About Us

For 172 years, Newport-Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church has been a cornerstone of the Newport    community.  Though our world has experienced many changes since the church’s founding in 1850, our striving to reveal the love of God and neighbor remains a constant.

It is our vision to be a welcoming community that provides opportunities for spiritual growth for people at all stages of Christian faith.  We invite you to join us as we share Christ’s love for the world through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Our History

The Newport community and the Newport-Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church is a blend of young and old.  Seven generations have knelt at the church altar over a 169 years since its founding in 1850.  The church has at times reflected the societal norms and changes and similarly has made the effort to truly be a sanctuary as society has experienced the peaks and valleys of difficult times.  The church was in existence at the time of the Civil War and was actually in the line of fire as Federal and Confederate troops exchanged gunfire from the ridge lines over the Village of Newport.  The church witnessed a major earthquake in 1897, a fire that destroyed most of the village in 1902, and major wars that tested the citizenry of Newport.  The same bell that has tolled for funerals has also called the members to worship or signaled the celebration of holy matrimony.   In the annals of the Newport community and the Newport-Mt. Olivet church, the church bell standing as a sentinel has witnessed the sublime, the mundane and the extra-ordinary.  It was present when ministers filled their saddle bags to care for their parishioners and others and has recently witnessed filled backpacks being distributed to those in need.

In summary, we celebrate our heritage to help us understand ourselves, to understand our identities and our connections.  We celebrate to honor those who went before us.  We realize that we stand on broad shoulders of those who paved a way for us and to them we offer our appreciation.  We celebrate because our spiritual ancestors had good ideas, brave attempts and, in some cases, failures-and we learned from them.  They were real people who ministered to others and relied on God’s grace to help them through.  We celebrate because we want to share the good news and preserve the heritage of the people of Newport-Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church.

What Do United Methodists Believe?

UMC Handbook

Our Membership Vows

The Meaning of Baptism in the UMC

The Meaning of Holy Communion in the UMC

We believe in:

Making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

We live by two kinds of faithfulness:

Personal & Social

We follow three simple rules:

Do no harm.

Do Good.

Stay in love with God.

“‘What then is the mark?  Who is a Methodist, according to your own account?’  I answer: A Methodist is one who has ‘the love of God shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost given unto him;’ one who ‘loves the Lord his God with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his mind, and with all his strength.’  God is the joy of his heart, and the desire of his soul; which is constantly crying out, ‘Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee!  My God and my all!  Thou art the strength of my heart, and my potion for ever!'”

John Wesley-“The Character of a Methodist,” in Works, Vol. 8; pg. 341.

Three Simple Rules: A Wesleyan Understanding of the Christian Life

Founder of the Methodist movement in England, John Wesley was determined to foster the disciplined practices that would lead to faithfulness in the way of Jesus.  These practices were outlined in the “General Rules,” and instructions in them and accountability to them was centered in the classes that formed the United Societies of the early Methodist movement (The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church-2004 (The United Methodist Publishing House, 2004).

1)  Do No Harm

“By doing no harm, by avoiding evil of every kind, especially that which is most generally practiced.”

-United Methodist Book of Discipline, 2004.

When we agree that we will not harm those with whom we disagree, conversation, dialogue, and discovery of new insight become possible.  When our words and actions are guarded by this first simple rule, we have time and space to think about consequences before a word is spoken or an action taken.

“It may easily be believed, he [Jesus] who had this love in his heart would work no evil to his neighbor.  It was impossible for him, knowingly and designedly, to do harm to any man.  He was at the greatest distance from cruelty and wrong, from any unjust or unkind action.  With the same care did he ‘set a watch before his mouth, and keep the door of his lips,’ lest he should offend in tongue, either against justice, or against mercy or truth.  He put away all lying, falsehood, and fraud; neither was guile found in his mouth.  He spake evil of no man nor did an unkind word ever come out of his lips.”

John Wesley-“Sermon 4, Scriptural Christianity,” in Works, Vol. 5; pg. 41.

2)  Do Good

“By doing good; by being in every kind merciful after their power; as they have opportunity; doing good of every possible sort, and, as far as possible, to all….”

-United Methodist Book of Discipline, 2004

The words of Jesus and of Wesley suggest that doing good is a universal command.  That is, doing good is not limited to those like me or those who look like me.  Doing good is directed at everyone, even when those who do not fit my category of “worthy” to receive any good that I or others can direct their way.  This command is also universal and no one is exempt from it.

“There is scare any possible way of doing good, for which here is not daily occasion….  Here are poor families to be relieved:  Here are children to be educated:  Here are workhouses, wherein both young and old gladly receive the word of exhortation:  Here are the prisons, and therein a complication of all human wants.”

John Wesley-“Journal from August 12, 1738-November 1, 1739,” in Works, Vol. 1; pg. 181.

3)  Stay in Love with God

“By attending upon all the ordinances of God….”

-United Methodist Book of Discipline, 2004

While the word “ordinance” is strange to our modern ears, John Wesley used it to describe the practices that kept the relationship with God and humans vital, alive, and growing.  Wesley names public worship of God, the Lord’s Supper, private and family prayer, searching the Scriptures, Bible study, and fasting as essential to faithful life.


Our primary weekly worship celebration is every Sunday at 11:00 a.m.   The sacrament of Holy Communion is typically celebrated on the first Sunday of each month and at other times throughout the year.

Children Are Welcome in Worship

Jesus said, “Whoever welcomes a child … welcomes me” (Matthew 18:5).  Children are our present and our future, our hope, our teachers, our inspiration.  They are full participants in the life of the church and in the realm of God. 

Following United Methodist tradition, children are welcome to fully participate in Holy Communion on the First Sunday of each Month.  Children’s Worship Bulletins and Sanctuary Sacks are also available as you come into the Sanctuary.  These Children’s Worship Bulletins have a secret code that unlocks hours of fun learning at home.  This secret code is unique to our church and allows safe and secure access to online games and activities that reinforce our weekly Scripture focus.  

NMO-UMC has been recognized as A Church for All God’s Children by the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church and has a Safe Sanctuaries policy for the protection of our children and youth.

Invitation to Holy Communion

The United Methodist Church celebrates an open Communion Table.  According to The United Methodist Book of Worship: All who intend to lead a Christian life, together with their children are invited to receive the bread and cup.  We have no tradition of refusing any who present themselves desiring to receive the bread and cup.  All ages are welcome to come and receive these gifts of God’s grace.

The Meaning of Holy Communion in the UMC

Worship Assistance Available

Hearing assistance devices and large print hymnals are available for your use.  Our Greeter will be happy to assist you with these items.

Worship Opportunities & Church Events

Newport Community Thanksgiving Celebration

Centuries ago, John Calvin observed that the human mind is “a perpetual forge of idols.”  This can often be seen in our temptation to idolize persons from our collective past, those whom we continue to look to for inspiration, courage, and hope.  Join us Sunday, Nov. 20 at 6:00 p.m. at First Christian Church-Newport (115 Rose Road) as we consider the Thanksgiving holiday in relation to the faith of the Pilgrims of the Plymouth Plantation and the heroes of Israel’s past.  Pastor Morris Fleischer of Newport-Mt. Olivet UMC will be sharing the message, Heroes, Not Idols, based on Hebrews 11:29-12:2.  Our Thanksgiving offering will benefit the Newport Emergency Fund, an assistance ministry established by Harry Taylor and Bill Vincel in 1976 that has helped numerous local families in times of need.

Prepare the Way for the Lord 

Advent and the Message of John the Baptist Prepare to receive Christ this Advent with the message of John the Baptist and best-selling author and pastor Adam Hamilton in Prepare the Way for the Lord.

For centuries, Christians have turned to the story and message of John the Baptist in the weeks leading up to Christmas. In Prepare the Way for the Lord: Advent and the Message of John the Baptist, best-selling author and pastor Adam Hamilton explores the Advent themes of John’s life and ministry, and how John calls all followers of Jesus to prepare our hearts for his coming.

In each of the Gospels, the story of Jesus is intertwined with that of his cousin John, the one whom the prophets foretold would come to “prepare the way of the Lord.” When we hear the message of John the Baptist, it makes us and our world ready to receive Christ.

Join us beginning Sunday, Nov. 27 for our Sunday School and Worship series on John the Baptist!

Christmas Eve 2022

In January 1996, Joan Osborne’s recording of Eric Bazilian’s song “One of Us” became a top ten hit.  The song asks a series of simple but profound questions: “Does God have a name?  And if God had a name, would you say it if you met God in glory, face to face?  What would God look like if God had a face?  And if seeing God’s face meant you had to believe in Jesus and the saints, would you still want to see?”  Through the lens of faith, we confront the song’s primary question—”what if God was one of us”—not watching from a distance as the song lyric so glibly muses, but taking the risks and having the inside knowledge of being born, being fully human, flesh and bone, living life with all its triumph and all its tragedy, and facing the stark reality of death?  This is the good news of Christmas—God indeed became one of us.  Join us at 7:00 p.m. Christmas Eve as we sing carols of joy and praise and hear the stories of Jesus’ birth once again.  Our Christmas Eve offering will benefit the Newport Emergency Fund, an assistance ministry established by Harry Taylor and Bill Vincel in 1976 that has helped numerous local families in times of need.

Season of Epiphany 2023

The word “epiphany” comes from the Greek epiphaneia, meaning “appearance” or “manifestation.”  After all the festivities of the Christmas season, Epiphany is a time when we wonder at the revelation of God to the world in Jesus Christ.  The Season of Epiphany is essentially a time of entering into a holy mystery, realizing that we are part of something larger than ourselves.  As the magi ventured forth on a journey of discovery, so we find ourselves on a similar journey, transformed by the inexhaustible love and mercy of God in the life of Jesus. Worship series begins Sunday, Jan. 1.