In 1977 there were the Brocks, Castellons, Halberts, Marlars, Murphys, Plymales, Reichards and Wheatons living at Smith Mountain Lake. They had to attend Mass either in Bedford or Lynchburg. They sometimes held Masses in various homes. On Labor Day of 1978, Pat Marlar had 70 people attend Mass at her home. Those 70 people are now acknowledged as the Charter Group for the origination of this parish.
Recognizing the need for other accommodations, they met at the Moneta Elementary school. Pat Marlar worked to form a parish. She attended a Ministry Formation Program for three years and three summer courses at the Kansas City Institute for Pastoral Life. Pat was installed as Pastoral Associate in 1986. In the next year, the Bishop Sullivan gave her the title ‘Pastoral Coordinator’.
They moved to the Bethlehem United Methodist Church with Masses year round. Thanks to the commitment of the original 60 families, they were recognized as a parish, rather than a mission, known as Smith Mountain Lake Catholic Community. In 1984 the parish was given the name Resurrection. By 1985 there were 65 registered families and about 25 part time parishioners. The first Pastoral Council was elected with Bob Rauth as Chair, assisted by Ed Kihm, Kathryn Shay, Diane McVaney and John Lightner.
May 2, 1987 saw the ground breaking for our first home for the church. The building committee was chaired by Dale Whiteis, Fund Raising by Phil Castellon and the Finance Council by Bill Ringel. Joe Bisso designed all the furnishings and built most of them himself. Several parishioners participated on a daily basis. Dale Whiteis, Dick Brock and Bill Leary spent countless hours at the property, seeing to the myriad of details. The dedication was held on November 7th attended by honored guests from the Methodist Church and priests that served the parish. In 1995, after 7 years, they were able to burn the mortgage.
We were privileged to be able to return the hospitality shown us by Bethlehem United Methodist Church by sharing our facilities as a temporary home for Trinity Ecumenical Parish from 1988 to 1997.
Our ever growing Catholic population brought the need of an expansion program. This led to the dedication of our now considerably larger and very beautiful worship space in November 1997. We have a new social hall and several classrooms to accommodate our religious education program.
The building itself is a symbol of the church…who we are! It is an all purpose building. The structure is built on a foundation with all the parts supporting the other parts. Each of our members is a living stone….TOGETHER, WE ARE THE CHURCH….an edifice of spirit, offering prayer and sacrifice of praise…..with Christ as our cornerstone.