Rev. Bill Ticknor
Ms. Petey Kitzmiller
The Founding of Christ Church
In 1852, Henry and Eleanor Owens deeded a 1/2 acre plot for a "Chapel of Ease," which came to be known as the Chapel of St. James the Less. After the Civil War, Charles Owens deeded an additional 2 1/2 acres to the Vestry to build a new church. The construction of Christ Episcopal Church, financed by Eleanor Hall McCaleb Burwell as a memorial to two of her children, James and Annie McCaleb, was begun in 1867 and consecrated in 1869. The blueprint of the structure was taken from a 19th century sketchbook by architect Richard Upjohn. The unique style of "Carpenter Gothic" architecture is now considered to be the finest example of its type on the east coast. Christ Episcopal Church is listed in the Maryland Register of Historic Sites and Buildings with the U.S. Department of the Interior. An account of Christ Church would be incomplete without mention of the Church yard, which frames it on three sides and gives the appearance of a wooded hillside that has been tended with gentle consideration for the purpose it serves.
To walk through Christ Church cemetery is to walk through the history of this West River community and the nation. Near the east window of the church can be seen the graves of Eleanor Hall McCaleb Burwell and her husband, Dr. Burwell. Next to these graves are those of the McCaleb children. The inscription on Eleanor's stone: "I have finished the work thou hast sent me to do." Several members of Christ Church went off to defend the Confederacy during the Civil War which raged between 1861-1865. One who fell at Gettysburg, Capt. William H. Murray, is buried directly outside the Sunday School building. Veterans of World Wars I and II, Korea, and the Vietnam Conflict are also buried here. Each lot brings back the picture of a family whose life span was incorporated into the total story of Christ Church and the West River neighborhood.
● A member is the Anglican Communion, derived from the Church of England and
sharing with it traditions of faith and order as set forth in its Book of Common Prayer.
● One whose traditions include attitudes and beliefs that are Protestant and Catholic,
ancient and reformed, liberal and conservative.
● "Episcopal" means governed by bishops
The Episcopal church is a church with few "musts" - pointing out, not dictating, our response to God. Episcopalians find the fullest expression of Christianity in:
● The Scriptures-the word of God among us
● Creeds-ancient summaries of Christian belief
● Sacraments-signs of grace, ordained by Christ
● Ministry- the orders of ministry: Deacons, Priests, Bishops, and Lay Persons
Christ Episcopal Church
Peyton Robertson, Senior Warden
Shelly Collinson, Junior Warden
Melissa Robertson, Treasurer
Betty Colhoun, Assistant Treasurer
Jean Krebs, Registrar