IN THE YEARS after the Civil War, many people in West County attended Salem Methodist Church in an area once known as Portland, in what is now Fort Meade.
But travel was difficult in those days and a group of parishioners who lived near the Patuxent Rail Station on Patuxent Road wanted a church of their own.
So Daniel D. Woodward, a local landowner, decided to help make it happen.
On March 3, 1881, Woodward deeded land on Patuxent Road in what is now known as Woodwardville to Stephen Beard, Henry Clay Mullikin and George White. The three were designated as trustees responsible for the building of a new church.
During the next year, people from the community, led by their first minister, Francis Shipley, gathered materials and constructed what is now known as Trinity United Methodist Church.
Since its opening in August 1882, Trinity has served as a center of community life and source of comfort to thousands of people in the area.
To celebrate its long history, the church is planning a 120th anniversary event for Sept. 28.
Elaine Lloyd, chairwoman of the event, says the theme will be "Building Blocks," to honor those who have helped shape the church's history.
Trinity has been part of Lloyd's life since she was a girl. She remembers growing up with the "little country church."
"Church was my life" as a child, she says.
On Sundays, there was Sunday school and the worship service. Later came youth groups and then, the Ladies Aid Society, now known as United Methodist Women. Church work ranged from chicken luncheons to community outreach programs to supporting missionaries overseas.
Trinity, the oldest Methodist congregation in West County, has helped support newer churches over the years. Among them are churches in Maryland City, Mitchellville and Crofton.
The church's outreach has continued with Trinity's new minister, the Rev. Cecil Mudede, who arrived last year from Zimbabwe, Baltimore's sister diocese.
Mudede and his family were able to move into the church's parsonage last month, thanks to renovations by members of Trinity and Crofton Community United Methodist Church. The parsonage will be rededicated during the anniversary celebration next month.
Another part of the celebration will be the lighting of candles in memory of deceased church members. The planning committee is seeking help in locating families and relatives of those who have attended Trinity over the years, in order to identify a family representative to light a memorial candle for each family.
The planning committee also is seeking photographs of events and people related to Trinity's history to include in a history, which will be published.
Anyone wishing to lend photographs should label the back of each picture with his or her name, note the event and identities of the people photographed and the date it was taken. All photographs will be returned.
Photographs are needed by Saturday and can be mailed to Trinity United Methodist Church, Attn: 120th Anniversary Committee, 956 Patuxent Road, Odenton 21113.
Information: 410-672-5308 or trinity_Odenton_120@toadmail.com.
Arundel Class of '67
Members of Arundel High School's Class of 1967 are preparing their 35th-anniversary celebration. Their first planning meeting will begin at 8 p.m. Friday in the meeting room of the Western District Police Station, Route 170 in Odenton.
Information: Ann Henderson, 410-729-0995.
The seven-circuit labyrinth at Prince of Peace Presbyterian Church in Crofton will be open from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. tomorrow for those who would like to take the meditative walk.
Welcoming new pupils
Children who will enter Crofton Woods Elementary School this year as new pupils are invited to take part in "Welcome to Crofton Woods Day" on Aug. 19 at the school.
New second-, third-, fourth- and fifth-graders will meet in the music room from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. New first-graders will meet in the music room from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
During the sessions, children will meet Principal Peter Zimmer and other members of the staff. They also will have the chance to become acquainted with the school and meet other pupils.
Parents of new pupils are invited to a welcome session from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. that evening to meet administrators and staff and to learn more about the school.
Participating families should register by Aug. 14. Registration: 410-222-5805 or 410-721-1054.