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Town Hall first used as church

June 13, 2006

FUNKSTOWN - It's not unusual for people to drive by the Funkstown Town Hall and mistake it for a church. After all, that is what it was first used for when it was built nearly 150 years ago.

The Funkstown Town Council conducts business at 30 E. Baltimore St. in the former Christ's Reformed Church building.

After a fire in the mid-1800s, the brick building on the town's main street was built as the church and was occupied in 1860. It remained in use as a church until May 1967.

According to John R. "Jack" Smith, a member of that former church, the remaining congregation became part of The Church of the Holy Trinity, taking with it the bell, the cornerstone and the stained glass windows.

At a June 1969 meeting of the Funkstown Lions Club, the club members agreed to pay $2,500 for the building and to use it only for community or nonprofit purposes.

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"The Lions gave it to us as long as we took care of it," said Funkstown Mayor Robert L. Kline.

Kline, who has been Funkstown's mayor since 1980, said the building was fixed up and houses offices and the meeting room for town meetings.

"Before, we used to meet at the Funkstown Fire Hall," Kline said.

The actual transition of the town offices to the former church building came in the mid-1980s.

In the interim, Smith said, the old church building was used as a library for a while.

The classic architecture of the building suits the historic town whose name was Jerusalem until 1840, when the name officially was changed to Funkstown. Funkstown was incorporated in 1853.

When a town was incorporated, it established a town hall in which a mayor and council would meet and carry on the business of the town.

When a town was large enough, it had the usual problems and disputes so framework, often in the form of charters or constitutions, had to be adopted.

Elections would decide who would make up the town government and people would have a chance to be heard about issues concerning the town.

Assistant mayor is Paul N. Crampton Jr. Town council includes Sharon Chirgott, Jerry Walker, Richard Nigh, Robert D. Rodgers Jr. and John Phillips III.

Meetings are held on the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m.

To contact Town Hall, call 301-791-0948.

Meetings are held on the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m.

To contact Town Hall, call 301-791-0948.

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