Magothy Methodist Church to mark 225th year, link to rural Pasadena


May 03, 2002|By Peg Adamarczyk | Peg Adamarczyk,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

FOR COMMUTERS along Mountain Road, the little white church set back among the trees, sandwiched between Jacobsville Elementary School and the community of Deerfield, serves as a quaint point of reference on their daily travels.

Some might know it is Magothy United Methodist Church. But few know of the church's historic link to Pasadena's rural roots and its continuing mission to serve the local community.

The church and its fellowship hall not only serve as a place of worship but also as a meeting place for all types of community groups.

"Just about every group, from the Scouts to senior citizens, self-help groups and quite a few others have met at Magothy one time or another," said Pat Muhl, a longtime church member. "The church buildings are busy from morning to night."

On Sunday, the congregation at Magothy will open its doors to the community for a Heritage Sunday celebration of its 225th anniversary, beginning at 10 a.m.

Magothy's long connection to the Pasadena community began with local farmers who started one of the first Methodist societies in the county more than 200 years ago, according to the church's written history, which was updated for the anniversary.

The first church, believed to be a log cabin, and its surrounding cemetery were erected on a tract of land that was acquired in 1764. The first Methodist bishop, Francis Asbury, visited Magothy three times to preach in the church's early years.

In 1859, a new sanctuary was built across the street from the old log-cabin church. A fire in 1886 consumed the building, and a new church was erected on the site in 1887.

In 1975, a ministry to the deaf community was established at Magothy. The two congregations - Magothy Church of the Deaf and Magothy UMC - were united into one church in 2001.

The worship celebration with Communion will take place in the church's outdoor sanctuary, the Chapel in the Woods, behind the church. The Rev. Reg Barss, Magothy's pastor, the Rev. Kirk Von Gilder, pastor of the Magothy Church of the Deaf, and the Rev. Mamie Williams, the Annapolis district superintendent for the United Methodist Church, will lead the service.

The church's historic committee will hold a reception with light finger foods in the fellowship hall after the service. The committee has also gathered a selection of historic items, including several pictures, which will be on display in the fellowship hall.

An updated version of the church's book, The History of Magothy, and a plate commemorating the church's anniversary will be on sale. "It is the culmination of quite a few years' work bringing this all together," Muhl said.

"We have had our ups and downs, as many churches have, but we're still here," she said with a smile.

Information: 410-255-2420.

Pop Trot 5K nears

Former students, friends and family of the late David "Pop" Warner will get together May 11 for the running of the fourth-annual Pop Trot Memorial 5K run and one-mile fun walk at Downs Park in Pasadena.

Warner, a veteran county elementary teacher, mentor and baseball coach, died in a pedestrian accident in Nags Head, N.C., several years ago. With the grief of his passing still fresh in the hearts of his family and friends, the David "Pop" Warner Baseball Fund was started in 1999 as a way to honor his memory.

The fund uses the money raised at the event to send deserving kids to local baseball camps. Over the past three years, more than 30 young players have had the opportunity to attend camp, thanks to the continuing support of the community.

Claudia Warner, Dave's widow, said that the memorial fund raises money to keep his passion for baseball and helping children alive and growing.

"We're not looking to change the world, just give a kid an opportunity to learn to play a game that could change his whole outlook on life," she said.

The race will start at 9 a.m., rain or shine, at Downs Park.

The fee to enter is $15 per person. A commemorative T-shirt is included in the cost. Race day registrations will be accepted from 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.

Participants younger than 18 must have a parent or guardian sign the registration form. Forms are available at Angel's Market on Mountain Road and at several other local merchants. Online registration can be made at

Information: 410-255-3321 or 410-207-9502.

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