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Description of the Community to which our Church Ministers:

Our church, one of three Presbyterian (USA) congregations in greater Hagerstown area, is centrally located downtown. Our historic community dates to the pre-Revolutionary 1700's and played a prominent role in the Civil War, being located between both Gettysburg and Antietam. Important as a transportation hub and crossroads, today it is strategically located at the intersection of Interstates 70 and 81.

Hagerstown is a vital community with cultural and recreational activities that belie its size. Residents enjoy the Maryland Theater, presenting live concerts and stage performances; the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Director Elizabeth Schultz, Hagerstown Choral Arts, a recently-formed outlet for talented singers; Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, which is enlarging its facility and is recognized nationally for its collections, architecture and location in popular City Park. Ample opportunities for participatory recreational activities exist. Aquatic recreation is available at local state parks, on the nearby Potomac River, and on the Chesapeake Bay (about an hour and half distant). Hunting and fishing are readily accessible in nearby Blue Ridge, Catoctin and Cumberland mountains. The C & 0 Canal and Appalachian Trail provide excellent hiking opportunities. Whitetail, a modern snow skiing facility, is less than 20 minutes from the Church. Two public and two private courses challenge golfers. Many public courts and several private clubs make tennis a popular pastime.

Our schools are numerous and varied. There is a very good and expanding public school system in Washington County. There will soon be 25 elementary, eight middle, and seven high schools in the County. There are also several Christian schools offering elementary and secondary educations, two preparatory schools, and Roman Catholic elementary, middle and high schools. Additionally children have a wide variety of organized popular sports in which they can participate.

Post secondary educational opportunities are available in a number of colleges located or within one hour of Hagerstown. They include The Washington County Campus of the University of Maryland, Hagerstown Community College, Hagerstown Business College, Shepherd College, Frostburg State University - Hagerstown Campus, Wilson College, Hood College, Shippensburg University, Mount St. Mary's College, and Western Maryland College. Post graduate education is also available.

Traditionally based on manufacturing, the economy today is diversified into distribution and service industries. Additionally, Washington County is becoming a bedroom community for DC, and Baltimore, MD. The United States Bureau of the Census recently added the county to the list of those that make up the Washington - Baltimore Metropolitan area.

Ground transportation is easy into and out of Hagerstown and Washington County via interstate-70, which connects Baltimore and Washington to Pittsburgh, and interstate - 81, the traffic artery that bisects the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia south to Knoxville and Chattanooga and north to Scranton and Syracuse with connections to Philadelphia and New York. Convenient access is also provided by Washington County Regional Airport with passenger connections through Pittsburgh. Three international airports, Baltimore Washington International ( BWI ) , Dulles and National are 80 minutes away.

The medical community is very strong. Washington Count ­Hospital is a 350-bed facility offering all general and many specialized services as well as an outstanding shock trauma unit. The hospital's Robinwood Medical Center, a state-of-the-art adjunct facility, recently opened. Brook Lane Psychiatric Center, a private, non-profit psychiatric hospital draws clients from four states. Several retirement communities and a number of excellent nursing homes ease seniors' later years. Those special medical and surgical services, not readily available, locally are accessible in nearby Baltimore, whose medical community is one of the best in the nation.

There are a number of civic and fraternal organizations which provide opportunities for community involvement. The civic organizations represented in our community include: Rotary, Kiwanis, Torch, Exchange, Zonta, Business and Professional Women, Lions, Lioness, AAUW, Jaycees, Ruritan and Civitan.

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