Robin Gardner, who served as mayor of the City of Falls Church from 2006 to 2010, and on the City Council from 2000 to 2012, was elected to the vestry of the Falls Church Episcopal Church last Sunday, along with three others. Gardner maintained her loyalty to the “Continuing Episcopalians” through the half-dozen years of dispute with congregants who voted to defect from the denomination in 2006 and to align with the Nigerian Anglican Church. That group refused to relinquish access to the historic Falls Church campus until a decisive court ruling ordered it to leave in May 2012.
Since reclaiming the campus, the “Continuing Episcopalians” have reported enjoying steady growth, while the Anglican defectors moved away to rent facilities such as the Bishop O’Connell High School auditorium in Arlington for their services. Gardner was elected to the F.C. Episcopal 10-member vestry along with Raleigh Griffith, Jason Matechak and Rachel Woodson in what was reported as a “standing room only” annual congregational meeting. Those pledging to the church, it was noted, had increased by 57 percent over the previous year.