A Story of Service: Part 1

A mathematical statistician.

A Primary President teaching Primary children in Prince William Forest

A Bishop of the first ward in the Woodbridge area.

A patriarch

A missionary couple serving in India

Parents of 9 children, 22 grandchildren, and 18 great-grandchildren

Married for 53 years.

Two amazing people who saw and were a part of the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Woodbridge, Virginia area.

 

Meet James and Jerry Condie.

One consistent story threads its way through their story.

It is the story of service: quiet, dedicated service to the Lord, Jesus Christ.

 

Their story started generations ago with faithful Latter-day Saint pioneer ancestors, one of whom served his mission in the same area where the Condies now live. James O. Ivie, served as a missionary during the 1890’s in the Southern States Mission, serving and teaching in Dumfries, Virginia.

 

Brother Condie spoke of his great-grandfather saying, “In his journal, (my great-grandfather) writes of his experiences while trying to teach in Dumfries, Virginia. He had no success while here and left with two impressions: that the adversary’s influence was strong in Dumfries and that the soil in the area was very poor. He wrote that the local people felt that Mormons were simply trying to recruit young women to go to Utah and become plural wives. (Now), as we drive through old town Dumfries, we look at buildings and wonder if my Grandfather may have knocked on that door.”

 

About seventy years later another Condie blessed this area with his service. James Condie moved into the Woodbridge area in 1964 with his beautiful wife Jerry and their six children. There was no Woodbridge Stake. There weren’t even any church buildings in the area. But there were the Condies – along with a handful of other LDS families in the Woodbridge area – and they were ready to serve.

 

Brother Condie had been working for the US Department of Agriculture in Idaho as a statistician when he met Sister Condie, then Geraldine Olson. They married in the St. George temple in October of 1962 and combined their existing families, for a total of five little ones, 3 to 7 years old.

Marriage day Saint Gearge temple

After a year of additional statistical training at Iowa State University, the Department of Agriculture transferred the family to Washington D.C. and the Woodbridge area. Brother Condie explained, “We thought that after two years we would be transferred back west, but found that the best jobs were here in Washington, D.C. A few years later I took a position with the Federal Reserve and later with the International Monetary Fund. My work has been mostly in research and development, including sample surveys, economic mathematical modeling, data analysis, high level computer language development, etc.”

 

And so they stayed. Their family grew to a total of nine children and they worked hard, serving in the church and watching the church blossom around them.

home 1965   family,about 1974

According to Brother Condie, “Jerry’s career has been more difficult. She has been tasked with the human development of nine children and one husband.” Sister Condie settled their large family into the routine of school, activities and of course church. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had always been a big part of their lives and so it was natural for them to accept a variety of callings as the church grew.

 

They began going to church in what was then the Woodbridge Branch in the Potomac Stake. Sacrament meeting was held in the Masonic Lodge building on Woodbridge Street. Sunday School and Priesthood meetings were held in the activity building on Quantico Marine Base.

Masonic Lodge Arizona Street Bld

The branch grew and meeting places changed to a house on Arizona Avenue in Woodbridge. In the spring of 1966 a site was selected for a chapel on Dale Blvd, but it wasn’t until August 18, 1974 that the building was finished and dedicated.

 

In the meantime in 1970 the Woodbridge Branch held Sunday meetings in the Neabsco Elementary School in Dale City. Since Primary, Relief Society, and Mutual met during the week they had to find other locations. Primary even met in the Prince William Forest Park, with each class assigned to a picnic table, presided over by the Primary President, Sister Condie.   Eventually the branch rented Good Shepherd Methodist Church on Mondays for Primary RS and Mutual.

Methodist Church             Neabsco Sch

In April of 1970 the Woodbridge Branch became part of the Mount Vernon Stake and in September they became the Woodbridge Ward. The Dale Blvd chapel was planned to be built and the groundbreaking was held in October 1971. The Condies, like other ward members, put their muscle and work into building the chapel on Dale Blvd.   They helped build walls, construct and shingle roofs, finish the inside, install lights, and stain the podium and doors.

Phase 1 from parking Phase 1 chpl

Brother Condie became the Bishop of the Woodbridge Ward in 1975 not long after the chapel was finished and dedicated in 1974. He describes this ward as “the mother of all other Prince William county wards.  The original ward boundaries were larger than our current stake boundaries.”

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