Ferndale Baptist Church History
We firmly believe that the church is made up of its members, not its buildings. But I thought readers might be interested in the history of how we arrived where we are. We still own the Route 219 Property but there are many title issues that keep us from selling or donating it or using it for other purposes. The property cannot be developed or improved in any useful way. Some of the content below was written by other authors. I cannot verify their names. Jon
Ferndale Church was organized July 28,1907 in the home of Mrs. J.W. Haney on Kings Run Road. Services were held in a tent purchased from a Sears-Roebuck catalog for a year and a half. At this time several faithful members and the pastor, W.C Hudson began to erect a church building. The land on MD Route 219 was donated by Howard Perrine of Baltimore, MD. On November 22, 1908 the church was dedicated free of debt.
Reverend Hudson was the pastor at the three Baptist churches in the area, Ferndale, Loch Lynn, Deep Creek. He traveled between the locations by horse and buggy.
The Route 219 Ferndale building has experienced very few improvements over the years. Naturally the building is now wired for electricity. When many of the current members of Ferndale joined the church there was still evidence of gas lights. There were also rods to hold oil lamps that were connected to the ceiling. Many can still remember an “outhouse” built in the back for the brave at heart. For several years the current members heated the building with a wood stove. The fluctuation in temperature led people to dress in layers, because they needed to be prepared for the extremes.
In the late 90’s a suspended ceiling was added to allow more efficient heating. A few years ago the original wood floor was refinished and the interior was repainted. A steel roof was also installed to prevent leaks. Other than those few improvements, and many layers of paint, little has been done to the building.
Sometime between 1974 and 1980 a mobile home was placed on the Route 219 property and served as a parsonage for the pastor during that time. The trailer was used as rental housing after the pastor moved out until the church could pay off the loan. Then it became a facility for Sunday School and other church ministries.
In the late 80’s, Ferndale Baptist Church opened a school that taught grades from Kindergarten to 12th Grade. The Christian education ministry was inspired by the vision of the previous pastor, Mike Friend. The school saw many of its graduates go on to be very successful in college. The school functioned on a shoe string budget and was mostly carried by the sacrifice and hard work of women in the church who did most of the teaching and administration.
Ministries of the church have included Sunday Worship, Sunday School, Prayer Meetings, School, Fellowship gatherings, Garrett County Fair Ministry, Weddings, Funerals, Vacation Bible School, Back Yard Bible Clubs, Women’s small groups, Counseling Ministry and Christian Daycare. Even in recent years this little body of believers has touched the lives of hundreds of people. Many of the young people who were raised in this church are involved in positions of leadership and service at other churches and ministries. Some have developed into the leadership at our church.
Due to some of the inadequacies of the Route 219 sanctuary, and the inability to make improvements according to building codes, zoning issues and title problems, Ferndale Baptist Church purchased property at 642 Kings Run Road and completed construction of its new facility in early 2017. This new building houses all of the Sunday ministries under one roof and will provide much needed convenient access to restrooms. This building was completed and dedicated free of debt. This was able to be accomplished due to the financial generosity of the members and friends of the Ferndale church. These financial contributions were accompanied by an amazing commitment of many of the members to doing much of the construction work themselves. The construction process was administrated by Carla Zeigler and Jack Beal provided the construction expertise and guidance needed to accomplish the work.
It was very interesting to see the amazing hurdles that were overcome during each step of the process. Our first estimates from government agencies left us believing that we could never afford to even prepare the land for a building. Each step of the way God provided people who helped us find alternative ways of doing things. When we were running out of money, God provided contributors from outside of our church, even though we never approached any of them for contributions. It was truly remarkable to watch the whole process. We were very much affirmed that we were doing the right thing to move from our prior property into a much more functional facility.
Now we meet weekly to worship God and to hear from Him in a facility provided by His hands. That is just one little part of who we are.