What we now know as Regester Chapel United Methodist Church most likely started as a result of the Sunday School movement in the 1800s. We are led to believe, by the sparse knowledge we have of Stafford County, that the first Methodists met in the Stafford Courthouse and continued to meet thereafter it was first indicated in the reports in Stafford County in 1880. There are no official records indicating this, but the first actual church building is mentioned by the quarterly conference of April 28, 1883. The church was reportedly named for Dr. Samuel Regester, who at a later date became the presiding elder (now called the district superintendent) of the Virginia Conference.
The first building stood for 31 years, but due to deterioration within the building, a second new building was constructed in 1911. Both of these buildings were most likely built near the current cemetery. On April 23, 1923, the second building was almost completely destroyed by a tornado and very few records survived that disaster. Because the building was leveled, the church school, and services were again held in the Stafford Courthouse. A new church building was built and first service was held on December 7, 1924. It was dedicated on July 31, 1927. The conference records show that the windows were left open (in December!) so that the overflow crowd around the building could hear the sermon and participate in the singing. An adjoining educational wing was completed on February 28, 1959, and an additional wing for classrooms was added in 1983. The parsonage, which was adjacent to the church, still stands. For many years, the parsonage was primarily used as a youth building when the church purchased a different parsonage near Garrisonville Road. The church no longer maintains a parsonage but does provide a housing allowance to the ministers serving Regester Chapel UMC.
In the early 1990s, the congregation started looking toward expanding the church facilities to accommodate the growing number of members. After much planning, research, and earnest prayer, it was decided that a new church building would be built on a 24-acre tract purchased earlier. The building was built at 85 Bells Hill Road about one-half mile from the old location. The first services were held in the new building in December 1998. In 2004, the old location and the old parsonage were sold. In 2002, we dedicated a new youth building on the property which has several new classrooms, a gymnasium and a kitchen facility for serving prepared food.
Since 1880, when the church was first identified as a church, we have grown, thanks to the grace of God. Regester Chapel is an active congregation in the Stafford community. In addition, we sponsor a Mothers’ Morning Out ministry, a fully accredited Children’s Center, Scout Ministries, a Clown ministry, and several other groups that are allowed to make use of the church’s facilities for meetings.
We look forward to you being a part of our story.