Reporting Monique Griego
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The oldest church in Baltimore City undergoes major renovations.
Monique Griego gives us a glimpse at the new look of Old St. Paul’s.
In the heart of downtown Baltimore, lies the city’s oldest and most historic church.
“Francis Scott Key was connected here, John Eager Howard,” said Rev. Mark Stanley, church rector. “You go way back. But we also like to talk about it being a living congregation, too.”
Reverend Mark Stanley is the rector of Old St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Charles Street. For the past 10 weeks, the church has been undergoing its latest set of renovations.
Founded in 1692, the current building dates back to 1856.
“They’ve been trying to keep up, but it’s such a big, historic building that there’s a lot to do,” said Stanley.
Stanley says crews are working to brighten up what’s previously been described as a “dreary” interior.
“We had a problem with people seeing their leaflets sitting in the pews. And I’ve said, too, as the preacher I couldn’t see the faces of the people in the congregation because it was so dark in here,” Stanley said.
The church’s makeover includes all new lighting, a new paint job, new tile and the restoring of aging pillars. But the most impressive transformation is above. The once dark ceiling is brightened up by painted stars.
“Wanting to look up at the heavens, one woman talked about ‘I feel like I can see the starry sky,’” said Stanley.
Crews have about a week’s worth of work and cleaning up left, but Stanley believes when everything’s complete, the small changes will only add to what the church already has to offer.
“I think people like being touched by the colors and music, and also the feeling of that solid past the Christian faith can have,” he said.
Old St. Paul’s grand reopening is Sept. 29 at 10 a.m. Everyone is welcome.
The renovations are expected to cost around $310,000.