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Balto. Co. church to commemorate 280-year history


Mount Paran Presbyterian Church in Randallstown is preparing to mark 280 years of fluctuating history and ministry.

The public is invited to an 11 a.m. service and lunch Sept. 24 at the church, 10308 Liberty Road. Its dramatic growth in the early part of the 18th century and its sharp decline 100 years later will be discussed.

Speakers include the Rev. James Salango, Mount Paran pastor, and the Rev. Robert Williamson.

After the church's founding in 1715, a thriving grist mill attracted settlers and worshipers in encouraging numbers. But from 1815 to the 1830s, the venerable church building was used as a sheepfold.

The roots of the church, variously called Patapsco, Soldier's Delight and Mount Paran, go deeper than Sept. 21, 1715, the date on the minutes of the Presbytery of Philadelphia recording the Rev. Hugh Conn's ordination and his installation as the first minister.

Maryland's Toleration Act of 1649 had made it possible in 1683 for Francis Makemie, a Scottish missionary, to transport to the Eastern Shore what the Church of England called "Presbyterian Puritans."

As their numbers grew, worship in the Presbyterian form followed settlers up the Potomac, Patuxent and Patapsco rivers.

Mount Paran Church's current name, referring to the Plains of Paran where the Bible relates that Moses and the Israelites camped after they left Mount Sinai, dates from a reorganization of the Randallstown congregation in 1841. Its services have been continuous ever since.

The congregation maintains a cemetery on 15 acres from Liberty Road to Lyons Mill Road. The oldest gravestone is dated 1765.

Information and lunch reservations: 655-6220.

Crusade at arena:

Former Orioles outfielder Pat Kelly, a Christian evangelist, will lead long-planned revival services at 7 p.m. today and 6 p.m. tomorrow at the Baltimore Arena, Baltimore and Howard streets.

At 1 p.m. tomorrow, the "Come Alive in '95 Greater Baltimore Crusade" will include a youth rally featuring rock and rap music by such performers as Chosen, The Private Boiz and Mike De Vine, formerly with 2 Live Crew. Admission is free.

At a preparatory revival at the arena in May, former Colts defensive tackle Joe Ehrmann, who operates a Christian ministry in East Baltimore called The Door, urged support for this weekend's crusade.

"That is our goal, to bring the masses together," Mr. Kelly said.

Information: 239-7378.

Saint proclaimed:

A Mass at 2 p.m. Sunday in the national Seton shrine at Emmitsburg will mark the 20th anniversary of the canonization of the country's first native-born saint. It will be open to the public.

Gov. Parris N. Glendening has proclaimed Sunday as St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Day.

Cardinal William H. Keeler of the Baltimore Roman Catholic Archdiocese will preach. Historic sites at the Emmitsburg headquarters of the Daughters of Charity, the order founded by Mother Seton, will be open to visitors 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Information: (301) 447-6606.

Guest preachers:

The Rev. Jimmy Baldwin, pastor of Shiloh Christian Community Church, will lead revival services at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sept. 22 at Payne Memorial A.M.E. Church, 1714 Madison Ave., celebrating Payne Memorial's 99th anniversary.

In continuation of the celebration, African Methodist Episcopal Bishop Frederick C. James will preach at the church's 11 a.m. service Sept. 24 and Payne's pastor, the Rev. Vashti M. McKenzie, will preach at 8 a.m.

Information: 669-8739.

Brothers' celebration:

Cardinal William H. Keeler will preside at a Mass at 3 p.m. tomorrow in the Roman Catholic Basilica of the Assumption, Cathedral and Mulberry streets, beginning a yearlong celebration of 150 years of service by the Christian Brothers.

The teaching order opened Calvert Hall in Baltimore in 1845.

Information: (301) 874-5188.

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