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601 N. Vermont St. Arlington, VA 22203

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FirstRoots logo WEBFirst Roots Expansion: A Fourth Year of Giving

Thanks to the generous pledges so many made in November of 2013 to support the First Roots capital campaign, we’ve improved our church building. Your stewardship has made the church safer, more comfortable, and more welcoming.

But we are not done yet! We want to invite you into a fourth year of giving for First Roots so we can complete the expanded vision that you as the congregation encouraged.

As you may know, the congregation itself challenged the First Roots team to not just complete individual tasks, but to develop a comprehensive vision for the use of our building.

We listened!

Today, we have a long-term Master Plan for our building, developed by our professional architect. This Plan was built on the feedback that you and others provided through focus groups, written surveys, and congregational meetings. Specifically, you asked us to:

  • pay attention to “green,” energy efficient building practices,
  • build things to be disability-accessible and code compliant,
  • renovate to be attractive and welcoming, and
  • respect the integrity and history of our beautiful building.

From this, our architect developed a first-phase construction plan to address our most pressing needs, which correspond with the final important pieces still on the First Roots to-do list.

This includes updated, clean, and user-friendly restrooms; creating a gathering space that eliminates the “Sunday morning traffic jam;” and a new kitchenette designed to meet the many needs of our church including communion and flower preparation, reception staging, and coffee hour hosting, in addition to daily food needs of staff and user groups. We’ve enclosed a diagram to help you imagine it.

As you can see in the attached handout, finishing out the First Roots projects and achieving this first phase of a long-term Master Plan will cost $468,000. With just over $200,000 in additional pledges, we can begin construction.

Rather than incur debt to complete this project, the Session authorized the First Roots Enhancement Team to conduct an additional year of fund-raising to provide the balance needed to begin construction. Happily, you’ve already given more than $250,000 toward this expansion through the initial First Roots campaign.

Happier still, more than $100,000 in new pledges has already been made through the generosity of a small number of your fellow congregants making advance gifts.

Now we invite you and the rest of the congregation to join together in helping us reach our goal of $225,000 in new pledges for this effort. Our aim is to begin construction in the fall of 2017. To do so, we need an additional $125,000 in pledged commitments.  We hope you will join us.


What is First Roots? (click here to download the brochure) 

At its core, First Roots is a capital campaign, a three-year fund raising effort with the goal of raising $500,000 for enhancements and needed repairs to the church building and expanded mission opportunities. All of these things, we strongly believe, will serve as a foundation for continued growth and a deeper connection to the work of the Lord.

But why should we raise more funds beyond those generously offered in our annual stewardship campaign? Because for our congregation to achieve the things we know we can achieve, we must do more than maintain the status quo.

Thankfully, our church has a long, strong tradition of stepping forward as we must now over the course of our church’s 141-year history. That includes the months following our in-home foundation in 1872, when members made and sold articles of clothing and held several festivals to raise funds for the first church at the northwest corner of Wilson Boulevard and Glebe Road.

Indeed, throughout last century the congregation undertook numerous, successful capital fund drives, including one in 1986 for the renovation of the current church’s steeple and other repairs to the current building. Another campaign in 1991 resulted in the elevator, providing handicap accessibility, plus renovations of the sanctuary and social hall and support of denominational missions. That wisdom of taking care of ourselves in order to take care of others persists today.

Now it is our turn, each one of us, to follow in the footsteps of past generations and do our part for the future. The campaign is only beginning, and you will hear much more in months to come.  

We are in the Lord’s hands, but the success of this church has always also been in your hands. You have much to be proud about, no matter the work that remains to be done. We thank you, and we look forward to celebrating with you.

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Children's and Youth Ministry

Take a few moments to check out a PHOTO SLIDESHOW of the Summer 2014 Youth and Middle School Mission Trip. Five middle and high school girls were ready for a mission adventure. The experience depended their faith, broadened their perspective as compared to their own lives, opened their hearts and the girls were inspired by volunteers that were committed to making a difference.

At First Church, we partner with families to guide and nurture children and youth, providing plenty of ways to encourage kids to know and follow Jesus Christ and be faithful members of his church. Learn how we approach spiritual development of children and youth at Children's Ministry and Youth Ministry.