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Churches worth seeing, IV

October 10, 2009

St John's Western Run Parish

St John's Western Run Parish

St. John’s Church : Glyndon, Md.
(Diocese of Maryland)
St. John’s Church, Parish of the Western Run, near Glyndon, Maryland, was carved gently from St. Thomas’ Parish to the south at Garrison, Maryland, in the years following the Revolutionary War. Records indicate that services were held by the Rector of St. Thomas’, the Revd John Coleman, from 1800 to 1818 in a small frame schoolhouse opposite the present site at the corner of Butler & Perry Grove Roads. Determining that a sufficient number of communicants existed nearby, a group of prominent Worthington and Western Run Valley Episcopalians established a new church: St. John’s in the Valley. The cornerstone for the first church building was laid on June 3rd, 1816, by the Rt Revd James Kemp, the second Bishop of Maryland, just four short years after a fellow Baltimorean, Francis Scott Key, penned the “Star-Spangled Banner” while observing the British bombardment of Fort McHenry 25 miles to the south. The completed structure was consecrated by the same clergyman on November 13, 1818.

On Christmas Day 1867, St. John’s Church was completely destroyed by fire with only its steeple bell and cornerstone to be salvaged. In March 1869, the rector secured a plan from Joshua Shorb, a principle in the firm of Shorb & Leister in Westminster, Maryland, to rebuild the church at a cost of $9000. The cornerstone was re-laid on August 17th, 1869 and services were held in the new sanctuary the following summer.

Today this splendid example of Gothic Revival architecture is a graceful landmark within the valleyed countryside of northern Baltimore County.1

The lychgate.

The lychgate.

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1. Excerpted from Margaret Worrall, The history of St. John’s Church, Western Run Parish, 1800-2000 (Glyndon, Md.: Vestry of St. John’s Church, 2000).

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