The history of Hermon Church begins in 1874. It was on January 5th of that year that a Mrs. M. C. H. Carter hosted sixteen people in her home which became the first meeting. That very day these persons became the charter members of Hermon, a new congregation of Washington City Presbytery. Five of these people are the ancestors of current member Lilly Lievsay. On or around December 1st, the congregation occupied the sanctuary, and has worshipped in this place for over 140 years.
There has been an ebb and flow in the size and activity of the congregation from that period into the present. We are currently in a period of growth, with a current membership of 45. Despite our size, we have a large number of people who are assuming responsibility for various ministries. The key to the church’s strength is a growing cadre of people who are committed to God and one another; they have a vision of what God wishes to do in this place. The goal of any church, but especially a small church, is to so “equip the saints”, to use a biblical phrase, that less and less depends on who the minister is. Our church is becoming increasingly self-sufficient.
Our commitment to various benevolences, both in financial support and hands on commitment, include monthly food collections to Manna Food Center in Montgomery County to assist those in need, and preparing and serving food at Rainbow Place, the women’s shelter at Rockville Presbyterian Church which operates during the winter season. As a church community we offer financial support to organizations including Wounded Warriors, Refugee Relief through the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, Bethesda Cares, Rainbow Place, Manna Food Center and the Montgomery Chapter of NAMI, the National Alliance for Mental Illness.
Our musical program, through the wonderful efforts of Muriel Hom, provides our little church with professional singers of the highest caliber. We have increasing visibility in the community through our Concert and Lecture Series.
The initiation of special services is providing meaningful worship throughout the year, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, an Easter Sunrise Service and breakfast, the Lessons and Carols Service before Christmas and, of course, Christmas Eve.
New projects in which we are currently involved include exercising good stewardship by having a financial organization guide us in helping us to be more effective in our investments. A new furnace was installed recently, and air conditioning is being explored. We are also involved in exploring the possibilities of a columbarium, where cremated remains can be placed, thereby expanding the interment options for the finite amount of space in our cemetery.
The outside of the building was painted in 2014. A previous pastor has said that Hermon has an “edifice complex”. The reality, of course, is that we have a beautiful building in a beautiful setting. We are committed to maintaining the simplicity of our building, the simplicity of our worship, and, for that matter, the simplicity of our life together in a peaceful setting. In some churches there is such frenetic and time consuming activity that it becomes almost impossible to serve God in the world, or even to enjoy God and one another. Each week as we gather for worship, we are renewed and refreshed to return to our service of God in the world.
For more information about Hermon Presbyterian Church by the Maryland Historical Trust, please visit here: https://mht.maryland.gov/secure/medusa/PDF/Montgomery/M;%2029-37.pdf