History of the
First AME Church of Manassas
As First African Methodist Episcopal Church of Manassas celebrates the Dedication of the first African Methodist edifice in this Northern Virginia area, will mark this a new "First" in the history of The African Methodist Episcopal Church. We would like to at this time, share a brief history of this branch of Zion and to offer praises for all Godí benefits.VFW Hall
As we enter out tenth year we can look back and see a number of blessings that First A.M.E. Church of Manassas have received. The first blessing was the Vision of the then Bishop of the Second Episcopal District, The Rt. Rev. John Hurst Adams when he sent Rev. William H. Johnson, Sr. to the Manassas area to establish a mission church. On September 22, 1985, the first service was held at the VFW Hall located at 9304 Centerville Road, Manassas, Virginia. Under Rev. Johnsonís leadership, the Church was very carefully organized; he appointed Stewards, Trustees, and Stewardesses; started the Sunday School and Missionary Society; the first choirs; Gospel and Youth were also established as well as the Acolyte training program and the Senior and Junior Usher boards. Another blessing was our very patient Presiding Elder The Rev. Dr. Walter L. Hildebrand, who showed us how to build a very solid foundation for this Church. Five persons joined the new church.
We were so pleased with our very first opportunity to host the Bishop; in spring of 1986 Bishop Adams came to the VFW Hall and preached a spirit-filled morning service. What a blessing! Within the first year, the membership grew to 24 adult members and 13 preparatory members and Sis. Helen Ames was appointed Mother of this Church.9212 Lee Avenue
In 1987 we received blessing after blessing. Rev. Alphonso McGlen was appointed pastor of First A.M.E. Church. On the first Sunday of September of 1987, we held our first service in the sanctuary of 9212 Lee Avenue, Manassas, Virginia. Several members donated items in preparation for the service. The first president of the Womenís Missionary Society, Sis. Audrey Redd passed the reign of leadership to Sis. Jacqueline McGlen and the Fredericka Hildebrand Missionary Society became involved in several outreach projects, including Missionary Day and the first retreat was held. Rev. McGlen started Study and Noon-Day Service and established the Chancel Choir, Sons of Allen, and Scholarship Committee. Special celebrations included Menís Day, Womenís Day, and Prayer Breakfast.
We were able to purchase six (6) acres of land for $200,000.00 on South Grant Avenue. Our Hearts were sadden when members had to relocate, but we rejoiced as we continued to grow spiritually and our membership increased.
The Rt. Rev. H. Hartford Brookins became Bishop of the Second Episcopal District in 1988 and one of our Chartered members, Sis. Valerie G. Bell was elected as delegate from the Washington Annual Conference to the General Conference.
During the 1989-90 conference year, Rev. Dana Swann became the third pastor. Under Rev. Swannís leadership, First A.M.E. was greatly blessed with a media ministry. We became very involved with the prison ministry and Rev. Swann taught us to put emphasis on stewardship. Our church supported the needy in our community, victims of Hurricane Hugo, and the Haitian Relief Project, through the Service and Development Agency (SADA). Retired Colonel Ulysses X. White, a chartered member of this church, became the first African American elected official to the Manassas City Council. We were able to liquidate the $50,000.00 land mortgage as we celebrated our Sixth Anniversary. Our Lay Organization was organized with Sis. Barbara Ivery serving as First President. We finalized plans for our new Church facility and implemented the $500.00 scholarship fund to each graduating senior. First A.M.E. Church family became paid life members of the NAACP. Rev. Swann was the first pastor to be appointed to the Manassas City Board. In addition, all of our commissions were put in place. First A.M.E. celebrated the first college graduate in the Church when Natsha Fulmore graduated from Norfolk State University.
In our Seventh Year, Rev. Swann officiated our first wedding that of Bro. Mark Johnson and Sis. Jacqueline Harris. The combined choirs of First A.M.E. ministered in music at the District Fall Convention. A mentoring program for young African-American girls was established. The group was named "ASPIRE" and is under the direction of the Fredericka Hildebrand Missionary Society. As you can see, the blessing kept coming and the Lord continued to bless this Church family numerically and spiritually.
Rev. Godfrey R. Patterson, as our Fourth Pastor instituted Sunday evening services, started teen-rap sessions and teen Bible Study, and continued the Noon-Day services. We celebrated our first joint Menís and Womenís Day. Rev. Patterson continued promoting spiritual development and established a mentoring program for boys under the Sons of Allen and recognized Black History during each Sunday morning worship services which is sponsored by the YPD.
At the ending of eight years, we have had five members to depart this life for a better home. We were richly blessed that our very own chartered member, Sis. Reneť P. Marshall was called to preach the gospel.10313 South Grant Avenue
Many changes occurred during 1993. Our presiding Elder that was with us from the beginning, the Rev. Dr. Hildebrand retired and Rev. Goodwin Douglas was appointed presiding Elder. The Rt. Rev. Frederick Calhoun James became the Bishop for the Second Episcopal District. The Lord continued to honor our faithfulness with the gift of a family pastor on the 3rd Sunday of December, Rev. Ronald A. Boykin, his lovely wife, First Lady Helen A. Boykin and their two daughters, what a blessing! Being a dedicated, faithful, spirit-filled leader, Rev. Boykin and his ministerial staff are guiding this congregation to new heights.
On Sunday, May 1, 1994, we had our Groundbreaking Ceremonies and we are off and running to accomplish one of First A.M.E. Church familyís mission. The Rt. Rev. Frederick James, Bishop, delivered the morning message and also gave the address at our groundbreaking dedication. Presiding Elder Goodwin Douglas was also present along with our connectional leaders.
We are blessed with the leadership ministry of Rev. Boykin for his direction, strength and patience to guide this First A.M.E. Church family to "Do More and be Spiritually Alive in 1995." On March 12, 1995, we moved to this our new edifice of 10313 South Grant Avenue, Manassas, Virginia 22110. Shortly after moving to Grant Avenue, we purchased the ten acres of land adjacent to the church.Present Day
The history of FAME is one rich in spiritual and temporal growth. The church continues to play a vital leadership role in the community and is steadfast in its commitment to spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. We purchased our first bus in 2001, thus facilitating our ability to minister to those in the community and to other churches in the surrounding areas.
In November 2001 we hosted the District Conference for the third time in six years. Shortly thereafter, the Washington Annual Conference of the AME Church convened, April 2002, at the Cecil D. Hylton Memorial Chapel/ Woodbridge, Virginia. This marked the first year the Washington Conference held its conference in the Northern Virginia area. FAME co-hosted (with three other churches) this historical meeting.
We will carry and always keep our Christian life purpose: