Jesus said, “Come and see.” We invite you to explore with us.
We are a large, multicultural family of faith seeking to shine his light in suburban Washington and around the world. We come from across the entire USA, along with parts of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
We are single, married, widowed, and divorced. We cross boundaries that separate people.
Jesus unites us. We want to be more like him. We practice our faith by taking up his disciplines, by helping each other, and by helping our community too.
We consider it a blessing that you are visiting our site, and we pray that doors will open in your life.
God says in Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” At GPC we are still discovering those things. We invite you to join us for the journey.
Read below for information about our worship times, location, church staff, personal stories, and orientation for prospective members.
- 6:30 PM: Alternative
Singing, prayer, and conversational Bible study
- 8:00 AM: Meditative
Intimate worship with organ, sermon, and hymns
- 9:30 AM: Contemporary
Upbeat music and sermon
- 11:00 AM: Traditional
Choirs, sermon, and the full, graded educational program for children and youth
In 1962, the Potomac Presbytery selected the community of Gaithersburg as the location for a new church. The first service was held on November 25 with 25 parishioners in attendance. On May 17, 1964, the Gaithersburg Presbyterian Church was formally organized with 82 charter members. Services were originally held at the Gaithersburg Junior High and High Schools until the first building was constructed in 1966 at our current location. The first service in the new building was held on July 24, 1966.
From these humble beginnings, the GPC family has grown to more than 775 members of different backgrounds, cultures, ages, and occupations. The diversity within our walls has created a fruitful ministry and unites us as one family of God to worship and serve our Lord.
Our mission is to create a global community of faith-centered people in Jesus Christ, and to share His message in our daily lives. At GPC, we worship the Lord with heart, soul, mind, and strength; engage the central Montgomery County community; and focus on creating a new generation of Christian disciples.
GPC encourages and nurtures spiritual development through service, exciting programs, and diverse activities. Local and global retreats and missions allow our members to spread the message of Jesus Christ not only to local neighbors, but also the world.
God says, “Call to me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” (Jeremiah 33:3)
At GPC, we are still discovering all those things, and we invite you to join us on our spiritual journey.
Our Vision and Mission
Gaithersburg Presbyterian Church, called by God to be:
A global, caring community of faith, centered in Jesus Christ, training people to share His life everywhere we go.
Our top three priorities are:
- To worship the Lord with heart, soul, mind and strength
- To engage our neighbors in central Montgomery County
- To equip each generation for Christian discipleship.
Church officers are elected and serve as elders on session, the church’s governing council. Other members serve as deacons to lead GPC works of compassion and as trustees to represent the church corporation. Lay leaders work closely with pastors and church staff to drive our mission forward.
The Rev. Dr. D. Jay Losher
Interim Senior Pastor
Pastor Jay has had both permanent and interim positions around the country and comes to us from nearby Reston, Virginia. GPC is his ninth interim pastorate in eight states. A native Texan, he has a ministry degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and holds a PhD in Ethics and Society from Northwestern University. He served in the mission field for 10 years on the theological faculty of a Christian university in Central Java, Indonesia, where he helped train new pastors, teaching them the theological and social scientific tools to plant and grow new churches.
Pastor Jay was married for 32 years to Kathleen and has three adult children—two daughters, both married, and a son. Kathleen died of cancer 2004, and he married Susan in 2008.
My particular gifts are for helping congregations focus on God’s mission in their community and world, and helping them live into God’s future. —Pastor Jay
The Rev. Mary Beth Lawrence
Pastor Mary Beth was born in Newberry, South Carolina, and graduated from Furman University with a B.A. in history and then from Columbia Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity. She considers the highlight of her life in Christ to be when she made her profession of faith in Him—in body and soul, in life and in death, not to herself but to her faithful Savior Jesus Christ. That belonging led Mary Beth to the First Presbyterian Church in Marietta, Georgia, where she served for 15 years prior to joining GPC in May 2002.
Her service to GPC has led her to know people all around the world and how they serve Jesus. The GPC congregation rises to the challenge to meet the basic needs of the people through community prayer and action. Different generations come together to help one another, to play together, to study God’s Word together, and to serve our community together.
As Associate Pastor, Mary Beth works with many of the caring ministries within the congregation and in the community.
Director of Music and Worship Arts
Teresa Violett McCoy began her journey with Gaithersburg Presbyterian Church on February 1, 2015 as Director of Music and Worship Arts. Teresa holds degrees from Westminster Choir College and Florida State University. She is an accomplished music director, vocalist, pianist, organist and teacher.
Teresa has been a professional church musician for all of her adult life and considers it to be her calling, not just her job. “My plan for my life was to become a big star on Broadway – but God had other plans for me,” she says. “Every time I’ve tried to go in a different direction with my career, God has pulled me back into service in the church.” Most recently, she served the Beckley Presbyterian Church in Beckley, West Virginia for 10 years; and during that time, she was Music Director for Theatre West Virginia and an adjunct professor at Concord University.
Teresa is married to Dr. Jim McCoy, who is a pastor and college English professor. They are the parents of Meredith, Marjorie, and Andrew.
Director of Children and Young Families
God led Carolyn Hayes and her husband, Stuart, to GPC in 1995, and they joined 3 years later. Since then, Carolyn has served in many capacities —as Sunday School teacher, VBS teacher and director, Bridges to Worship leader, church elder, lay leader, and coordinator for FourthNight children’s activities.
Carolyn has a degree in Modern Society and Social Thought from the University of California at Santa Cruz (an interesting major but unrelated to her career). She worked in retail for 14 years, and retired upon the birth of her daughter. A few years later, she quite unexpectedly started teaching preschool and found a calling. Carolyn worked at Gaithersburg First Baptist Church for 2½ years and then moved to Gaithersburg Presbyterian Preschool and Kindergarten, where she taught for the next 16 years.
God had been calling her for several years to the work she has now taken on, but she did not heed the call until this January, when she could ignore it no longer.
Carolyn and Stuart have been married for 24 years and are the parents of an adult daughter, Sarah.
“I am humbled, grateful, and thrilled to be able to serve in this way and, with the help and guidance of GPC’s children and young families, look forward to fleshing out the position of Director of Children and Young Families.”—Carolyn
Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries
Carrie Larsen is a passionate youth pastor, Christ follower, sunset watcher, Apple product junkie, music fanatic, concertgoer, jazz lover, storyteller, and beachcomber, and speaks the language of thumbs (a creative way of saying that she is a smartphone guru). She hails from Southern California (Newport Beach area), where she has lived until 7 years ago, when she received a calling to move on faith to the east coast for a Youth Ministry position. She has been serving in Youth Ministry for over 20 years in many different settings at various levels of leadership.
Many words can be used to describe Carrie Larsen: creative, kind, team player, compassionate, funny, outgoing, leader, talkative, caring, honest, and a Child of God, to name a few. Her gifts are creativity, compassion, humor, organization, leadership, and teaching. Most of all, she has a love for Christ, a love for youth of all races…nationalities…and backgrounds. A few of her favorite things include Cinnamon Mentos or Wintergreen Lifesavers (candy); Mexican food, which will always win her heart; Marvel movies, which get her vote but somehow a good Pixar movie is always on replay; and winter (I know it’s crazy for this California girl to love it and she will try not to pray for the “S” word [snow] too much). She also enjoys traveling and seeing different parts of the world and even checking out local sites nearby.
“I know that God has directed my path to be a part of this church family, and I am so excited for this journey to begin. I look forward to meeting each of you in the days to come. I am praying for you and ask that you keep me and this ministry in your prayers as this journey begins” —Carrie
|Amy Smith||Director of Gaithersburg Presbyterian Preschool & Kindergarten||E-mail Amy Smith|
|Paul Byssainthe||Assistant Director of Music and Worship Arts||E-mail Paul Byssainthe|
|Andy Gosnell||Facilities Manager||E-mail Andy Gosnell|
|Jimilee Kalu||Office Manager||E-mail Jimilee Kalu|
|Lisa Lee||Accounting Manager||E-mail Accounting|
|Jenna Obermiller||Communications Manager||E-mail Jenna Obermiller|
Orientation for Prospective Members
Life in Christ
Belonging to Gaithersburg Presbyterian Church is like enlisting with God’s army―minus the combat! There’s a job for everyone. We have a mission. We work as a team. Come to our classes for an interactive, small-group-based introduction to discipleship at GPC.