WHEN EVA Caroline Renn was baptized at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Fulton in 1870, her parents, Friedrich and Catherine (Strauss) Renn could not have envisioned the changes their church and the tiny town of Fulton would see in the next 125 years.
This weekend, St. Paul's members will observe the 125th anniversary of a venerable Howard County institution.
The first wooden structure known as St. Paul's was dedicated in 1871, when the congregation numbered 63. Half the services then were in German, half in English. The rustic stone building we see on the St. Paul's site today was built from Marriottsville stone in 1932.
Church members, who then numbered 200, excavated the basement themselves with picks, shovels and the help of horse-drawn scoops. In 1952, churchmen dug the foundation for a new parsonage. By 1957, the church had added a parish hall and more worship space, and the membership had grown to about 450.
As the church buildings have grown, church members have raised funds through pledges and individual monthly and weekly contributions. St. Paul's parishioners have pitched in for 125 years on strawberry festivals, fried chicken, ham, oyster and turkey suppers to help support their church.
Many individuals have donated beautiful ornaments and church supplies to St. Paul's. For example, in 1937, Ada Iager donated a brass cross and candelabra, now used in the chapel, as a memorial to her late husband, Frederick William Iager.
St. Paul's has sponsored many fund-raising events for this weekend's anniversary celebration. Researchers have presented the history of St. Paul's to the parishioners. Former pastors and sons of the congregation have returned to the St. Paul's pulpit, and hymn sings, grave markings, and tombstone rubbings have helped church members commemorate this notable date.
Sunday's 11 a.m. service at St. Paul's will include a chancel drama. Sunday afternoon, parishioners will join a vespers service and a reception as the culmination of the anniversary activities. Call (301) 725-0241.
Talented young people seem to be talented in many things. Take Chris Seymour, Glenelg High School senior and first-chair saxophone player in the Glenelg High School Symphonic Band and Jazz Ensemble.
Chris is a commended student for this year's graduating class in the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying program. He is a finalist in academics and fine arts in the Maryland Distinguished Scholar program, and he is part of a very impressive dairy judging team.
Where does Chris go from here? He may follow his sister, Cheryl, to Duke University, where she studies biomedical engineering in a pre-med program. Maybe he'll go to Dartmouth, Cornell, or Villanova. Wherever he goes, it's a sure bet he'll use his talent well.
Dairy Expo roundup
When my family and I stopped at the Brown's Triadelphia Lake View Farm in Glenelg for cider and pumpkins recently, Carrie Brown talked about her trip to the World Dairy Expo, with the Maryland Brown Swiss Junior Association.
Carrie had fun being around many young dairy farmers and assisting her friends when they showed their livestock. She returned with increased enthusiasm for farming. The 1995 Howard County Farm Queen is busy with her first semester of nursing studies at Frederick Community College. She spends her free time helping her parents at their farm with hayrides and their pick-your-own-pumpkin stand.
Also seen at the World Dairy Expo were Howard countians Mark Iager and Sean Johnson, both members of the University of Maryland Dairy Judging team. Sean is a Glenelg High graduate. Mark's family lives in Fulton.