The Presbyterian Church of Alexandria opens the doors to its new home
Alexandria, VA – The Presbyterian Church of Alexandria has opened the doors to its new home at 1300 W Braddock. After years of renting borrowed or shared space with other churches, APC now has a building of its own.
In 1986, APC began by renting space in the Campagna Center building for six years. Current senior pastor Tom Holliday, who joined the church in the fourth year, has witnessed and encouraged the church through many transitions: from six years at the Campagna center to five years at the community worship center on Russell Road, where APC has shared space with the Seventh Day Adventist Service, until now having just entered into a 25-year lease at Del Ray Baptist Church.
“We’ve been tenants this whole time,” says Pastor Holliday, “and we were finally able to build our own.” This opportunity presented itself seven years ago when the Bible Church of Alexandria disbanded and offered its space to APC. Although the existing church is too small to meet APC’s current and future needs, the property could accommodate a newly constructed worship center.
“We bought the property from Alexandria Bible Church when it had to close. They offered to sell us at an incredible price. They had built their building in 1952, so this cornerstone pays homage to them.
Pastor Holliday mentions that when you walk through the new front doors, you will see two dates carved in stone: 2022, the year the new APC was built, and 1952, the year the Bible Church was built.
When construction of the new APC began in 2021, the plans were grand and the prices were excellent. Given that the design was set, parts were ordered, and construction was underway, COVID-19 surprisingly didn’t derail the project much. Only four months late, the APC is finally finished.
Upon entering the main lobby, you are enveloped in natural light throughout the 37,000 square foot building. Turn left into the worship hall and this light gets brighter.
“We have always seen ourselves as a very close and relationship-oriented fellowship,” says Pastor Holliday. “We wanted a sanctuary where everyone could be close.” The sanctuary has floor-to-ceiling windows, beautiful round light fixtures, and a cross with gold detailing hanging from the ceiling above 500 chairs positioned in a semicircle rather than a long, narrow, bench-style sanctuary. “We wanted something where we could feel more like family and I think it worked,” he says.
Administrative offices are beyond the sanctuary on the first floor. The second floor houses gathering and group spaces for youth and teen classes, potluck dinners, and entertainment. The basement contains a smaller worship area with another circle of chairs mimicking the shrine, a stage, and a piano, which can be used for a number of activities. The basement also contains a fully equipped industrial kitchen, nurses’ suites and child care rooms. Televisions line each wall so that members do not miss any moment of service even if they are far from the sanctuary.
This space will be a new home for all members, old, new, potential or just visiting.
When Pastor Holliday joined, the APC was made up of about 30 people. “Today we are around 500,” he says. “Being in suburban DC, we are a transient community. We renew 50% of our membership every four years, but our core values have remained the same. This is what is most important.
With its immaculate new space in the center of town and in perfect proximity to Arlington, DC, and other surrounding neighborhoods, Alexandria Presbyterian Church continues to welcome new members through its doors.
The first service in the new building took place on July 30. “The first service in our new building was an answer to many prayers from members of our congregation! The service was filled with robust singing, preaching the Word of God and people filled with joy and gratitude for God’s provision, Pastor Holliday said. “This is an important time for our church, and our prayer is that APC will bless our city in so many ways.”
On September 11, APC will hold inauguration services at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. A fellowship time with refreshments will take place at 10:15 a.m., and Sunday evening services will follow from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Classes for children, teenagers and adults are available.
See the directory of cults on page [to come during proof] Where alexandriapres.org to learn more.
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