Philippians Church of Christ Holy Disciples
Philippians Church of Christ Holy Disciples

                              Elder Dr. Mary L. Woodhouse


Pastor Woodhouse is a preacher, teacher, servant of the Lord, gospel singer, musician, wife, and mother. 


She is the only surviving child of 9 children. Her family moved to Virginia when she was only 6 years old. While attending school in South Norfolk, her teachers observed her talent and gift for singing.  She was often selected to sing solos for the morning devotion and to participate in all of the programs at the school. Her goals in life, at the time, were to be a school teacher, nurse, music teacher, a nun, and to join the military -- but never to be a pastor. However, God had bigger and better plans for Pastor Woodhouse.  


She accepted the call of the Lord to preach her trial sermon on December 31, 1964, and was ordained in 1965. Pastor Woodhouse established the Philippians Church of Christ Holy Disciples in her home in 1967 in the Berkley section of Norfolk. After 7 years at that location, she was moved by God to relocate to 1929 E. Liberty Street in Chesapeake. During this time, she also founded the Colossians CCHD in the New Light section of Virginia Beach.

After 21 years of serving as pastor, she was moved by God to erect a new sanctuary. The edifice was completed to the glory of God in 1995.


Pastor Woodhouse holds the following honors: an honorary doctorate from Providence Bible College and Theological Seminary, a certificate from the National Board of Addiction Examiners, a certified Addiction’s Counselor, Nurse’s Aide, 3 Appreciation Certificates from the City of Chesapeake Juvenile Court System, Life Membership of the Chesapeake Humane Society, Chesapeake Chapter of the NAACP, Hampton Roads Urban League, and membership with the  National Association for Female Executives.


Pastor Woodhouse was also presented with a Commendation from the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia by Delegate Lionell Spruill.  As well, she was presented with a plaque from Lexington Who’s Who for her achievement in Occupation Industry Professions.


She has been married to Elder Thomas Woodhouse for 64 years. They have been blessed with 5 children: Rev. Dr. Reginald C. Woodhouse, Missionary Mary Washington, Evangelist Gwendolyn Warren, Evangelist Deborah Peebles, and Minister Thomas Woodhouse.


Pastor Woodhouse loves to encourage the people of God. She stands firmly on the Word of God and believes strongly in prayer.  She credits her success to being obedient to God, the Source of her strength.