The Rev. Anne Holmes- retired


The Rev. Anne Holmes, Sr. Pastor

Rev. Anne Holmes retired from ministry as of June 30. Her final Sunday was also PRIDE Sunday and worship and a celebration of her ministry was held on Zoom.

Bethel believes that until EVERYONE can be vaccinated (children included), we will stay on Zoom to protect the vulnerable.

Anne (pictured at left on her first Sunday at Bethel) joined Bethel as Designated Pastor in June 2017.  She has a Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, Tenn., an interdenominational seminary that educates pastors of all denominations. She was ordained by the United Church of Christ at Emmaus United Church of Christ in Vienna, Va. in 1982. She also serves as Associate Moderator of the Potomac Association of the Central Atlantic Conference of the United Church of Christ.

She is the first lesbian to have been ordained as a minister in the United Church of Christ. In the statement of the spiritual journey that brought her to seek ordination — a personal and theological biography required of all candidates — Holmes dealt forthrightly with the homosexuality issue: How she had become aware of her sexual orientation as a college student in Tennessee, her struggles with self hatred, how she rebelled against the advice to keep her lesbian orientation a secret because that would contradict “the openness with which we are called to live our lives,” she said. “I didn’t want this to become the issue, but I was too honest to hide it,” she told the association, which ultimately voted 94 to 36 to ordain her.

Pastor Anne’s last Sunday

Friends at ACOB say goodbye.

Rev. Carolyn Richar is Bethel’s temporary interim pastor for July 2021 until another interim can be secured. She can be reached for pastoral care in the evenings at her phone found in the church directory, or by emailing pastorcarolyn AT bethelucc-va.org. (Replace AT with the sign and eliminate spaces.)