Wesley History

First Wesley ChurchThe history of Wesley United Methodist Church is a reflection of the growth of both Methodism and the Vienna community during the late 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. Its inception and growth as a community of faith spans 118 years; the period during which Wesley grew from a small rural church on a three-point charge to a dynamic suburban congregation.

On March 12, 1890, Orrin E. Hine and his wife, Alma D. Hine, donated land on Church Street in Vienna to the trustees of the Vienna Methodist Episcopal Church. Orrin Hine was a leading citizen of the Vienna area promoting public education and improving the streets of the town. He was responsible for the planting of maple trees along six miles of Vienna’s roads, including Maple Avenue. He also served as Vienna’s first mayor from 1890 to 1900.

The original building on Church Street consisted of the sanctuary area and a small room behind the chancel area which was used for Sunday School instruction. The church was part of the Vienna-Oakton Circuit, consisting of three churches: Wesley, Oakton, and Wiehle Church (which is no longer in existence). In 1950, Wesley became a separate appointment. In 1954, plans for a new building on the corner of Spring Street and Moore Avenue were completed, and the first services were held in the new building on September 16, 1956. The present sanctuary was completed on November 10, 1963.

Current Wesley SanctuaryThe sanctuary is a modified gothic structure designed by architect Elmer Cappleman. The pipe organ, consisting of three manual ranks, was built by the Wicks Organ Company of Highland, IL. The chancel and rose windows were designed by the Willett Stain Glass Company of Philadelphia, PA. Wesley’s Chancel Window has as its central focus the Christ figure and the words “Come to Me.” Across the top of the window are three symbols of the Trinity. On each side is alpha and omega, a nativity scene on the left and an empty tomb on the right. At the bottom of the window, the lamp represents Christ as the Light of the World. In the center, the Sacraments are represented by a chalice and a wafer and a shell used to dip water for baptism. On the right, a harp signifies the importance of music in our worship.

Wesley has embraced Mark 10:14-15 as its vision statement. “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” In living out this vision, Wesley has a strong Sunday School for all ages, youth and adult ministries, music ministries and a year-round Bible study.