Where was the press? The new $23 million Falls Church Anglican sanctuary gets zero coverage

“Near the end of 2006, I was working on one of my biggest stories of the year: The mass exodus of 11 Episcopal churches from the Diocese of Virginia, the nation’s largest Episcopal diocese.

It was a huge story and it wasn’t completely certain that on that sunny, cold Sunday if all the theologically conservative churches in northern Virginia would decide to leave en mass.

They did and this created headlines for weeks after that. The largest church that left was The Falls Church Episcopal (TFCE), a large complex worth about $24.7 million with its new-ish sanctuary, a historic chapel and cemetery on 5.5 acres right in the middle of the city named after it (and only a few blocks from where I lived). Built in 1734, its vestry included George Washington, who was elected in 1763.

Members voted 1,228 to 127 to leave, which doesn’t reflect the fact that some 2,000 people regularly attended there. …”

– At Get Religion, long-time religion reporter Julia Duin gives some context to last month’s opening of the Falls Church Anglican building.

Photo: Falls Church Anglican.

Falls Church Anglican opens new church home

Long-time readers will remember the saga of Falls Church Anglican in the suburb of Falls Church, Virginia, just outside Washington.

After leaving the Episcopal Church of the USA (TEC) over that denomination’s rejection of the Bible’s teaching on human sexuality, in 2012 they lost their historic building and grounds.

Today, after much work, and with great thanksgiving to God, their new church building is being consecrated to be a centre of gospel ministry.


The Costly Faithfulness of The Falls ChurchThe Gospel Coalition, May 2012.

“The Falls Church is one of hundreds of congregations across the country that have given up their buildings rather than stay affiliated with a branch of their church they believe denies the final authority of Scripture. …”

Stories of sacrifice from the USA – GAFCON, May 2017.

“Despite the split, [the Rector, John] Yates II and his bishop almost reached an agreement in which The Falls Church Anglican could keep their property and continue in gospel centred mission. However, disaster struck when newly elected presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori directed TEC to adopt an aggressive stance with ‘rebel’ congregations.

The deal was off, and as with The Good Shepherd, a long and costly legal battle ensued. The outcome was seemingly disastrous. Everything was lost, the prayer books, the sound equipment, and the $2.8 million in cash that members had donated to church accounts specifically designated not to go to the Episcopal Church. They were also forced to vacate their colonial building and the Yates’ lost their rectory. It was all gone.

What happened next? Well, their response can be summed up in two words – church planting. …”

Related posts.

Photo: Falls Church Anglican.

Falls Church Anglican seeks new home

john-yates-ii“The Falls Church Anglican, the large congregation of defectors from the Episcopal Church denomination who occupied but was eventually forced by the courts to vacate the historic Falls Church site on S. Washington St., has bought a new five-acre location… within a mile of its former site in Fairfax County…”

The Falls Church New-Press reports on Fall Church Anglican’s purchase of a new property. (The report is not terribly sympathetic.)

For background, see The costly faithfulness of the Falls Church. from May 2012.

(Photo of Rector, John Yates II from a video from Falls Church Anglican.)

Same-Sex Blessings arrive at Falls Church

The Falls Church“A historic Episcopal parish that counts U.S. President George Washington among its past vestry members has hosted its first blessing of a same-sex union…”

– Report from Juicy Ecumenism.

Background (and photo): The costly faithfulness of The Falls Church – May 2012.

“The tragedy of the situation at The Falls Church is not that the congregation will die, but that yet another a historic symbol of American Christianity has fallen into the hands of those who teach doctrines contrary to Scripture.”

U. S. Supreme Court Denies Falls Church Petition

Falls Anglican Church, Virginia“The order list published this morning by the United States Supreme Court shows that, after relisting the case for its conferences four times, it has denied certiorari (review) in No. 13-449, The Falls Church v. Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, et al.

– A S Haley, The Anglican Curmudgeon, with bad news for The Falls Church in Virginia.

The costly faithfulness of The Falls Church

“The Falls Church is one of hundreds of congregations across the country that have given up their buildings rather than stay affiliated with a branch of their church they believe denies the final authority of Scripture. …”

– Alicia Constant writes about Falls Church at The Gospel Coalition. (h/t Tim Challies.)

Four Reasons Pastors Should Consider Quitting Social Media

“Pastors should be especially aware of how the digital age is changing our parishioners and ourselves.

There are benefits to having at our fingertips encyclopedic information, news updates, and virtual access to others.

There are dangers, too. I believe the downsides of social media and overabundant digital information outweigh the benefits.

Here are four reasons I limit my time on the internet and don’t use social media at all…”

– Sam Ferguson, Rector of The Falls Church Anglican in Virginia, has some thoughts about pastors and social media. At The Gospel Coalition. (Link via Tim Challies.)


The Clear and Present Danger of Social Media Out of Control – Albert Mohler.

In the US – Winter is coming: COVID-19 forces hard choices for Churches

“TGC asked five pastors how they’ve been using the relative safety of outdoors, how the weather is a challenge, and how they’re thinking creatively about the changing seasons…”

A good reminder to pray for churches in the northern hemisphere as the weather gets colder.

Image: Sam Ferguson, Falls Church Anglican, Virginia.

Falls Anglican Church Virginia has last Sunday at property

“A departing Anglican congregation held its final services at a Virginia church property that they lost to The Episcopal Church in a years-long court battle.

The Falls Church Anglican, a congregation that broke away from the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia years ago over the increasingly liberal theology of the denomination, held two services on Sunday, leaving the property to a much smaller Episcopal congregation…”

– story from Christian Post. Photo: Falls Church.