About Us - Our History

Our History

In the 1960’s and early 1970's, some believers throughout the United States began to seek the deeper truth in the Bible concerning God's plan, or "economy" and the church-life as it is revealed in the Bible. Many desired to meet in a manner that was according to the oneness that was revealed through the speaking of the Lord Jesus in John Chapter 17. This was to meet outside the denominational system, even outside the so-called "free groups" of the time. They slowly began to meet in various cities throughout the US, as the church in that city, based upon the pattern revealed throughout many passages of the New Testament Scripture.

Some were introduced to the ministry of Watchman Nee, reading his most famous work: "The Normal Christian Life," and other works. This and other groundbreaking writings from this servant of the Lord drew them also to the speaking and writings of Watchman Nee's closest co-worker, Witness Lee. Witness Lee had come to the United States in the early 60's and was now continuing to minister in Los Angeles, CA, throughout the States and throughout the world. These hungry and seeking believers enjoyed the ministry of this brother. In time, as books of Brother Nee and Brother Lee became available, they read and entered into the speaking from this ministry. These believers gained a deep appreciation for the many aspects opened to them: their Human spirit, the All-Inclusive Christ, the Indwelling Spirit, and the rich church-life, as typified by the Good Land.

Through many regional and national conferences, (as well as semi-annual trainings, in which a particular book of the Bible or aspect of the truth was covered, they began to see and experience not only an individual walk with the Lord, but the sense of the Body life. Later, in the mid-1970's, there were some that felt to pray for the Lord's Move throughout the United States. Seeking God's will, some determined to move (or migrate) to the East Coast, to Washington, DC and Baltimore, Maryland areas from other parts of the country. Although they were leaving homes, dropping jobs and leaving much behind, they agreed it was the Lord's calling to them to build up the Body in this way.

A number of this group migrated to Baltimore, to meet in that city. Another group of these newly-gathered ones began to meet as the church in Washington, DC, enjoying living in close proximity to one another and to their meeting place. Each week, the believers gathered several times throughout the week, to enjoy singing, praising, and caring for the practical needs of the church. In these early days of the church-life, the top enjoyment came as they learned to function in their human spirit: calling on the name of the Lord, sharing one by one the speaking of the Word from that week's readings, and speaking forth their portion of Christ in the meetings, according to the Bible truths revealed in the ministry. Gatherings were most spontaneous and filled with many shouts of "Hallelujah!" and "Praise the Lord!" New ones were drawn to this atmosphere filled with such mutuality of so many voices lifted to the Lord.

In time, this small group of believers increased in number, as many new ones were added through those moving to the area, the preaching of the gospel, the bearing of fruit in life, and the shepherding and nurturing. This shepherding take place in one on one fellowship, in the various meetings of the church and in informal gatherings in one another's homes for meals. About a year later, a number of the saints meeting in the city of Baltimore combined with those meeting in Washington, DC to strengthen that number, and the church-life flourished further.

In mid-to-late 1984, following much fellowship and prayer, there was a definite leading from the Lord to locate or build a suitable meeting hall, in an area conducive to growth. The fellowship from one brother was that the church "should go where the water is flowing." While several areas and many parts of the city itself were under examination, the Lord led the brothers to seek out a parcel of land in a neighboring area, close to the growing region of Virginia's Fairfax County, near Tyson's Corner, Va. On this parcel was later built the meeting hall for the church in Dunn Loring.

In the mid-1980’s, through fellowship with the brothers, those believers that were burdened for the young, college age students began to meet on various campuses throughout the DC area, including Georgetown University, and later, the University of Maryland at College Park (UMCP). A primary goal was preaching of the gospel to these students, some of whom were international students, studying abroad. Under the Lord’s blessing, the small Bible study and gospel preaching meetings were soon growing.

As they fellowshipped with the Lord and began to pray about the Lord's moving on the college campus in College Park, Maryland, it seemed to them that the Lord was leading the believers would begin meeting together, initially as a district of the church in Dunn Loring. This eventually took place in 1990 or so when approximately 15 to 20 members of the church began to meet on the campus at College Park.

Those gathered can recall the joy of meeting as one on this campus, loving the Lord and singing hymns of praise to Him. While meeting in a simple way, in a small room, with not many in number, they nonetheless enjoyed a real blessing from the Lord. Some of this number were students who had recently received the Lord and had started to meet together during the earlier meetings. Some of the others were believers living in the proximity of the campus.

Then in the latter part of that year, more believers from the region began to meet together, as the Lord led them to begin renting a local elementary school (Hollywood Elementary School) for several hours per week on each Lord's Day. Outgrowing the first facility, the believers later met in a larger elementary school (Beltsville Academic Center or Elementary School) for several years. This was followed by a few years of renting meeting space in a commercial area of Beltsville.

From 1991 to 1999 the number of believers meeting as the church in College Park grew to average about 60-80. New believers were being added and existing believers were migrating to other local churches. In August 1999, initial work began on the clearing of the land that was purchased. During the construction period, the number meeting began to steadily increase.

Following its completion in May 2002, the number increased again, to an average of over 160. We attribute the Lord’s blessing to the practice of four key principles in the Bible which we were helped to see more clearly through Witness Lee’s ministry. A Christian living and church life according to these four principles practically and organically builds up the Body of Christ:

Begetting—to bear fruit (John 15:4-5, 16)
We abide in Christ and “go forth and bear fruit.” To ‘go forth’ means to go to visit people to share Christ with them.

Nourishing—for the fruit to remain (John 15:16)
We meet in homes to spiritually feed and cherish newly saved believers.

Perfecting—to equip the believers (Ephesians 4:12)
We meet in small vital groups for fellowship, prayer, mutual care, and teaching the truth.

Building or Prophesying—to build the church (I Corinthians 14:4-5, 12, 26)
In our large meetings we practice "prophesying," that is, speaking for Christ and ministering Christ to one another.

Because the number of Korean-speaking members has also grown, they began in 2001-2002 to have their own prophesying meeting on the Lord’s Day morning. However, English-speaking, Korean-speaking, and Chinese-speaking believers all meet together for the Lord’s table meeting (as shown in I Corinthians 11:23-25; 10:21).

We are thankful to the Lord for His continued presence and blessing among us. “To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all the generations forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:21)