Annandale United Methodist has a rich heritage spanning more than 170 years.
In 1846 William Garges deeded a portion of his farm to the trustees of the Annandale Methodist Episcopal Church for the erection of a place of worship. The small frame building that was constructed served the congregation until the Civil War when it was taken over by the Union Army for use as a hospital. It was burned, along with the rest of the village, when the army withdrew from the area.
Capt. Ambrose Cock, a trustee, opened his home for worship services until a new building was completed in 1870 on land he had donated. This is now known as the Little White Church (pictured above).
As the only church in the village, it was a focal point for community activities. The first public school classes in Annandale were held in its basement. The graveyard is older than the church - the oldest stone is dated 1828.
In 1907 a vestibule, belfry and pulpit extension were added. In 1908 the Ladies' Aid raised money for a bell to hang in the steeple. It also served as the only fire alarm in Annandale until 1923.
In 1912 the building that now houses the ACCA warehouse was erected. It was a community meeting place. When Troop 150, the first Boy Scout Troop in Fairfax County, was organized, in 1928, it met there. In the 1930's and 40's it was used for Sunday School classes.
For many years, Annandale was part of a four point circuit. In 1942, it became a station charge, having its own minister, the Rev. J. Wesley Inge.
In 1946 a brick building was erected on the hill on land given by Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Lynch. The area was growing rapidly with many young families. This was reflected in a thriving Sunday School that filled every corner with classes for children, youth and adults. In response to this pressure a larger sanctuary and more classrooms were built in 1955. A Weekday Preschool was established in 1961 and a Mother's Day Out program (now ELP) in 1965. Both of these programs still provide an enriching experience for young children.
In 1965 the office wing was built. Church membership peaked in 1968 at 2815. Three services were held each Sunday morning. Music was always an important part of worship and the first full time music director, Louise Miller, was hired in 1985.
From the early days, the women of the church, under various titles, have been organized for support of the local church and of missions on a global scale. The United Methodist Women continue this tradition.
The first men's fellowship, organized in the 1940's, preceded any of the service clubs in Annandale. For both groups, forming friendships and growing as Christians add to the joy of service.
Sunday morning classes and other activities provide children, youth, and young adults with the opportunities for spiritual growth, fellowship and service.
A Baptist congregation joined the Annandale community in 1942 thus ending the Methodist monopoly in the area. Today churches of numerous denominations are located in Annandale. Twenty-five of them have banded together in the Annandale Christian Community for Action (ACCA) to meet needs of low income families with such services as day care, emergency food and transportation. AUMC was one of the eight founding churches in 1968 and continues as a strong supporter.
Easter, 1996, was celebrated in the newest and largest sanctuary. This was the culmination of a project begun in February 1989. An expanded music department and an all-day care facility for young children were included to meet the needs of a changing community. Click here to learn more about the stained glass windows of the new sanctuary.
2009 saw a major renovation to the existing facilities with such things as new windows and carpeting throughout the building and a redecorated fellowship hall.
In July 2012, Annandale United Methodist Church merged with Immanuel United Methodist Church, now known as our Heritage Drive campus. Leaders from both congregations worked for nearly a year before the merger to bring it to fruition. The two churches shared three pastors who took turns leading services at each church for the next year. The final AUMC service at the Heritage Drive campus took place on November 24, 2013. Both congregations are now fully united at the main campus services on Columbia Pike.
The Heritage Drive campus is now known as the AUMC Mission Center, and hosts a variety of mission activities including a weekly food distribution program.