Havenwood History

Historical Narrative: 

The Trustees of the Presbytery of Baltimore acquired two properties on Ridgely Road, Timonium, Maryland, from the Ashton Building Corporation. On November 24, 1954, the property at Charmuth and Ridgely Roads was deeded and would later serve as the construction site for Havenwood Presbyterian Church. The other property, 35 Ridgely Road, was deeded on September 9, 1955, and was used as the church's manse until its sale in September 1979.  The manse also served as the initial place of worship for Havenwood Community Presbyterian Church.

The Board of National Missions assigned The Reverend Richard J. Manning to Havenwood in July 1955. He had recently graduated from Seminary and, along with his wife, Emilie, moved into the new manse. On September 24, 1955, plans began for communion service, church formation, and religious education for the children of the community. Less than six months later, on March 4,1956, 76 individuals became charter members of the newly formed church with the leadership of six ordained Elders and eight ordained Deacons. A Board of Trustees was also formed. The Articles of Incorporation were signed on September 28, 1956, and Havenwood became an entity under the Corporate Laws of the State of Maryland. 

In December of 1956, groundbreaking was held for our current Fellowship Hall and classrooms (originally designated Faith and Life Building). This structure provided 10,560 sq. ft. of space on two floors. The $105,000 building is brick with laminated wooden arches supporting the roof and was constructed by the firm of Guidera, Larnder and Wich. The architect was Joseph H. Foutz, A.I.A. The lower floor provided four Church School rooms that could be partitioned. A second floor room was used for Board meetings and classes. The cornerstone laying took place on July 21, 1957. The official Dedication Service was held on November 17, 1957.

The Reverend Manning formally accepted Havenwood’s call to become our first minister in May, 1958. He served at Havenwood until November 1961, when he moved to a pastorate in Long Island, New York.

On April 29, 1962, the congregation issued a pastoral call to The Reverend Robert Kent Shaffer of Pennsylvania, and he was formally installed on June 17, 1962. His wife, Jane, accompanied him along with their three sons. At that time, Havenwood was embracing a debt reduction program as well as entertaining a proposal for a new sanctuary.  In September 1964, the congregation approved the model presented by architect Cicero Brown. The current sanctuary was dedicated on Palm Sunday, April 3, 1966, during Havenwood’s tenth anniversary year. The Reverend Shaffer served as Havenwood’s pastor until November 30, 1976. He then accepted a pastorate at Fallston United Presbyterian Church. During the time Rev. Shaffer served Havenwood, three assistant pastors also served the church with him: the Reverend  Philip M. Hazelton from June 1967 to October 1969; the Reverend Ronald Keith Porter from June, 1970 to May, 1973; and the Reverend Francis J. Kinney from June 1974 to June 1979.

The Reverend Gilbert Van Bever of Wilmington, Delaware, was appointed by the Baltimore Presbytery in consultation with the Session to support worship services at Havenwood between January 1977 and June 1978, while the Pastoral Nominating Committee (PNC) searched for a new permanent pastor.

The Reverend Dr. Robert A. Reighart was called to Havenwood and installed on September 10, 1978.  He was joined by his wife, Elsie, and two sons.  Under Dr. Reighart's leadership, a building fund was established which culminated with the building of Memorial Parlor and new church offices. These additions were dedicated in 1983. Dr. Reighart unexpectedly died in 1986.  

On March 15, 1987, The Reverend Dr. William J. Netting was appointed Interim Pastor and led Havenwood until August 1988 as the PNC searched for its next pastor. 

The Reverend Dr. Harry J. Schill, III, accepted our call to be Havenwood’s pastor in August 1988, accompanied by his wife, Janet, and two children.  Dr. Schill served the church for 26 years until his retirement in August 2014.

At the invitation of Dr. Schill and the Session, The Reverend Dr. George Gray Toole, Pastor Emeritus of the Towson Presbyterian Church, became Parish Associate in January 2003.  He was accompanied by his wife, Donna. Dr. Toole served the church until Dr. Schill's retirement in 2014.

In September 2015, the Reverend Jeanne Gay accepted our call to be Interim Pastor.  She served the church from November 2014 until January 2016.

In December 2015, the Reverend David B. Willerup was called to be our permanent pastor. He began his ministry with us in January 2016 with his wife, Autumn, and their three daughters.  


Havenwood's organ was replaced with an Allen organ that was installed in June 1991, and dedicated on November 16, 1991.  The Kimball Grand Piano was delivered in December 1994, placed in the current sanctuary and dedicated on March 19, 1995.

  • ORGANISTS AND MUSIC DIRECTORS: Several outstanding organists have served our church. Our Directors of Music have been Jack Shaffer, Frank Bell, Howard Hayden, Charles Corson, and Sandra Haug. In 1981, John B. Terwilliger became our organist/Music Director. John came to Havenwood, along with his wife, Wanda and faithfully served the church for over 30 years until his death in March, 2012. John was  followed by Vance Zigler, 2012 till 2014; Tyler Horton, 2014 to 2016; Deborah Woods, 2016 to 2018, Gregory Arment 2018 to 2019, and Franklyn "Bonnie" Johnson-Williams, 2019 to present. 
  • We have also been fortunate to have several talented church members, who are also gifted musicians, that play the piano and organ for our services when needed.  Just to name a few: Robert A. Wahlgren (deceased); Kathi Weinel, Doris Glenn, and Amy Schreffler.
  • CHANCEL CHOIR: Our intergenerational choir, is directed by the Music Director and sings weekly for Sunday worship and other special services. This choir has been in existence since 1956 when the church was founded.  
  • HANDBELL CHOIR: Our 3-octave set of Schulmerich handbells were delivered to the church in January of 1996 during a 3 foot blizzard. There were two full 3-octave groups ringing monthly during worship. Kathi Weinel, who served on the music staff of the church for over 30 years (1977 to 2008), started the fund for the Handbells and became the choir's inaugural Director in 1996. She directed the choir until she retired in 2008. Allise Beaufelter followed her until stepping down in January of 2019. 
  • CHOIRCHIME CHOIR (children ages 10 through 15) learned to play the chimes and performs occasionally during worship. Kathi Weinel also started and directed this choir.
  • JUNIOR CHOIR  (children ages 2nd grade through 6th grade) was started in 1977 by Kath Weinel.  The Junior Choir sang monthly in worship. Other directors who followed Kathi included Karen Mortimer, Liz Chang, Wanda Terwilliger, Doris Glenn, and Doris Beaufelter.  
  • PSALM CHOIR (youth ages 7th through 9th grade) and SABBATH CHOIR (youth ages 10th through 12 grade) were also started and led by Kathi Weinel.  Each sang monthly during worship. 
  • HAVENWOOD BRASS ENSEMBLE: composed of Havenwood members and directed by Kathi Weinel, played for special occasions and for the Christmas Eve prelude music.


Catherine Warchus served Havenwood for over 30 years as our Church Secretary.  Catherine was always there for the members of the congregation. She went above the call of duty by organizing the Souper Bowl Sunday, the Lenten dinners, and the Easter Breakfast. Always a willing individual, she gave freely of her time even after her working hours were over. 


Our Christian Education Directors have led very successful programs ranging from Nursery through Adult Education with the much-appreciated assistance of many of our members. Our Christian Education Directors have included Barbara Dillon, Pat Assurude, Deborah Milcarek, Sandee Mroz, Amy Wells and Jason Mroz. Currently the Christian Education program is run by the ruling Elder who serves on the Christian Education Committee.  


Our Scouting groups were also chartered in 1956 and have enjoyed sixty successful years here. Richard L. Shaw served as Scoutmaster of Troop 828 from 1970 to 2009, having joined the Scouts himself in 1961. The current Scoutmaster is Thomas O'Dwyer. Over 60 boys have become Eagle Scouts. Other community service groups, including Korean Presbyterian Churches, have utilized the facilities of Havenwood Presbyterian Church as well.


The Women's Association was chartered in 1956. The Presbyterian Women of Havenwood share in faith together in one of our circles. Numerous activities and programs are carried out to fulfill our mission which is: “Forgiven and freed by God in Jesus Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we commit ourselves to nurture our faith through prayer and Bible study; to support the mission of the church worldwide; to work for justice and peace; and to build an inclusive, caring community of women that strengthens the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and witnesses to the promise of God's kingdom.”


In 1959, a church-operated daily kindergarten was established by the Session's Christian Education Committee under the chairmanship of J. Douglas Mitchell. Early teachers were Barbara Kirby, Joan Viti, Dorothy Bingham, and Josephine Nead. When public school kindergartens were introduced, Havenwood Day School operated only as a nursery for a few years. Marjorie Gravatt Busch was formally named an early Director of Havenwood Day School and had 18 on her staff. Barbara Oshman Fenselau joined the staff in February 1983, as the school Program Director and Librarian. Upon Marge's retirement, Barbara became the Preschool Director in July 1985. During her tenure, the kindergarten was accredited by the Maryland State Department of Education and the “Day School” became the “Preschool.” Barbara retired in 2007, and the current director is Susan Reigger, who had also taught in the preschool for several years prior to becoming the director. Currently, the student body of about 230 children, ranging in age from two to six year-olds, is taught by a faculty/staff of twenty-three qualified personnel.  The Preschool offers seven separate programs today: Toddler (two year olds), Pre-Nursery (three year olds), Nursery (four year olds), Kindergarten, Extended Care (early morning and after school) and My Afternoon Out. Through their efforts, Havenwood is proud to offer to our community one of the finest preschools in the state.