History

The History of Granite Presbyterian Church

It all began on July 1, 1845. Twenty members from the Harmony Presbyterian Church of Lisbon, Maryland came to start a new church on land donated by Mr. and Mrs. William Wright. The church building was completed in two years. Under the authority of what was then the Presbytery of the District of Columbia, the Reverend Thomas J. Shepherd was asked to be the organizing Pastor who served the Quarries Presbyterian Church, as it was then named, until 1848. The Reverend Henry Mathews served for one year following Reverend Shepherd. During the next five years, Stated Supply Pastors filled the pulpit on Sundays, and sometime before 1859, the church began to be called the Granite Presbyterian Church (GPC). For many years the church shared a Pastor with the Randallstown and Mt. Paran congregations.  In 1895 Mrs. James Offutt donated the bell tower to the church as a memorial to her husband.

A great fire destroyed the church on April 25, 1925. Started by a bolt of lightning, it was a trauma that still lives in the memories of some of our older members. The dedication of the new sanctuary was celebrated on September 25, 1926. The charred walls remaining from the old sanctuary were incorporated into the new outer walls allowing the strength of the past to bless a new beginning in a graphic way.

The Reverend George B. Schultz served as GPC’s Pastor from 1948 until 1955, followed by the Reverend J. Franklin Weaver who assumed the pastoral duties in the latter part of 1955. In 1957, the Reverend Robert D. Barnes became the GPC’s first installed full-time Pastor. During this time the first floor of the Educational Building was built, including the classrooms and kitchen. The Reverend J. Ellsworth Creps served Granite for two years until 1960. The Reverend John J. Wright then served the Church until 1965. As the Church School began to grow, a second floor was added to the Education Building in 1966. During the renovation of the sanctuary in 1967, a stained glass window, originally in the Harmony Presbyterian Church of Lisbon, Maryland, was set in the back of the chancel. It is dedicated to Dr. Shepherd who organized those first twenty members from the Harmony Church in 1845. The Reverend George N. Clayman became Pastor in 1970, serving both the Springfield and Granite Churches. In 1980, the Reverend Dr. Sherman S. Roddy became Pastor. It was during his tenure, in 1986, that the Church acquired the Parish House, which was renovated to provide office space, a meeting room and an apartment. Dr. Roddy retired from the pulpit in 1993, but served GPC as Pastor Emeritus until his death on January 23, 2001.

In December of 1993, the Reverend Margaret J. Ferguson was called as Pastor to GPC. Under her direction, the Granite Presbyterian Church continued to grow with the purchase of 3.5 acres of land adjoining the Church property, a portion of which is being utilized for additional parking. The land, known as the Voland Property, adds to the rich history of GPC in the Granite community, and will enable future growth and expansion. Pastor Peg, as she was affectionately known at GPC, oversaw a number of other significant improvements to the church, including the addition of air conditioning in the sanctuary, and the installation of an elevator to allow more convenient access to the sanctuary from the parking area. Reverend Ferguson retired in June 2003.

The Reverend Jan Trammell-Savin, who served Granite Presbyterian Church as a seminary intern from June 2001 until April 2002, graciously agreed to serve as Interim Pastor.

From June 2005 until June 2007, Pastor Elizabeth Rogers served as full time Pastor at Granite.

Pastor Terry Shoener served as pulpit supply Minister from summer of 2007 until February 2008. Pastor Wally Harman started on February 14, 2008,  as interim pastor, and served the congregation through August 2010.

In September, 2010, Pastor Terrence Alspaugh began to serve the congregation as temporary stated supply pastor.  He was installed as the Pastor of the congregation on October 14, 2012.

GPC has had a long and storied history in the Granite community, and the congregation looks forward to maintaining and expanding their outreach to community.