A Brief History of
Deer Park United Methodist Church
In 1846, fifteen years before the drums and guns of our country’s Civil War began to sound, the people of this crossroads community of Smallwood felt a need to worship together. Itinerant preachers came out from the Reisterstown area to hold services in the Union Schoolhouse by the year 1848.
The worshippers were formally incorporated as the Deer Park Chapel Congregation of the Maryland Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church in 1854. Later that year, land was obtained and the first chapel construction was begun. It was dedicated in September 1855 and served as a place of public worship for the next thirty-six years.
The original Deer Park Chapel began to deteriorate physically, and a thunderstorm on June 7, 1891, caused damage to the ceiling and roof A decision was made to build a new Chapel. On October 4th, the cornerstone was laid and a 36′ x 48′ church was constructed using 35,000 bricks from the old structure. In February 1892 this chapel was dedicated debt-free.
During the 1930’s with a growing church school, the decision was made to dig out the basement under the Chapel. Sixty men, using horses and scoops, worked using this slow process and installed the first central heating furnace. In 1939, a Uniting Conference began the Methodist Church, an action that caused our name to become Deer Park Methodist Church.
1846: The first Deer Park congregation is organized. Services are conducted in the Union Schoolhouse by Reisterstown-area preachers to ensure that residents of Smallwood could worship together.
1854: The Union Schoolhouse congregation was formally incorporated as the Deer Park Chapel Congregation of the Maryland Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church.
1855: The first brick Deer Park Chapel was built. It was dedicated in September.
1880: The church became associated with the town of Smallwood as the local post office was operated out of the Chapel.
1891-92: The Chapel was rebuilt using 35,000 bricks from the old building, starting in October of 1891. It was dedicated in February of 1892.
1920: Eva Logue, a long-standing church member, made a commitment to serve God as a medical missionary in India.
1922: Women were given the right to vote in church councils.
1927: The Social Hall was built and a first annual Memorial Day dinner was held.
1930s: The basement was dug by sixty men using scoops and horses. The first central heating furnace was installed.
1939: The name of the congregation was changed to Deer Park Methodist Church.
1955: During Deer Park’s Centennial and Homecoming celebrations, a commitment was made to support the building of a church in Yellary, India.
1962: Land was purchased across the road at the intersection of Route 32 and Deer Park Road by the church for the purpose of erecting an education center and sanctuary there. The 21-acre site formerly belonged to the Magin farm.
1968: The church became Deer Park United Methodist Church to reflect union of the Methodist and United Brethren Church.
1974: Construction on Education Building began.
1976: Education building was consecrated on September 19th.
1993: “By Faith We Build” campaign initiated.
1994: Ground Breaking ceremony for new sanctuary held on September 17th.
1995: Cornerstone of new sanctuary laid on April 30th; consecrated on September 17th.
2005: The 150th Anniversary was celebrated including a special service on the 3rd Sunday of each month for the first half of the year and a community picnic on June 18th.
2009: On July 19, 2009, the Spencer-Logue Pavilion, bestowed by Charles and Lynn Spencer in honor of the Spencer – Logue families of Smallwood was dedicated. The first formal service in the pavilion was held at sunrise on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2010.