OUR CHURCH HISTORY
In April 1998, during the 48th session of the Washington Annual Conference, the Reverend Dr. Byron J. Grayson, Sr. had a God-inspired vision to establish a church in the Germantown, Maryland area. He shared the vision with his then-Pastor, the Reverend Dr. Henry Y. White and the Reverend Goodwin Douglas, Presiding Elder of the Capital District. Upon the recommendation of Elder Douglas, Bishop Vinton Randolph Anderson, Presiding Prelate of the Second Episcopal District, granted approval to conduct research and plant an A.M.E. church in the Germantown area. After several preliminary discussions, a meeting was held on June 3, 1998 with Reverend and Mrs. Grayson and several persons from both St. Paul A.M.E. Church, Washington, DC and Union Bethel A.M.E. Church, Brandywine, MD. At that meeting, the church’s motto was chosen: “The Family Church for all People, Where Jesus is Lord.” For the next several weeks persons met at the Grayson home for prayer, praise and Bible Study.
On Sunday, July 26, 1998, St. Jude African Methodist Episcopal Church held its initial worship service at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School. This service was attended by many family members and friends.
The St. Jude founding members were: Reverend Dr. Byron J. Grayson, Sr. (Founding Pastor); Sister Jennifer Grayson; Sister Barbara L. Beccles, Esquire; Brother Byron J. Grayson, Jr.; Sister Karon Hammett; Brother Kevin Hammett; Brother Elton Harrison; Sister Yvonne Chaney Harrison; Sister Joyce Perry; and Brother Thomas Perry.
On Sunday, November 1, 1998, St. Jude African Methodist Episcopal Church held its Opening Worship Service at 4:00 p.m. at the Fox Chapel Elementary School. Presiding Elder Goodwin Douglas was the Worship Leader and Reverend Grayson delivered the preached word. Also participating in the service were a number of clergy from the Washington Conference and beyond, including Presiding Elder George Manning (then Presiding Elder of the Potomac District) and the Reverend Constance Wheeler Evans (then Pastor of St. Paul A.M.E. Church, Washington, DC). The combined choirs of St. Paul rendered the music and the ushers from St. Paul stood as the doorkeepers. There were over 200 ministers, family members and friends in attendance.
Several programs were initiated that first year, including the Men’s Thanksgiving Day Prayer Breakfast, Love Feast, Annual Community Christmas Program and Vacation Bible School. The Senior Choir was also formed, and rehearsals were held at the Graysons’ home.
In January 2004, with the Lord guiding the dedicated work of the Trustees, St. Jude was blessed to purchase a house and two acres of property in Germantown, Maryland. The “Brink Road” Administrative location provides space for the Pastor’s Office and administrative storage. It has also been used for Bible Study, church meetings, rehearsals, church and community cookouts, various church activities and worship services. In 2005 the Men’s Fellowship Ministry (now known as the Mighty Men of St. Jude) and Men’s Choir (now the King’s Men) were formed. During this time period the Church also purchased a 14-passenger van and began a ministry of transporting members and visitors to/from worship services.
In 2008 the St. Jude Community Development Corporation, Inc. (St. Jude CDC), was established. This 501(c)(3), non-profit organization operates under the theme “Bridging Resources for our Communities, Step by Step.” Its mission is to build and strengthen partnerships with local businesses and school districts to foster a commitment to help the community.
The St. Jude CDC held its first annual 2-mile Walk-A-Thon for Positive Steps for Domestic Violence Prevention in 2015. This successful event raised over $8,000, from which a $5,000 donation was made to the Interfaith Works Women’s Center (Wilkins Avenue Women’s Assessment Center). The Reverend Dr. Byron J. Grayson, Sr. served as Pastor from 1998 – 2012.
In June 2012, Bishop Adam J. Richardson, Jr. appointed the Reverend Dededrick O. Rivers as the Pastor of St. Jude. Under his leadership, St. Jude expanded its music ministry by employing new musicians and establishing new choirs. Additionally, Reverend Rivers was instrumental in successfully renegotiating the mortgage on the Brink Road property. The Reverend Dededrick O. Rivers served as Pastor from 2012 – 2015.
In July 2015, Bishop William P. DeVeaux, Sr. appointed the Reverend Anna E. Mosby as the Pastor of St. Jude. History was made as she is the first woman to lead St. Jude. Under her leadership the church has embraced the theme “Moving the Church from Visualization to Manifestation,” based on the foundational scripture, Habakkuk 2:2-3. She has established several new ministries, including the Security Ministry, God’s Temple Health Ministry, Young Adult Ministry, Children’s Church, Men’s Bible Study, Liturgical Dance Ministry, Intercessory Prayer Ministry, St. Jude Chorale, and Expansion and Relocation Ministry.
In October 2015, the St. Jude CDC was invited by My Sisters Place to participate in the Clothesline Project. The international Clothesline Project is brings increased awareness of the impact of violence against women, celebrates a woman’s strength to survive and provides another avenue for her to courageously break the silence that often surrounds her experience. T-shirts are decorated by survivors of domestic abuse and publicly displayed as a powerful witness. The event was held at Freedom Plaza in Washington DC.
In April 2016, the St. Jude CDC sponsored a benefit concert featuring two-time Emmy award winner and concert violinist Damien Escobar. The concert was held in Cramton Auditorium on the campus of Howard University to raise both funds and awareness for a youth mentoring program for middle and high school students. In addition to Mr. Escobar, the Northeast School of the Performing Arts Group and local other local talent performed.
In July 2016, the CDC partnered with the St. Jude AME Church Missionary Society and Interfaith Works Distribution Center in a Back to School Backpacks drive for children in need. Through their combined efforts, over 900 school supply items were donated to help many students
|Capital Campaign Ministry||Christian Education Ministry|
|Church School Ministry||Expansion and Relocation Ministry|
|Golden Years Seniors Ministry||God’s Temple Health Ministry|
|The King’s Men Choir||Lay Organization|
|The Purpose Liturgical Dance Ministry||Married Couples Ministry|
|Media Ministry||Mighty Men of St. Jude Ministry|
|Music Ministry||Security Ministry|
|St. Jude Chorale||Usher Board Ministry|
|Women’s Missionary Society||Women’s Ministry|
|Young Adult Ministry||Youth Ministry|
We are grateful to God for the continued growth of the St. Jude church family, both spiritually and numerically. As we look back over the past years, we can truly see how God has blessed and guided this branch of Zion. We look forward with anticipation and walk by faith as God orders our steps and guides our path. We remain committed to spreading the Gospel message in the Germantown community and beyond.
Reverend Dr. Byron J. Grayson, Sr. (1998 – 2012)
Reverend Dededrick O. Rivers (2012 – 2015)
Reverend Anna E. Mosby (2015 – Present)
TO GOD BE THE GLORY
FOR THE GREAT THINGS GOD CONTINUES TO DO!