About Covenant

Everyone is welcome here

Welcome to Covenant PC Hagerstown

We are so happy that you are interested in getting to know us. We look forward to your visit.

We seek to be a place of

Welcome,

Reflection,

Encouragement and

Inspiration

so that all may go out refreshed and renewed for ministries of witness and service in Christ’s name.

Our Mission

As a member of the Presbyterian Church (USA), we believe being together as a community is essential to grow in our faith and be a part of our larger church family. We want to be a place where everyone is able to breathe in— to deepen their personal faith and to care for themselves—and then respond by breathing out in service to the community and world. Our hope is that you will find a place of nourishment, healing and hope.

Our Covenant Team

Laura Batten-Carbaugh

Laura Batten-Carbaugh

Pastor

Laura began serving as Covenant’s pastor in January of 2021. She has been in ministry for 25 years, serving churches large and small from SC to Long Island to PA and MD. Laura is married with four children and loves to sing, read books, and work in the garden. Her guiding verse in life is Galatians 5:25: "Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."

Barb Biser

Barb Biser

Organist

Barbara has been playing music ever since she could reach the piano keys. She has been organist/pianist at Covenant since 1988.  Her favorite verse is Psalm 84:3. “Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young, at thy altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.”

Anita Drummond

Anita Drummond

Secretary

Anita has been a member of Covenant since 1984 and Covenant's administrative assistant for 26 years. She is married and is the mother of three daughters. Her hobbies include quilting and gardening.

Learn More About

Our Worship

Where everyone has a place at the table

A Letter from the Pastor

Dear Covenant family, 

For my letter from the pastor this month, I would like to share resources with you that have been so good and instrumental for me in my spiritual development as of late. I offer them to you for your own personal edification, for us as a community, and to lift up the voices of People of Color and Black and Indigenous voices.

1.  Feeding the Soul (Because It’s My Business): Finding Our Way to Joy, Love, and Freedom, by Tabitha Brown, HarperCollins Publishers

2.  First Nations Version: An Indigenous Translation of the New Testament, by Terry Wildman (author) and First Nations Translation Council (Consultant Editor)

3.  This Here Flesh: Spirituality, Liberation, and the Stories That Make Us, by Cole Arthur Riley, Creator of Black Liturgies, Convergent Books Publishers

These are just three of the latest books that are feeding my soul right now. What are you reading that is feeding your soul today?

Pastor Laura

Recent Letters

April 2022

March 2022

February 2022

January 2022

Our History

The 1950s rolled in on a wave of American suburban growth, and by 1952, this wave of prosperity reached the doors of the downtown Hagerstown Presbyterian Church (HPC), a congregation dating back to the early 1800s. Reading the waters, James Marsden, Church School Superintendent, made a report to the Session in the fall of 1952. Citing the population growth trend in Washington County, Maryland, and the rising tide of Congregational membership of HPC, Marsden predicted certain overcrowding of the beautiful Gothic church building and the limited parking availability downtown. There was nowhere for the church to expand its physical plant.  His proposed solution suggested the building of a new church in a nearby location to accommodate the overflow.

In 1958, the Reverend J. Russell Butcher repeated the suggestion, adding the charge that HPC had been the sole Presbyterian Church in the Hagerstown area for nearly 150 years, while other Protestant denominations had multiplied. Within a year, a long range planning committee was formed, and soon thereafter, Butcher’s discussion group, “The Fellowship Under Christian Discipline,” took up the charge in the name of “increased concern for the mission of the church and a deepening desire to reach out in witness and service to others.”  HPC established its Steering Committee, which in collaboration with the Baltimore Presbytery, eventually settled on the purchase of the site in Robinwood where Covenant Presbyterian Church stands today.  In 1961, the Reverend Donald Brown was called to be the “organizing minister” of the new church while assisting at Hagerstown Presbyterian Church.  In HPC’s The Rainbow Newsletter, Reverend Butcher enthusiastically encouraged the Hagerstown congregation to “give its earnest support and encouragement to the Covenant United Presbyterian Church” which would organize in the Spring of 1962. As in the story of Noah, the impending deluge was nigh, an ark would be built, a covenant would be established.

As predicted nearly ten years earlier, by 1962, the membership of the downtown church had swelled to bursting at nearly 1,000 members.  Encouraged by words of blessing, scriptural calls to mission, and the enthusiastic eloquence of Brown, Butcher, and George Waddell, Chair of Christian Education, members of the aforementioned fellowship and other congregants would follow Donald Brown to charter the new Covenant United Presbyterian Church. In March 1962, architect Milton C. Grigg was hired to design Covenant’s building based on its mission and vision.[Covenant Logo is Inspired by the Building.] Until the building completion in 1965, the growing Congregation met in the basement of the new manse and in members’ homes for worship and fellowship activities, much like the earliest Christian churches guided by the Apostles of Christ.

On Pentecost Sunday, June 6, 1965, the church structure was completed and the Dedication Service for the new building was held. In the years to follow, Covenant grew with its suburban setting and served the spiritual as well as the social life of its members, in addition to serving the surrounding community in mission service and recreational outreach. 

Covenant Presbyterian Church lives on today.  In the midst of decades of decline in mainline denomination membership, Covenant is committed to inclusivity and to embracing the diversity of the local and global community. Covenant’s outreach, under the combined leadership of the Session and the ministry of the Reverend Laura Batten-Carbaugh, is now boldly and actively reimagined for the cultural dynamism of today, yet remains deeply rooted in God’s covenant, first witnessed by Noah and then sealed in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.   We strive to read the waters of human need, build what God requires to fulfill God’s will, invite and welcome others into the ark of worship and fellowship, and together trust the Holy Spirit in the navigation of our Christian faith.

These are the words of the first minister of Covenant Presbyterian Church, Don Brown, as he describes the criteria of a successful church: 

The church must have a ministry for all people, in every type of situation, for we are to love all…Every church, new or old…  must have a sense of mission to the life  around it that it might become more Christlike…it was out of this sense of responsibility to our fellowman, in an expanding and fluid community, that the Hagerstown Presbyterian Church accepted the responsibility, being aware what it might cost itself in material wealth and leadership, to extend its ministry to a new community in the name of Christ…Beyond…measurable statistics are other factors less tangible but spiritually more real–the removal of barriers to Christian brotherhood, the development of an inclusive fellowship, the enrichment of life in all that makes for human welfare and spiritual growth, the cultivation of Christian faith and living, the application of spiritual principles to individual, family, and group life…

In the mission of Covenant, Reverend Brown’s words are as relevant today as they were then. It is no wonder that the charter members of Covenant were so inspired to answer God’s calling.   Covenant Presbyterian church is grateful to the bold vision and faithful support of the Baltimore Presbytery and the Hagerstown Presbyterian Church all those years ago.

(Detailed histories of “the place, the people, the programs” of Covenant Presbyterian Church, compiled and written by Don McCammon and Billie Sue Boyer, are the source of this historical overview.)

 

About The New Covenant Presbyterian Church Logo

In June of 2021, the elders of CPC approved developing a logo for the church that represents much of who we are and what we stand for. It includes a little bit of history: it’s in the shape of an ark, which is where Covenant gets its name as well as the shape of the Sanctuary. The Sanctuary is built in the shape of an ark with the hull of the boat serving as the ceiling and the pulpit shaped like the bridge. Within the shape of the ark, the design includes many symbols: the Cross – central to the design – speaks to the heart of our faith, the Table of Christ’s communion, a red heart representing the love we have for Christ and our neighbor, the flames of the Holy Spirit who leads and guides us daily, and an equal symbol for all are the same in God’s eyes and are welcome here. The ark looks as if it is moving forward through the waters of baptism and abundant life in Christ towards a beautiful, bright tomorrow. And last but not least, our name, Covenant Presbyterian Church is included in an arc around the design. Our church growth committee, with input from the session, worked hard with the design team to be able to come up with something that truly represents who we are as a church. The elders approved the design on July 7, 2021. It will be used on our bulletins, church letterhead, social media, the new website and on our signs here on campus. We are grateful for their hard work and vision.

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t place anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.

Matthew 11:28-30 MSG

Contact Details

11833 Greenhill Dr.
Hagerstown, MD

(301) 790-2758
info@covenantpchagerstown.org

Visit Us

Sundays at 11am

Covenant Presbyterian Church is a part of Baltimore Presbytery and members of the PC (USA) Denomination

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has over 10,000 congregations answering Christ’s call to ministry. Presbyterians affirm that God comes to us with grace and love in Jesus Christ. As Christ’s disciples, we continue his mission of teaching, feeding, healing, and welcoming.