As of July 1, Reverend Monica Raines will be the lead pastor of Christ United Methodist Church located at 900 Fourth St. SW.

Rev. Raines is a preacher, teacher, and Christian leader whose deepest desire lies in following Jesus Christ. She is passionate about authentic ministry that meets people where they are—and teaching others to do the same.

During her ministry, Rev. Raines has been blessed to serve as an Associate Minister of New Bethel Baptist Church from 2006-2012, and has also served on the preaching teams at Wilson Temple United Methodist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, and The Emory Fellowship in DC.

Rev. Raines holds a Master of Divinity degree from Wesley Theological Seminary (2017) in DC. She also has obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill (2009). On June 1, Rev. Raines was commissioned as a Provisional Elder during the 233rd session of the Baltimore Washington Annual Conference.

Q: Can you share the history and background that brings you to SW?

Christ United Methodist Church has been a part of the SW community for 50-plus years and is a member of the Baltimore Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church (CUMC), Greater Washington District. Pastors are appointed here by the conference to serve our local communities, and I am so excited to be here in Southwest!

Q: What is your vision for the Church?

My vision for CUMC is that we will continue to be a community-based church that is focused on building the Kingdom of God through preaching, teaching, hands on community outreach ministry, and sharing God’s restorative justice. We desire to be a thriving community with a preferential option for the poor.

Q: And for our SW community?

My vision for our Southwest community is we continue to be a place where love abounds. Even though it is a popular tourist attraction, I would like for those who do come to visit Southwest to see our beloved community where peace and justice abound.

Q: Will you live in SW?

Yes, I will be living in the parsonage provided by the church in the Southwest community. I am very excited to be living here, and I look forward to being your neighbor!

Q: What do you want SW residents to know about you?

I enjoy traveling, exercising, good movie, and hiking. Great Falls is a place I frequent often! I want the Southwest community to know that they are ALL welcome at CUMC; we are your church in your community!

Q: What has CUMC contributed to the SW Community?

As I understand it, CUMC has a rich history of service, including its annual school supplies program, health and hygiene kits for the homeless, the SHARE food distribution program, after-school tutoring sessions for young men after church, opportunities for young women to support church ministries, and the monthly community breakfast on the third Saturday of the month, from 9 to 11 a.m. We’ve also been involved in supporting housing and other social justice issues.

In addition, we are also seeking applicants for two part-time positions—a new office coordinator and a musician (full descriptions available at, and to make our church space available for meeting and events rentals—please contact the church if you are interested.

Q: Any closing comments?

I welcome the opportunity to meet and get to know the members of this community so come join us for worship service on Sundays at 10 a.m., weekly scripture meetings on Tuesdays at noon, weekly Bible study on Thursday at 6:30 p.m., and adult Sunday school at 9 a.m. each Sunday.

Thank you in advance for welcoming me in to your wonderful community!

By: Marva Gumbs Jennings

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