GET CONNECTED with our CHURCH FAMILY … responding to human need

The history of the little frame church on the corner of Great Falls Street and Chain Bridge Road began with a simple bequest from the will of Elizabeth Jones in 1822. She was the sister of Commodore Thomas ap Catesby Jones, generally credited with the founding of the church. As a young lady, Elizabeth attended informal services at the home of Rev. William Maffitt but was frustrated by all the talk about a church and no action.

When Elizabeth died, the founding wheels began to turn in earnest. Her brother, Thomas, and her aunt, Martha Corbin Ball were determined to see her wishes fulfilled.


1846 - The Beginning

On October 17, 1846, Lewinsville Presbyterian Church was officially established by the Presbytery of Winchester. On January 3, 1847, with seventeen members attending, the official dedication of the church took place. A manse, stable and small schoolhouse soon followed. Rev. Levi H. Christian was called to be the first pastor and agreed to preach for $200 per year.

During the Civil War, the church was occupied for Union troops assigned to protect the Capital. All structures on the property suffered severe damage during the war. But the church was forced to wait until 1903 for the US Court of Claims to approve reparations for the damage. With $1760 received in payment from the government, the church installed electricity and made other desperately needed repairs.


The newly renovated building remained in use from 1908 until 1956 when a new sanctuary was erected. In 1961, an education building, Heritage Hall, was added, and remains in use today. In 1989, construction began on an expansion of the 1956 sanctuary. It was the most ambitious capital project undertaken by the church. In addition to an expanded sanctuary, construction included a new narthex, music facility, and administrative offices to accommodate an expanding program staff.

Lewinsville’s ministry has grown in many ways, including the sponsorship of Lewinsville Retirement Residence, adjacent to church property, and sponsorship of Chesterbook Residences, an assisted living facility on Westmoreland Street, McLean.

Messy Church

Into the Future

Lewinsville “seeded” five other churches through the years:  Vienna Presbyterian in 1871, Falls Church Presbyterian in 1873, and First Presbyterian of Arlington in 1874.  Immanuel Presbyterian and Chesterbrook Presbyterian were established by Lewinsville members in the mid-20th century.

And there is much more to learn. Church history is revealed more fully in Pilgrims and Pioneers Always, a recently completed update of Lewinsville’s history, available from the church office.

Since 1846, the Lewinsville congregation has borne witness to the good news in Jesus Christ at the corner of Chain Bridge and Great Falls. The church welcomes visitors who are searching for a home where they will be encouraged to nurture their faith, and share it with others in a ministry that reaches worldwide

Pilgrims and Pioneers Always

by B. Roland McElroy

Lewinsville's updated history book (prepared in 2013),
is available from the church office during business hours.
One per church family is free; additional copies available for $10 each.


Watch a 24 minute video about the History of Lewinsville

Permission to broadcast the music in this video obtained from OneLicense with License #A-708462

Pastoral record

1812-1828 – William Maffitt (served before church was organized)
1846-1848 – L.H. Christian
1848-1852 – F.N. Whaley (Licentiate)
1852-1857 – B.F. Bittinger
1857-1859 – C.B. McKee
1859-1861 – E.B. Smith
1862 (July) – C.B. McKee (Visiting Preacher)
1865 – A.L. Taylor (Visiting Preacher)
1865 – Henry Snyder (Visiting Preacher)
1866-1870 – H.P. Dechert (Stated Supply)
1871-1873 – David Hoge Riddle, Jr. (Pastor)
1873-1875 – John Brown (Pastor)
1875-1876 – Jeremiah Odell (Stated Supply)
1876-1880 – Samuel Murdock (Stated Supply)
1880-1881 – Edwards H. Cumpston (Stated Supply)
1881-1884 – Harrison Clarke (Pastor)
1885-1886 – Joseph E. Nourse (Stated Supply)
1886-1895 –  William H. Edwards (Pastor)
1896-1897 – French W. Fisher (Pastor)
1897-1900 – David W. Montgomery (Pastor)
1901-1903 – French W. Fisher (Pastor)

1904-1907 – Edward H. Bronson (Pastor)
1907-1912 – Nelson H. Miller (Stated Supply)
1912-1918 – James W. Nourse (Stated Supply)
1919-1923 – William R. McElroy (Pastor)
1923-1939 – James Harvey Dunham (Stated Supply)
1940-1947 – Franklin B. Gillespie (Pastor)
1948-1953 – James F. Lundquist (Pastor)
1954-1957 – Howard Newman  (Pastor)
1957-1969 – John Graham (Pastor)
1962-1965 – Walter H. Boyd (Assistant Pastor)
1965-1968 – John Graham Stevens (Assistant Pastor)
1968-1978 – Gary G. Pinder (Associate Pastor)
1971-1977 – William J. Tatum (Pastor)
1978-1985 – Gary G. Pinder (Co-Pastor)
1979-1985 – John Smith (Co-Pastor)
1986-2005 – Gary G. Pinder (Senior Pastor/Head of Staff)
1987-1995 – Tad Wicker (Associate Pastor)
2002-2018 – Emily Berman D’Andrea (Associate Pastor)
2008-2015 – Deborah A. McKinley (Senior Pastor/Head of Staff)
2015-present –  Scott Ramsey (Senior Pastor/Head of Staff)
2021-present – Layne Brubaker (Associate Pastor)