History

Summerdean Church of the Brethren was organized as a mission church by the Board of the First Virginia District Church of the Brethren.  In November of 1957, the District Board began studying the greater Roanoke area for possible sites for a new church.  One month later, upon the recommendation of the District Church Extension Commission, the Board sited the Hollins-North Roanoke section as an area of immediate need and potential.

In September of 1959, Galen Ogden, Executive Secretary of the Ministry and Home Missions Department of the Church of the Brethren, came from Elgin, Illinois to evaluate the possibilities of a new church in the Summerdean subdivision.  Two sites were considered and in October an option was taken by the District Board on one of the sites, located on Plantation Road.



In January 1960, the District Board gave wholehearted support to a new church in Summerdean and asked each local church in the Roanoke area to join in this effort.  In July of 1960, the Board gave approval to the purchase of the four acre Plantation Road site at a cost of $12,000, $8,000 of which was given by the neighboring Cloverdale congregation.




In March 1961, the General Brotherhood Board of the Denomination made available pastoral support monies for the project, and Fred W. Swartz, a graduating senior at Bethany Biblical Seminary,  was called to be the first pastor, effective September 1st of that year.

In May of 1961, teams of two visitors from supporting churches in the Roanoke area contacted all Brethren families living within a two mile radius of the proposed site.  On May 31st, a meeting of all persons of those visited who were interested in becoming a part of the new church was held and a steering committed formed to effect the organization.  With the arrival of Fred and Nancy Swartz, the organization was formally initiated.  The first meeting was held in the home of Harry and Rachel Brewbaker and additional meetings were held in homes of the steering committee members during September and October.


There were eight families who gathered on November 5, 1961 to begin church school and morning worship services at Burlington Elementary School. Growth began immediately and by December there were fifteen families in the fellowship.  It was then decided to build a chapel-parsonage as soon as possible to accommodate the growth.  Meanwhile evening family socials and other meetings were held in homes.






In February of 1962, the fifteen families of the church broke ground on the new chapel-parsonage.





The Chapel was completed in July of 1962 and dedicated on October 14, 1962. It would seat 125 people and included nine classrooms.  





Five years later, in February of 1967, construction of the new Church Building began.  After months of hard work, the Church was completed and used for the first time on Thanksgiving Eve of 1967.  The occasion was a community Thanksgiving service in which 241 people worshiped together.  The original chapel-parsonage was converted into an attractive parsonage for the Pastor and his family.  Dedication services for the new church building were held April 28, 1968.  At that time the membership of Summerdean consisted of 90 members.



In order to support the growth in our fellowship activities, the building committee developed plans to enlarge our facilities with an addition including a fellowship hall, kitchen, bathrooms, and administrative offices.  Construction on this addition began January 1, 1991 and was completed in July of 1991. A dedication service for the new addition was held on September 29, 1991.




In order to accommodate the continued growth, Summerdean invested in a new addition in the fall of 1999.  Construction of the new addition began on August 26, 1999 and was completed February 29, 2000. The new addition included seven new classrooms, bathroom facilities, a parlor, music room, administrative offices, and a new parking area.  The new building was dedicated on August 23, 2000.