In June of 1986 a group of about 20 individuals met to form a LGBT Christian awareness support group. They recognized that no local church was open and affirming to the LGBT community.
One of the individuals had heard about a ministry that focused as an affirming Christian church for all people. A letter was sent to the United Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (UU). He was referred to the closest local church – MCC Richmond.
MCC Richmond sent an exploratory team to Roanoke to meet with the LGBT Christian awareness support group to determine if there was an interest in establishing a New Works church extension of MCC Richmond. The LGBT Christian awareness support group decided they were interested in establishing a New Works church extension here in the Roanoke Valley.
The First Church Service
An arrangement was made with substantial support from the Unitarian Universalist (UU) Church of Roanoke, located in Grandin Court, for a meeting place for the New Works church extension. At 3PM on December 3, 1986 the first church service was conducted by Daniel Deane, a student clergy appointed by MCC Richmond to be the New Works minister. Of the approximately 10 individuals present, 7 became the founding members of what today is MCC of the Blue Ridge.
UU of Roanoke continued to be the supportive meeting place of MCC of the Blue Ridge until they moved into their first independent church home at 110 Kirk Avenue on the 4th of July weekend in 1998.
As the membership and attendance grew, a larger location was found, and MCCBR moved in July 2001 to 124 Kirk Avenue.
In 2003, a major Building Fund Campaign was undertaken and with the grateful support of the members and friends of MCCBR, as well as donations from the LGBT community, a 30,000 square foot Church building was purchased from The Belmont United Methodist congregation.
In November of 2003 the doors were opened for the first church service in our beautiful new church home.
Our Beautiful Church Home
This majestic old church, originally built in 1909, housed the Belmont United Methodist Church for 94 years. As of 2003, she became the home of Metropolitan Community Church of the Blue Ridge (MCCBR).
A romantic may think it practically destiny driven such a beautiful and architecturally rare building could house such a still young church as MCC of the Blue Ridge.
It is not just older than MCCBR, but is actually older than the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches as well.
Though she is old, this grand monarch holds many modern values. It is a place where all people can come, worship, laugh and cry. It is a place one feels comfortable in resolving personal issues or rejoicing in one’s successes.
This church connects people together in a personal way. No one needs to feel alone when there is such a home, beckoning everyone to become a part of it.
Imagine all the people who have walked through her doors and sat in her pews.
People who were born, lived and died long before our generation even existed once called this church home. It is a humbling, yet uplifting prospect. It is almost as if she is graciously saying, “I know, I feel and I’m here to help.”
One can get lost just looking at this beautifully crafted stained glass window pictured here. The colorful picture of Jesus after his resurrection and being greeted by Mary Magdaline constantly sits in front of you while listening to the pastor’s sermons or listening to the many musical offerings that occur in this sanctuary.
Yes, God is truly here.
MCCBR is not just a place of worship, it is a place all people can stay informed about social and political issues, hear about the needs of others and indeed help those in need.
The workmanship that went into creating such a timeless environment is something you don’t see everyday. The builders of this church must have truly loved their craft and perhaps felt duty-bound to create a house of worship that would last through the ages.
The church has had some work performed on it after MCCBR acquired it, but it is painstakingly preserved for all to enjoy.
There is no need to fear. If you do not attend a church regularly or even if you do attend a church, please come visit us.
Any walks of life and backgrounds are all welcome here. It makes no difference what your religious or spiritual preferences were in the past.
If you just want to come and listen, it is truly a unique experience coming to one of MCCBR’s weekly worship services in this beautiful sanctuary.
We sincerely hope you plan to attend one of our services or one of our fun socials.