Our History

We praise God for his work in us since 1843.

The Church of the Ascension began its journey on November 28, 1843, when a small group of concerned local Episcopalians met for the purpose of organizing a congregation in Westminster, which at the time was a small village with a population of approximately 500. In May 1844, the Diocesan Convention, held in Baltimore, voted to grant the formal organization of the “Parish of Ascension.” Fundraising began and in August 1844 ground was broken on our Stone Church. In May 1846, on Ascension Day, Church of the Ascension was consecrated.


Stone Church "Then"

This original building, now affectionately referred to as the Stone Church, exemplifies the Neo-Gothic architectural style advocated by the Ecclesiological Society in the 19th century. The Stone Church has been modified only slightly in the past 170-plus years, and is recognized as an historic property by the Maryland Historical Trust.


Our Story continued...

Historic figures, and fellow Episcopalians, such as Carroll County’s own Francis Scott Key would probably feel right at home in the Stone Church even today. One of Ascension’s historic memorials honors Francis Scott Key who was a known associate of our founders, and involved in the outreach to the African-American community. The house located at 30 N. Court Street was home to the first “Colored Sunday School,” and is still a part of our church campus.

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Stone Church "Now"

We praise God for this work in us since 1843.

By 1944, the parish campus consisted of the Stone Church, a parish house built in 1932, and the Parke House, (the church’s rectory). The Holy Cross House was added in 1961, the Holy Cross Hall replaced the old parish house in 1975, and the Fellowship Hall was built in 2000. Our facility is part of the Westminster Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Twice in our history, Ascension has sponsored a mission parish. The first, St. Mark’s Chapel in Uniontown, was consecrated in 1862, but disbanded in 1879. The other, St. George’s in Manchester, was organized in 1956 and is now a regular parish. 

Church of the Ascension has had 33 rectors who have served the members of the Church faithfully, beginning with The Rev. David Hillhouse Buel to our current Interim Rector, The Rev. F. Allan Weatherholt, Jr.

Our Campus

We are blessed with a beautiful and spacious campus.

Among our treasures is our historic Stone Church, built in 1844 and still in use today.  That is where our more traditional Sunday worship services (8:00 am and 11:15 am) are held as well as any other traditional services such as weddings, etc. Our more contemporary and larger worship services (9:15 am) are held in the Holy Cross Hall which was built in 1975.

Also highly treasured is our Fellowship Hall with a commercial kitchen which is used for large gatherings and hosts our monthly Country Breakfast Buffet on the first Saturday of every month.  The Fellowship Hall and the kitchen are available for use by outside groups for a reasonable fee.  

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Holy Cross Hall

Other rooms in our main building are used for a variety of activities for church and outside groups.  It also hosts The 1844 Shoppe which is a high-end thrift store.  Our spacious campus also hosts the annual Mistletoe Mart arts and craft show that attracts up to 52 artisans and thousands of customers.​

For information about using our campus for your activities, please speak with the Community Engagement Coordinator by calling 410-848-3251. Click the button below for more Contact Information.