In 1940, the community of Inverness was growing
rapidly. About 300 new homes had already
been built and more were on the drawing board.
A movement was started to form a Presbyterian congregation by Mrs.
Elisabeth Nackel who enlisted the help of Rev. Robert J. Riddle, Pastor of Kenwood
Presbyterian Church. A planning
committee was created, and on October 6, 1940 the first official meeting of the
church took place at the home of Mrs. Harry Buzzard on Bayside Drive. This first meeting was a Sunday School
Service, where 50 men, women, and children attended. Rev. Riddle helped to create a Church Service,
and Inverness Presbyterian Church was born.
Dr. Robert F. Ogden became the first full time Pastor on July
6, 1941. Dr. Ogden left a year and a half
later to join the armed forces.
In July of 1943, Inverness Presbyterian Church was “official
organized” with 52 Charter members. A
pledge campaign was started to raise money for the construction of a Church building
on property recently donated by the I. J. Bolton Company, and in January
1944 construction began. Mr. C.E.
Canady, Jr., a Princeton Seminary graduate, was also installed as the full time
Pastor in January. Rev. Canady
officiated the first service in the new Building on Easter Sunday in 1944,
Church attendance continued to grow, and a new educational
building was built to accommodate Sunday School classes in the new
building. Construction was finished and
the building was dedicated on March 27, 1947. The complex was expanded once again in 1958,
as a new educational building was built and connected to the existing
educational building. The construction
for that project finished in April, 1959.
The Sanctuary was expanded in 1962, now under the pastoral
care of Rev. Charles H. Reed (who would remain in the pastorate for 11 years, a
job he took on a “temporary” basis!).
Rev. William Jones began his Ministry on December 23,
1966 at Inverness Presbyterian. As the
years went on, the Lord continued to reach the community of Inverness, even
causing Rev. Jones to make good on his promise to eat breakfast on the church
roof when Sunday School enrollment reached 400!
On October 3, 1971 the congregation voted to
request independent status from the Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in
the United States. This became effective
on November 16, 1971. The
congregation then voted to join the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), and
was received into the Mid-Atlantic Presbytery (now known as the Potomac
Presbytery) on October 30, 1973.
Rev. Jones left his post for a few short years to plant a
PCA church in High Point, North Carolina. During that time, Rev. Onesimus J. Rundus became the seventh pastor of Inverness Presbyterian Church.
In 1978, Pastor Jones returned to resume
his Pastorate here at IPC. “Evangelism
Explosion” was started soon after in 1980, and has continued as a strong
program ever since. This is a highly
effective method of training and equipping lay persons to share the Gospel of
Jesus Christ in their community and around the world.
In 1983, a Pre-School for students who were 3 and 4 was started. That ministry continues today in our current location, directed by Mrs. Grace Maynard.
Finally, in 1988, another discussion was brought about
concerning the need for more space.
After years of meetings, planning, and discussions with the neighbors,
it was decided that Inverness Presbyterian was to move. In God’s sovereign plan, a bowling alley sat
for sale less than a mile away. The
bowling alley boasted 2.8 acres of space, a large parking lot, a complex on a
single level (no steps!), and a wonderful location at a visible
intersection. On January 10, 1993, the
congregation unanimously voted to purchase the bowling alley as the new home of
Inverness Presbyterian Church (PCA).
The 7909 Wise Ave location is the current home of Inverness
Presbyterian Church, and has served the congregation well. Construction began in June of 1993, and the
first service was held at 3:00 PM on October 9, 1994.
Our Senior Pastor, Robert Dillard, became the Senior Pastor
in June of 2003, after leaving Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale,
Florida. Our Administrator, Janet
Hughes, began working here in February of 2007.
And our current Youth Director, Dan Hall, has been with us since January
Many thanks to Dan Thacker, who worked hard to provide
excellent details in a beautiful record book, which is kept in the Church
Library. For more information on our History,
or to see photographs of both our old and new building, please visit the
Library and find Dan’s album, “Inverness Presbyterian Church: 1940-1993. A Chronology.”