The site of the Fort Washington Methodist Church and the surrounding area was at one time inhabited by the Piscataway Tribe of Indians. A peace loving people, highly agricultural in pursuits, they were among the first Maryland Indians to meet the colonial settlers.
In 1628, Leonard Calvert of England visited this area and met with Tayac, tribal chieftain of the Piscatawans. Calvert returned to England a year later and prepared a patent for the lands he had seen. In 1632 Cecil, eldest of the Calvert sons, received a charter from Charles I for the land to be called Maryland in honor of Queen Henrietta Maria.
The area known as Piscataway originally covered many miles running from Piscataway Bay on the Potomac, including what now is Calvert Manor, along the creek to the present town of Piscataway, thence northward to Broad Creek and Westward to the Potomac. These boundaries effectively defined the region that was served by the Fort Washington Methodist Church.
July 2, 1961
The first formal service of worship signifying the beginning of the Fort Washington Methodist Church was held on July 2, 1961 in the auditorium of the Fort Washington Forest Elementary School. At this first service the Reverend H. C. Wolf discussed the expanding Piscataway area and invited all interested area residents to join in the realizatio of this goal. It was announced that by permission of the County Department of Education regular worship services would be held in the Fort Washington Forest Elementary School until such time as a church could be built. This first service had sixteen children present for church school and fifty-eight adults present for the worship service.
During the first two months of worship approximately twenty memberships were recorded. From these memberships a Board of Directors was selected to help guide the church through its formative period. The Board of Directors consisted of Mrs. Lydia Bashoor, Mr. Fred Wineland, Mr. Donald Ludke, Mrs. Marge Gordon, Mr. Newell Daugherty, and Mr. Charles Carpenter.
September 14, 1961
The Board of Directors convened for the first time at the home of Reverend H. C. Wolf. The prime objective agreed upon at this meeting was for the new church to be chartered before the end of the year.
September 17, 1961
On the third Sunday in September, 1961, the first baptismal ceremonies were held. At these ceremonies the following children of congregation members were baptized: Timothy Collins, Connie Sue Collins, Beth Colins, DeeAnn Collin, Fred Kirwan Wineland, Rachel Theus, and Paul Theus.
October 1, 1961
On World Wide Communion Sunday, the church observed its first Holy Communion. Approximately fifty worshipers participated in this service which included dedication ceremonies for the newly acquired chancel.
After the church services, the Board of Directors authorized funds for the purchase of an electronic organ.
November 12, 1961
Weekly meetings of an Adult Discussion group were inaugurated under the leadership of Reverend Wolf. These meetings allowed the initial members of the church to get to know one another while enriching their spiritual lives through group study and discussion.
November 17, 1961
A Junior Choir was organized under the direction of Miss Sally Shealy.
During the five months following the first service the church attendance and membership continued to grow with the total membership reaching forty by the first of December. Accordingly, December 10 was selected for the official organization day.
December 10, 1961
At the opening of the ceremonies on Charter Sunday, Reverend Wolf introduced Reverend Marion S. Michael, District Superintendent of the Washington-East District of the Methodist Church, who assisted in the chartering services. The church conference accepted by acclamation the Elective Stewards presented by the Nominating Committee.