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, St. Thomas UMC in Manassas 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. (Officially, the Virginia Annual Conference of the UMC approved chaning the name of the church from Manassas St. Thomas UMC to St. Thomas UMC when it gathered in Roanoke for its annual meeting in June 2012.)
Over the years, St. Thomas has been committed to planting and helping new faith communities become established. St. Thomas has supported the development of Rising Hope Mission Church, the Koinania Korean Community of Centreville UMC, and most recently started its own second campus in Haymarket in 2007. Since that time, the Haymarket campus has thrived and become a vital part of our church's overall ministry to reach the community for Christ. Currently, the church has offices and small group space on the 2nd floor of the Town Hall in Haymarket and is holding worship services at Haymarket Elementary School to continue to grow its expanding congregation. Plans are in place for the congregation to launch as an indepedent United Methodist Church in July 2022. For more information about Haymarket Church, you can visit haymarketchurch.org.
Throughout its long history, St. Thomas has been on the forefront of innovative ministries -- planting new churches, developing a food bank that now reaches more than 17,000 individuals annually, and launching the Sunbeam Childcare Center, as well as many other unique ministries in the work of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. We look forward to continuing God's work in Manassas, Prince William County, and beyond for many years to come. We hope as you've read a brief snapshot of who we are and what God's accomplished through our community, you might be inspired to join us and our story might become your story too!