Our History

The Midland Church of the Brethren has an interesting story. 

Begun in 1883

The Midland Church of the Brethren was begun in 1883 by Church 0f the Brethren (German Baptist) farmers migrating to Fauquier County (mostly from the Shenandoah Valley). The majority of these left the Shenandoah Valley in Rockingham County, Virginia, to find a less populated area suitable for farming or to join friends and relatives who were moving.  

For example, Joel Garber, a member of the Church from Rockingham County, settled in 1881 near Midland.  He was impressed by the agricultural possibilities of the area, and wrote back to his friends in Rockingham County urging them to join him.  The Church grew rapidly both from continuing migration and from an evangelical witness firmly rooted in the pietist and anabaptist traditions.

Midland was the  first of the new Brethren congregations in Northern Virginia.  Midland gave birth to a string of congregations that spread first to Nokesville, then on to Manassas and then to Oakton and Dranesville and to Hollywood (near Fredericksburg). 
 
Because of the large numbers of Brethren families in southern Fauquier and southwestern Prince William Counties, the Brethren opened up a new mission field in Fauquier County and it seemed desirable to organize a church.  Therefore, on June 2, 1883, Elders Isaac Long, Samuel Shaver, Daniel Baker, Solomon Garber, Samuel Kline, and Daniel Miller came to Midland from the Second Virginia District to assist in forming a congregation.  Their first meeting was held in the public school house, which stood on Route 602 about a mile from the present church.  The first baptisms took place in a nearby creek on that same date. 
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The Original 1883 Church Building from a 75th Anniversary Plate

A meeting hall was constructed and used for the first time on November 19, 1883.  There were forty charter members.

Today, the Midland congregation still worships in the original sanctuary, albeit now encased in brick and slightly expanded with two additions.

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The Original Portion of the Church Building as it Appears Today.

A cemetery to the left of the church sanctuary features both old markers made from simple fieldstone and new headstones with brass inserts and polished black or burgundy granite.

 With a Tradition of Expansion

 

According to a history of the Midland Church written by Donald Tharpe in 1998, a formal dividing line was established in 1901 at the Rappahannock County line, whereby Linville was responsible for all church planting west and Midland was responsible for all church planting east in the counties of Madison, Orange, Culpeper, King William, Prince William, Fauquier, and Washington City. 

 

Within 15 years, no fewer than 13 new congregations and meeting houses were planted including the areas of Warrenton, Saint Stephens, Nokesville, Auburn, Manassas, Broad Run, Buckhall, Orange, Kellyville, Hickory Grove, Trevillion, and Washington City.  Between 1906 and 1924 meeting houses were also opened in Culpeper, Hazel River, and Mt. Hermon

Mr. Tharpe wrote, “The Holy Spirit had fallen upon the Midland congregation, the elders of which were evangelizing the news of the Kingdom of God, baptizing for the remission of sins, while “laying on of hands” in the ritual to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  The sleepy little village of Midland, so named due to its location at the midpoint of the 100 mile railroad from Alexandria to Orange, was making a place in renewal history by the turn of the century.” 

The population of Midland numbered only 125 in 1897 but Brethren attending Midland in 1897 numbered 178. By 1998 the total membership at Midland Church of the Brethren had exceeded 200 but the church had also mothered other congregations in the area such as Manassas and Nokesville. These have each grown to be larger than their parent church.

Midland Christian Academy

Beginning as the "Hearts and Hands Pre-School" in 1986, Midland Christian Academy is a primary local outreach of the Midland Church of the Brethren. 

High academic standards are emphasized but Christ-like values are even more important to us.

The school serves children preschool through elementary school.

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Adminstration offices are located in a quaint fieldstone house.  Classes are held there, in a "modular" classroom building, and in the main Church building.

Additional acreage allows for future planning to add additional structures to better serve the children God sends into our care.