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Transcription of Interview - Trinity Episcopal Church


[Natural sound-church bell]

Whenever you’re in TowsonTown, listen out for the sound of Westminster chimes ringing. They’re not ordinary chimes. They are chimes that have been ringing every quarter hour of every day for more than a century. These chimes are not just some indication of the time. They represent the staying power of a church that has welcomed its visitors with open arms for 144 years and has no intention of closing its bright red doors anytime soon.

The Trinity Episcopal Church is Towson’s oldest standing church and was designed by Nathan Starkweather. Built with stone from the Rigdely quarries, the church was built on 120 Alleghany Avenue on land donated by Enos Smedley. Although the church was dedicated in 1860, parish administrator Anne Eder says, the first religious services for members of the Episcopal Church were held in Epsom Chapel.

AE: This little chapel was dedicated on Sunday, November 30th, 1839 by the Reverend Samuel Kepler of the Methodist Episcopal and they desired a church of their own and they obtained land in Towson right here.
VT: Trinity Episcopal Church was dedicated for divine services on May 20th, 1860. The first rector to serve at the new church was the Reverend John Francis Hoff, who had first served at Epsom Chapel. At that time, the new church only had 12 members but according to Eder that was the least of its worries.
AE: The church could not be consecrated then because of a mortgage on it held by John Ridgely of Hampton, which after his death in 1847, was released by Captain Ridgely, his executor.
VT: Despite these problems, Trinity Episcopal Church prospered. A Sunday School building was added to the property in 1875, the church was finally able to be consecrated in 1885 and the congregation increased to 200 members by 1906. Now, more than a century later, the church looks brand new with it’s signed Tiffany stained glass windows and is still going strong. Eder describes a typical service at the Episcopal Church as “good and child-friendly.
AE: There is a processional hymn wherein a crucifer carrying a cross leads the procession in, consisting of a challis, the priest and the choir. The service also contains prayers.
VT: Trinity Episcopal Church’s busy schedule doesn’t stop at church services. Not only does it run a daycare center and donation store, the church hosts a number of charitable events as well.
AE: We give office space to “Pathfinders for Autism”, a support group for families with children with autism. We make our building available for outside groups.
VT: Eder, who has been a member of the Trinity Episcopal Church since birth, says that it is more than a church, it’s a family.
AE: We support each other, we do neat things, it’s a beautiful building. The people that work here and worship here are just nice people.

If you won’t take her word for it, Eder encourages persons to visit Trinity Episcopal Church and attend any of its services held three times on Sundays and once on Thursdays.

This is Vaughnique Toote reporting for BaltimoreStories.com.

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