HISTORY OF ELDERSLIE – ST. ANDREWS UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
The present congregation of Elderslie - St. Andrews United Methodist Church is a merger of three separate congregations over a period of years.
Elderslie Methodist Church was officially organized on March 1, 1914, with the first definite plans for the church being made in the spring of 1913. Twenty-five persons comprised the list of charter members. Starting out as a Sunday School, the group of leaders who met in the home of Edward K. Gernand rented the old Boy Scout Lodge to the north of Kelly Avenue and Cross Country Boulevard.
Plans were made for construction of a building at Pimlico Road and Elderslie Avenue (the latter becoming Ken Oak Road). Ground was broken on October 31, 1915, and the church was dedicated on July 2, 1916. Due to the location of the church, it was unanimously voted that it be named Elderslie Methodist Episcopal Church. The building was expanded in 1948, adding a kitchen and much needed Sunday School rooms.
In early 1964, Elderslie celebrated fifty years of service.
In December, 1968, the merger of Elderslie and St. Andrews United Methodist Churches was approved by both congregations. The merger took place in January, 1969, with Rev. E. Bruce Miller, II, as pastor. St. Andrews Church had its beginning in 1916, when the hillside property on Kelly Avenue was deeded from Mrs. Martha S. Townsend to Rev. Alfred Baker and trustees of the African Union First Colored Methodist protestant church. When the church was admitted to the Methodist Episcopal Church, the new name became St. Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church of Mt. Washington, Baltimore County.
The original church was destroyed by fire in 1920. The neighboring Baptist Church, homes and temporary shelters were used until the completion of a new building in 1926.
Shaw (Pimlico) was merged with St. Andrews in 1952 with Rev. Estelle Brooks as pastor.
After the merger with Elderslie, the St. Andrews’ building became a recreational center. It was sold as a residence to a church member in 1979.
At the Charge Conference in September, 1978, it was voted to change the name of the church to Elderslie - St. Andrews United Methodist church. In November of 1978, the ten-year anniversary of the merger was celebrated.
The merger of St. John’s United Methodist Church with Elderslie – St. Andrews was voted upon and approved by both congregations at a charge Conference on December 4, 1987. The official date on which the merger became effective was January 3, 1988, with Rev. Chris Holmes as pastor.
St. John’s Church was started in the summer of 1923. It was first a Sunday School held in the home of Miss Esther Shortess. In the autumn of 1923, the northwest corner of Glen Avenue and Highgate Drive was purchased. A portable frame building was moved in that site early in 1924 and was dedicated as the St. John’s Evangelical Church. In 1946, the Evangelical church and the United Brethren Church were united into the Evangelical United Brethren Church.
A heavy, wet snow struck disaster to the church in the spring of 1958. A new church was built after that disaster.
The Evangelical United Brethren church and the Methodist Church united in 1968, and the church became St. John’s United Methodist Church. The fiftieth anniversary was celebrated on October 20, 1974. In September, 1990, Elderslie - St. Andrews held a “Unity Month” celebration of the merger of the three congregations. Our first “Annual Homecoming” was held on September 29, 1991. On October 17, 1993, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the merger of Elderslie and St. Andrews and the fifth anniversary of the merger of Elderslie - St. Andrews and St. John’s was celebrated. This year (2000) we celebrated our tenth Annual Homecoming.
We are one body looking to the future with hope and vision. There is a “Sweet, Sweet Spirit” in this place.
The History and hope of this church forever keeps before us the diverse nature and call of God that, God’s church is open and available to all people, no matter what color, race, creed or ethnic origin. We want to celebrate who we are as African descendants and wish to celebrate the love of God with all people in our worship experience.