Edited by Barry Bryson
Prior to 1957 there was no organized Church of Christ in Manassas, Virginia. The following families were attending Church of Christ congregations in other Northern Virginia Communities.
- Ronald and Norma Knight and son Jay Arlington Church of Christ
- Ola Bickle and children, Bobby and Bonnie Sue Arlington Church of Christ
- Charles and Doris Wildman Falls Church Church of Christ
- Dorothy Trusler (Member of the Church of Christ) Manassas Baptist
- Ed and Wilma Valentine and children Military family
- Jo and Orval Marshall Alexandria Church of Christ
In May, Ed Valentine (a serviceman new to the Manassas community) ran an ad in the local newspaper inviting members of the Church of Christ, and anyone else who might be interested, to join him and his family in Christian worship.
Three families responded and met at the Wayland-Knight International Harvester Dealership on Centreville Road and held an organizational meeting. From this meeting a midweek Bible study began on Thursday nights. Seven persons attended the first midweek study.
The Arlington and Falls Church congregations encouraged their members to support and encourage this effort... and they did.
On August 11thth first Sunday Morning worship service was held at the Manassas Fire Hall with 62 in attendance This is considered to be the nucleus of the Manassas congregation. Many of the 62 in attendance were members from sister congregations who came to encourage the organizational efforts. For the first few months the attendance averaged 20 to 25 persons. Jo Marshall was the first baptized by the fledgling congregation.
WHAT WAS MANASSAS LIKE IN 1957???
Manassas was a quiet, peaceful rural town where Cocke's Pharmacy was the local meeting place. It would be another seven years before Dulles Airport would open. There was no Route 66. Routes 234 and 28 were narrow two lane roads. There was no Pnnce William Hospital. The Manassas Airport was located across the road from what is now The Mall at Manassas. The hanger and business office were located on the site now occupied by Manaport Plaza where a new Food Lion store is located across from the Manassas Mall. The population of the Greater Manassas area was approximately one-twelfth its present population.
Manassas had no restaurants - the nearest McDonalds was near Camp Washington in Fairfax County (20 miles). By 1957 McDonalds had not yet sold one million hamburgers. Now they have sold billions. To dine out required a 20 to 25 mile trip one-way. It was at this time the whole northern Virginia was beginning to experience phenomenal growth.
During 1958 the congregation moved to the Oddfellows Hall on Center Street. It was necessary for some members to arrive early to pick up beer cans and other trash, mop the floor, and arrange the rooms for class and worship service. We became so crowded the children's classes was held in the restroom.
The Arlington and Falls Church congregations often provided lay preachers and classroom teachers, as well as financial support.
E.H. “Dinty" Moore and his wife gave an interest fee loan of $5,000 to purchase land to build on. It was to be paid back “when you can".
In September Stanley Brewer became the first part-time minister. He and his wife Ann both taught for Prince William Schools. He served as minister for the next 14 months.
Important Events in Our History
- 1959 - The congregation held its first Gospel meeting in June with Chester A. Honeycutt as the guest minister.
- 1960 - Don Northcutt, a member from the Arlington congregation, moved to Manassas to become our second part-time minister.
1961 - In August, the congregation entered into a contract with Paden Construction Company of Cliburne, Texas.
1962 - On April 29, services were held in the new building for the first time. 245 were present to help celebrate the occasion.
1965 - Nelson Smith served as the interim minister while completing his obligations at the Children's Home.
1969 - In September, Charles Brown was appointed minister.
- 1973 - On December 16 the first Elders to serve the congregation( were installed. Those installed were.. Fred Adams, Phillip Dawson, Dixon Hubbard, Ronald Knight, and Everett Nickell.
- John T. Smithson was employed as the full-time minister in September.
- 1974 - The congregation appointed its first deacons. Those appointed were.. Jim Bishop, Oran Dial, Dale Graham, Bob Lee, Orvall Marshall, Owen Mullenax, Ken Snow and John Tucker.
- 1977 - The twelfth year of the congregation's operation was by far the most active. Special events began February 4,5, and 6 with John Clayton, (a former non-believer), conducting a series of lessons dealing with the evidences of the existence of God. Some of his lecture topics were: “How To Instill Faith In A Child" “Does God Exist?", “Design, Proof of God” and “God, Man and Caveman". Two of the sessions were held at Stonewall Middle School where 608 people attended. 422 people attended the final session held at the church building.
- On October 16 the Joy Bus program began with 57 riders.
- 1978-Philip Thompson was hired as minister.
- 1985-Jerris Bullard became the first full time missionary to India.
- 1991-Rick Van Massey was hired as minister.
- 1994-Barry Bryson was hired as minister.
- 1995-Pre-school became operational.
- 1996-Homecoming and 40th Anniversary Reunion was held.
2001-Occupied our new building on Signal Hill Road
2007 - Celebrated our 50th Anniversary with a 3 day affair, and many of our past preachers, and elders in attendence.