A Story of Service: Part 3

Missionary service had already been a part of James and Jerry Condie’s lives and their ancestry. Brother Condie’s father served in Arizona shortly after his marriage. After his missionary service he and his wife had seven children, the middle child being James Condie. James grew up and followed these missionary examples, serving in the East German Mission from 1950-1953. He served in the cities of Berlin, Hannover, Braunschweig, Kiel, and Husum.

And then it came time for Brother and Sister Condie to serve as missionaries together. They were called to serve in the Bangalore, India mission in 2001-2002. They were responsible for supporting up to 16 elders or sisters, by managing bank accounts and distributing weekly allowances, locating and furnishing apartments. They also managed the publicity and programs for a new chapel open house and dedication, counseled with and trained the local leadership, taught music, taught English, organized family home evenings for singles, and taught classes.

India first LDS constructed chapel India at ground breaking for Second LDS chapel

Sister Condie says of their time in India, “The branches were led and staffed by local people.  They needed help in learning how the programs of the church should be administered.   All the church members were converts of less than 10 years, but they knew the gospel!”

The Condies spoke highly of the Indian people. “The Indian people are exceptionally friendly, polite and respectful of Americans.  The saints in India have strong testimonies, love the Lord and learn the gospel quickly.  They can teach a class or conduct a meeting as well as anyone here. In the branches where we were located, there were convert baptisms almost each week. The recently formed first stake in India was organized in our first assigned city of about 5 million people, Hyderabad and we were excited to have known the new leaders.”

They related one special memory of when they introduced the gospel to a family they met while traveling on a train. They said, “We met a man who said that he was looking for a better way to worship Christ.  We introduced him, his wife and two children to the Book of Mormon and the church.  He is now a solid member and presides over the Visakhaputnam  District of the church on the East coast of India.”

India Jerry at orphanage India Jerry and little girl

They also were able to enjoy cultural events such as several weddings that had both Christian and Hindu festivities.  Other parts of the Indian culture that were a bit nerve-wracking were the auto rickshaw rides. The Condies said that these rides, “weaved in and out of traffic. That led us to say a prayer for our safety and others on the road.  We became well acquainted with bargaining with the drivers of the auto rickshaws and taxis as to what our trip would cost.  They always charged us more than anyone else.  We became accustomed to seeing cattle and goats roaming the streets, and monkeys climbing the walls.  We enjoyed the marketplaces and the fresh fruit and vegetables.  There is no mango as good as a mango from Hyderabad, India.”

After returning from India the Condies spent a few more years in their Woodbridge home and then made the move to their current home in 2007 where they now attend the Quantico Ward in the Woodbridge Stake. Their legacy of quiet dedicated service goes on and on.

Jerry 2012 James 2012

By Camille Kerr

Writing Specialist on the Woodbridge, Virginia Stake Public Affairs Council for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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A Story of Service: Part 2

Just a few months after the Woodbridge chapel dedication another special dedication took place. On November 19, 1974 President Spencer W. Kimball, the prophet and president of the church at the time, came to dedicate the newly built Washington D.C. temple. The Condies remembered being able to attend the dedication.

Sister Condie said, “Many of us were able to act as hostesses and hosts and James sat on the upper chairs not far from President Kimball as he dedicated the temple.  We also witnessed the beautiful choir that performed that day and we were all certain that there were angels chiming in.” Brother Condie said it was a spiritually touching experience to be present in the temple when President Kimball led the Hosanna shout.

The temple itself was a sign of growth and brought with it even more membership to the area.

Within just a few years the church building on Dale Blvd needed more space to accommodate the growing membership. New rooms were added onto the building and it was rededicated in 1978. Bishop Condie was privileged to speak at the dedication. He shared the history and the stories of the construction of the Woodbridge Chapel and likened these stories of building the chapel to the gospel. After reading his remarks from the dedication and from the dedication of the Woodbridge Stake center in 1994, you may find yourself gazing at the light fixtures, ceiling beams, and brick wall and seeing the Dale City building in a new light.

phase 2 bld phase 2 const  cultural hall phase 2 from parking

The Condies saw the church grow so much that while living in the same house in Woodbridge for 42 years they belonged to seven stakes throughout the years: Potomac, Mt. Vernon, Annandale, Fairfax, Fredericksburg, Centerville and Woodbridge.

Throughout those years they served in many different ways. Sister Condie said, “I have been called to most positions except secretary and librarian. I played the church organ for many years, and accompanied many a choir. Each calling was a chance to grow and learn. New experiences were always there.”   She has had many opportunities to serve in the stake and ward Relief Society, stake and ward Young Women, and as ward Primary President and Counselor. She has also had many chances to teach the gospel in various classes in Relief Society, Young Women, Primary, and Sunday School.

Before being called as bishop of the Woodbridge Ward, Brother Condie had also served as branch clerk, scout master, counselor to branch presidency, and member of the high council.

In 1979 Br. Condie was called and ordained as the Stake Patriarch by Elder Mark E. Peterson. Two weeks later he was released as bishop. He served as an active patriarch until 2001 when he and Sister Condie were called to be missionaries in India. For 22 years Brother Condie gave over 1100 patriarchal blessings to members in the Fairfax, Fredericksburg, Centerville and Woodbridge Stakes. Brother Condie says of this calling, “Stake patriarch is the most awesome, sweet, satisfying, humbling and spiritual calling you can imagine.  It requires many prayers and solid reliance on the Lord and the guidance of the Spirit.”

In 1994 they were called yet again to bless the lives of the members in this area with their service as temple ordinance workers. Of this service they said, “We enjoy and feel it is a privilege to attend the temple each week as ordinance workers.”

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.”

Dedication of the Woodbridge Chapel, Address by Bishop Condie, 1978

Please click on the following link to read James Condie’s address at the dedication of the Woodbridge Chapel in 1978.

Chapel Dedication 1978 J. Condie

Woodbridge Ward History

Please click on the following link to read a history of the Woodbridge Ward and the building of the Dale City Chapel.  The history was written by James Condie and Geraldine Condie.

History