Our congregation was planted by the Virlina District of the Church of the Brethren in the 1990s. While we have worshiped in several locations over the years, we have always been committed to serving the Smith Mountain Lake community.
1995 - January 19 - We were approved as a project by the Virlina District's Church Extension Committee (now New Church Development Committee). 18 other CoB congregations supported us with prayer, people and financial support.
1996 - January 1 - Our first pastor, Judy Mills Reimer, was called.
1998 - April 20 - We celebrated our chartering by receiving 24 members.
1998 - December - Jerry Naff was called as our new pastor. Sister Judy left to take a job as the General Secretary of the Church of the Brethren in Elgin, Illinois.
2000 - July - Excavation began on our current building.
2000 - December 24 - Our first worship service was held in the new building.
2001 - April 29 - The new building was dedicated.
2001 - November 10 - At the Virlina District Conference, we were granted congregational status.
2017 - February 28 - Jerry Naff resigned/retired as our pastor. Ed Woodard began as our interim pastor.
2019 - January 1 - Tabitha H. Rudy began as our pastor. Learn more about Pastor Tabitha by scrolling down on this page!
2022 - April 30 - Pastor Tabitha resigned and Ed Woodard joined us again as interim.
The Church of the Brethren is non-credal – so we don’t have a ready-made statement summarizing what we believe. We do, however, believe that we are called as Christians to “Continue the work of Jesus: peacefully, simply, together.”
The most concise statement of our beliefs and purpose come from our current ministers’ manual, For All Who Minister, page 95:
We believe that Jesus Christ is the expression of God’s love for all people. Therefore, we pledge our loyalty to him and his way of life.
We accept the New Testament as the guidebook to abundant Christian living. Therefore, we pledge ourselves to study its message for our day and to follow the light we discover.
We believe that communion with God and fellowship with Christ are essential to daily living and spiritual growth. Therefore, we will devote time regularly to private devotions, family worship, and group meditation.
We believe that God is our Creator and all men and women are our brothers and sisters. Therefore, as we attempt to live Christ’s way of reconciling love, we can consider no one our enemy, we dare not hate, we cannot kill.
We believe that spiritual values are more important than material possessions. Therefore, we will live modestly, dress simply, and eat temperately in order to place God’s kingdom first.
The Church of the Brethren’s main ordinances include: Believers Baptism, Anointing with Oil, and the Love Feast (which includes Communion and Feetwashing). To learn more about these, visit: http://www.brethren.org/about/practices.html.
From our Constitution and Bylaws:
Affirmation of Faith and Purpose
The goal of the Smith Mountain Lake Community Church of the Brethren is to invite people in to a life changing relationship with Jesus the Christ and to provide a biblically based faith community in which that relationship is nourished.
Our vision is of a congregation…
Meet our Interim Pastor, Ed Woodard!
Ed is currently serving as our interim pastor following the resignation of Pastor Tabitha. Ed has guided us as interim before and brings many years of pastoral experience with him. Both he and his wife, Emma Jean, serve as ministers in the Virlina District of the Church of the Brethren - and both as interims having retired from full-time ministry. Ed's colleagues like to give him a hard time because he has yet to join the smart phone bandwagon - but that doesn't keep him from being a caring and compassionate pastor to others. Pastor Ed will minister alongside us until the search is completed for our next settled pastor.
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