History

The charming white-stucco, Norman-style church along Manor Road might seem timeless and unchanging, but it actually has an interesting history befitting an institution rapidly approaching its bicentennial.

Under the leadership of Edward Peerce and John Yellott, the church at Long Green was originally established as a “chapel of ease” for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Long Green and Dulaney valleys who previously attended church at St. John’s in Joppa or St. James in Monkton. In those days, travel to either church would have meant a long and often difficult journey. Peerce donated an acre of land on Bull Ridge, and a committee raised, in two subscriptions, a grand total of $1,745.37. Work on the building began in 1819, and was completed the following year when the church was formally consecrated by Bishop James Kemp of the Diocese of Maryland, on October 12, 1820.

For nearly a half-century Trinity was linked to St. James in Monkton, sharing a rector and being otherwise subordinate to the Monkton church which antedated it by some seventy years. Though Trinity petitioned for full autonomy in 1860, it was not recognized as an independent church until 1862, and only severed its last links with St. James in 1866.

For many years thereafter the church remained virtually unchanged – a simple, square, single-story building – but in 1889, the first of the great renovations occurred. It was at that time that the exterior of the church was covered in stucco and the interior was rearranged and refurbished. The orientation was drastically altered, with the entrance being shifted to the north, and the altar being placed on the south wall. The older entrances were closed off, and the slave gallery was removed. The magnificent stained glass window of the Transfiguration, imported from Germany and brought up Manor Road by horse and wagon, was placed above the altar where it remains the focal point of the church. A decade or so later, a two and a half-story tower (the Yellot tower) with double doors was added, and in it was hung the fine Gloria in Excelsis bell. In 1934, the old chancel furniture was removed, a new marble altar installed, and electric lights replaced the oil lamps. Three years later, thanks to the generosity of a parishioner, the handsome lancet windows on either facade of the narthex and the nave were installed. Finally, in 1969, the last vestiges of the Gothic influence were removed, and the interior of the church took the form it retains to this day.

An integral part of the church history is the cemetery, which reflects the diverse face of its community. The oldest burial is dated 1826, so obviously many of those who rest here were born in the latter half of the 18th century. Edward Peerce, the donor of the original parcel of land, is here along with the Yellots, Colemans, Marshes, and Lakes – all the founding fathers of the church. A youthful Confederate colonel, a descendant of that Edward Peerce, is buried here along with veterans of all the wars of the past century and a half. A former member of the Colts football team; a beneficent owner of a local estate, Eagles Nest; the generous donor of much of the interior of the church – all these and more are here in what a former rector, Fr. Kagey, called “a perfect spot – none more beautifully kept than Trinity cemetery. May they rest in peace, and may light perpetual shine upon them.”