July 18, 2019

 

JOIN US FOR WORSHIP

Holy Eucharist

Sunday  10am Worship with Fellowship to follow

please note that while repairs are made to the church building - all services and meetings will occur in the Parish Hall

 

ELECTRONIC DONATIONS AND PLEDGES

You can make an electronic contribution via Paypal by clicking on the Donate button found on the Home Page of this website!


OFFICE HOURS

Currently there are no office hours for St. Mark's on the Hill.  Please email us at office@stmarksonthehill.org or call us at 410-486-3016 and leave a message that we will follow-up on.


 

Parish Hall Available for Rent

 

Our parish hall space, complete with dance space and stage for DJ, band or singers, has a capacity for 100 people with tables and chairs included.  It is an excellent value for family celebrations, wedding receptions, etc.  Located off of I-695, exit 20 Pikesville.  Call 410-486-3016 and leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible!


 

Visiting for the first time?

Go to our Newcomers page and find out what to expect when you join us for worship.

 

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UPCOMING EVENTS

 

Summer Ice Cream Social (immediately following service) - July 28 and August 25

St. Mark's Annual Crab Feast - September 14

Ordination of Joe Zollickoffer at Cathedral of the Incarnation - September 28

Founder's Day Concert and Homecoming Eucharist - October 5&6

Oldies Dance Night Fundraiser - October 26

 

 

        

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Church History

Beginnings

Our church’s rich history began in the early 1870s with the desire of one woman to ensure that children in the Pikesville area had access to religious education.  Louise Harrison, who lived with her husband, Charles, on the nearby Annandale estate on land that is now home to Druid Ridge Cemetery, originally planned for a Methodist chapel in Pikesville; she began raising money for the project, heading the subscription committee.  By 1875, plans had changed and the church property was passed from the Methodist Church’s hands to the local Episcopalians, and, with this change, came the genesis of St. Mark’s on-the-Hill. 

Although some parts of our church’s history are obscure, we know that through the late 1870s and early 1900s, St. Mark’s on-the-Hill evolved, growing by leaps and bounds.  From 1919 through 1943, the parish thrived during the tenure of The Rev. Roger Walke who ventured to undertake a number of capital improvements which bore witness to the young and bourgeoning parish.  His long list of improvements included:

  • the acquisition in 1920 of additional land;
  • the construction of our parish hall which was completed in 1925; 
  • The rectory was originally located where the parish hall now stands, moving the parish hall to its current location at the time of the construction.  
  • With the parish ever-growing, the original church was demolished to make way for a new stone structure. Worship services were held in the parish hall until the new church opened its doors on Easter Day of 1928. 

 

Becoming Part of the Pikesville Community

After a long and fruitful 24 years of service, Father Walke left St. Mark’s in 1943 and was succeeded by The Rev. Richard Lundberg who would remain with St. Mark’s for 33 years, from 1943 to 1976.  Father Lundberg was committed to making St. Mark’s an integral and active part of the Pikesville community.  His love of annual antique shows, flea markets, and bake sales were just a few of his hallmark efforts that led the way to greater visibility for the parish. 

After Father Lundberg’s term ended, the parish was led for two years by The Rev. Roger Tilden, who was succeeded in 1978 by Father Van Gardner.  The Rev. Gardner shepherded the parish for 11 years, until 1989, when he was called as Dean of the Cathedral of the Incarnation.  Father Gardner’s love of music and his recognition of its role as an intrinsic part of worship life, led to notable changes in the parish’s music programs.  The program flourished with growth in the size and quality of the choir and the installation in 1984 of a Karl Wilhelm Baroque-style tracker organ.  In the years since its acquisition, the organ has gained a reputation as one of the finest of its kind in the region. 

In 1989, St. Mark’s leadership was placed in the hands of The Rev. Robert Stucky.  Many found Father Stucky to be an excellent preacher. His engaging teachings helped St. Mark’s become a more diverse and varied parish which appealed to many.

Challenging Times

Perhaps the most difficult and potentially destructive period on our parish’s history began on June 16, 2002. After an Ecclesiastical Court was convened, and after deliberations on various charges, imposed the Sentence of Deposition on Father Stucky, which removed his ability to function in a role of ordained ministry.

  Although these developments and the final outcome left many parishioners disillusioned, angry and grief-stricken, the parish nonetheless rebounded.  It is through the unyielding faith and resiliency of St. Mark’s parishioners and its foundation of love and care as a parish family that the parish was able to emerge unscathed through this dark period in its history.  This strength is unequivocally reflected in its ability to remain focused on the needs of its buildings, witnessed by the erection of a new cloister roof in 2002—a certain sign of its abiding faith in one another and the promises of God.

The church, although having faced these difficult times, chose to move forward.  During this time, several supply priests graciously and capably assisted the parish.  The last of these priests, The Rev. James Shields, was called unanimously by the vestry in January of 2003 to be priest-in-charge, and again in September 2003 to be our interim priest.  The Rev. Shields’ determination and vision helped the church realize an organizational renaissance which left St. Mark’s even stronger and more efficient than in recent years.

 

Moving into the 21st Century

In 2005, the vestry called The Rev. William Dunning as extended supply priest and then as interim priest until 2008. Fr. Dunning led the parish during a search for a new full time rector. His kind and caring demeanor, expert conduct of services and caring pastoral care are well remembered.

In 2008, the vestry called The Rev. Adrien Dawson who served as rector until 2016. Mother Dawson brought an informal way of preaching and connected well to the varied makeup of the congregation.  In addition to the traditional English Eucharistic Sunday service, for a period, a Spanish service was held on Sunday evenings to accommodate the growing Hispanic communicants in the area.  When the number of Hispanics at the second service dwindled, Mother Dawson instituted a bilingual regular Sunday morning service which included both English and Spanish readings and hymn singing. In addition, a Wednesday noon healing service was instituted. Servers, readers and prayer leaders included all ages from children to adults.  Ecumenical, interracial, immigrant assistance and poverty were all concerns addressed by Mother Dawson. During her time at St. Mark’s Mother Dawson opened the Food Pantry which is a joint project with St. Mark’s and the House of Ruth. On Saturdays, referred clients can obtain food items. On Tuesday mornings, domestic abuse victims referred by the House of Ruth may also use the food pantry.  Mother Dawson had an exceptional working relationship with the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, and was able to acquire the assignment to St. Mark’s of two Deacons who served successive terms.  In addition, an Assistant Priest, the Rev. Tom Carter served for a period with Mother Dawson.  

From August 2011-July 2013, the Episcopal Service Corps (ESC) volunteers, 5 the first year and 9 the second year, lived in St. Mark’s former rectory which was renamed Gilead House.  They went out into Baltimore communities for a year of service with charitable, social and educational institutions.  St. Mark’s worked with ESC Maryland to provide a space where these young adult volunteers could make a home, learning to pray and socialize, while serving some of the most vulnerable in the Baltimore metropolitan area.  Alumni from those years are now continuing a life of serving as clergy, youth leaders, social workers, doctors, teachers, small business owners and community organizers. Subsequent ESC volunteers moved their housing to partner with St. Michael and All Angels Church and then Catholic Charities. ESC members are still referred to as “Gileads” and the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland is proud to leave the name as a legacy for others to make a home in Gilead House at St. Mark’s. During Mother Dawson’s tenure, Gilead House was also used in partnership with The Episcopal Refugee and Immigrant Center Alliance (ERICA) to house asylum seekers who were awaiting resolution of their cases in immigration courts and the U.S. government.  With the assistance of Mother Dawson, grants were received for the renovation of Gilead House which will soon reopen to house additional asylum seekers.

After the departure of Mother Dawson who was called to be the rector of All Saints Church in Frederick Maryland in 2016, the Rev. Dr. Martha Watson was called by the vestry serve as interim priest.  The Rev. Watson immediately reviewed the financial situation at St. Mark’s and along with the vestry determined that the parish was spending more money per year than it was receiving in pledges and contributions.  All staff including the interim priest, music director and parish administrator have had their hours reduced.  As a result, the congregation was on track to reach a goal of a balance budget.  As a result, the interim can only celebrate a Eucharist service every other Sunday and morning prayer is celebrated by members of the congregation the other alternate Sundays.  The congregation has embraced this change and is supporting this as a necessity at the present time.  The Rev. Watson, has successfully taken on long delayed maintenance projects in both the Church and Parish Hall. Refurbished restrooms and new windows have been installed on the ground level of the Parish Hall. Also the church restroom has been refurbished, and a room for food storage for the food pantry and an office have been newly renovated.  The organizational and financial skills of The Rev. Watson have given St. Mark’s a feeling of optimism as we begin our search for a new rector.