What kind of name is Luther Rice?

The church is named after man who was a leader in convincing Baptists in the 1800s that they could join together in common causes such as education and missons. Luther Rice began a wide spectrum of activities that undergird the way Baptist bodies operate together today. He traveled with the early Baptist missionaries Adoniram and Ann Judson to Asia but returned to the United States to raise money for their work with the intention of returning to the mission field. Instead, he rode from Boston to Savannah calling on fiercely independent Baptist churches to unite in support of foreign missions in response to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.) Luther Rice came to the conclusion that a missionary society should be developed in every state, which would belong to a national society that met every three years. The national society became The General Convention of the Baptist Denomination. Eventually a Home Mission Society was added as well as an educational society and the three became the form used by modern Baptist bodies. In 1822 he spearheaded the opening of Columbian College in Washington, which is now the George Washington University. Luther Rice also published the first Baptist weekly family newspaper, The Columbian Star. He organized the Baptist General Tract Society which grew into the American Baptist Publication Society. Luther Rice was a denominational statesman and dedicated to bring Christ to the world. It is in the spirit of his witness and mission that this church strives to be a force for God locally, regionally, and internationally.

For a fuller history click here.

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What kind of Baptist are you?

In true Baptist form, Luther Rice Church has voluntarily aligned itself with several other Baptist groups.

For regional, national and global efforts, we are currently aligned with:

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When are worship services?

Worship services are on Sunday mornings at 11:00 am. During the Easter and Christmas seasons, we often have additional services.

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Will I fit in at your church?

Someone once said, "The Christian church is not meant to be an exclusive club that is totally wrapped up in itself. The church knows no boundaries when reaching out in love to others." Luther Rice certainly embraces this kind of thinking. Even our Vision Statement, recited at the close of every Sunday morning worship service, indicates that we consciously strive to be an ethnically diverse people, empowered by the Holy Spirit, a community of faith and service. That's a long way of saying whether you are red or yellow, black or white, you are precious in God's sight and in the heart and mind of Luther Rice Memorial Baptist Church. All are welcome here. As you can see by the pictures on our website, our congregation is a genuine mix of race, culture, and age.

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What is your vision?

Called to personal discipleship in Christ Jesus, we of Luther Rice Memorial Baptist Church are committed to being a Christ-centered, biblically grounded, ethnically diverse, people. As a people of prayer, empowered by the Holy Spirit, we will strive to be a community of faith and service, that the gospel might be preached and lived in our community, nation, and world.

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The church is located just outside the Beltway (I-495) at 801 University Blvd W between Colesville Road (US-29) and Georgia Ave (US-97)

Coming east on the Beltway

Take exit 30a (US 29 / Colesville Road) north and proceed .5 miles. Now comes the tricky part.

You must turn left at University Blvd but there is no left turn off of Colesville Road. To turn left you turn right and immediately move to the left lane. There will be a curving exit on the left just past the Methodist church. Take it and enter University Blvd now going west. We are located 1.1 miles down the road on the right just past Eisner Street. Look for the steeple. The parking lot entrance is on the west side of the building.

Coming west on the Beltway

Take the University Blvd west exit (29). Stay on University Blvd for .2 miles through the intersection with US 29 / Colesville Road. Continue on University Blvd for another mile. We are on the right past Eisner Street. Look for the steeple. The entrance to the parking lot is on the far side of the church building.

Coming from Wheaton (Georgia Avenue)

Go east down University Blvd for 2 miles from Georgia Avenue. You will see the church on the left (look for the steeple). Continue to the next left at Eisner St. At the next intersection at Edgewood Avenue, turn left. Edgewood dead-ends into the church parking lot.

Google Map and Specific Driving Instructions

View a map of our location on Google Maps (once there, click Get Directions for specific driving directions).

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What other organizations use the church building?

Two other Christian congregations use Luther Rice's building space for worship. They are Iglesia Bautista Gethsemane and Iglesia Pentecostale Sinai. In addition, two full-time schools use LRMBC's space on weekdays. They are the Edgewood school of Pathways Schools, and the 4 Corners Community Nursery.

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Does the church rent out space?

The church is not in a position to rent out space for public use. However, as space is available, the church will occasionally consider one-time or short-term use by non-profit organizations. For this purpose, a certificate of insurance must be filed with the church office. Also, a building use application, available from the church office, must be submitted and approved in advance.

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What if I want to get married in your church?

Occasionally, an engaged couple desires the use of our sanctuary as a place for their wedding ceremony to be held. When the couple is affiliated with one of the worshipping congregations mentioned above, scheduling should be made through their pastor who will then contact our church office. Other couples, including those affiliated with Luther Rice, may go through the church office directly by emailing LutherRice@aol.com or calling 301.593.1130. Office hours are 9am - 1 pm, Monday through Friday. All couples married by the pastor of Luther Rice are required to receive premarital counseling, which is offered. (See Couples Counseling on this page.) With few exceptions, wedding receptions are not held at the church.

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What about music opportunities?

Do you like to sing? Anyone wanting to raise their voices in praise to God are welcome to join the adult choir. Rehearsals are on held Sunday mornings at 9:00 am and Wednesday evenings at 7:00 pm. The choir sings in the morning worship service.

The Handbell Choir was re-formed in the summer of 2007. If you have a sense of rhythm and can count to eight, you might like to try this fun type of music. Rehearsals are held on Monday evenings from 6:30 to 8:00.

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Do you have holy communion?

Referred more commonly at Luther Rice as the Lord's Supper, we observe this important practice during morning worship on the first Sunday of every month. It is a tangible reminder of Christ's Last Supper with his disciples before He was crucified on the cross. We regard the bread (usually a round, paper-like wafer or a very small piece of bread) as a symbol of Christ's body that was "broken" when He died to show God's love for all of humankind. We regard the cup (grape juice usually served on a tray in small, plastic cups) as a symbol of Christ's blood that was "shed" when He died to show God's love for all of humankind. All those who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord are invited to take part in this Lord's Supper. Most individuals participate in the Lord's Supper for the first time after they have been baptized. During a Lord's Supper service, after these elements have been distributed to all participating individuals present, it is our usual practice to consume the bread/juice simultaneously at the moment indicated by the pastor. Those who do not wish to participate, or who are not yet spiritually ready to participate, simply pass the plate to others seated on their pew.

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How do I join the church?

Church membership is a serious step. Looking for a church to meet your needs is only half of the consideration that should be made. One should also find a church where service can be offered. Luther Rice strives to meet the needs of individuals, and it also strives to be a church through which individuals can make real contributions through personal service. After time and consideration have been given to both availability of spiritual nourishment and Christian service opportunity, speak to the pastor about your desire to become an official part of the church family. She will then invite you to make your intention known by merely walking to the front of the church while everyone sings the last song on Sunday morning.

If you are a member of a multi-person household, it is encouraged that you make selecting a church a group decision. For example, where a family chooses to worship will affect family members from infant to adult. Parents should be intentional about involving children in the decision-making process. Everyone can be included in times of shared prayer when God�s guidance is requested for locating the right church for you.

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What is believer's baptism about?

We practice baptism by immersion. This means that baptism occurs in water, following the example of Jesus� baptism as it is described in all four of the gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Once you publicly profess belief in Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, you will be encouraged to be baptized. This is done no matter what your age. Baptism is regarded as a testimony or public announcement of one's faith. Furthermore, it is symbolic of what happens to a Christian when a new life of faith begins. When a person is immersed, it is like saying, "I am forever forgiven for my sins." When a person rises from the waters of baptism, it is like saying, "I will walk in newness of life." While a person does not have to be baptized to be a Christian, the church encourages that all of its members be baptized believers. A baptism usually takes place near the beginning of any Sunday morning worship service, and it requires advance arrangement with the pastor.

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What is a baby dedication?

A baby doesn't know that he or she believes in Jesus and therefore is not baptized. However, many parents choose to dedicate their babies. A Baby Dedication involves a litany of prayerful promise that all effort will be made by parents, family members, and congregation alike to lovingly guide and teach the child in a way that enables him/her to know and experience God�s love. A Baby Dedication can be requested and arranged through the pastor with an advance notice of 2 or more weeks. Sunday morning worship services immediately before or following Thanksgiving are often regarded as particularly good times to include Baby Dedications.

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