Bethel Presbyterian Church has its roots in a Bible study in Herndon, Virginia. Five couples realized they were not hearing the whole of God’s truth from their own church and sought additional instruction at a private home Bible study. During that study, which was eventually led by the Rev. Edwin Urban, all five couples came to know Christ and in 1968, started Bethel Chapel at the Herndon Municipal building.
In 1969, preaching started in Leesburg at an old house near the historic downtown district. The fledgling church shared the house with Leesburg Christian School, which also had been started by the Urbans. God blessed the Leesburg work, bring additional people to himself. Bethel concentrated its efforts in Leesburg and discontinued the work in Herndon.
In 1970, Bethel became a particular congregation in the Presbytery of Philadelphia. (That presbytery later divided and the church became part of the Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic). The presbytery ordained David Arnold and Ross Rogers as ruling elders and Darl Stern and Andrew Smith as deacons. The congregation called the Rev. Edward L. Kellogg in 1977 as associate pastor. He retired after five years, though he continued to serve the church for the remainder of his days.
As the church continued to grow it gained a permanent presence in the Loudoun community. In 1980, the congregation dedicated a brick church building on a large pastoral lot just south of Leesburg. The wisdom of buying substantial land allowed the congregation to start an addition in 2010 with offices, a fellowship hall, and Christian education classrooms. The church dedicated the new facility July 10, 2011, during the Sunday morning worship service.
Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it ...
God has blessed the work at Bethel, so much so that by the early 2000s, the original building could no longer contain the number of people staying for for fellowship meals or coming for events such as vacation Bible school.
The congregation explored the possibility of expanding the building but grew concerned when initial construction plans approached $1 million. Unwilling to incur such debt, the church placed the plans aside.
In 2009, God began to work through an anonymous donor to meet the church's growing needs. New plans, this time for a building that has a unique poured-concrete construction, required similar costs to the original extension concept. When the contract grew by an additional $800,000 the donor generously agreed to cover the costs.
Construction crews broke ground in fall 2010. Through a wet and snowy winter, the extension took shape with its 3,000 square-foot fellowship hall and two-floor office and classroom building. By late spring 2011, the congregation pitched in to clean and landscape the new facilities. Members also contributed money to furnish the building and to replace the playground (built as an Eagle Scout project).
Thanks to God’s rich blessing the doors to the extension opened debt-free. The church prays that God would bestow vision, wisdom, and zeal for wise and gracious ways to use the expanded physical capacity to promote the kingdom and blessings of the Lord Jesus.