Catonsville Presbyterian Church began in 1879 when a small group of families gathered for worship services in the parlor of the vacant Paradise Hotel in Catonsville. In 1880, enough money was raised to buy a lot at St. Timothy’s Lane and Frederick Avenue where the first house of worship was built. Our church was fostered in its beginnings by the Westminster Presbyterian Church of Baltimore. It was known as the Paradise Presbyterian Church of Catonsville until 1896, when the name on the charter was changed to the Catonsville Church.
The congregation outgrew the building on St. Timothy’s Lane and moved to the present location in 1921 after building first the present fellowship hall and tower. Later, in 1928, the sanctuary was also built. In 1963, the new educational wing was added.
We Expand our Mission
Family Child Care Center
As the years went on, the congregation decided to expand its mission in Catonsville and offer affordable, high-quality, full-time preschool education and child care to the community. The Catonsville Presbyterian Church Family Child Care Center was opened in 1981 and still serves the community today, with thousands of children and families having been touched by this outreach.
In 2005, we celebrated our 125th anniversary and in true Catonsville Presbyterian fashion, we undertook a major construction project to expand our accessibility for all people. The first capital campaign in more than 40 years began with close to $1 million raised from its members. The renovations to increase handicap access and other major renovations began transforming the look and feel of our building. Because of the extensive cost of the renovations, the congregation took on a mortgage of almost an additional $1million. Just a short 10 years later, we had a mortgage-burning ceremony in front of the ramp that was constructed during the renovations.
The Envision Fund
In 2013, the church received a large bequest, and leaders discerned the best way to use the monies was to establish Envision Grants. Money from the fund is disbursed locally, nationally and internationally to a variety of projects that further peace and justice and mission projects, help incubate new innovative ministries, and fund capital improvements of our facility. The application process is open to our members, staff and others who have a church member sponsor. The bequest changed our community and how we identify ourselves as a people of God.
Since the initial 21 charter members of Catonsville Presbyterian were received on March 27, 1881, our fellowship has grown to include more than 400 members today. Our church, in the heart of Catonsville, is a special gathering place for worship and community activity. Most importantly, we are more than our building. We are a dynamic and motivated community of believers seeking to do God’s will to bring about reconciliation and peace and hope, at home, around the region and in the wider world beyond.