First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Baltimore MD

21210-1398

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Who we are

On Sunday, February 24th, 2019 we celebrated the closing worship service for First Christian Church Baltimore. While it was heartbreaking to see this congregation of faithful people close their ministry as First Christian, it is also heartwarming that we have transferred the building and grounds to the non-profit that they started in January 2017, Corner Community Center. The CCC will continue to promote multi-faith experiences at the building as well as educational, artistic, and relationship focused programs. Please like the Corner Community FB page and go to its website to sign up for monthly emails of the activities happening in this welcoming space. We give thanks to God for guiding us in this next step -- in the bulb there is a flower, and we feel confident that what they have planted in faith will grow.




Church Address

First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
5802 Roland Ave
Baltimore, MD 21210-1398
United States
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Church Pastor

Rev. Carol Lynn Cook
Rev. Carol Lynn Cook
Senior Pastor
5802 Roland Ave
Baltimore, MD 21210-1398
United States
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Quote of the Day
Psalms 118:17

I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.

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Disciples of Christ


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Leadership

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Rev. Carol Lynn Cook was officially installed as Pastor of First Christian Church during Sunday morning worship on February 20, 2011, after previously serving our congregation as pastoral care minister. Carol holds the Masters of Theology and Masters of Church Ministries degrees from the Ecumenical Institute of Theology of St. Mary's Seminary and University of Baltimore, the Masters of Arts degree in English from Delta State University, and the Bachelors of Education degree from Miami University. Carol accepted God's call to the ministry after a career as a secondary and college teacher of French language and culture and speech coach. She resides in the Original Northwood neighborhood of Baltimore City with her husband Russell. Son Kermit lives with his wife Libby and daughter Audrey in Sydney, Australia. Daughter Katie lives in Laurel, Maryland.   Edit
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5802 Roland Ave, Baltimore, MD
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First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Service Times

On Sunday, February 24th, 2019 we celebrated the closing worship service for First Christian Church Baltimore.

First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) service times last updated on the 17th of April, 2020
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History of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Baltimore MD

FELLS POINT 1810-1833

We trace the origin of our church to the work of Charles Farquharson, a student of the Haldane School of Theology in Edinburgh, Scotland. He began preaching to a small group in his home in the Fells Point section of Baltimore. Prior to construction of the North Street church building, services were held in private homes and public halls. Early member William Carman founded the first Sunday School in Maryland. Samuel Sands, another early member, typeset the first printed copy of the Star Spangled Banner, which later became our National Anthem.

In 1840 several members left the North Street Church over doctrinal differences and built the Paca Street church.

For many years, 1817 was celebrated as the founding date of the congregation. In a recent discovery, a letter by William Carman published in The Evangelist, establishes the founding date as 1810 (Reference Book pages 1,93).

NORTH STREET 1834-1869

The church moved from Charles Farquharson's home in Fells Point to its first santuary building on North Street near Market Street (now Guilford Avenue near Baltimore Street). The minutes of the February 1834 building committee meeting are preserved.

In the building's early years, services were conducted by the Elders and a series of preachers short-term, including the first called minister in 1840, Robert H. Ferguson, and a well-known early Disciple clergyman and protegé of Alexander Campbell -- Walter Scott (Dec. 1841-Jan. 1842).

In 1869 the North Street building was sold and a second church building was erected at the corner of Dolphin and Etting Streets, where the congregation worshipped for a number of years (Reference Book pages 1,9,94-99).

PACA STREET, DOLPHIN STREET 1850-1887

In a split over doctrinal differences, thirty-seven members of the North Street Church signed a declaration on July 26, 1840, beginning the Paca Street Church. A building was secured from the Dunkards in 1849, renovated, and dedicated on May 26, 1850. Alexander Campbell was the principal speaker and reported the event in his publication, The Millennial Harbinger. (The original communion table and chairs from Paca Street are on display at the present First Christian Church on Roland Avenue, which also has the original silver communion service.)

By 1886 business enterprises had so congested dowtown that the Paca Street Church decided to move to a location at Harlem Avenue and Dolphin Street. The last service at Paca Street was held August 28, 1887 (Reference Book pages 1,3,100-105).

After a number of years, the Dolphin Street congregation (formerly at North Street) re-merged with the Paca Street Church (which split off from North Street), thereby restoring the original congregation. The Dolphin Street property eventually was turned over to the Second Christian Church, an African American congregation.

HARLEM AVENUE 1888-1930

The Paca Street Church's downtown location having been overwhelmed by burgeoning commercial interests of the city, the congregation sought a more pastoral location. Their new building, the Harlem Avenue Christian Church, was dedicated March 11, 1888. In 1897 the Church organized a mission church school at Fulton and Walbrook Avenues. This property changed hands several times and was abandoned in 1930, with remaining equity going to Govans Christian Church. The congregation remained at Harlem Avenue until 1920, when it purchased property at the corner of Liberty Heights and Copley Road, in the Ashburton area of the city. The Harlem Avenue church was sold to an African American congregation in 1920. (Reference Book pages 2,4,13,14,106-108).

25TH STREET 1903-1922

On June 24, 1888, forty-five Harlem Avenue Church members withdrew and organized the Third Christian Church, later the Calhoun Street Christian Church. Its early minister, Peter Ainslie, was a great national religious leader, helped to found the Federal Council of Churches, and was world-renowned in the ecumenical movement. He started a number of mission churches throughout Baltimore, one of which, in 1903, was situated on 25th Street in north Baltimore. In the late 1920s, the congregation at the 25th Street Church relocated further out of the city at a new site on York Road near Cold Spring Lane in the Govans neighborhood; this new church became known as Govans Christian Church (Reference Book pages 2,6,118-123).

COPLEY ROAD 1923-1963

In 1920 the Harlem Avenue Church congregation decided to move to the corner of Liberty Heights and Copley Road, in the Ashburton neighborhood. The Harlem Avenue building was sold to a African American congregation in 1920. Here for the first time the name First Christian Church was adopted in recognition of its early beginnings. The Copley Road building was dedicated May 27, 1923.

The congregation was active for four decades, during which time the Sunday School program, began under Preston Fiddis at Harlem Avenue, gained international recognition. Morris Craig Schollenberger led the Copley Road congregation for 24 years, the longest pastorate in the church's history. The Copley Road and Govans congregations united in a merger in 1963, forming the First Christian Church of Baltimore (Reference Book pages 2,5,16).

GOVANS 1930-1963

On June 22, 1930, under the leadership of Rev. Lawrence E. Cousins, the congregation at the 25th Street Church relocated further out of the city to a new site on York Road near Cold Spring Lane in the Govans neighborhood. This new church became known as Govans Christian Church.

The Copley Road and Govans congregations merged in 1963, forming the First Christian Church of Baltimore. Rev. Dr. Henry F. Speight, Jr., Govans minister, became minister of the merged congregation. The merged congregation purchased property on Roland Avenue at Bellemore Road for a new church building (Reference Book pages 2,17,124-125).

ROLAND AVENUE 1965-PRESENT

Rev. Dr. Henry F. Speight, Jr. (63-71), led the Copley Road and Govans congregations to merge in 1963, forming First Christian Church Baltimore. The church's present location, four acres at 5802 Roland Avenue, is the former estate of J. Cookman Boyd. The congregation met in the Boyd mansion until a new sanctuary was built, after which the mansion was razed. The congregation was augmented by former members of the Calhoun Street Church. 1970s ministers included William E. Crowl (72-77), George A. Harris (77-78), and C. Trent Owings (78-87).

The Social (Fellowship) Hall was dedicated in 1972 in the memory of Mildred Crue Hubin. Thanks to our current member, Lynn Hubin, for loan of the dedication service bulletin (Reference Book pages 2,17,126,127,129).

FCCB PRESENT

First Christian Church Baltimore on Roland Avenue has been served by several ministers, including Leigh C. Earley (1987-89), David A. Caldwell (1989-2006), Yvonne Gilmore-Essig (2007-08), John Carter (2009-10), and Carol L. Cook (2010-to-present).

Membership began to decline through attrition and lack of young families. Some members left in 2004 over philosophical differences with the minister and formed their own non-denominational congregation that worships in our Roland Avenue building. With decreasing use of the building, First Christian was able to take on partner congregations, including Congregation Beit Tikvah (1995), St. Andrews Christian Community (2000), The Gathering (2004), and Mt. Olivet Christian Church (2005). The congregations share combined worship experiences throughout the year (Reference Book pages 2,18,19).

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The power of Christian prayer May your light illuminate our hearts
Eternal God, this holy night is radiant with the brilliance of your one true light. May that light illuminate our hearts and shine in our words and deeds. May the hope, the peace, the joy, and the love represented by the birth in Bethlehem this night fill our lives and become part of all that we say and do. May we share the divine life of your son Jesus Christ, even as he humbled himself to share our humanity. Amen.
First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) listing was last updated on the 17th of April, 2020
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