Our History

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About Graham Road United Methodist Church

Organized in 1951 and chartered on January 13, 1952, Graham Road Church began with forty-seven members and met in the Oak Street School (now Thomas Jefferson School), in Falls Church, Virginia. On March 7, 1954, George Henley, a student who lived in the homes of charter members while he served as minister, conducted the first service in the new church building at the present location. Also in 1954, the “Mile of Dollars”, comprised of monetary donations to purchase furnishings and hymn books, stretched from Lee Highway down Graham Road and around the educational building. For a number of years, local radio station WFCR broadcast the 11:15 a.m. services. The original church building now houses the Fellowship Hall upstairs and part of the child care center on the lower level. The present church sanctuary was consecrated on March 15, 1959. By that point, the church buildings were finally sufficient in providing the necessary space for all of the church services, programs and activities. The Graham Road parsonage was purchased in 1956, the Rosemary Lane parsonage in 1964, and the annex in 1971. Today, more than 350 members effectively and enthusiastically support the church and its many missions and programs, including ESL, Appalachian Mission Day School, Child Care, Preschool, Silver Foxes, United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men, Bible study, music, drama, local and world-wide outreach, and much more. As we continue to grow and serve the needs of God’s people, we welcome all visitors and pray that their search for church roots will be fulfilled here with us. We extend an open invitation to everyone to join us in worship, spiritual growth, service, and fellowship.

Historic Highlights

  • 1963 – Hired first custodian, Willie Martin
  • 1966 – Added weekday preschool to the church program
  • 1972 – Installed chimes in memory of Paul Baker, Jr.
  • 1976 – Church dedicated by Bishop W. K Goodson
  • 1986 – Annex repaired and dedicated for use by Bethany House
  • 1991 – Added a licensed child care center for children ages 2-4
  • 1995 – Sanctuary air-conditioned front parking lot improved, and new sign installed
  • 1997 – Built handicapped-accessible bathroom and sanctuary
  • 1998 – Handbell and Choir Chimes given by the Cora Barile Glasner Memorial Fund and John & Catherine Barile
  • 1999 – Fellowship Hall air-conditioned
  • 2000 - First Vietnamese services led by Rev. Charles K. Tran, and renovation of the Charlotte Knutson Room
  • 2001 – Kitchen remodeled, electronic media installed in sanctuary
  • 2003 – New carpeting installed in sanctuary
  • 2004 – Rev. Eduardo Morales begins the Hispanic ministry, Iglesia Shalom, installed new flooring in Child Care hallway
  • 2005 – New organ purchased and dedicated, hired first custodial service upon retirement of Willie Martin after 32 years of service, held first children’s Sabbath that included the Sunday School, preschool, and Child Care children
  • 2009 – Windows of the sanctuary, fellowship hall, and most other windows around the church were replaced with new energy-efficient windows.

Minister Roster

  • George C. Henley, 1951-1952
  • E. Cecil Gunn, 1952-1958
  • R. Vanderberry, 1958-1962
  • G. R. Bodie, Jr., 1962-1965
  • Walter Lockett, Jr., 1965-1970
  • Samuel Stanley, Jr., 1970-1975
  • Moody G. Wooten, 1975-1978
  • Joseph T. Williams, 1978-1983
  • J. Leroy Young, 1983-1987
  • Charles K. Blalock, 1987-1992
  • J. Blaine Blubaugh, 1992-2003
  • David E. Lough, 2003-2008
  • Marable Southall-Vess, 2008-2015
  • James Canody, 2015-present