Early in August 1966, an impressive-looking young man knocked on many doors
in the Pisgah area and announced, “I am Reverend Bill Langham. I have been
sent here by the Dayton District of the Ohio Methodist Conference to establish a
Methodist church in Pisgah. A parsonage has been purchased at the corner of
Nieda Drive and Meadowview. Six and one-quarter acres of land have been
purchased on Cox Road for a building site. Our assigned job is to develop a
congregation and build a church.” 1
Thus began what is now Faith Community United Methodist Church. It has
been said that it was “truly a spiritual experience to watch that group of Christian
people join together in their struggle to build some kind of a church program. We
were dealing with the very basic necessities of existence – like finding a few
hymnals, paying the rent at Hopewell School [where services were first held],
using paper plates for collection plates. Times were very trying and touch
and go.” 1
The first church service was held in the Hopewell School on August 21, 1966.
There were 64 people in the service and 13 in the nursery. The church got its
official name of Faith Community United Methodist Church on September 6, 1966.
Thirty-five people were brought into the church, becoming charter members on
September 25, 1966.
1967 was a time of working on membership and church programs, and planning
for the future. A vote was taken, but the small congregation of 100 did not seem
ready to build quite yet. There was more work to be done, and the congregation
worked at developing many critical needs: a statement of proposed ministry;
membership and financial goals; plans for a multi-purpose building; and creating
officers and committees.
On a Sunday morning in 1969, the new building was ready (shown at left). As the
story goes, “We marched from the Hopewell School to the open door of our new
church, singing ‘O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing’ and praising God.” The small
but loyal and hardworking congregation was a testimonial to the scripture that
says, “I was glad when they said to me, let us go into the house of the Lord.”
(Psalm 122:1) 1
Since then, Faith Community has grown tremendously. Several building projects
have happened along the way, including construction of our current sanctuary in
1989 (shown at right). Several senior pastors -- Rodney Vernon, Stanley Lawrence,
Roland Fierce, and David Bridgman -- have served our congregation.
In addition to building projects and increasing our membership, Faith Community
has also grown in the types of worship offered to our congregation. In the
mid-nineties, Faith Community offered only traditional-style worship. Then in 1995,
church leaders took the bold step to expand our worship opportunities so that
more people, and new people, could connect to God.
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For one year the church studied and prayed and practiced a new style of worship
called “contemporary.” Then in 1996, Faith offered our first contemporary worship
service. From that faithful beginning, Faith Community church has been known as
a place that honors the rich variety of worship in what we call traditional and
Dual worship venues have been very successful at Faith Community. By 2000,
the church was growing at double-digit rates. At that time, a decision was made
for Faith Community to become a multi-site church. According to Pastor David,
Faith wanted to maintain an intimate, small church feel instead of expanding
even further on our existing site. So in 2007, the church leaders decided to
expand by launching Water’s Edge extension campus. Water’s Edge now
averages 200 adults and children each week in their worship services held at
the Montessori Academy of Cincinnati in Mason.
Now, 44 years after the launch at Hopewell School, Faith Community has a
membership of over 1,000, and is actively changing lives through numerous
growth opportunities, small groups, dynamic children’s and youth programs,
an impressive music program and an active mission plan serving locally,
nationally and internationally. We are truly in the business of changing one
life at a time as we fulfill our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ.
1 From “Some Early Days of the Faith Community United Methodist Church,”
by D. Russell Lee.