St. John’s Episcopal Church, Zion Parish, is over 200 years old and was established in 1811 by the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland with its first services held in Old Paint Branch Chapel in Calverton, MD. Over its long history, the church has experienced significant damage and destruction as a result of storms, a tornado, lightning and fires.
When the original church fell into disrepair, a new chapel was given in 1825 to Zion Parish. The following year. Zion Church was built near Vansville, MD. In 1847, Zion Church Vansville was destroyed by storm and fire. Nine years later in 1856 land was given for St. John’s, Zion Parish by John Brown for a new church and cemetery in Beltsville. The following year, the frame and building were erected as St. John’s Episcopal Church, Zion Parish on its present site. During the Civil War, the churchyard was used as an artillery site by the Federal troops.