On Nov. 27, 1837, eight months after Martin Van Buren, the 8th President of the United States, was sworn into office, a group of citizens gathered in the Union Meeting House adjacent to the mill in Oella.
The citizens assembled to elect the first nine trustees of what is today Emory United Methodist Church in historic Ellicott City.
First known as the Methodist Episcopal Church of Emory Chapel at Ellicott's Mills and named after Bishop John Emory, the church sanctuary was completed in 1838 at a cost of $6,181 on land in Ellicott's Mill donated by Samuel Ellicott Esq.
In 1937, Ellicott's Mill (later renamed Ellicott City) was located in Anne Arundel County (est. 1650). In 1938, the Howard District was created from Anne Arundel County land resulting in the church's location in the new Howard District.
On Jan. 12, 1838, the church's first pastor, the Rev. Richard Brown, wrote in the the Christian Advocate & Journal:
"At Ellicott's Mills, about eighty have been adopted into the family of Christ ... at this time, many humble penitents are inquiring 'what they shall do to be saved.' In this flourishing village with her several thousands of population, we have erected a commodious chapel ... The edifice is of fine granite, 50 by 65 feet, three stories high. The foundation is on a rock, and thee basement story is from 50 to 120 feet above a large portion of the village — a more beautiful site is seldom to be seen."
In the 175 years since its founding, the church has played a pivotal role in community life.
During the Civil War, the Ellicott City railroad station, the nation's first depot built by the Baltimore & Ohio railroad, brought Union soldiers to the now downtown historic area. The church provided fellowship to soldiers stationed in town and a place of worship to soldiers passing through — some on their way to the frontline of battle.
The beauty of the historic church can still be seen and heard today. Although the magnificent organ, a Moeller Pipe Organ from Hagerstown, has been refurbished over the years, the original console shell, the ivory keyboards and most of the pipes remain. Also, Emory United's stained glass windows were restored by Len and Sherry Berkowitz owners of Great Panes Glass Studio on Main Street. Their wonderful restorations are visible today.
Happy 175th anniversary, Emory United Methodist Church. Thank you for providing our community with a rich history of worship and community service for almost two centuries. The church is at 3799 Church Road. For more information, go to http://www.gbgm-umc.org/emory/history.html.
You don't have to look far to find a great comedy in our community. Centennial High School theater department will present William Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" Nov. 15 through 17 at 7 p.m. with matinee performances on Nov. 17 at 2 p.m. and and Nov. 18 at 3 p.m.
Under the direction of Kathryn Carlsen, the play will have you roaring with laughter with this comedy about mistaken identity and drunken fools when a shipwreck causes a foreign, royal young woman, Viola, to become a castaway on the shore of a glamorous land known as Illyria.
Leading the cast is Sarika Reddy (Viola), Mihir Majumdar (Duke Orsino), Sarah Fritz (Olivia), Kaylah Crosby (Camilla Belch), Brooke Feuerman (Maria), Randi Hall (Feste), Farhan Bader (Sebastian), and Niall Musonda (Malvolio).
Supporting cast members include Gabe Lewman (Sir Andrew), Tara Rudomanski (Antonio), Julia Zhen (Valentine), Anne Marie Demme (Curio), Tommy Hegarty (Fabian), Brianna Richardson (Captain), Daniel Giangrandi (1st Officer) and Grayson Silver (2nd Officer). Rounding out the cast are Lords: David Nagy, Matthew Landen, Dylan Dickerson, Jesse Kinstler, Bennett Babu, Brandon Merguert and Ladies: Sienna Demes, Amanda Ali, Emily Reiss, Emily Bellor, Ally Nussbaum, Angela Ji and Andrea Hughes
Advanced discounted tickets can be purchased online at http://www.seatyourself.biz/chstheatre for $10 each or for the regular price of $12 each at the door. For more information, contact Kathryn Carlsen at 410-313-2856 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Help Boy Scout Troop 944 save lives. The troop is sponsoring a community blood drive on Thursday, Nov. 15, from 2:30 to 8 p.m. in Fellowship Hall at Bethany United Methodist Church, at 2875 Bethany Lane. The event is open to the public. Donors are encouraged to make an appointment by calling the American Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Don't forget to look for the Troop's bake sale in conjunction with the blood drive. Proceeds will be donated to a charity.
If you live in Ellicott City and have small children, you know what a great treasure Centennial Park and Playground are. Apparently, we're not the only ones who think it's great. Maryland Family readers voted Centennial Park "Best Park / Playground" .