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A History Faith UMC

In the Spring of 1963, opportunities arose for a new Methodist parish in the new housing community of Old Farm. The Board of Missions and The Methodist Union purchased a 4.5 acre parcel of land on Montrose Road and the parsonage, an original model home at 12101 Old Bridge Road, from Kettler Brothers.

Bishop John Wesley Lord appointed The Rev. James L. Matheson to be the first pastor of the new parish. Pastor Matheson held the first worship service on June 30, 1963 in the parsonage with 42 persons in attendance. In September 1963, the expanding congregation moved to the newly opened Farmland Elementary School where a church was organized and the name Faith was selected as the official church name. On January 19, 1964, Faith United Methodist Church was officially organized with 99 charter members and a church school consisting of more than 100 persons.

Our First 50 Years of Faith:

Read a history of our first 40 years (1964-2004), written by Mac McCullough

Read a history of 2004-2014, written by Susan Wyderko in honor of our 50th anniversary

Faith's previous pastors include:

Rev. James Matheson, Rev. Kenneth Jones, Rev. William Koppert, Rev. Lawrence Sanders, Rev. Robert Sherburne, Rev. Glenn Young, Rev. Edgar Hammersla, Rev. David Kolda, Rev. Dwight Byrne, Rev. Dr. Errol G. Smith, Rev. Gerald Stones, Rev. Anne Laprade, Rev. Dr. Steve Rettenmayer, Rev. Linda Rettenmayer, Rev. Margaret Clemons, Rev. Mark Derby, Rev. Bruce Jones (son of Rev. Kenneth Jones), Rev. Kathy Wadsley, Rev. Dr. Charles Harrell, Rev. Pat Dols, Rev. Marge Taylor (Parish Nurse), Rev. Corey Sharpe, Rev. Laura Peterson, Rev. Dr. Kathryn Woodrow, Rev. Wayne Chung, Rev. Joye Jones, and Rev. Dr. Laura Norvell.



Groundbreaking for Faith’s current Williamsburg-style sanctuary was held on March 7, 1965 and on March 27, 1966, the first worship service was held in the new sanctuary. Bishop John Wesley Lord consecrated the new building on May 8, 1966. In 1967 groundbreaking took place for the addition of an education wing, which was completed and consecrated in 1972.


Spreading the word on a bicycle

Our first pastor, Rev. Jim Matheson, travelled around on a bicycle to let the community know about the new church in their neighborhood. Faith commemorated this part of our history in the kneelers around the altar.


35 Years of Music at Faith with Floyd Werle

Floyd Werle (1929-2010) came to Faith in 1967 as the new organist, and later the Director of Music. During his 35 years at Faith he wrote over 200 hymns, centered on the joy of worship. Previously, he served 32 years in Air Force Music and in 2008 the USAF named their music library on Joint Base Anacostia-DC the Floyd Werle Music Library.  

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