upon a time (as all good histories begin) a fourteen-year-old girl had
a strong desire to start a congregation of the Church of Christ in Dale
City. She begged and pleaded with her family but there was always an
excuse why not -- we don't know enough, we don't have time. Then time
ran out for Larri Lynn Stringer who died March 13, 1970 (just two days
after her father acquiesced and said he would try and three days after
her fifteenth birthday.)
began the Church of Christ in Dale City, Virginia, on the first Wednesday
evening in September 1970: the Bill Kings and the Charles Stringers.
Both the Kings and the Stringers were members of the congregation at
Springfield, Virginia, at the time. For the first couple of months.
Two families, the Bill Kings and the Charles Stringers, visited with
families in Dale City on Wednesday evenings. These people had been members
of various congregations in the area but were no longer attending church
anywhere. An effort was made not to deplete the other congregations
but to encourage members who had fallen away to re-establish their faith.
There were Bill and Joyce King, their children Mary Lou and twins Billy
and Betty; Charles and Pat Stringer and their children Mike, Jay, Janet,
were meeting for midweek services at the Stringer's home at 14708
Cloverdale Road. At this time, Dale City consisted of Ashdale, Birchdale,
Forestdale, and a small portion of the Cloverdale sections. Before
long, all three services were held there. Bedrooms became classrooms,
the den became an auditorium, and enthusiasm abounded.
1971, with the active support of the Elders and members at Springfield,
a Saturday morning door-knocking campaign was begun. Once a month,
the ladies at Dale City cooked breakfast at the Stringers for all
workers and then we would spread out to one of the subdivisions. Back
for lunch and then two more hours work.
step was to rent the Civic Center at Birchdale for Sunday morning
worship service. By this time, Maurine and Al Weeks, Joe and Sue Bilbrey,
Juanita Hensley, Corky and Pat Corsand, Rene Caldwell, Marge Ethridge,
Bill and Ginger Morrison were all members and Harry and Birdie Moss,
and Robbie and Nancy Bowers had been converted.
the congregation was swelled by Joe and Hazel Beaty, David and Judy
Hines, Tom and Lulu Utter, John and Elaine McGuire, John and Norma
McGee, Mick and Sandy Trammel, Jack and Suzie Spence, Troy and Clara
Moore, and others who had all moved into the area with their families.
Thanks to Al and Maurine Weeks underwriting his salary, our first
was hired -- Calvin Henry and his wife Linda came up here from Texas.
We bought a house on Daley Lane across from Mike Stringer's home,
and we expanded to classrooms in all three houses for Wednesday night
and Sunday morning classes.
the building at 13130 Hillendale Drive was begun. We put down a
deposit for an option on a prime piece of land on Dale Boulevard,
but the option expired before we could build. When the two-acre
on Hillendale was purchased for $30,000, Charles Stringer and Al
Weeks met with Mr. Hylton and he graciously agreed to apply the
to the new lot. When they approached
Mr. Hylton again, he agreed to deduct $2,500 for the 1/4 acre Arrington
family cemetery on the property that was not usable. Once again,
met with Mr. Hylton and he agreed to subrogate his note on the land
to make it possible for us to get financing to build. If it had
been for Mr. Hylton's assistance and faith in us,
we would not have been able to build for several years. Five families
also had enough faith in God to co-sign the note for $127,500 putting
up their homes as collateral so the Lord's work could move forward.
the building was completed the Hines family bought a home in Stafford.
In the basement, was a podium and a table that the former owner lovingly
handmade for his son's church, which they did not want. When he sold
the house to David and Judy he gave these to David to be used in our
lot on Dale Boulevard we didn't get to buy? It has a water treatment
plant behind it and would be totally undesirable now. The Lord truly
does work in our lives for good!
was completed August 1, 1973, with Mr. and Mrs. Hylton as guests for
our first service. Gail Stringer and Steve Meredith were married in
the building August 25, 1973, and Kathy Weeks and Ken Peck were married
here October 10, 1973.
Calvin and Linda
Henry left in late 1974. Our second preacher, Del Elkins his wife Barbara,
moved here from Warrenton, Virginia in 1975. He left in 1976. The congregation
had no full time preacher until Gene Chumley and his wife Joyce moved to
Dale City in 1978, and he became the full time preacher. John Snoderly did
most of the preaching for those two years, with help from Joe Beaty and other
men of the congregation. During most of these years, we had been partially
supported by the Sherrod Avenue Church of Christ in Alabama. One year after
Gene began working with our congregation, we were fully self-supporting.
Gene labored with the congregation until November 2003. Gene's retirement
from the pulpit opened the door for a new minister for the first time in
over 25 years. Jeff Harris, his wife Patty and their two childen William
and Thomas, began working with the congregation in December 2003. Dessain
and Stephanie Terry have worked with the congregation since 2006.
Our first Elders, Gene Chumley and Joe Beaty, Sr.
were chosen March 3, 1989. Alfred Johnson was chosen to serve in this capacity
on June 26, 1994. Joe Price was chosen to serve as Elder on February 8,
1998, Mark Clardy, and Paul Nix 2005,Rufus Flemons 2009.
On July 7, 1985, four men were chosen to serve
as Deacons: Joe Bilbrey*, Willie Gore**, Stuart King, and Dan Willis**.
On October 18, 1987, Peter Burnett** and John Pierson** were chosen
to serve. Mark Clardy was selected on October 10, 1993. On February
8, 1998, Hal Creech, Ken Johnson, and Leonard Reynolds were chosen.
2001:Al Foxx, Rufus Flemons, Bob Shirk and John Canfield; 2002: Maroco
Morales; 2005: Rob Wilson; 2008: Jimmy Crawford; 2010: Goodman Bellamy; (Spanish) congregation 2010: Nelson Abarca, Narciso Carrion, Victor Valle.
In 1995 the congregation wanted to begin a Spanish-speaking ministry. Marco Morales, who was in Arlington, Virginia, contracted Marlon Grande, and all were in areement. In 1996 Marco and Martha Morales and Marlon and Celina Grande and their families began a Hispanic congregation, inviting others to come. The first year they had ten people: now there are fifty to sixty Hispanic brothers and sisters worshiping together.
a month the congregation has a combined service conducted bilingually and
enjoys a fellowship
potluck meal aftterward.
A busy 38
years have passed. Struggles have been overcome: joys and sorrows
have been shared. The mortgage for the building was paid off in April
1994, nine years early and now we are reaching forward again with
plans to expand the building.
In the past, different members have worked in a local prison
ministry (Joe Beaty, Gene Chumley). and served on the board for Camp WAMAVA
(Stuart King, Tom White, Gene Chumley). The Dale City church is currently
involved locally with the Woodbridge Nursing Home, Woodbridge Senior Center,
Prince William County Police Department (Gene Chumley, Chaplain).
out, the church helps people in such places as Nigeria; Pohnpei; Galion,
Ohio; Fowle, California; and the work of Reconciled Ministries in Texas.
Other current activities include benevolence
work and the food bank, where on average 180-200 familties are fed each
month, and Eastern Regions Leadership Training for Christ, a program for
our young people.
who has moved into Dale City and worshiped with the congregation here
have brought joy and love to this congregation and to God's heart.
*Resigned and relocated