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!
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 pastor, Tabitha H. Rudy!
Greetings in the name of Christ Jesus!
My name is Pastor Tabitha and I was called to serve this congregation at the beginning of 2019. I’m a native of Franklin County (grew up in Callaway/Boones Mill and graduated from FCHS in 2005), but currently live with my husband in Roanoke City, where he is the pastor of the Ninth Street Church of the Brethren.
If you had asked me as a child what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have given a very creative answer, such as professional figure skater (but seriously, I can’t even skate!) Once I became a teenager and had to start giving that question a more serious answer, my answer of choice became “teacher.” I had some amazing teachers as a kid and wanted to be like them – teaching the things which had to be taught but in interesting ways. So, that’s what I focused my attention on. I genuinely felt called to teach and believed I could make a difference. I graduated from Ferrum College in 2009, licensed to teach Social Studies at the secondary level. Eventually I would land my dream job teaching history at Franklin County High School. Little did I know that God had something else in mind.
Over the next few years God worked through other people – rather persistently – to show me my true calling: serving the church as a minister. The Brethren believe that those who are called into the ministry should be called out from the faith community. Ministry is not something you eagerly pursue because you think you are good at it. Instead, based on the gifts and skills others see, one is called out to serve. This happened to me over many years and through many experiences.
Many people have influenced my faith in God and willingness to serve: my family members, childhood friends, my pastors and Sunday School teachers from Monte Vista COB, fellow staff at Camp Bethel, many teachers from school, colleagues and friends from around our denomination, my husband, and my mentor.
I graduated from Bethany Theological Seminary in 2017 with a Master of Divinity Degree. Shortly thereafter, I went to work serving as the Interim Associate District Executive Minister of the Virlina District of the Church of the Brethren. I was called as pastor of this congregation in October of 2018.
When I’m not “working,” I’m hanging out with my husband and our two cats, Morris and Frederick. My hobbies include gardening, sewing and doing other crafty things, hiking and eating ice cream. Come out to Homestead Creamery on the first Monday of each month at noon for Moolicious Mondays. Grab a sandwich or some ice cream and join me in conversation!