In 1996, while still in seminary, Deacon Rob Northwood started a Bible Study in the Northwood home which led to the beginning of the Church of Reconciliation. In March 1998, after Dn. Rob was ordained into the priesthood, the Church of Reconciliation was born. The Northwood’s basement became the Sanctuary, the dining room was a Sunday School classroom, and the living room served as a nursery.
In late 1999 , growing too large for the basement, the church began meeting in Rockfield Manor in Bel Air. Weary of being a “church in a box”, having to set-up and tear down equipment and furniture every week, and longing for “sacred space”, those in leadership began praying for a permanent place to house the church.
In 2000, after looking in several available locations, Fr. Rob was led to inquire about the property at the corner of Bond St. and Lester Way, which was then a vacant building. Finding the owner through a search of the land records, Fr. Rob contacted Boom Boom Lester who was surprised that he even knew that the building was for sale (since there wasn’t a sale sign). Mr. Lester, who had been a long time advocate of racial reconciliation was so in favor of the church’s vision that he sold the building, offering to hold the note himself at no interest, saying that the church needed that money more than he did.
During the renovation period, Mr. Lester came every day to help with the reconstruction and to add his humor and good-nature to the project. Sadly, Mr. Lester lost his battle with cancer shortly after the completion of the building, but he will always be remembered fondly for his great generosity and sweet spirit.
In March 2001, the building was complete and the church came to occupy the current home for the Church of Reconcilation at 128 North Bond Street in Bel Air, MD.