A New Era

Gainesville UMC entered a new era with the consecration of our current building in Gainesville on April 30, 2006. The new facility, located at the corner of Linton Hall Rd. and Limestone Dr., has enabled not just the growth of the congregation to over 1,000 members, but more importantly, it has enabled the missions and ministries of GUMC to expand and flourish in the much larger and more versatile space.


As of 2018, plans are being discussed to begin work on Phase II of the building, which will include dozens of new classrooms, increased office space, a dedicated youth space, as well as additional worship areas.

The History

GUMC was originally organized in the 1870s as the Gainesville Methodist Episcopal Church, South and was part of the Sudley Mission of the Washington District, Baltimore Conference. In 1881, the church's earliest members transferred from Buckland Church to Gainesville. In these early days, church ministers lived in a parsonage built on land that was conveyed to the church on November 16, 1883, by Mr. Lorenzo J. Prescott for $800 cash.

 

On August 18, 1883, Miss Somerville Gaines, an original member of the congregation (whose family gave the community its name), conveyed one acre of land upon which the church was built. This acre adjoined the historic Gaines Cemetery. Adjoining this family cemetery, the church established its own cemetery which to this day is the final resting place for many members of the church. The first stone for the new church was laid in 1884. The building remained unfinished and incomplete in its interior for several years. Finally on October 10, 1886, the completed building was dedicated.

 

Since then, the church and is members have experienced many different "firsts", events, and milestones. In 1954, it was determined that a new parsonage was needed to replace the one built in 1883 and 1884. A new parsonage was built by members of the church as a labor of love on a site in an area known than as Lake View Estate, a new addition to Gainesville. Today, the church's pastor lives in his own home. In 1961, with the help of the Northern Virginia Board of Missions, five more acres of the Gaines estate adjoining the church were acquired. Other events of interest are: 1964, the first church paper was published under the name, "The Gleamer"; 1972, A Gainesville-Bethel merger took place in June; and in 1982 and 1983, the church building received updated electrical wiring and white siding was added to the Sunday School Wing. A well was also dug and the sewer hooked up.

 

Over its long and storied history, the church has had 49 different pastors with our current lead pastor, Rev. John Patterson, coming to Gainesville in 1997. With his arrival, the GUMC embarked on its most significant physical, operational, and spiritual changes since its beginning in 1884.