Our History

In 1956, Rev. Mildred Park founded the Unity Study Group

This group met in the Fairfax Town Hall until 1958, when it moved to a little white building at 202 E. Main Street in Fairfax. In 1961, the Unity Study Group was renamed Unity of Fairfax Church of the Daily Word. Feeling some growing pains, we began to make plans in 1967 for a building of our own, to be located in Oakton. Construction began in 1974.

Because the congregation had outgrown the little white building on E. Main Street, Sunday services were held in the Robert Frost Middle School from 1973–1975.

In 1975, Unity of Fairfax moved to its new home at 2854 Hunter Mill Road in Oakton (the smaller of our two buildings now). By 1986, the congregation had outgrown this building as well, so Sunday services were held at James Madison High School.

This situation lasted only two years, thanks to Unity of Fairfax’s purchase of an adjoining property known as Hill House. This house provided space for classrooms and offices, and allowed expansion of parking as well.

Original Building at 2854 Hunter Mill Road: The Mildred Park Center

From 1988 to 2001, Unity of Fairfax settled back into its building for a period of temporary tranquility before further growth necessitated another move. This time, the congregation decided on an ambitious building plan that would allow for continued growth in place and eliminate the need to move again. The project involved demolishing Hill House and the raising of the beautiful building we have today. Construction required that the congregation once more find a temporary home.

From June 2001 to November 2002, Unity of Fairfax was dispersed across the area: Sunday services were held at Fairfax High School; office business was conducted from a donated space in the Mastercraft Furniture Store; and classes, choir rehearsal, and other meetings were held in a nearby private home called Pinecrest. A volunteer drove the van each Sunday to transport the bookstore, podium, and platform chairs, youth supplies, coffee pots, and other materials to Fairfax High School.

At last, in November 2002, we moved into our new building: a beautiful, modern structure. In 2003, Unity of Fairfax members decided to rename the original building The Mildred Park Center, in honor of our founder.

It’s good to be home. Won’t you join us?


Jean Lentz, fourth from left, was project manager for construction of the current building in 2002

  Our Ministers from the Beginning

  1. Mildred Park (founded as a licensed teacher; ordained in 1962) – 1956–1970
  2. David Davenport – 1970–1977
  3. Larry Miller – July – Nov 1977
  4. Alan Stanley – Sep 1978 – Dec 1981
  5. Helice Greene – August 1982 – 1992
  6. Nicholas Griffin – Interim Minister 1992
  7. Bill Wilson – Sep 1992 – July 1994
  8. E.J. Niles – Associate Minister – July 1993 – July 1994
  9. E.J. Niles & Jane St. John (co-ministers) – July 1994 – Dec 1998
  10. Terry Dearmore & Donna (Johnson) Dearmore (co-ministers) – Dec 1998 – Fall of 2002
  11. Donna Johnson – Senior Minister – Fall of 2002 – July 2012
  12. Sandra Butler – Associate Minister – June 2005 – July 2012
  13. Jane St. John – Pastoral Care Minister – July 2004 – 2015
  14. Sandra Butler – Temporary Senior Minister – July 2012 – March 2013
  15. Russell Heiland –  Senior Minister – April 2013 – Present


Board of Trustees 1975, with Rev. David Davenport (first row, second from left)


The History Ministry: Midd Hunt, Joan Marie Barringer, Karen Skelton, Joanna Shows

Updated October 23, 2023