Office Hours: Tuesday - Friday 9a-3p
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An active Methodist congregation began at Benn’s in 1789. The Virginia Annual Conference Historical Society has verified this, and in 1964 a citation was presented to Benn’s Methodist Church in recognition of 175 years of service to God and to the people of this community.
The original congregation was a continuation of the Old St. Luke’s Church, which dates back to 1632.
Benn’s was rebuilt in 1838, again in 1888 and the present building was erected in 1924. An education wing was completed in March 1967 and the Family Life Center was completed in 1994.
In 2019, Benn’s church received an updated look by replacing its old roof with a new green metal roof that should last for decades to come.
During the COVID pandemic of 2020 the entryway steps and walkway to the Sanctuary were improved for safety and appearance.
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Benn’s UMC believes in the Holy Trinity: God the Father, Jesus Christ His son, and the Holy Spirit which dwells in us. We believe that God created us to be in fellowship with Him. Unfortunately our sins separate us from the love of God, for He is perfectly righteous and cannot look upon sin in any form. But His love for us is so great that He sent His one and only son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for our sins so that we can once again be in fellowship with Him. In us, He breathed the Holy Spirit and through that spirit He leads us and helps us to understand His will for our lives. God's love is ever present but the gift of eternal life and a life abundant during our time on Earth is only obtainable through belief in Jesus Christ as the son of God and personal savior. We strive to be a reflection of God's love so that through us, others would come to know the saving love of the one true God through His son Jesus Christ and the comfort of the Holy Spirit.
"The United Methodist Church is a global denomination that opens hearts, opens minds, and opens doors through active engagement with our world. The mission of The United Methodist Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
John Wesley and the early Methodists placed primary emphasis on Christian living, on putting faith and love into action. This emphasis on what Wesley referred to as 'practical divinity' has continued to be a hallmark of United Methodism today.
The United Methodist Church connects more than 12 million members on four continents and engages in ministry all around the world. We speak many languages, come from various cultures, and span generations. Yet, we are united in our faith in Jesus Christ. We affirm the faith shared by all Christians, with particular emphasis on God's grace and on Christian living, putting faith and love into action.
United Methodists know that growing as a follower of Jesus Christ includes both loving God and loving our neighbors. Our discipleship is rooted both in our worship and in the ways we love and serve the people around us every day."
United Methodist believes in a Trinitarian God in keeping with Christian tradition, meaning that we believe in one God made know to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Father, is the creative God who authored all life. The Son is the redeeming God who became fully human-Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is the sustaining God who nurtures individuals and communities.
We believe that as God’s creations, we are meant to live in a holy covenant with this Trinitarian God. We also teach that we have broken this covenant by our sins, and we are forgiven by God’s love and saving grace in Jesus Christ. We believe that Jesus was God on earth (born of a virgin conception) in the form of a man who was crucified for the sins of all people, and who was physically resurrected to bring us hope of eternal life.
Rev. Ileana Rosario was born in Puerto Rico where she was an active member of the United Methodist Church. She received her B.A. in Communications from the University of Puerto Rico and worked as a press officer for the President of the Senate.
In 1991, she arrived in Virginia with her family and obtained her Master of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary in 1999. That same year, she was ordained as a probationary member and appointed as Associate Pastor at Culmore UMC. There she created and founded GRACE Ministries, a community outreach program that now serves 1,500 people a month and empowers them to become leaders in their communities.
As a trained and experienced church planter, she started a new Spanish-language church in the Arlington District in 2001. Gracia UMC was a vibrant community of faith with live music and vibrant preaching for all Latinos in the area.
Ileana’s effort and advocacy for the Latino community were recognized by President George Bush who invited her to a Christmas reception at the White House on December 12th, 2001 as part of the faith-based initiative.
Ileana was consecrated as Elder in June 2004. She was the first Latina pastor elected as a Virginia Delegate for the General Conference and the Jurisdictional Conference of the United Methodist Church. She served as a delegate from 2008 until 2019.
Her expertise in cultural relationships empowered her to serve as a member of the Commission for General Conference that organizes and coordinates all meetings from 2008 to 2016. During her time in this commission, she inspired them to focus on welcoming the different cultures and offer them a positive experience toward the unity of the United Methodist Church.
In January 2007, she was appointed as the new Director of Hispanic/Latino Ministries in the Virginia Conference. She was also the Latino Faith Communities Coordinator for the Alexandria-Arlington Districts until 2009.
During the 2009 Annual Conference, Ileana was appointed to the Elizabeth River District where she happily served Wesley Chapel UMC in the village of Chuckatuck in Suffolk, Virginia. During her time there she inspired the Pastors Association to celebrate worship services including neighbor African American churches. She also led an effort to renovate the facilities to offer a welcoming atmosphere to visitors.
She joined Lower United Methodist Church on July 1, 2015 where she led their effort to grow and reach out into the community. This included the creation of a Contemporary worship service for the community, strengthening the children and youth programs and greater emphasis on music during worship.
During her time at Lower UMC, she became the President of the Ministerial Association where she intentionally reached out to pastors of all denominations and races, organizing multiple worship services for 10 to 15 churches together.
In July 2021 she began a new adventure as the appointed Pastor of Benn’s UMC where she was warmly welcomed by this loving and caring congregation. Among many new and caring friends, she obeys the call that has defined her life: to praise God, reach to others in love and serve the world in Jesus’ name.
She is very proud of her three wonderful daughters: Ileana who graduated from UCLA and works in San Diego; Ruth, who is a CPA working in northern California; and Julianne, who is very active with the United Methodist Women and other ministries.
|Pianist/Organist - Jared Jones/ Hunter Jones||757 357-3373|
|Childcare Attendants - Madison Bell, Terri Ware||757 357-3373|