Manassas St. Thomas United Methodist Church was established in June 1990 when Manassas UMC and St. Thomas UMC were merged. Manassas UMC was founded in 1867, but its present site was built in 1963. Although the church was on five acres of prime property on Sudley Road, it was not experiencing growth. St. Thomas, however, had outgrown its existing facilities in Westgate which was also built in 1963. Even though an education wing and a classroom annex had been added, with their continued growth, more classroom space was needed.
The Alexandria District Superintendent, Dr. F. Douglas Dillard, Jr. saw the opportunity to strengthen Manassas UMC by merging it with St. Thomas. With the merger approved, larger facilities were imminent. The Bi-District Board of Church Location and Building felt Manassas would best be served by building a United Methodist Church with high visibility on the Sudley Road site.
In the spring of 1992 after the Westgate property had been sold, the St. Thomas congregation relocated to the Manassas UMC campus. We were faced with many challenges due to limited space. As the sanctuary would not accommodate everyone comfortably, a third worship service was added on Sunday evenings. The Manassas parsonage was converted to an Administration Building on the first floor for the staff, and the basement was remodeled for the youth. For additional classrooms, two trailers were leased. These challenges served to strengthen us as a congregation uniting us in our faith and our vision.
Our groundbreaking on June 7, 1992 was celebrated with the entire church family pulling the plow, followed by a picnic and festivities. The enthusiasm and excitement continued to grow as we watched with anticipation the construction of our new church. Our first worship service in the new facility was held on February 27, 1994 with the Service of Consecration the following week on March 6, 1994. More than twenty five years after its consecration, St. Thomas UMC in Manassas stands today as a shining testimony to those before us who have given faithful service to the glory of God and the fellowship of humankind. (Officially, the Virginia Annual Conference of the UMC approved changing the name of the church from Manassas St. Thomas UMC to St. Thomas UMC when it gathered in Roanoke for its annual meeting in June 2012.)
Today, the parsonage houses our vibrant Community Clothing Closet and the original church building received a significant renovation in response to our growing children and youth ministries; and it was consecrated on May 21, 2023 as a dedicated Youth Center.
Over the years, St. Thomas has been committed to planting and helping new faith communities become established. St. Thomas has supported the development of Rising Hope Mission Church, the Koinania Korean Community of Centreville UMC, and most recently Haymarket Campus, which began as a second campus of St. Thomas in 2007 as development in Prince William County expanded into Haymarket. This community officially launched as an indepedent United Methodist Church in July 2021.
Throughout its long history, St. Thomas has been on the forefront of innovative ministries -- planting new churches, developing a food bank that now reaches more than 50,000 individuals annually, and launching the Sunbeam Childcare Center, as well as many other unique ministries in the work of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. We look forward to continuing God's work in Manassas, Prince William County, and beyond for many years to come. We hope as you've read a brief snapshot of who we are and what God's accomplished through our community, you might be inspired to join us and our story might become your story too!
More than 25 Years Serving Manassas!
We celebrated 25 years in our current sanctuary and building on Sunday, March 3, 2019 at all three services. This was followed by an "All Church Luncheon" featuring our favorite foods over the years. We also opened the “time capsule” that was set aside on the first Sunday we worshipped in our current sanctuary and heard informal stories from our members about that day! Some of the letters written by youth and adult leaders then to our congregation now were read and we discovered some of these leaders are still very much involved in the community! Wow, God is good!
How will the congregation meet the needs of the community 25 years from today? We hope you and your family will join the journey as we discern and lean into the future God is calling us to together.
Scroll down for pictures from the ground breaking, construction, and the consecration service.