Church History

North Bethesda United Methodist Church was founded in September 1956 by Rev. Richard Irving and by November had 118 charter members.  The Fellowship Hall (now called Johnson Hall) was consecrated in March 1959, the parsonage was added in June 1960, and the Sanctuary was consecrated on December 19, 1965.
 
The dedication to the Glory of God by the pastors and congregation in the time since has resulted in further growth and the development of many programs.  The laity have had an active role throughout this time in working with the pastors and staff.
 
We are challenged today to “give of ourselves in faith and to build on the loving work of others, as we expand our outreach to share the message of God’s love and redemption in this community and beyond.”
June 1956 Dr. Asbury Smith, Superintendent of the Washington West District, informed the Reverend Richard Irvin of the need for a new Methodist Church in North Bethesda, and appointed him as Minister with the aid of The Board of Missions and Church Extension of the Baltimore Annual Conference.
July 1956 Fourteen interested persons met with the Reverend Richard Irvin to explore the need and the possibilities.
September 9, 1956
The first Service was held in the National Guard Barracks.  There were eighty-six worshippers in attendance.
October 21, 1956 The young church moved to the Grosvenor Elementary School.
November 1956 One Hundred eighteen Charter Members had united with the Church.  The Charter Members foresaw the wisdom and practicality of proceeding in stages with a building program that would eventually provide a worship center to meet fully the needs of our community.
September 8, 1957 The Congregation moved to Walter Johnson High School.
May 11, 1958
Ground was broken for the multi-purpose building which marked the beginning of the first phase of the building program.
March 8, 1959 The first service was held in the new building and was a source of inspiration and tangible evidence of what a few persons with courage and faith can do.
March 15, 1959 The new building was consecrated.
March 1960 The Congregation voted to purchase the parsonage.
June 1960
The Reverend Harry B. Miles, Jr., was appointed to North Bethesda United Methodist Church.
March 1962
The challenge of Dr. Edgar Beckett, Superintendent of the Washington West District, and Dr. E. Cranston Riggin, Executive Secretary of the Board of Missions and Church Extension to proceed with the building of a Sanctuary resulted in the formation of an Exploratory Committee.
May 14, 1962 Quarterly Conference gave approval for building of a Sanctuary and appointed a Building Committee.
November 1962 Financial Crusade for the building of the Sanctuary.
August 16, 1964 Congregational Meeting was held and the plans for the new Sanctuary, with additional classrooms and offices, were approved unanimously.
August 23, 1964
Ground was broken for the Sanctuary, beginning the second phase of the building program.
December 12, 1965
First services were held in the new Sanctuary with Dr. Edward Carroll, Superintendent of he Washington North West District, preaching.
December 19, 1965 Sanctuary consecrated to the Glory of God with Bishop John Wesley Lord delivering the sermon and officiating.
December 8, 1975 The Memorial Organ was dedicated to the Glory of God.
January 1978 Dr. Joe D. Sergent was appointed to North Bethesda United Methodist Church.
June 1981 The Reverend Harold G. Johnson, Jr., was appointed to North Bethesda United Methodist Church.
January 1, 1982 The Potomac Korean United Methodist Church began to share our Church building.
January 1, 1986 The Reverend Jeanne W. Klauda was appointed to North Bethesda United Methodist Church.
February 23, 1986
Fellowship Hall was renamed Johnson Hall and dedicated to the memory of our pastor, Harold G. Johnson, Jr.
May 4, 1986
Mortgage Burning and Rededication Celebration with the Reverend Thomas C. Starnes, Superintendent of Washington West District, preaching.
July 1999 The Reverend Deborah L. Scott was appointed to North Bethesda United Methodist Church.
August 2001 The Parlor was designated Benedict Parlor in honor of Henry Benedict, retired Director of Music.
September 2006 Celebrated our 50th Anniversary.
June 28, 2011 At a consensus meeting in Johnson Hall after a series of educational events on the topic, North Bethesda UMC members voted to become a Recognized Reconciling Congregation.