Our History

Bethel Presbyterian Church has its roots in a Bible study in Herndon, Virginia. Five couples felt unfulfilled in the teaching they were receiving and craved a deeper knowledge of God and whole-souled commitment to Christ.  They began a home Bible study to grow in God’s Word together, when they were introduced to Rev. Edwin Urban who had just returned to the U.S. from missionary service in Taiwan. They invited Ed to lead the study, and in a short time a true commitment to Christ was solidified among this group. In 1968 with much prayer and the guidance of God’s Spirit, they started Bethel Chapel at the Herndon Municipal building. 

In 1969, an out-reach and preaching point was started in Leesburg at an old house near the historic downtown district. The fledgling church shared the house with Leesburg Christian School, which also had been started by Ed Urban and his wife, Gwenn.  God blessed the Leesburg work, and people in and around the town came to know Christ. Seeing the blessing of God in Leesburg, Bethel concentrated its efforts there and discontinued the work in Herndon. 

In 1970, Bethel became a separate and self-sustaining church within the Presbytery of Philadelphia. As more and more churches were added to the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, new Presbyteries were created and Bethel became, and remains, a part of the Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic. David Arnold and Ross Rogers were ordained as Bethel’s first elders, and Darl Stern and Andrew Smith were ordained as her first deacons. In 1977 the congregation called the Rev. Edward L. Kellogg as associate pastor. Although Ed retired after five years of official service, he stayed at Bethel after his retirement and continued to be a blessing and to serve the church for the remainder of his days. 

In 1980, the growing congregation dedicated a brick church building on a large lot just south of Leesburg.  God graciously provided what was needed for a large addition to the building, and construction crews broke ground in the fall 2010.