History of Advent Lutheran Church of Harford County, Maryland

With a fervent desire to touch as many lives as possible in northern Harford County and surrounding areas with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a core group from St. Matthew Lutheran Church, BelAir, Maryland, met at the home of Clarence and Marian Broomfield in Jarrettsville, Maryland, December 13, 1992, to explore the possibility of starting a mission church.

On April 16, 1993, the new congregation - Advent Lutheran Church of Harford County, Maryland - was begun by the grace of God.

The first worship service of the new congregation was held at the Broomfield home on June 13, 1993, with the Rev. Paul C. Kreyling, proclaimer. Twenty-four worshippers attended.

At the end of June, Mr. & Mrs. James Griffiths invited the young mission congregation to move into their storefront building located at 2500 Conowingo Road, Hickory, Maryland. The first service in the former video rental shop was held on July 11, 1993. On August 15, 1993, Rev. Kreyling accepted a provisional call to be the first pastor of Advent Lutheran Church. On September 17, 1993, the first election of officers was held: President - Clarence Fry; Vice President - Neil Grayson; Secretary - Clarence Broomfield; Teasurer - James Griffiths; Financial Recorder - Marian Broomfield. The Rev. Dr. Richard L. Alms was the proclaimer for the dedication of the worship facility on September 23, 1993.

The congregation continued to meet in the former video rental shop until Reformation Sunday, October 26, 1997, when the larger part of the building, a former deli, was converted into the new sanctuary.

On Sunday, October 29, 1995, a land dedication service was held at Advent's new site located west of the intersection of State Routes 23 and 24 in Forest Hill. This property was purchased in February, 1994.

In January 1995, a call committee was formed to begin the process of calling a full-time pastor. On July 19, 1996, the Rev. Roger O. Ruff, Buffalo, New York, accepted the call. He was installed as the first full-time pastor of Advent Lutheran Church on Sunday, November 10, 1996.

In March 1996, the congregation approved a Christian education outreach to the community, the first phase to be a child development center as their mission, and authorized a market survey by the Perspectives Consulting Group of Grand Rapids, Michigan, which indicated Forest Hill as a viable site for a child care center.

In August 1996, an ad hoc committee was charged with pursuing the feasibility of a center, developing the philosophy and goals for operating the center, producing a business plan, and securing financing for the center. In July 1997, the Advent Child Development Advisory Council was appointed to develop a charter for the center, develop a job description for the director, develop fees and policies for the CDC operations, and to recruit a director.

The congregation in November 1996 selected the architectural firm of Edmeades, Stromdahl, Associates, Ltd. and the site engineering firm of DSSPE-Engineering to develop and secure approval of a church master plan for the Forest Hill property. In June 1997, Jarrettsville Builders, Inc. was chosen for the construction of the first unit.

On January 23, 1998, the mortgage agreement between Advent congregation and the Southeastern District, Lutheran Church Extension Fund was signed in a service of praise, prayer and thanksgiving.

A ground breaking service was held at the Forest Hill site on Sunday, February 15, 1998.

The congregation's last service at the old church site, 2500 Conowingo Road, was held on Sunday, November 1, 1998. Jarrettsville Builders, Inc. transferred the ownership of the new multipurpose facility at Forest Hill to Advent Lutheran Church on Friday, November 6, 1998. The first service at the new site, 2230 Rock Spring Road, was held on Sunday, November 8, 1998.

Advent Child Development Center, officially named by the congregation on May 18,1997, started its child care in a learning and loving Christian environment for infants from six weeks, toddlers and children to age five during the celebration of Thanksgiving. Mrs. Diane Angone, Director of the CDC, was installed during the worship servive on June 21, 1998.

Long-range planning sessions were held and a long-range planning team was appointed by April, 1999. On October 30, 2000, the congregation approved that "with God's blessing and guidance, Advent expand its present facility and undertake to establish a Christian Day School. The expansion should include space for four CDC classrooms and six day School classrooms (K-Grade 5)."

At the September 2002 Voter's Assembly, a principal was called for the Day School. Advent Lutheran Elementary School became the official name in October, 2002. Mrs. Margaret R. Potter accepted the call and began interviewing potential students and their parents on November, 2002. An Elementary School Task Force began meeting in November, 2002, to complete the details necessary to have the school open in the fall of 2003.

Edmeades, Stromdahl Associates, LTD. was again chosen as architects and Jarrettsville Builders, Inc. as general contractor. Construction began on November 25, 2002, and was completed on July 31, 2003.

Advent Lutheran Elementary School opened on September 2, 2003. The new building was dedicated on Sunday, November 16, 2003, in a service of prayer and praise. The Rev. Dr. Jon Diefenthaler, President Southeastern District Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, was the guest preacher. Many state and county dignitaries, as well as other Lutheran notables, attended the service which was led by the school children.

On September 1, 2004, Rev. Roger O. Ruff retired from full-time ministry. In the interim, the Board of Elders secured the services of Rev. Carl Kruelle as Vacancy Pastor effective October 1, 2004. A call committee had been formed earlier to find a replacement pastor. Current members are Libby Brandenburg, Clarence Broomfield, Clarence Fry, Shane Lester, Jim Liescheidt, Jerome Potter, Lois Schammel, and Stephanie Shrake.

Soli Deo Gloria