Columbia: One Church, Many Congregations, Many Languages - One Lord
In recent decades, in order to reach persons for Christ from different backgrounds, Columbia has established several congregations of various languages. Some congregations were born of a ministry burden in the heart of a Columbia member originally from another country. Others were begun elsewhere in the community and then sought a place for worship at Columbia. All were birthed in prayer and vision, seeking God’s will for His Kingdom’s advancement.
Today, each different language congregation is a part of the Columbia family. Their members are Columbia members; their pastors are part of the Columbia staff team. Dr. Baucom and I meet with the pastors regularly and occasionally preach in their worship services.
Each congregation ministers to its language community, representing thousands of individuals and dozens of countries. Some church members have been in the United States for many years, even multiple generations. Others have immigrated more recently. Some came for economic and educational opportunities; others escaped oppression and persecution. All are part of Columbia’s intentional purpose of fulfilling Christ’s Great Commission to make disciples of all the nations.
The financial covenant is that each congregation contributes 24% of its general offerings to Columbia’s facilities usage budget, which covers custodial support, utilities, insurance, repairs, maintenance, equipment, etc. The other 76% is approved by respective congregations for their own ministry budgets—personnel, literature, equipment, missions/evangelism, administration, etc.
In addition, each congregation contributes to Spend Yourself®, Columbia’s Hunger Relief Ministry, and to Generation to Generation (and G2G2), Columbia’s Capital Campaign. Many members of the language congregations make pledges and contribute regularly. One congregation recently designated 5% of their general budget for G2G2.
Early in each new year, the ALL COLUMBIA CELEBRATION not only features an affirmation of each congregation’s budget and elected leadership, but also affords the 200+ who attend a sampling of the various international foods and an opportunity to view the ministry displays. In this way, all Columbians celebrate what God is doing among and through each congregation to advance Christ’s Kingdom, near and far.
Together as Columbia, we are many congregations, worshipping in 13 services each Saturday/Sunday, 5 in English and 8 in other languages. United in spirit, we share many cultures and are committed to One Lord, “igniting passion for Jesus Christ from Metro Washington to the World.”
Here is a list of Columbia’s Language Congregations, their beginning year, their worship times and place, and pastor. Feel free to visit their services; you will certainly be blessed in what you experience. (Each congregation offers translation through individual headsets.)
ARABIC CONGREGATION @ FALLS CHURCH (1986)
Pastor: Sameh Naguib, 103 W. Columbia Street, Falls Church
Sundays: 6:00 PM Worship, Chapel
BRAZILIAN CONGREGATION @ GAITHERSBURG (2004)
Pastor: Aroldo Silva, Bohrer Park Activity Center, 506 S. Frederick Ave, Gaithersburg, MD
Sundays: 10:30 AM Worship
HISPANIC CONGREGATION @ FALLS CHURCH (1978)
Pastor: Edwin Renderos, 103 W. Columbia Street, Falls Church
Sundays: 2:00 PM Worship, Sanctuary
HISPANIC CONGREGATION @ CROSSROADS (1999)
Pastor: Kerim Meoño, 3245 Glen Carlyn Road, Bailey’s Crossroads
Sundays: 8:30 AM and 2:30 PM Worship, Worship Center
KOREAN CONGREGATION @ FALLS CHURCH (1983)
Pastor: Sammual Choi, 103 W. Columbia Street, Falls Church
Sundays: 7:00am and 11:15 AM Worship, Chapel
VIETNAMESE CONGREGATION @ FALLS CHURCH (1999)
Pastor: Nhon Tran (Pastor Emeritus: Thang Tran), 103 W. Columbia Street, Falls Church
Sundays: 3:00 PM Worship, Chapel