Oct 18, 2021

My Church House Memories


In the early 1980’s a building fund campaign was developed to purchase property. On 12/21/86 the congregation approved the Session’s recommendation to purchase a 4.35-acre farm at 9318 Old Harford Road from the Lightheiser family. The farmhouse on the grounds provided space for pastors’ offices as well as the Church Office and room for youth activities. (excerpt from the LRPC history page)

The farmhouse served us well, but I for one, am glad to see it go. Having been part of the LRPC congregation since before the property was bought, I have many memories of the old house. Perhaps some of you will remember:

  • For many years, the house was a dismal shade of brown.
  • Holding Sunday school classes in almost every available room
  • Having evening board meetings around the tables in what was the dining room
  • Deer nibbling the shrubbery in the front
  • How many people we could crowd into the two front parlors when we had a rainy Strawberry Festival and using the porch as a stage for the  entertainment
  • That a psychologist rented space for offices in the house for several years
  • That a congregation member lived in the house for a short while
  • All of the old sofas, probably 4 to 6 of them, in the front parlor. Unfortunately, the house was a dumping round for many items that probably should have gone to the landfill.      
  • That Pastor Louthan‘s office was the former master bedroom, complete with a drafty fireplace and blue floral wallpaper. Not exactly a dignified working space, but he never complained or asked for any changes. It took some women on the trustees to  demand a renovation
  • When the cellar was made into a warren of rooms for youth group meetings. Unfortunately, the cellar damp and black mold made the space unusable eventually and all of the drywall and framing had to be torn out.
  • That Pastor Burgett used one of the windowless rooms as a dark room for his photography hobby.
  • How pretty the light was pouring through the two stained glass windows on the stairs.

I had the privilege of serving as a church secretary for six or seven years and have my own set of memories.

On a certain day every spring the office would be inundated with swarms (hundreds) of flying bugs. I’m sure the previous secretaries had to put up with this too, but it always freaked me out and I probably poisoned myself spraying clouds of bug spray until the exterminator would come out. In late summer, we dealt with hornets daily.

There was little to no insulation and lots of windows in the office.The only window that wasn’t painted shut was near the secretaries’ desk and had to be propped up with a stick to get it to stay open on days when you didn’t need an air conditioner. The air conditioner stayed in year around and added to the cold in winter. The secretary’s desk was on the opposite wall from the radiator. I worked with two space heaters near my feet and on really cold days I wore those fingerless gloves like you saw Bob Cratchit wear in A Christmas Carol.         

And here’s a secret very few people know. When the old oil furnace was torn out and replaced with a propane system, The workmen called me down to see what was behind the old furnace, a grow light and a very dead pot plant! Oh my!

Isn’t it amazing that a house built in the 19th  century served us well into the 21st-century? It certainly has given me lots of great memories. My prayer is that the space the house stands on provides lots of happy memories for congregation members in the future, too.

See also A Thirty Year History