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History of NBUMC

North Bethesda United Methodist Church was founded in September 1956 with the 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 is  held in the National Guard Barracks off Ashburton Lane. There were eighty-six worshipers in attendance.

October 21, 1956

The young church moved to the Grosvenor Elementary School.

November 1956

One-hundred-eighteen Charter Members 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 is broken for the multi-purpose building, which marked the beginning of the first phase of the building program.

March 8, 1959

The first service is held in the new building, and is a source of inspiration and tangible evidence of what a few persons with courage and faith can do.

March 15, 1959

The new building is consecrated.


March 1960

The Congregation voted to purchase the parsonage.

June 1960

The Reverend Harry B. Miles, Jr., is 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.

August 16, 1964

Congregational Meeting is held and the plans for the new Sanctuary, with additional classrooms and offices, were approved unanimously.

August 23, 1964

Ground is broken for the Sanctuary, beginning the second phase of the building program.

December 12, 1965

First services are held in the new Sanctuary with Dr. Edward Carroll, Superintendent of the 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 is dedicated to the Glory of God. It is an Allen Organ.

January 1978

Dr. Joe D. Sergent is appointed to North Bethesda United Methodist Church.


June 1981

The Reverend Harold G. Johnson, Jr., is appointed to North Bethesda United Methodist Church.

January 1, 1982

The Potomac Korean United Methodist Church shares our church building through about 1986.

January 1, 1986

The Reverend Jeanne W. Klauda is appointed to North Bethesda United Methodist Church.

February 23, 1986

Fellowship Hall is 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.

May 1995

Loyse and Warren Hardin bequeath their estate to NBUMC and stated that the church could use the gift as it “sees fit.” Church Council designates it as an Endowment.

July 1, 1999

The Reverend Deborah L. Scott is appointed to North Bethesda United Methodist Church.

2000 to Present

August 2001

The Parlor is designated Benedict Parlor in honor of Henry Benedict, Director of Music from 1981 through 2001.


The Enabling Ministries Fund is established by Marvin and Joy Burt.

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.

July 1, 2014

The Reverend Jeffery Jones is appointed to North Bethesda UMC.

February 26, 2017

Allen Bravura Digital Hybrid Organ is dedicated with an inaugural concert after a two-year capital campaign.

July 19, 2017

Parsonage Sold and a Fund is created with the proceeds to support a housing allowance for the Pastor.

March 15, 2020

NBUMC begins virtual worship because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues until June 20, 2021.

July 1, 2021

The Reverend Kara Scroggins is appointed to North Bethesda UMC

August 1, 2021

Virtual Worship resumes and continues until All Saints Day, November 7, 2021.

October 4, 2021

Helen Everett Poole, NBUMC’s last surviving charter member, dies.

January 1, 2022

Virtual Worship resumes and continues until March 6, 2022, the First Sunday in Lent. Periodic communion services were head outside, including an Ash Wednesday service.

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