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Sunday Schedule

September-May

8 am
Holy Eucharist
Rite One
(no music)

10:10 am
Sunday School & Nursery Care (Sunday School children join us at the Peace for Communion)

10:15 am
Holy Eucharist,
Rite Two
(with music and choir)

11:30 Coffee Hour

June- August

Memorial Day weekend through the Sunday after Labor Day weekend

9:30 am Holy Eucharist with music

10:30 am Lemonade on the Lawn


History of the Parish

Immanuel Episcopal Parish, located on Glencoe Road in central North Baltimore County, is a history still in the making. From its earliest inception, this parish has shown a willingness to grow and expand with the community and its needs. Prior to 1871, worship was held at St. James' Episcopal Church in My Lady's Manor for any and all parishioners (particularly the staff and students of Oldfields School) living in the Sparks-Glencoe area part of the "metes and bounds" of St. James' parish.

This journey by horse, carriage or on foot in all weather was a trek not to be considered lightly. Today's Glencoe Road was then an unpaved lane from York Turnpike (York Road). It crossed the Gunpowder River by an iron truss bridge, then over the tracks of the Northern Central Railroad, where a lone signalman (with flag) controlled "traffic". It ended at Clynmalira, the 5,000-acre estate of Henry Carroll.

So the stage was set for a small church within the community to serve God's people. Through the generous gifts of land from the Mowells, Edward Austen and the McCullohs, the donation of local stone from a local quarry, and the offer of hauling the stone to the church site, the community resources were commited to building the church, on a site opposite Oldfields School. A New York Architect drew plans and a local work force was assembled, many volunterring. Work commenced and with the walls erected the cornerstone was laid on the afternoon of August 8, 1871, with the Rev. Richard Randolph Mason (then Rector of St. James' Church) officiating and the Rev. John Hoff assisting. Mr. Mason's words are recorded as "Immanuel, God with us, and may He in His infinite mercy grant it will indeed be 'God with us'." At this time, the unpaved road (Glencoe Road) had been widened to allow two carriages to pass in some places and people could look up and see the walls of Immanuel rising on the hilltop.

Consecration of Immanuel took place on June 19, 1873, by the Bishop of Maryland, the Rt. Rev. William Pinckney, assisted by the Bishop of Virginia, the Rt. Rev. John Johns (father-in-law of the Rev. Randolph Mason). The Baptismal Font in the church is a memorial to the Rt. Rev. John Johns given by his daughters in 1876.

In 1881 a small parish house was built, again with local stone, largely through the efforts of the Rev. Mason. It immediately began to serve as Sunday School (no longer would students meet in the Oldfields dining room). Outreach efforts to help needy families were headquartered here. Later activities include a Boy Scout troop, 4-H involvement, meetings, luncheons,and suppers. The building became a center for get-togethers for all denominations in need of a meeting place.

In the year 1886, land was given by the Mowells, Mr. Austen, and Anna Austen McCulloh to establish a cemetery. The cemetery was to be . . . "non-sectarian, with no regard to race, religion or the circumstances of death. All will be given 'safe lodging and holy rest' including any person taking his/her own life." Henry Perky, inventor of shredded wheat and founder of the ill-fated Oread School project, while residing at Filston, drowned in his bathtub, probably accidently but rumored to be a suicide. He was interred at Immanuel in 1906. Legend has it that he reappears on warm summer evenings sitting on a seat carved in his headstone, smoking a mild cheroot and obviously at ease.

The Parish House and cemetery in time outgrew their bounds. However, any further additions on the hilltop were not contemplated during the Depression years, when Immanuel struggled through a trying and difficult financial period. During this time the church was without a permanent rector, but Mr. Roberts of Trinity Church in Towson gave regular Sunday Services. He was sometimes assisted by Dr. George Merrill, a Deacon in the Church and a devout supporter all his life.

At the conclusion of World War II gifts of land from the Sharps and the Mowells assured the expansion of the cemetery. A fund-raising drive to expand the Parish House began. The basements of the church and Parish House were dirt floors with mostly unfinished walls, no kitchen facilities, and no running water!

The congregation must have decided this was the time to not only raise the necessary funds, but also to get some exercise through helping with the labor.

A pre-school was opened and money was raised through a number of parish sponsored activities including the horse and pony shows. When it became time to tap into an available water supply, the men were ready for their "labor". Working in late evening hours, they dug the ditches for water pipes to the Parish House and the church. And with the money raised, the new addition was completed in 1958.

A word about the ditch digging exploits: it is recorded that a lady member of Immanuel rewarded the male ditch diggers with generous measures of bourbon as they put away their shovels for the last time!

The needs of Immanuel would again require an addition to the parish house in 1988. This included a new major kitchen, conference room, classrooms and church offices.

Immanuel has been fortunate in the distinguished line of rectors who have served here: Richard Randolph Mason,( who left St. James' Church, Monkton) to become the first rector, Duncan McCulloch, Sr., second permanent rector and co-head of Oldfields School., The list goes on to include Andrew Mayer, George Packard, Paul Zeller, Carl Edwards and Beverly Braine. Immanuel, from its inception has attracted visionaries to lead it in committments to the needy. The outreach projects have included: Paul's Place in South Baltimore, which serves the hungry and needy in the "Pig Town" community; the Nehemiah Project, designed to rehabilitate urban slum areas; Genesis Jobs helping welfare recipients find and keep employment; Episcopal Social Ministries, the diocesan social service agency; the Sparks Needy Family Fund, helping (anonymously) local families; and other needful causes such as the recent Tsunami Relief efforts.

In 1999 the congregation adopted our "Welcoming Statement" printed on all parish communications. Similar statements of intent have been adopted by churches across the country, and even overseas to a small church in Hampshire, England.

Family names which were instrumental in the creation and continuation of Immanuel include: McCulloch, Mowell, McMurran, Carroll, Worrall, Mayo, Lynch, Horner, Houck, Turnbull, Virdin, Bland, Sharp, and many others too numerous to mention.

Immanuel Church looks forward to continued service to the Sparks-Glencoe community during the current century and hopefully beyond. The leadership by the Chuch pledges to continue to hold fast to its Mission Statement cited on the opening page of this website.

Historic photos provided from the family archives of
Duncan (3rd) and Beth McCulloch.

hill

Looking up the church lane

old hill

Nearing top of the church lane

rev mason

Rev. Richard Randolph Mason, first Rector of Immanuel

Early photo of church interior

painting

Sketch by Rev. Duncan McCulloch, Sr.

panarama

View from Glencoe Road

rev McCulloch

Rev. Duncan McCulloch, Sr., second permanent rector of Immanuel

side

Looking toward the Rectory

snow

Immanuel in winter

Peggy, the buggy horse

Peggy, the buggy horse

note

Sketch by Mary Sterrett Carroll McCulloch of church beginnings