History

The church opened in 1870 on Park Avenue in Bolton Hill, near downtown Baltimore. The building itself was the gift of Mrs. Isabella Brown, in memory of her late husband, Mr. George Brown. Mr. Brown was the son of Alex Brown, founder of the historic investment firm in Baltimore.

The congregation has enjoyed a succession of notable pastors. One moved from here to become president of Princeton Theological Seminary; one served as moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church; one became the head of the Home Mission Department for the denomination; two moved from here to prominent pulpits in New York City and Chicago; and one was among the organizers of the civil rights demonstrations in the early 1960’s that integrated Gwynn Oaks Park in Baltimore.

In 1960 the church opened a second campus on North Charles Street, and became “one church in two locations.” For the next twenty years, the pastor led an early service at the Woodbrook campus, then rushed downtown to lead worship on Park Avenue. In 1980 the congregation decided to separate and become two distinct congregations: Brown Memorial Woodbrook Presbyterian Church, and Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church.

Brown Memorial Woodbrook is part of the Presbytery of Baltimore of the Presbyterian Church USA.