VPC Through the Years
Vienna Presbyterian Church (VPC) was organized in 1871, with nine original members. The first building, now the “Chapel,” was dedicated in 1874. For the next 65 years VPC remained a tiny village church, usually with fewer than a hundred members, and sharing a pastor with another church. World War II and the post-war years brought boom and growth for Vienna as well as for the entire Washington, DC, area. By 1976, the membership had grown to 1,351. VPC was transformed from a village church to a thriving suburban congregation.
Pivotal to VPC’s growth was the Reverend Dr. Peter G. James, who came to the congregation as associate pastor in 1979, became co-pastor in 1984, and pastor in 1986. Under his leadership, the church grew to its present membership. A 1995 capital funds campaign provided a new facility to enable VPC’s ministry to continue growing. Another capital funds campaign was started in 2002 to enable VPC to build a new Ministry Center, to provide expanded space for Christian education and fellowship. Construction began in mid-2004 and was completed in January, 2006. A final campaign was launched in 2017 to enhance our student ministries space and to eliminate our debt. Pastor Pete retired in February 2021. You can read more about his ministry here.
Today VPC, led by Reverend Dr. Hope Lee has more than 2,600 members; a wide range of study, fellowship, service and support opportunities; a deeply involved congregation, and an extensive local, national, and international missions outreach. It has become the largest Presbyterian church in the Washington, DC, area and in the Commonwealth of Virginia — and a church of great spiritual vitality.
The church’s identity, however, has not been found in ministers, in numbers, or in buildings. Throughout its 150 years, VPC has seen itself as a congregation built by faith and called to serve. This vision has been at the heart of its history.