charles Sheppard, and Charles Ringgold; Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Kent Island, about a quarter of an acre of land at the bridge on Batt’s Neck Road near the public road leading from Love Point.  Just where this church was located is not clear.  In 1877, the Atlas of Kent Island records a site of a church in the vicinity but it appears to be somewhat to the east of the present church. “Ezion” was one of the oldest African American churches within the Kent Island-Stevensville area.  This building dates back to 1903; the congregation can be traced back to the mid-nineteenth century.  One deed is traced to 1895, recorded in Liber WHC-10, page 377.  The deeds were hand written and almost impossible to read.


Get in Touch

We would love to meet you at one of our services! You can also feel free to contact us using the information below.

Service Times

Sunday Praise and Worship

9:30 AM



100 Union Wesley Circle, Chester MD 21619

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 227, Chester MD  21619


410-643-5881 | Church@newumchurch.org