Maryland: Coffee House opens at former World War I chapel

January 16, 2005

The church that once was a World War I chapel is now transformed Saturday nights into a Coffee House featuring live jazz and folk music.

"We've worked hard to get this historic building restored so we could open it to the community," said the Rev. Phebe McPherson, rector, Epiphany Episcopal Church in Odenton, Maryland.

The $1.2 million restoration uncovered the board and batten exterior, hardwood floors and fireplace and updated all mechanical systems.

Today the chapel includes a museum of social history of that era, highlighting the Epiphany Chapel and Church House that ministered to the spiritual and social lives of soldiers at Camp Meade.

The coffee bar opens at 4:30 p.m. around the fireplace in what was the living room for visiting doughboys in the 1900s. The music begins at 5 p.m. and is led by Jim Ballard, music director. Soup is served at 6 p.m.

"People say "Odenton" spelled backwards is "Noten (to) do," said McPherson. We want to change that and be part of the rejuvenation of Odenton with its new library and town center."

A former legislator, Donald Lamb, and his sister, Donna, have played at the coffee bar. Future Saturdays will include a blues trio, singer songwriters, saxophone, standup commedian, and for Valentine Day weekend, "Sweetheart Music."

Admission is free. All ages are welcome. Contact: the Rev. Phebe McPherson, 410.336.8383.

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