The Church of the Saviour began in 1992 as a Small Group Bible Study dedicated to the scrutiny of the doctrine of the Church. Over the next eighteen months, several couples from two local congregations read and discussed the Biblical record of the Church of Jesus Christ: its origins, our Lord’s stated purpose for it, the Holy Spirit’s infusion into it, and its early history, polity and function.
Our group began to realize that the contemporary church had in many cases moved away from the simple, essential work to which Jesus Christ had called it: discipleship-training and mission. Centuries of denominational dogma and other religious traditions of men had, it seemed to us, diluted and diffused our Lord’s vital commission to His church. Our study instilled in us the desire to establish a local congregation built “on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20), focused exclusively on the ministry of the Word of God for the purpose of disciple-making, apart from any denominational ties.
Duke Jeffries was called to pastor this little flock, which would call itself the Church of the Saviour. An acting board of Elders was established, and the selected as the C.O.S. motto the charge from Ephesians 4:12 – “equipping the saints for the work of the ministry”. Our first Sunday Worship Service was held in a private home on July 3, 1994. Three weeks later we began meeting at the Myersville School in western Frederick County. Weekly Sunday School was added on October 2. During these months a group of men designated as the Foundations Committee completed twelve weeks of prayerful study of the Scriptures in order to establish the C.O.S. Statement of Faith, which would become the heart of the C.O.S. Constitution, affirmed and signed by forty-seven Charter Members on October 20, 1994. The Sacrament of Communion was first ministered on November 11, and the Sacrament of Holy Baptism was first ministered on September 10, 1995. Our church began to grow in number, grace and truth.
On August 2, 2000 the C.O.S. Deacons purchased a six acre parcel of land just west of Frederick city for the purpose of erecting a house of worship for our church. The property was formally dedicated on October 29, 2000. There followed years of unsuccessful efforts to develop this piece of raw land, an endeavor which proved costly, frustrating, and increasingly discouraging. Our inability to move from the Myersville School after so many years seemed to have a stagnating effect on our congregation. Though we continued to do important work as a local church, our numerical growth slowed, then stopped. Soon we were losing members to other congregations.
Then, in November of 2009, just after another series of setbacks in regards to developing our property, a small congregation in Rohrersville, Maryland voted to give their 19th century building to us, an act so unusual, so unaccountably gracious, that a local TV station plans to cover the story in a televised report. This opportunity took us completely by surprise, but we now see it not only as a most generous gesture by a group of fellow Christians, but also as an extraordinary movement of God in our own midst. We gratefully accepted their offer, and our first Sunday Service will be held there, Deo volente, on February 28. We pray that God will bless us in Rohrersville, and that the Holy Spirit will empower our church there for the spread of the gospel of Christ in, around, and beyond that community, soli Deo gloria.