Who We Are

Strawbridge United Methodist Church (SUMC) is a fully-inclusive community compelled by the love of Christ to make a difference in a world in need as a welcoming community that is accepting of every person and strives to help all find a place to connect and serve inside and outside the walls of our church building.

Called to be the best church for the community, SUMC believes and supports the United Methodist statement of Inclusiveness of the Church, “…that all persons are of sacred worth. All persons without regard to race, color, national origin, status, or economic condition, shall be eligible to attend its worship services, participate in its programs, receive the sacraments and, upon baptism, be admitted as baptized members, and upon taking vows declaring the Christian faith, become professing members in any local church in the connection.”

As such, SUMC fully welcomes the LGBTQ+ community by making our facilities available and allowing clergy to perform ceremonies for same-sex weddings. We also celebrate the ordination of anyone called by God - regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.


our history

Strawbridge United Methodist Church (SUMC) was named for Robert Strawbridge, the first Methodist lay preacher in America. Strawbridge was the organizer of the first Methodist Society in the Baltimore area in 1753. He formed societies and converted the first native American preachers, including William Watters, Phillip Gatchand and Freeborn Garretson, Methodism’s “Paul Revere.”

The vision for what was to become SUMC began to materialize in 1982 when the Board of Missions purchased a 4.4 acre site for the second Methodist church in Kingwood. The congregation began worshiping February 19, 1984 at Creekwood Middle School, with The Rev. C. J. Taylor as organizing pastor. The church was chartered on May 20, 1984 with 137 members. The church moved into the new facilities at Kingwood Drive and Willow Terrace in August, 1987. A second addition was completed in Spring, 1997.

The Reverend. B.T. Williamson became the pastor of Strawbridge in June, 1992. Dr. Todd Miller joined the staff as Director of Music Ministries in 1994 and built a solid music program that continues today under the leadership of Reverend Lindsay Smith.

The Reverend Dr. Brad Ramsey was appointed Senior Pastor of SUMC in June, 1998. Once again, growth in membership and activities began to strain the limits of the church facilities, and in 1999 the church began planning for the next building expansion. Senior Pastor, The Reverend Ken Archer, and Associate Pastor, The Reverend Jeff Gage, lead the groundbreaking for a new sanctuary in 2000.

By Christmas, 2001, worship services had moved into the new sanctuary and the old sanctuary was converted to the multi-purpose Strawbridge Activity Center. The Reverend R. Winston Goens, Jr. was appointed Senior Pastor of SUMC in June, 2004. The Reverend Dr. James H. (Jim) Reiter was appointed Senior Pastor in September 2008. In November 2012, The Reverend Stanley Warfield was appointed Interim Sr. Pastor. The Rev. Dr. Todd Jordan became the seventh Senior Pastor of Strawbridge UMC on July 1, 2013. The Student Activity Center (S.A.C.) was renamed to the Rev. Elizabeth (Beth) Chenault Center (R.E.C. Center) upon her retirement in September 2021.

Holy Bible on old wooden church table, top view

Our Beliefs

United Methodists share a common heritage with all Christians. We share the following basic affirmations in common with all Christian communities:

We describe God in three persons. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are commonly used to refer to the threefold nature of God. Sometimes we use other terms, such as Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer.

• We believe in one God, who created the world and all that is in it.
• We believe that God is sovereign; that is, God is the ruler of the universe.
• We believe that God is loving. We can experience God’s love and grace.

• We believe that Jesus was human. He lived as a man and died when he was crucified.
• We believe that Jesus is divine. He is the Son of God.
• We believe that God raised Jesus from the dead and that the risen Christ lives today. (Christ and messiah mean the same thing—God’s anointed.)
• We believe that Jesus is our Savior. In Christ we receive abundant life and forgiveness of sins.
• We believe that Jesus is our Lord and that we are called to pattern our lives after his.

The Holy Spirit
• We believe that the Holy Spirit is God with us.
• We believe that the Holy Spirit comforts us when we are in need and convicts us when we stray from God.
• We believe that the Holy Spirit awakens us to God’s will and empowers us to live obediently.

Human Beings
• We believe that God created human beings in God’s image.
• We believe that humans can choose to accept or reject a relationship with God.
• We believe that all humans need to be in relationship with God in order to be fully human.

The Church
• We believe that the church is the body of Christ, an extension of Christ’s life and ministry in the world today.
• We believe that the mission of the church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
• We believe that the church is “the communion of saints,” a community made up of all past, present, and future disciples of Christ.
• We believe that the church is called to worship God and to support those who participate in its life as they grow in faith.

The Bible
• We believe that the Bible is God’s Word.
• We believe that the Bible is the primary authority for our faith and practice.
• We believe that Christians need to know and study the Old Testament and the New Testament (the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Scriptures).

3K2A1802Baptism, Sanctuary, SUMC, Sunday morning


Upon this rock I will build my Church.”

When Jesus spoke those words he was inviting not only Peter, but all those who share Peter’s faith into the Church. At Strawbridge United Methodist Church, we invite you to express your faith in Christ and become a member of this congregation. You may join by Baptism, Profession of Faith, or Transfer of Membership. See the "More on Membership" section below.

Our Pastors and Staff are here to help and serve you. Please feel free to reach out to us. We are here for you!


There's always something happening at Strawbridge UMC! Our email newsletter - This Week at Strawbridge - is probably the best way to ‘stay in the know’ with what’s going on! The e-newsletter is sent out every Friday morning. And, please know, we don’t like spam either so we’ll never give your email to a third party! Subscribe today!

SHARE THE GOOD NEWS! So, through your Strawbridge ministry or small group, you’ve had an experience that enriched your life and helped you make a difference? We welcome your submissions of articles or photos. Send them to Brian Fisher. It’s easy – just jot down your memories and we’ll take care of formatting and editing. The e-newsletter deadline is Wednesday at noon for inclusion in the following Friday’s edition.


1) You may join by professing your faith.
We welcome into our membership all who are willing to profess their faith by answering the following questions:

Do you confess Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?
I do.

Do you trust in him?
I do.

Do you intend to be his disciple, to obey his word and to show his love?
I do.

Will you be a faithful member of this congregation, giving of yourself in every way, through prayers, presence, gifts, and service?
I will.


2) You may join by transfer of membership.
We welcome anyone who is transferring from another Christian congregation.

3) You may join by reaffirmation of faith.
If you have previously professed your faith in Christ but have not been active in a Christian congregation for some time, we invite you to become an active member of SUMC after reaffirming your faith in Christ, by answering the four questions previously listed.


May my children join the church?

Confirmation classes are held for young people who wish to join. At the end of classes, participants may profess or re-affirm their faith in Christ. If they have not been baptized, baptism can be arranged after their profession of faith. If a young person has previously joined a Christian congregation, they may join SUMC by transfer of membership.

What’s the next step?
We receive new members into our congregation after each worship service. If you would like to join, please complete the “How to Join Strawbridge” card located in the pew and bring it forward to a pastor during the invitation to Christian discipleship. The process takes 10 to 15 minutes. If you’re kind of shy, that’s okay, speak to a pastor if you’d prefer to join in a less public way.

After you join, you’ll be invited to our “Methodism Class” where you’ll learn more about the Methodist denomination and what we believe. You’ll also learn about our congregation, our mission, our ministries, our members, and our ministers.

Our prayer for you is that you will let God’s Spirit lead you as you consider taking the next step of faith in your life. It is our hope that each member of SUMC will become a part of a small group “where everyone knows your name,” and that they will be involved in a ministry of service.

To learn more guests are invited to stop by the Welcome Center Kiosk in the Narthex. For more information about membership, please don’t hesitate to contact Pastor Todd Jordan.