Loch Raven Presbyterian Church was originally a part of Babcock Memorial Church (UPC USA), but in March 1981, after much prayer and study concerning doctrinal matters and interaction with the Baltimore Presbytery, a body of members (soon to be named Loch Raven Village Presbyterian Church) left the United Presbyterian Church denomination and began worshipping as an independent church.
This larger group worshipped at Loch Raven Elementary School on Sunday mornings for several months and later at Pleasant Plains Elementary School. Activities besides Sunday morning worship services were held in other places; prayer meetings, and choir practices were held in the homes of members, and for three months the Church Office was also located in a member’s home. After that, a space was rented on White Oak Road to serve as the Church Office.
A committee was established to investigate Presbyterian denominations to determine one with which we might affiliate. From 1984 to 1986 this committee worked and presented its conclusion that we should unite with the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA). This conclusion was eventually accepted and approved by the membership.
The next order of business was to find property to build a church. A funding campaign was developed, and eventually the property at 9318 Old Harford Road, Baltimore, MD 21234 was purchased. The house on the grounds provided space for pastors’ offices as well as an office for the secretary. Then in January, 1990, the congregation received the architectural drawings for Loch Raven Presbyterian Church. After congregational approval, construction began in 1990 and was completed in 1991.
On Sunday, September 29, 1991, a Service of Worship and Dedication was held at 3:00 p.m.
The location of our church in the 1880’s was occupied by a farm house and out buildings. Ironworks found on the property during excavation of the church indicated that the owner was also a blacksmith who could make his own door hinges, nails and decorative ironworks. William J. Taylor and his wife, believed to be the original owners sold the farm house and land (about 80 acres) to Frank J. and Christina Marie McQuade in 1937; they in turn sold to a large portion to Doncaster Realty Inc. in 1960 for the building of apartments. The apartment complex presently surrounds the church property along with single homes. Minetta Marie McQuade daughter to Frank and Christina, remained on the property and later married Kenneth L. Lighthiser. The Lighthisers continued to farm the land; but on a lesser scale. Some members of our church, related to the Lighthisers, remember running though the corn fields as young children in the early 1960’s where the church now stands.
Some members recalled horses kept on the property and sleighing down the hills further behind the farmhouse. The Lighthisers (Kenneth L. & Minetta Marie McQuade) sold 4.35 acres which included the farmhouse to Loch Raven Presbyterian Church in 1987. Building of the church began in 1989. The farmhouse became and still is the church office where administrative functions occur and classes and committee meetings take place.
Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding. -Jeremiah 3:15