Mount Washington Church Bell

Mount Washington Presbyterian Church
(The Presbyterian Church in the United States)
September 24, 1877 – September 22, 1968

On March 7, 1877, nine women from Mount Washington, Maryland, then a small town outside Baltimore, met with Mrs. J. Harmanus Fisher at her residence and organized a sewing society to work for the establishment of a Presbyterian Church in the area. It is said that the men rather discouraged the movement and that Dr. Baccus of the First Presbyterian Church gave little encouragement when interviewed by Mrs. Fisher. She then called on Rev. Mr. M. V. Murkland, Pastor of Franklin Street Presbyterian Church, from whom she received help and encouragement. Together they soon changed the attitude of the men.

As a result, a petition was sent to the Fall meeting of Chesapeake Presbytery and a committee of Presbytery consisting of Dr. Murkland, Dr. J. A. Lefevre and Elder John Patterson of Franklin Street Church, organized the Mount Washington Church on the 24th of September, 1877. The first elders, Thomas Dixon and J. Harmanus Fisher, were unanimously elected by the newly formed congregation and solemnly inducted into office by the Rev. Mr. M. V. Murkland. The Rev. Mr. R. L. McMurran was called as pastor at a salary of $600.00 per year, payable quarterly. Services were held at either the Fisher home on South Road or in the Mount Washington Hall.

A lot on Thornbury Road at Smith Avenue was donated by the Thomas Dixons. The main part of the church was occupied in the early summer of 1878. In 1956 the church purchased a camp located on a scenic area of the South River near Annapolis. Renamed Camp Royal this facility provided new areas of ministry and outreach to youth.

Valley Presbyterian Church
(The Presbyterian Church in the United States)
September 22, 1968 – October 14, 1971
October 1971 – May 1975

By the late 1960’s, the congregation, under the leadership of the Rev. Nelson F. Veise, saw the need for expansion. Nearly five acres were purchased at Joppa Road and the Baltimore Beltway in Lutherville. On January 7, 1968, the church again witnessed a groundbreaking and nine months later the building was completed. On September 22, 1968, the Rev. Robert Smoot preached at the dedication for the sanctuary and Sunday school area. With the new location and new building came a new name, Valley Presbyterian Church, yet the preaching and teaching faithful to the Word of God remained the same. Liberal theological trends brought new concerns to the church as the decade of the sixties drew to a close. On October 14, 1971, the congregation took advantage of an option to withdraw from the PCUS denomination and voted to assume independent status.

Valley Presbyterian Church
(The Presbyterian Church in America)
May 1975

Four years later, after considering various Presbyterian denominations, the congregation voted to join the Presbyterian Church in America. In May 1975, the Mid-Atlantic Presbytery voted to receive Valley Church, ending its independent status. Members of the Church felt the need for larger facilities at the present location and approved plans for a more spacious, contemporary sanctuary and for remodeling the present facility. Ground was broken on June 20, 1976, and since then God has blessed His people at Valley.

Present-Day Church Building