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, Manassas St. Thomas UMC 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.
Rev. Matthew Smith was appointed in 2007 with the chief responsibility to form and serve as the Campus Pastor of a new, second site of St. Thomas in Haymarket. Since that time, the Haymarket campus has thrived and become a vital part of our church's overall ministry.
The first church service of the Haymarket Campus was held in February 2008 at Giuseppe's Italian Restaurant on Main Street in Haymarket. In the fall of that year, the congregation expanded to two services to best utilize the limited space at this initial location.
In January 2009, after a successful first year, worship relocated to Gravely Elementary School in Haymarket to accomodate the growing community. The new location provided the congregation with more space for worship activities and also allowed for an expanded children's ministry and spiritual formation classes.
In June 2019, Haymarket Church moved its offices and small group space to the 2nd floor of the Town Hall in Haymarket and its worship space in July 2019 to Haymarket Elementary School to continue to grow its expanding congregation.
Officially, the Virginia Annual Conference of the UMC approved the name St. Thomas UMC for both campuses in Manassas and Haymarket when it gathered in Roanoke for its annual meeting June 22nd - 24th, 2012. However, to improve our outreach to the community in Haymarket, the campus began using the name "Haymarket Church" in the Fall of 2015 and plans are in place for the congregation to launch as an indepedent United Methodist Church in July 2022
For now, Haymarket Church remains proudly under the St. Thomas UMC umbrella and the two campuses continue to support each other through prayer and occasional concurrent sermon series, staffing, administrative help, sharing resources, and mission teams. For more information about Haymarket Church, you can visit haymarketchurch.org.
Over the past decade each campus has developed its own distinct ministry and serves a unique community, but we are partners in the work of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Together, we are impacting the communities of Manassas and Haymarket with the love of Jesus Christ!