The History of our Parish

Holy Cross Church was built in the fall of 1887 – A frame church overlooking the rolling countryside of Deer Creek Valley. In the spring of 1888, a fierce storm demolished this church and plans were made for our current building.

Our present church structure, constructed of light granite quarried from the Rocks of Deer Creek, was completed and opened for services under the Rev. Henry Tarrant, on December 14, 1888. Holy Cross was consecrated at a dedication service in 1900.

As an outgrowth of Christ Church, Forest Hill, Maryland, Holy Cross Church shared the ministry of the rector of Christ Church for many years.

These early years of our church life were full of economic struggles. Our congregation came from the rural area surrounding the church. Our numbers were very small.

The Rev. C. Carroll Eads became the Vicar of Holy Cross in January 1949. During his ministry the church developed a strong and very active congregation and lay ministry. After 40 years of service, Rev. Eads retired in February 1989.

In 1960, a Parish Fund was established to enable us to build a parish house to meet the needs of the congregation and to house appropriate Sunday School rooms. Construction was begun in 1966 and in 1973 our mortgage was paid in full.

The members of our church began preparing for a centennial observance in 1985. It was decided to add an entrance narthex to the front of the church. Mr. Richard Gay designed the narthex using our native stone.

In March of 1990, Rev. Mark Gatza and Rev. January Hamill were called to share the ministry of Christ Church and Holy Cross Church. The churches separated in 1993, and Rev. Hamill became the Vicar of Holy Cross Church, and Rev. Gatza became the Rector of Christ Church. During this time we began taking the sacraments and prayer to the Hart Heritage assisted living community each month.

Our congregation was the proud recipient of the Bishop’s Award for Outstanding Congregation in the Diocese in 1999.

In 2001, Rev. Donald Belcher was called as the Vicar of Holy Cross. His leadership was instrumental in the renovation of the church hall and the addition of the commercial kitchen. Rev. Belcher left Holy Cross Church in 2007.

In April, 2009, The Rev. Shelley Baer became Vicar of Holy Cross Church. Although her time with Holy Cross was short, leaving the parish in January, 2011, she was able to put together a program for lay people in becoming Eucharistic visitors, delivering the Sacrament to ailing members and/or shut-ins. During the Advent and Lenten seasons, Rev. Shelley headed up the Bible study group which was always well-attended. She was also enthusiastic in creating a youth group for senior high students which continues to this day. On September 4th, 2011, the Rev. Marta D.V. Johnson, “Martie” was welcomed as our supply priest, on November 30, 2014, she was named Vicar.

We consider ourselves honored to be part of this rich history, and we hope that, with the grace of God, we will be able to continue the good works He would have us do.

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