Celebrating Nearly 200 Years!
As the oldest Catholic parish in Baltimore County, St. John the Evangelist traces its origins to Jesuit priests who rode through the Maryland countryside to serve the religious needs of families living there. The parish began as a mission of St. Ignatius, Hickory, in Harford County. In 1822, a wooden frame church was built on the ridge between Long Green and Dulaney Valleys, on the present Carroll Manor Road. The building was destroyed by fire in 1855, and so the parish built a new church (the current Chapel) on land donated by the Jenkins family. At this time, St. John Parish gained its independence from St. Ignatius with Rev. Jacob Walter as our first resident pastor.
In 1858, St. John Parish opened its first school, in the small building that is now the Knights of Columbus Hall. This school lasted several decades before it closed for financial reasons. In 1903, a school was again opened and ran for 20 years before it once again closed. A third time in 1947, St. John Parish opened a school under the direction of the School Sisters of Notre Dame. This school is now in its 66th year of continuous operation.
St. Johns prospered during the 20th century and slowly added to its membership. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, a general migration from the city to the suburbs caused the population to swell significantly, and in 1967, the decision was made to build a new larger church. Ground was broken in 1968, and the new church was dedicated in 1969 by Lawrence Cardinal Shehan.
St. Johns has been associated with three mission parishes: St. Stephen, Bradshaw, which was dedicated in 1863 and became an independent parish in 1866; St. Philip Neri, Dulaney Valley (located on Jarrettsville Pike), which was opened circa 1866 and closed by 1917, and is now a private residence; and St. Mark, Fallston, which opened in 1887 and was a mission of St. John’s for 81 years until it became an independent parish in 1968.
Over the years, St. John Parish has been well served by 20 pastors, 3 administrators, 10 associate pastors, 3 permanent deacons, dozens of religious sisters, and countless lay employees and volunteers who have built St. John into the welcoming, worshiping, Catholic community that we enjoy today.