Our History


Solley United Methodist Church History

Answering the call – For families and their future

The Colonists

1634- The Ark and Dove arrive carrying families from England seeking a better life.
1650- Anne Arundel County Established
June 29, 1663- Paul Kinsey, first Maryland colonist to take title of land in northern Anne Arundel County. This property is what we know as Marley Neck, originally bordered by Marley Creek, Curtis Creek , the Patapsco River, and Stoney Creek.
July 4, 1776- Freeborn Garrettson was sent out to notify the circuit riders of a conference to be held 12/24/1784 at Lovely Lane Church in Baltimore, Maryland. “The Christmas Conference” was the formal beginning of American Methodism. Francis Asbury ordained as our first bishop, the call was made “to bring them in”.

The Settlers

1800- Marley Neck was quickly growing and developing as a community. With the availability of water transit and its close proximity to Baltimore combined with fertile land, Marley Neck became an ideal location for the English settlers to bring and raise a family. As the community grew, the need for a church grew also. If you were unable to travel to Baltimore or Annapolis, most families met in each others homes for worship.
1842- The call to build a Methodist church at Marley Neck was made:
Sponsoring Trustees
Dorsey Jacobs-Jacobsville Archibald Hodges-Marley Neck
Henry Joyce-Round Bay William Thornton- Marley Neck
Rezin Hammond- Linthicum
The Marley Methodist Protestant Church committee purchased the land on what is now Marley Neck Blvd. (where our cemetery is today).
December 27, 1842- The land was purchased from William and Sarah Pumphrey, in the amount of $5.00.
1846- Sarah Ann Williams Pumphrey (widow of William Pumphrey) marries Thomas Solley, a farmer, and they settle on Marley Neck. The original Solley homestead was located on Marley Neck road on what is now the new Tanyard Springs community. (Only the family cemetery remains).
Together they raised:
Mary W- 1847 James W- 1857 Ella-1863
Thomas W- 1849 Rachel- 1859 Charles-1866
George M–1850 Minnine-1860
1850-1916- Settlers are again coming. This time from Central Europe (Germany/Austria, Bohemia, Poland and Norway).
During the peak of the exodus from Europe, Baltimore hosted a major immigration center at Wagner’s Point. Families again look at Marley Neck as a place to begin the American Dream.
1870- The Baltimore News American ran an article referring to Marley Neck as “this arm of the Chesapeake” is fertile in both land and sea.
September 30, 1873- The cornerstone is laid for what was then known as the Marley Methodist Protestant Church and is now known as Solley United Methodist Church. (Thirty- one years after the land was purchased).
1880- By this time Marley Neck has a school, a church, and a general store (first Solley store) all located on what is now Marley Blvd. The center of town is the church and families began to come.
June 24, 1898- Solley first recognized as a community. James W. Solley, the middle child of Sarah and Thomas Solley, became post master of Solley Post office that was located in Solley’s General Store on Solley Road.
James Solley married Lillie E. Moreland and they raised:
James Jr- 1884-1946 Walter-1894
Harry Buren-1886-1939 Bessie-1896
Will-1887 George-1898
Mae-1889 Norman-1904 (twins)
Roland-1892 Mabel-1904

Industrialization and The War Years

1920’s-30’s- The next two decades brought much change to Marley Neck. Again because of its closeness to Baltimore and the water way, Marley Neck became a prime site not for farms and families, but for future industry. The then B&O railroad came in and bought up many of the family farms, essentially wiping out the Marley Neck community. The community migrated to Solley Road and Fort Smallwood Road. The Solley family had moved the store to Solley Road many years before and in 1938 the new school opened on Solley Road, leaving the little church to struggle through.
1925- Church Trustees
William Hancock Edward Tayman
Cora Cromwell Eugene Ford
Elisa Stallings Sara Chase
1940’s- Baltimore played a major role in the “war time” effort. Once again people flooded the area, this time not from England or Central Europe, but from the south. People came seeking work in one of the various factories or just waiting out the war while a loved one was stationed locally. When the war was over the families stayed.

Church in Transition

January 1945- The Solley Improvement Association presented to the trustees of the Marley Methodist Protestant Church the deed for the land and the basement structure that our church sits on today. The land had been donated by Dietz Hackmann for use in the community.
June 30, 1946- Solley United Methodist Church opens
1954- First Strawberry Festival
1961- Alter Renovation
1963- Education Building Constructed
1970- Merger with Arundel Cove
1973- 100th Anniversary Celebration
1984- First Heritage Sunday
1991- Joint charge with Marley United Methodist

A New Day

January 2006- A new bishop, a new district superintendent, and a new call for accountability within the Methodist Church. We must decide: Do we accept the challenge or do we fold?
April 2006- A meeting is called. Eighteen in attendance:
  1. Ginger Babicky
  2. Jeff Lurz
  3. Faith Bellinger
  4. Irma Mason
  5. Marcia Brannock
  6. John Mason
  7. Wes Brannock
  8. Rose Mason
  9. David Deel
  10. Iris Minarik
  11. Dolores Deel
  12. Don Mitchell
  13. Margaret Dunn
  14. Mary Alice Mitchell
  15. Jay Hackmann
  16. Stan Phelps
  17. Debbie Lurz
  18. Walt Solley

We Decide to Stay

Regardless of history and our presence in the community, it became our prayer that God’s will be done and we stood faithful in that prayer. Overall we were led to continue his work in this community and beyond.
We accepted the challenge of accountability and requested the same accountability in return from the Methodist conference.
1. We petitioned the cabinet to become a single charge
2. We requested a dynamic, spirit filled pastor
3. We started a Sunday school

And the families came.

Their Back!
September 2007- Marley Neck once again a place for families. On what was once the Thomas and Sarah Solley farm directly behind our church, ground was broken for the new Lanar Homes project “Tanyard Springs”, 1200 homes coming soon. God is good all the time, all the time God is good!
Solley Vision Mission – 2007:
“God’s Children Actively Nurturing Family, Community and Christian Discipleship”
Solley Vision Mission – 2019:
“An affirming, safe and inclusive community, offering relevant teaching/preaching, warm hospitality, and selfless service to all humankind.”
We, are writing Solley’s new history chapter. Making the way with God’s guidance for our future generations. Won’t you join us?