Who We Are
The people of The United Methodist Church are part of the second largest Protestant denomination in the United States. Our worldwide membership is approximately 12 million. The United Methodist Church was formed when the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church merged in 1968. But we trace our heritage back to the movement begun in 1729 in England by John and Charles Wesley. Learn more about the history of the United Methodist Church.
Today, Fairhaven United Methodist Church is an active and diverse congregation, but our journey began in the 1960s with 3 small Methodist churches located within 5 miles of each other in the rural Quince Orchard area of Gaithersburg. In 1965, McDonald Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church, a white Southern church, and Hunting Hill Methodist Church, a white Northern church, which had previously been on the same charge, merged and became Fairhaven United Methodist Church. The possibility of merging the two white churches and Pleasant View Methodist Episcopal Church, a black church, was mentioned as early as 1960. However, it wasn’t until 1968 that the unification of Fairhaven and Pleasant View became a reality and the memberships of most of the Pleasant View congregation transferred to Fairhaven.
The name Fairhaven, refers to Paul’s stopping at the port of Fair Havens (Acts 27:8-19) for repairs to his boat before continuing on to Rome with the Good News of Jesus Christ. It was suggested as the new church’s name by Reverend Kenneth Carder, the pastor in 1965, and chosen by congregational vote. Because none of the three churches had enough land on which to build a new, larger building, the present site was purchased in 1968. In 1970 the original building was dedicated. A new education wing, with the current kitchen and fellowship hall, was added in 1990.
Looking toward the future, Fairhaven continues to minister to a community that is rapidly expanding and changing. We have been nurtured by and have drawn strength from the diversity of the worship traditions of our members. Fairhaven United Methodist Church strives to be an inclusive church, welcoming everyone into our fellowship as followers of Jesus Christ.
As we continue to grow, as a community of faith and as witnesses to God’s love in the world, we look to a bright future of caring, sharing, and serving the Lord!
The United Methodist Church has an Emblem 1, The Cross and Flame is a registered trademark and the use is supervised by the General Council on Finance and Administration of The United Methodist Church. Permission to use the Cross and Flame must be obtained from the General Council on Finance and Administration of The United Methodist Church], known informally as the cross and flame logo but formally known as the denomination’s insignia. It has been in use nearly three decades. The insignia is a cross linked with a dual flame. This symbol relates our church to God by way of the second and third persons of the Trinity; the Christ (cross) and the Holy Spirit (flame). Apart from Wesleyan Trinitarian theology and warmth, the flame has two other connotations. The flame suggests Pentecost when witnesses saw “tongues as of fire.” And the duality of the flame was meant to represent the merger in 1968 of two denominations mentioned above, The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church.
1. The Cross and Flame is a registered trademark and the use is supervised by the General Council on Finance and Administration of The United Methodist Church. Permission to use the Cross and Flame must be obtained from the General Council on Finance and Administration of The United Methodist Church
Fairhaven’s Mosaic – Our Symbol of Unity
The beautiful mosaic in Fairhaven’s narthex, crafted by local artist Marilyn Hahn in 1980, depicts the three Methodist churches which merged to become Fairhaven United Methodist Church. McDonald Chapel (top) and Hunting Hill (lower left) voted to combine their congregations in 1965. In 1968, the new Fairhaven church was joined by Pleasant View (lower right).
In the mosaic, the central church is enclosed in a golden colored glass circle, which represents the eternal majesty of God. The circle shape used throughout the mosaic meant to the artist that the church of God is eternal and that the Koinonia of churches – the Christian spirit of community – is everlasting, no matter what kind of building is used.
The anchor cross at the bottom of the mosaic is said to be the oldest form, used by early Christians as a secret symbol in the time of their persecution. The anchor represents hope (Hebrews 6:19, where Paul speaks of hope as “an anchor of the soul”). In this mosaic, the anchor is a traditional blue. Blue stands for heavenly love and the unveiling of truth. To the artist, this represents the beginning of the Koinonia. The United Methodist emblem consisting of the cross and the flame is at the upper left corner. At the upper right, an orb represents the world, and the cross resting upon it denotes world Christianity. This signifies that Fairhaven is part of the world community of Christianity. The mosaic itself is 8′ x 6′ 8″ and is made of beach stones, glass mosaic tile, and stained glass, which are embedded, rather than grounded, to give texture to the surface.
True to the symbolism of the mosaic, looking toward the future, Fairhaven continues to minister to a community that is rapidly expanding and changing. The diversity of worship traditions of our members nurtures and strengthens us. Fairhaven United Methodist Church strives to be an inclusive church, welcoming everyone into our fellowship as followers of Jesus Christ.