John George Sadtler

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SadtlerThe Rev. John George Sadtler, in 1924, became rector of Langley Parish and its parish church, St. John’s, McLean. At that time Langley Parish included parts of both Fairfax and Arlington Counties.

Not long after his appointment, he became interested in establishing a new mission church in the rapidly growing section of Arlington near the Washington Golf and Country Club.

Before St. Mary’s—The Church of Our Mothers was built, Fr. Sadtler secured permission from Arlington County school authorities to hold church services in the nearby unoccupied Carne School Building — at the site of what is now St. Mark’s United Methodist Church. The first divine service was held at the school on February 4, 1926.

Fund raising efforts were so successful that ground was broken for the church building on June 5, 1926. The laying of the cornerstone took place on August 25, 1926.

The church found itself in financial difficulties in 1928 when its major benefactor, Adm. Rixey, died.

Fr. Sadtler retired on September 15, 1935, largely because of the church’s financial situation. The Diocesan Missionary Society contributed to Fr. Sadtler’s stipend, but a society regulation required that such aid be withdrawn when a clergyman reached retirement age. The vestries of St. John’s and St. Mary’s Churches concluded that, even with their combined efforts, the two churches could not undertake any additional obligations to make up the shortfall in the rector’s stipend.