God has blessed Mt Paran
with several acres of property
in Randallstown, MD.
Both the Historic Chapel and The Fellowship Hall are ideal spaces for community events.
This page has several links to aid in an understanding of the history of Mt Paran. When you select a link, you will be directed away from this website. Mt Paran is not responsible for the content of others. If you are interested in learning more about Mount Paran's role in early American religious history, please contact our Church Historian, at YourMtParan@gmail.com and put in the subject line ATTN Church Historian.
In 1649, The Act of Toleration was legislated in Maryland, giving freedom of worship to all Christians. The first Presbyterian came to Maryland with the arrival of Francis Makemie, a Scottish missionary, who arrived in Somerset County in 1683. Presbyterians began coming to this area at the invitation of Cecilius Calvert after they were driven out of Virginia by the intolerance of the Church of England, which labeled the Presbyterian Puritans.
In 1715, a church was established by some of these Presbyterian settlers in the vicinity of Randallstown and was named after the nearby Patapsco River. This was the beginning of Mt. Paran’s history. The congregation grew with the community as people were attracted by the presence of a grist mill, which provided employment. The first minister of the congregation was Reverend Hugh Conn, who emigrated from Ireland in response to a call from Presbyterians in the Baltimore area. He remained at the Patapsco Church until 1719, after which little is known about the early congregation.
Later, the church adopted the name of a nearby military post called "Soldiers’ Delight". From the formation of the Presbytery of Baltimorein 1786 until 1815, ministers were enlisted from other churches in the area to supply in pulpit. The building fell into disuse and served as a sheepfold from 1815 until the 1830’s.
The church was reorganized in 1841 under the name of Mt. Paran Presbyterian Church, after the "Mountains of Paran" the region south of Judah, the place of theophanies which are recorded in Deuteronomy 33:2 and Habakkuk 3:3. Moses and the Israelites camped in the Plains of Paran after they left Mt. Sinai. From that time until the present there have been religious services in the present building.
The original church was renovated in 1882. It was rebuilt using the original log walls, increasing its height, length, and erecting its present steep roof. The logs were covered with clapboard and were not uncovered until an addition was made to the building in 1953. The coal oil lamps, which lit the church, were not replaced with electric lamps until 1945. Soon after, central heating was installed to take place of two pot-bellied stoves. An addition providing Sunday school rooms and added seating for church services was completed in 1953. The congregation still worships in the Historic Chapel on Wednesday evenings at 7pm in the Spring and Summer months and periodically during during the rest of the year.
In 1956, Miss Kitty Fite, a lifelong member of Mt. Paran, gave the church ten acres of land, which bordered Liberty Road and extended, over the hill to the original church property. A manse was completed in 1957 to house Mt. Paran’s first full-time Pastor, the Reverend Valentine S. Alison and his family. A brick parish hall was constructed at the crest of the hill in 1960. That building, known as the Fellowship Hall, is the site of our main Sunday worship services and other activities today. Mt Paran still has smaller services through the year in the historic chapel.
An active and thriving congregation still worships at Mt. Paran every Sunday. In 2015, having outgrown the original edifice, the church moved it's 11am Sunday morning worship services to the Fellowship Hall. Mt Paran still has smaller services through the week in the Historic Chapel.
Come, visit, grow, and worship with us.
1. "Chapter 6 Presbyterian Beginnings in Prince Georges County" http://www.ronsgospelmusic.org/covebook/Thomfiles.pdf page 90-101
is part of a larger pdf document http://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc5700/sc5796/000040/001000/001000/restricted/hienton.pdf "Prince Georges Heritage Sidelights on the Early History of Prince George's County Maryland from 1686 to 1800" by Louise Joyner Hienton produced by The Maryland Historical Society and located in the Hall of Records Library Annapolis 20050256.
2. Biography of The Reverend Francis Makemie (1658-1708) maintained by the Presbyterian Heritage Center. http://www.phcmontreat.org/bios/Makemie-Francis.htm
3. "Notes On The First Presbyterians in the American Colonies" webarticle maintained by the Presbyterian Historical Society The National Archives of PC(USA) https://www.history.pcusa.org/blog/2015/11/notes-first-presbyterians-american-colonies
4. http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~rflippo/newpage4.htm Descendants of Hugh Conn, ancestry.com webpage hosted by Rootsweb and maintained presumably by the Descendants of Reverend Hugh Conn.
5. http://www.baltimorepresbytery.org/history The History of The Presbytery of Baltimore webpage maintained by Baltimore Presbytery.
6. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+33%3A2+&version=NIV scriptural reference from Biblegateway.com Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission given to source. All rights reserved worldwide.
7. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Habakkuk+3%3A3&version=NIV scriptural reference from Biblegateway.com Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission given to source. All rights reserved worldwide.
8. https://mht.maryland.gov/secure/medusa/PDF/BaltimoreCounty/BA-18.pdf "BALTIMORE COUNTY LANDMARKS PRESERVATION COMMISSION INVENTORY FORM FOR STATE HISTORIC SITES SURVEY" signed E. Frances Offutt - HABS COMMITTEE OF BALTIMORE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY DATF OF RECORD July 29 f 1965
9. CHOATE FAMILY OF BALTIMORE COUNTY, MARYLAND Compiled by J.C. Phillips Harrisburg, Pa. 1979
When you select any of the links above, you will be directed away from this website. Mt Paran is not responsible for the content of others. If you are interested in learning more about Mount Paran's role in early American religious history, Mt Paran's role as the first Presbyterian Church in Baltimore County, Mt Paran's history as the first church cemetery in Baltimore County, or Mt Paran's history in general, please contact our Church Historian, at YourMtParan@gmail.com Please include the following text in your subject headline: ATTN Church Historian.