Welcome to the Church of the Advent-Federal Hill! We are glad that you have taken the time to explore our web site and are interested in what is happening in our Christian community.
We are a unique, diverse, and welcoming neighborhood church. On any given Sunday, about half of our congregation walks to church and half commute. The Mass (also known as the Eucharist and/or holy communion) is at the heart of our life together. The celebration of that great mystery informs and equips us for our Christian journey. When we receive Christ’s Body and Blood in the Sunday Mass, we are thereby transformed into his Body in the world and sent out to do his work. So, what we do outside of the church is just as important as what we do inside. When you visit the Advent, you will find a socially progressive Christ-centered community that is rooted in our common 2000 year old faith.
Our Sunday service is replete with ancient customs that bring new light to today’s busy and ever changing reality. We hope you will join us to find out for yourself and we look forward to making you a part of this community!
We at Church of the Advent define ourselves as Anglo-Catholic, but historically this term has no one definition. For us at the Church of the Advent, Anglo-Catholicism means:
- We believe that God calls all of us into relationship with him. We are therefore an inclusive congregation that welcomes all people – regardless of where they are in their spiritual journeys and regardless of their race or sexual orientation – to worship with us.
- We believe it is our duty to reach out and help those who are poor, homeless, or otherwise in need because God has commanded us to never neglect the poor, the widow, the orphan or the stranger among us.
- We believe that God calls all Christians to some kind of ministry, but God especially calls some – both men and women – to ordained ministry.
- Our worship is centered on the Mass where Christ’s sacrifice is remembered. But as Anglo-Catholics we also believe Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, and we partake of his body and blood when we receive the consecrated elements of bread and wine. We welcome all baptized Christians to join us at the altar to receive Christ’s body and blood.
- We believe that our apostolic faith is described in the Bible, the historic creeds (including Nicea and Chalcedon), and the traditions of the Church, but all must be interpreted in light of reason. We do not believe any one thing – scripture, reason or tradition – should have supremacy over the other.
- We believe that we are in communion with all of the saints who have gone before us, and we ask them to pray for us. Many of us have an especial devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary whom we ask to intercede on our behalf.
- We believe it is right and good to pray for the souls of those who have died because we do not presume to know their fates. We believe God’s loving mercy is available to even those who have died but may still be separated from him.
- We believe that our Bishop and the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church stand in Apostolic succession with all other bishops of the holy catholic and apostolic church.
Like all other parishes of the Episcopal Church, we have many leaders who work together to make the church what it is. Our sacramental authority flows from our bishop, the Right Rev. Eugene Sutton, and this parish is under his pastoral oversight. At the heart of the parish though is its people–the congregation. The people of the parish are the ones who do the work of the church both inside and outside its walls, and decisions are made by the congregation through a council of representatives called the vestry who are led by the senior and junior wardens. The vestry is advised and nurtured by our clergy and staff.
In September 2014, the vestry voted to approve Bishop Sutton’s appointment of the Reverend Timothy Kroh as Priest-in-Charge. His first Sunday at the Advent was November 2nd, 2015. In June 2015, he was made the eighth rector of the Church of the Advent and he was formally instituted as rector in a Celebration of New Ministry on Michaelmas, September 29th, 2015.
Church of the Advent Leadership:
- Rector: The Reverend Father Timothy Kroh
- Deacon: The Reverend Deacon Eric Whitehair
- Choirmaster & Organist: Mr. John Cupp
- Senior Warden: Mr. Charles Boyd
- Junior Wardens: Mr. Paul Bragaw & Mr. Jeffrey van Osten
- Registrar: Mr. James Batts
- Financial Secretary: Mrs. Dee Gauss
- Treasurer: Mr. Kevin Ecker
- Class of 2018: Mrs. Mary Fleming, Mr. James Batts
- Class of 2019: Mrs. Dee Gauss, Mr. Paul Bragaw, Mr. Jeff van Osten
- Class of 2020: Mrs. Alexandra Carpenter, Mrs. Donna Catterton, Mr. J Hyph
- Associate Clergy
- The Reverend Mother Annette Chappell
- The Reverend Father Tobias Stanislas Haller, BSG
- The Reverend Deacon Charles E. Wilkerson, Deacon Emeritus
On November 29, 1868, the first Sunday in Advent, a group of the faithful, in a section of the city too much and too long neglected by the Church, met for the first service of what is now known as The Church of the Advent. Bishop William R. Whittingham appointed the Reverend George K. Warner in charge.
That first service was held in the home of Mark Harrison on Lincoln Street (now Battery Ave) near Fort Ave. Before long, a larger space was needed and the fledgling group met in storefront on Light Street. By 1868, funds had been raised sufficient for the erection of the first church building on Battery Avenue. The congregation was put under the care of the Board of Missions until 1887, when it became a charge of Grace Church, which would eventually merge with St. Peter’s Church to become Grace and St. Peter’s Church in Mt. Vernon.
By 1890, the parish had outgrown its building and a parish house and temporary chapel were erected in 1890 on a site between South Charles and Patapsco Streets near Ostend. The site had been presented in 1889 to Old St. Paul’s Church by the heirs of George Hawkins Williams. Dedication in October, 1891 was by Bishop William Paret. The building was enlarged and refurbished in 1894 and continued to be used as a chapel, parish house and Sunday School building until 1915. In that year, the present church, facing South Charles, was constructed. Consecration was on April 13, 1916 by Bishop John G. Murray.
Although “Advent Chapel” was under the supervision of Grace and St. Peter’s, it was self-supporting for many years. On September 23, 1953, it was finally incorporated as the Church of the Advent. However, it was not until the Diocesan Convention of 1964 that “Advent Chapel” became a new congregation, by the name and style of the Church of the Advent, Baltimore.
During Advent’s 144 years, it has been served by 26 vicars and rectors. Our sixth rector was the reverend Christopher Keene who served from 2003 until 2012 when he left to accept a call to become rector of Immanuel Church on the Green in New Castle, Delaware. During his rectorate, the parish grew in average Sunday attendance to more than 60 and attendance at Christmas and Easter services in excess of 100.
In 2012, the parish entered a period of transition. After nine years, our former rector Fr. Keene accepted a call to Immanuel Church on the Green in New Castle, Delaware in June of that year. In July 2012, Fr. Robert Laws accepted the call to be our interim rector as we searched for a new rector. In July 2013, the rev. Robert J. Solon, Jr. accepted the call to be the seventh rector of the Church of the Advent. He celebrated his first Mass with us on Sunday, August 3rd, 2013. Regrettably, Fr. Solon resigned as rector in May 2014. In September 2014, the vestry voted to approve Bishop Sutton’s appointment of the Reverend Timothy Kroh as Priest-in-Charge. His first Sunday at the Advent was November 2nd, 2014. In June 2015, he was made the eighth rector of the Church of the Advent and was formally instituted as rector in a Celebration of New Ministry on Michaelmas, September 29th, 2015.
The parish currently enjoys a healthy mix of young and old, gay and straight, professional and working class, and single people and families; all united in their love of Christ and appreciation for Anglo-Catholic worship.
The Church Close
Advent is served by three adjacent buildings on a plot of church land which runs from South Charles Street across the block to Patapsco Street. The entire plot is enclosed, forming a close. The land is restricted by deed for use by an Episcopal church in South Baltimore.
The Church. Built in 1915 of brick and Indiana limestone inside and out, with interior furnishings of Flemish oak, the Church is Gothic in style with an east facing altar. It seats about 250 people in the nave. In the rear of the church is a baptismal area with a font. To the south of the chancel is a small Lady Chapel. The church has a pipe organ.
The Rectory. Next to the church, also facing Charles Street is the rectory. Built in 1895 and completely renovated in 2005, it is a semi-detached brick house.
The Parish Hall. The parish hall is also built of brick. It faces Patapsco Street and is joined to the rear of the church building. On the main floor is a large room used for Sunday School and parish events, a large kitchen and lavatories. Adjacent to the entry to the church are the sacristy and a small parish office. On the upper floor there is a large hall which was the original worship space on this site. It is occasionally used by the community for classes or birthday parties. Just to the south of the parish hall is a small parking lot which can accommodate 6-8 cars.