Geneva’s History

  • 1958 – Land Purchased. National Capital Presbytery, then known as Washington City Presbytery, purchased what was to become Geneva Presbyterian Church: a small house on 6.5 acres of farm and orchard land along then-unpaved Seven Locks Road.
  • September 7, 1963 – First Worship Service Held. Geneva’s first service was held in the basement recreation room of the small house on Seven Locks Road. Reverend William A. Gibson, Geneva’s first pastor, led the service, and seven adults (including Rev. and Mrs. Gibson) and nine children attended.
  • May of 1964 – Geneva Chartered. The church was formally organized, with 73 charter members. Services and dinners soon had to be held in neighboring schools as the congregation outgrew the little house.
  • 1965 – First Chapel Built. A white country chapel was added to the little house; but it, too, was soon outgrown. When a new sanctuary was built in 1970, the interior of the little chapel was preserved and today serves as our “Founder’s Room.” Founding member Bill Strain, using wood from one of our pews, which originally came from The New York Avenue Presbyterian Church (the church attended by Abraham Lincoln), constructed the Celtic cross that’s now a focal point in the Founders Room.
  • 1965 – Geneva Day School. Geneva initiated its pre-school education program as an outreach to the community-at-large. Originally in operation for just two days a week and staffed in part by the Geneva women’s association, today Geneva Day School operates daily with an enrollment of 250 children, and a professional staff of 31. It is state accredited with a firmly established reputation for excellence.
  • May 1970 – A New Sanctuary. A beautiful new 250-seat sanctuary was added. A large, overhead, stained-glass “lantern” gave Geneva a signature glow inside and out. Beneath the sanctuary, a full basement with a kitchen was added that accommodated the needs of the Geneva Day School as well as social activities of the church.
  • 1991 – Expansion. The church building was enlarged again, adding a choir room upstairs, and offices and classroom space for the growing number of students in the Geneva Day School.
  • 2007 – Renovations. The sanctuary was renovated, replacing the then 37-year-old and weakened glass lantern with a solid roof, and adding a stage curtain, an improved sound system, and new carpet and upholstery. Geneva Presbyterian Church Today – With strong and effective Christian ministry, guided by Reverend Anne Benefield, Geneva now serves 153 active members. Along with talented and dedicated Music Director John Widmann and other leaders of the church, Reverend Anne is committed to growing and meeting the contemporary spiritual needs of our changing community and diverse membership while keeping the traditions of the church alive.