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St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church - National Fund For Sacred Places
2023 Cohort

St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church

(Lutheran)

Baltimore, Maryland

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Baltimore is an architectural gem and cultural landmark with a long history of supporting the LGBTQ+ community. 

St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church by Ashley Esposito

St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church by Ashley Esposito

2023 Cohort

St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church

(Lutheran)

Baltimore, Maryland

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Baltimore is an architectural gem and cultural landmark with a long history of supporting the LGBTQ+ community. 

Built in 1898 in the Station North neighborhood of Baltimore, St. Mark’s was designed in the Romanesque style by noted local architect Joseph Evans Sperry. It features a remarkable interior fully designed by Tiffany studios, one of only a few remaining in the United States, including Byzantine-inspired paint work and stained glass windows. St. Marks is one of only two landmarked interiors in the City of Baltimore. In 1985, St. Mark’s was the second church in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America denomination to become Reconciling, fully embracing the LGBTQ+ community, and their pastor at the time participated regularly in Gay Rights protests. During the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s, church leaders and members cared for young men who had been abandoned by their families.

Today, St. Mark’s is known for a wide array of programming – from hosting silent films with live organ music to a World Aids Day service, as well as providing space to organizations such as the Maryland Opera, Baltimore Men’s Chorus, and Baltimore Shakespeare Factory. The congregation also shares space with Dreams and Visions, a new ministry that welcomes LGBTQ+ people by offering creative, trauma-informed worship as well as a gender-affirming thrift store, and the downstairs Social Hall is home to North Ave Mission, a grassroots mission created by lower income and homeless residents that provides transitional housing, social worker hours, and a twice monthly free market offering food and clothes.   

A National Fund grant of $250,000 with matching funds of at least $500,000 to be raised by the congregation will support urgent repair needs to the building envelope and bell tower.

St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran by Ashley Esposito

Spotlighting Women’s History at Historic Houses of Worship

Religious institutions have served both as a platform for the advancement of women’s rights and opportunities, and women have played critical roles in advancing religious traditions. The leadership and community building opportunities within these sacred sites have been critical to increasing female independence outside of the home and allowing women to develop institutions that strengthen their congregations and broader communities. The four historic houses of worship highlighted embody positive examples of how the histories of women and religion are inherently linked.

First Church in Oberlin

Stories and Media Coverage

Read more about how the National Fund for Sacred Places is helping congregations around the country rehabilitate their sacred places.

Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church by Luis P. Gutierrez