The Woodbridge church of Christ began in the minds of four area families: the Caples, Fulks, Talbotts, and Veils. All were members of the Springfield congregation. They met to discuss starting a new work in Woodbridge in the spring of 1962. They visualized the potential for spreading the gospel in this growing area. Other members of the Lord’s Church living in Woodbridge were contacted. And so the vision of a few became reality and the congregation in Woodbridge was formed.
The First Service… The church’s first worship services were held on June 3, 1962 in the Woodbridge Primary Day School located on G Street. A total of 45 individuals attended the morning service, due to the dedication of the 16 members who encouraged their friends, family and relatives to come.
After that the congregation met for a while in the home of the VeiIs at 114 Ridge Road. In those days many different men filled the pulpit as the church began to grow. Those that preached from the congregation were, Gary Fulks, James Redden and Chester Talbott and on a couple of occasions James Caples and Elmer Perdue. Many talented men from around the Washington D.C. area would also fill in from time to time.
The first permanent location for the new congregation was a residence at 104 Ridge Road purchased on June 24, 1962. It remained the place of worship until the present building was built. Clifford Lyons became the first full-time minister for the congregation. He and his family arrived on June 16, 1963. Clifford was from Neosho, Missouri and a graduate of Harding University in Searcy, AR. He was our first minister and we were his first congregation. With God’s help, continual prayers and hard work by a dedicated congregation, the residence was quickly outgrown.
In August, 1963 three acres of property at the end of Surrey Drive in the Marumsco Hills of Woodbridge were purchased. A planning group consisting of Gerald Thomas, Frank Lambert, Joseph Douglas and John McDonald began planning for the new building. Brother Henry Atkinson, a member of the Arlington congregation provided architectural assistance. Brother Clifford Yeldell, from Dallas, Texas and a brother-in-law John McDonald, constructed the first phase of the building. It was not only the building that Clifford took on. He taught a men’s training class on Friday nights while he was overseeing the construction. Other evenings were spent doing personal work in the community.
On Sunday, November 3, 1963 the congregation met in the new building for worship for the first time. It began an eight day gospel meeting with the area Ministers doing the speaking. Then in late 1974 the planning for an addition to the building became a reality. Phase II of the present building began when Clifford Yeldell contractor of Phase I, was asked to return to construct it. It was completed in the spring of 1975 and is still being used today.
The first Elders were appointed on October 26, 1969 (Donald Samanie and Don Swan). A little over a month later on December 1, 1969 six Deacons were chosen (Paul Bozeman , Dick Dean, John Goss, John McDonald, Elmer Perdue, and Jerry Taylor). There have been many faithful Elders and Deacons to follow unto this present day.
We currently have five faithful Elders overseeing this congregation (Eric Anthony, Ernie Maiwald, Michael Neal, Lee Porter, and Tim Wertz). We have five faithful Deacons (Perry Comeaux, Jason Cottoner, Dan Medina, Keith George and Niles Wedge), and many faithful members serving the Lord with an average attendance on Sunday of 115.
The Woodbridge church of Christ has had ten fulltime ministers since 1963. Clifford Lyons: June 1963-June 1970, Delbert J. Goins: August 1970-December 1975, William E. (Bill) Wardlaw: December 1975-May 1978, Wilson Wallace: July 1978-July 1979, Lawrence (Larry) Pahman: August 1979-November 1980, John R. Hall: December 1980-May 1987, Wilson Wallace: June 1987-November 2002, Ernest L. Maiwald: Decemeber 2002-September 2003 and Lyndal N. Privett: February 2004 - April 2009, Ernest L. Maiwald: June 2009 - Present.