Nestled along Campus Drive is University Baptist Church, a small parish complete with three white crosses that sit sentinel outside the more than 50-year-old building.
But in the next few years, the tranquility of the 200-member church might be shattered by the rumblings of Purple Line construction, which project director Michael Madden says will go through UBC’s front U-shaped driveway.
“We really didn’t have a choice,” Madden said, who added that in order for the Purple Line to make a clean turn into the University of Maryland, construction would have to side-swipe the property.
The Purple Line will run from Bethesda to New Carrollton, and as part of its route, will cut into University of Maryland’s campus along Campus Drive. MTA also plans to install a light rail stop at West Campus, the intersection of Adelphi Road and University Boulevard—yards away from the church.
MTA officials met with church representatives about a year ago to discuss the plans, according to Desa Foster, an administrative assistant with UBC.
Foster says that members of the church, including Pastor John Burns, have formed a committee to discuss options for UBC.
According to Foster, the committee has discussed relocating to another corner of the church’s four-acre property, away from the noise of the light rail—a complicated option, Foster says, since the church’s sanctuary would need to be rebuilt.
“We’re looking at all phases,” Foster said.
MTA has begun placing markers on the property, says Foster, and continues to contact the church with updates on the Purple Line. Construction of the 16-mile, proposed
“It isn’t anything that’s upsetting,” Foster insists. “It’s a blessing and a curse.
Should the Purple Line run over UBC's property?