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Historic Christ Church | Christ Church Forest Hill

Historic Christ Church

Christ Episcopal Church, also known Christ Church Rock Spring Parish,  is an historic parish located in Forest Hill, Maryland.  Founded in 1805, we have been at the heart of Harford County life for over 200 years.  The original building — a plain field stone structure — was completed sometime between 1808 and 1819, and was also used as a school for several years.  In 1814, Christ church petitioned the diocese to be recognized as a congregation and the status was granted.  The building was consecrated on October 1, 1820 by the Right Reverend James Kemp, the second Bishop of Maryland, and during that visit forty two parishioners were Confirmed.

In 1875, the church building was completely remodeled.  The side walls were torn down to window sill level.  The original stones were used in the reconstruction, adding a chancel and sacristy.  Memorial stained glass windows were also included in the new design.  The Christ Church of today is essentially the 1875 model.

The cemetery of Christ Church includes the graves of veterans of the Revolutionary war, the war of 1812, and is the final resting place of the remains of Confederate as well as Union soldiers… including one man who fought on both sides of that conflict.   Every year on Memorial Day we honor veterans of those and more recent wars, marking each veteran’s grave with an American flag and laying flowers at each of those headstones.  As we enter and depart the church building, we know ourselves to be surrounded by friends who have been part of this worshiping community in years gone by.

In the years since 1875, additional improvements and additions have been made.  Christ Church now has a bell tower, completed in 1904, from which an electronic carillon chimes the hour and plays hymns at selected times throughout the day.  In the Forest Hill area, we are known as “the church with the bells.”  The campus also includes a Parish Hall with a moderately well-equipped kitchen, together with an Administration Building housing offices and Sunday School rooms.  All the buildings are used by community organizations for meetings and events of various kinds.  In this way, we continue to be an active part of county’s life.

We commemorate our history and we also celebrate our hope for the future, continuing to seek new ways to serve our neighbors and be instruments of the Gospel.

The Church with the Chimes