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Our history

Our congregation began as First Agape A.M.E. Zion Church of Silver Spring, MD. Years later, First Agape at Gibson Grove found its way to the Gibson Grove site, at 7700 Seven Locks Road in Bethesda, MD, which we now call our church home.

First Agape inherited a historic site - The Gibson Grove church building, named after Sarah Gibson, a former slave from Virginia who migrated to the area shortly after the Civil War. The building is more than 100 years old and held the second oldest congregation in the Cabin John community. Read More Here

Our Commitment

In February of 2004, the church burned due to a fire in the oil heating system.

At this time, First Agape has completed a preliminary design for the new and expanded church building. The design has preliminary approval from the Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission. We have completed the stabilization phase of the historic church. Our next steps are:

  1. Completion of gravesite identification behind the church building

  2. Removal and recycling of the trees around the church used for church construction

  3. Installation of a retaining wall for the new church design

  4. Partner with Federal and Maryland Highway Administrations for the Beltway expansion impacts

  5. Build expanded and renovated Church

We have several hurdles ahead of us:

  • Waiver and exceptions for the proposed church design (County Board of Appeals)

  • Land recordation

  • Financing for the $3,200,000.00 project estimate

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Your donation


We are deeply grateful for your interest in supporting the restoration of our church building and the mission of the First Agape AME Zion Church. Thank you! To make your donation today, click on the donate button below and complete the secure online giving form. God Bless you!

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