About Us

Our Core Values

Christian formation or spiritual growth, is a core value for our congregation. We offer our lots of opportunities for adults, youth and children throughout the program year to strengthen our connection to our Episcopal roots.

A vital aspect of St. Martin’s ministries is our mission efforts. Our members are encouraged to share their gifts and talents with others through our many ministries. St. Martin’s has dozens of outreach and mission ministries taking the love of Christ out into our neighborhood, our community and our world.  Come and find a ministry that speaks to your heart and help us change the world.

How Did We Get Here

It all started with the gift of the field.

First service at St. Martin's-in-the-Field's new church in June 1955. Image shows the front of new church from the outside and everyone entering the building.In the 1950s there was talk of building an Episcopal Church in Severna Park. The only Episcopal churches were in Baltimore at that time. Who would want one way out in the country? Imogene Small Marston, that’s who. She offered 8 acres of her land, her hunting field which butted up against Benfield Road, to build the church. The diocese was nervous building a church “too far out in the country, more than a mile and a half from the train station.”

The first service was held on June 20, 1954 on Imogene’s tennis court; 174 people gathered.

By September that same year the Bishop appointed Rev. Lewis Heck as vicar and a permanent advisory committee assisted in drawing up plans for the first building.  Father Heck had served in WWII in intelligence and during his time in England had connections with St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields, London, which is how he decided on the name of our church. The cornerstone of our first church (named Heck Hall in 1995) was given from the church in London.  In 1956 St. Martin’s-in-the-Field was admitted into the diocese as an independent parish with the right to elect their own vestry and call a rector – Father Lewis O. Heck, who served as our first rector until 1966.

Both a kindergarten and nursery were established in September 1957, following the completion of the rectory. Classes were held in the finished basement rooms of the rectory and during the first 2 years were an experimental project under the supervision of Father Heck. In 1959 the vestry voted the school a permanent part of the parish mission and appointed a board of directors. Because Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church had the only other preschool program in the area and the public schools had not yet established one, the need for our school was great. By 1961 so many applications were received that the kindergarten (36 students) needed more space and was moved to the undercroft of Heck Hall with the nursery (20 students) remaining in the rectory.

In late 1963 a Building Fund campaign was launched to expand St. Martin’s which had grown from 60 to 600. The plan had two phases. First, to build a parish hall and school, and later to build a larger church. By August 1964 phase one was ready for use – a fellowship hall with space in the basement for classrooms. By Rev. Heck’s retirement the school had 75 students and 6 teachers. By 1987 the congregation held services in parish hall, as there was not enough room in the church. The Rev. Daniel Eckman helped the vestry launch a capital campaign for the new church. They broke ground in July 1988 and even used the shovel used to break ground 25 years prior. The new church can seat 400 and the first service was held on May 21, 1989.

In 1999 our school expanded from Pre-K and Kindergarten to include first grade. Each following year a grade was added finishing with 8th in 2007. While talk of expanding our Episcopal school began with a feasibility study in 1998 it wasn’t until 2018 that we broke ground for the new Learning Center, which was completed December 5, 2019.

In our 70 years as a parish, St. Martin’s has had six rectors: the Rev. Lewis Heck, the Rev. Frederick Vander Poel, the Rev. Daniel Eckman, Jr., the Revs. John and Patricia deBeer, co-rectors, the Rev. Doris Buchanan Johnson, and the Rev. Matthew Hanisian.