Grace Episcopal Church
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Searching for a Spiritual Home

Welcome to Grace Church! View our flower garden welcome packet instructions here.

Grace Church is a house of Prayer and Welcome to everyone. Our main church building houses a sanctuary that beautifully blends the traditional with the contemporary. In addition to the main sanctuary, there is a meditation chapel as well as four meeting or Sunday School rooms. Ample parking, well-lit traffic areas and handicap accessibility make our relatively new campus safe and welcoming for one and all.

A heavenly view of the sky and the serene property surrounding our ChurchWe use the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer as our primary liturgical resource and occasionally use the variety of Supplemental Liturgical Texts for special services and events. We also use a variety of music resources to enhance our worship with song.

We gather for worship on Sunday mornings at 8:15 and 10:00. The early service is one of Morning Prayer, with a service of Holy Eucharist offered following a small break in the service; it is a quiet, contemplative service without music. We sing and celebrate the Holy Eucharist at all 10:00 am services, and the children – who have been in Sunday school during the Liturgy of the Word -- rejoin their families near the end of the service for the Liturgy of the Table. Most 10:00 am services are followed by Fellowship Hour which is hosted by members of the congregation.

Please join us one Sunday to find out what a great family we are.

Our History

Grace Church was admitted as a parish of the Diocese of Maryland at the Diocesan Convention held in Baltimore in 1870. The original preamble and resolutions submitted are preserved in the church archives. Seven communicants were reported. The Reverend J. D. McCabe, rector of Zion Church in Urbana agreed to hold services in both Urbana and New Market.

Former Grace Church presence at 6 East Main Street in New Market.In the late 1870’s, the Reverend James Stephenson, D.D., a native of Ireland, was appointed rector of Grace Church. He helped develop not only Grace Church, but also the missions of St. James, Mount Airy, and St. Paul’s, Poplar Springs. Dr. Stephenson combined these three congregations to form the Linganore Parish in the early 1890’s.

The Reverend Leon Vautheir came to Grace Church in 1936 and served as the rector until 1956. After the death of Reverend Vauthier, we were served by a succession of transitional deacons, each being ordained priest in due course and leaving Grace Church.

No priest was in residence from 1966 to 1973. Two lay readers, Walter Kirk and George Delaplaine, maintained Sunday services. The Reverend Arnold Ross came from Frederick once a month to celebrate Holy Communion.

In 1973, The Reverend Robert Jacques, Ph.D. was appointed by the bishop to be the rector at Grace Church. Father Jacques initiated ecumenical services for special worship days such as Good Friday. Shared Lenten services with St. James, Mount Airy, also were initiated together with a shared Easter Vigil service. Doctor Jacques retired in September of 1984.

In April 1985, after the first search process ever conducted by Grace Church, the Reverend John Cawthorne was named part time rector. Although the overall size of the congregation remained about the same during the three years we were served by Father Cawthorne, there was an increase in activities for both adults and youth in the church. There was also an increase in fund raising activities during this period. Extensive renovations of the rectory were completed during the search process following Father Cawthorne’s departure.

In 1989, Grace Church welcomed the Reverend Columba Gilliss. Under her loving guidance, the congregation grew and the commitment of members strengthened. While some growth can be attributed to an increase in the local population, the sense of being part of a large family was embraced by both long-time and newer members. Newcomers quickly became new friends. Mother Gilliss also strengthened Grace Church’s commitment to its youth. The result of that commitment can be seen in the large increase in Sunday school enrollment during her tenure. Mother Gilliss was initially hired as a part-time rector, but was transitioned to full-time when the Vestry recognized that we had grown to a point where we required someone able to devote their full attention to the needs and functions of Grace Church. Mother Gilliss retired in August of 2003.

After going through the search process in late 2003 and early 2004, two offers were made to two separate priests in the regional area. Neither offer was accepted. Instead of continuing the search process, in April of 2004 a motion was made and passed through the Vestry to extend the Priest-in-Charge contract with the Reverend Mary Pat Ashby, which she accepted. Rev. Mary Pat introduced many new traditions to Grace Church and it was during her tenure that Grace Church held a capital campaign to raise funds for the new Grace Church facility on Green Valley Road. In March of 2008 Grace Church moved from the Main Street church to the Green Valley Road church in a Sunday morning processional. The new church was consecrated by the Bishop on April 6, 2008. During Mary Pat’s service at Grace Church, many new outreach projects were established as well as a Daughter’s of the King Chapter, Women of Grace. Rev. Mary Pat retired on March 6, 2011.

2009 was a special year in the life of Grace Church as we celebrated the first anniversary of the new church in April, and as we marked the 140th anniversary of the congregation later in the year.

Following Mary-Pat's retirement, in the fall of 2011, Grace Church was fortunate to welcome Reverend Timothy Kroh as our interim Rector during our Search process. Reverend Kroh provided warm pastoral care to the congregation during his tenure. He also introduced many of the congregation to new ways to pray through Lenten, Advent or other Prayer Study groups.

In September of 2013, after two years of prayer and searching, Grace Church welcomed the Reverend Sharon Watts as our new part-time Rector. A joyous occasion was celebrated as she was ordained into Ministry at Grace Church on October 7, 2013.