St. Jude AME Church History

During the Washington Annual Conference in April 1998, Rev. Dr. Byron J. Grayson, Sr. discussed the inspired vision that God had given to him with his pastor at that time, Rev. Henry Y. White and our Presiding Elder Goodwin Douglas and this resulted in his receiving approval to research the Germantown area with the goal of establishing a church. A series of meetings were held that resulted in a meeting on June 3rd with a number of members from St. Paul A.M.E. Church, Washington, DC; Union Bethel A.M.E. Church, Brandywine, MD and Rev. Dr. Byron and Mrs. Jennifer Grayson, Sr. It was decided at that meeting that the church’s motto would be: “The Family Church for all People where Jesus is Lord.” Rev. Grayson also stated at that time that he would be looking for persons in Germantown, MD without church homes.

After several weeks of Bible Study, Prayer and Praise at the Grayson home, the first worship service for St. Jude was held on July 26, 1998 at the Martin Luther King Middle School. This service was attended by many family members, friends, and church members from St. Paul A.M.E.

The Grand Opening Service for St. Jude was held on November 1, 1998 at 4:00 p.m. at the Fox Chapel Elementary School. Presiding Elder Douglas was the Worship Leader and Rev. Dr. Grayson, Sr. delivered the word. Also participating in this service were a number of clergy from other A.M.E. churches including Elder George Manning (Presiding Elder, Potomac District) and Rev. Constance Wheeler-Evans (formerly at Dickerson, Frostburg, MD now at St. Paul A.M.E.). The combined choir of St. Paul A.M.E. Church rendered the music for the service and the ushers from St. Paul stood as the doorkeepers. There were over 200 hundred ministers, family members and friends in attendance for this worship service.

Several programs were initiated that first year, the Men’s Thanksgiving Prayer Breakfast, Love Feast, the Annual Community Christmas Party/Program and Vacation Bible School. These programs continue to be a part of St. Jude’s spiritual life and evangelism outreach to the Germantown community. Also, during this time, the Senior Choir was formed and rehearsals were held at the Grayson home as well as other members homes.

In January 2004, the Lord guiding the dedicated work of our trustees blessed St. Jude with the purchase of two acres of property in Germantown. This has allowed St. Jude to establish a parsonage in which to house an office for our pastor, provide meeting space for various church activities including vacation bible school and church worship services in the summer and when Fox Chapel is not available. The Men’s Fellowship Ministry and Men’s Choir was formed in 2005.
Over the years, St. Jude has continued to reach out to the community and Fox Chapel neighborhoods with activities and projects such as our Annual Community Day, which is a fun filled event where we witness to the community; our Vacation Bible School and our Christmas Party as well as our Annual Pastor’s Appreciation Day and Cookout which allows many of our visiting family members and former members the opportunity to come and enjoy a spirit-filled fun day with us.
In June 2012, Bishop Adam J. Richardson, Jr. appointed Rev. Dededrick O. Rivers to be the congregation’s newest pastor, replacing Rev. Dr. Grayson who was assigned to an A.M.E church in Lenoir, NC.

In July 2015, Bishop William P. DeVeaux, appointed Rev. Anna E. Mosby to St. Jude A.M.E. church and Rev. Dededrick O. Rivers was assigned to St. Stephens A.M.E. Church in Elkridge, Maryland.

As we look back over the past years, we can truly see how God has blessed and guided this part of Zion. We also thankful for the Lord’s continued guidance of our church in our evangelism efforts to which we are committed in spreading the word of God’s Love and that Jesus is the way to salvation and everlasting life to the lost in our community.