Reverend Dr. Theodore W. Loder led the First United Methodist Church of Germantown (FUMCOG) from 1962 to 2000 in acts of social justice through a ministry that challenged the mainstream. The politically active Rev. Loder had a long history of involvement in social causes, including marching with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and protesting the Vietnam War. During Rev. Loder’s tenure FUMCOG became a Public Sanctuary Church for Guatemalan refugees denied asylum by the U.S. Government, a founding church of the Covenant Against Apartheid, and a Reconciling Congregation that works for full inclusion of homosexual persons in the Methodist community.

Rev. Loder incorporated dramatic reenactments and interfaith services in the regular church activities. It was through Rev. Loder’s ministry that FUMCOG earned its reputation as an ethnically mixed and progressive church. Even in retirement he remained a prolific author and poet.

According to, Rev. Loder "died on April 1, 2021 at the age of 90. His mischievous sense of humor would have appreciated his passing at the conjunction of April Fool's Day and Maundy Thursday.”

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