In Richmond, Virginia, a city completely immersed in history, we visited a church that traces its roots back to the founding of Henrico Parish in 1611, an outgrowth of the original church in the Jamestown settlement.
Richmond was established in 1733, and by 1741, St. John’s Church was completed and welcoming worshipers. Ever since then the church has played an important role both in Richmond and in the history of our nation.
The church had many names over the years; the New Church, Town Church, Upper Church, and Richmond Hill Church. The earliest known reference to “St. John’s” appeared in 1829.
Just as churches had traditionally served in England, St. John’s was not only a place of worship, but also a meeting house. It was here, speaking to the Second Virginia Convention in March, 1775, that American patriot Patrick Henry issued the bold challenge, “Give me liberty or give me death.”
Over the years the church and the surrounding neighborhood have seen good times and bad, but for nearly 275 years it has been a hub of worship and community life in Richmond.
Many of Richmond’s elite, as well as generations of common people, have been laid to rest in the old churchyard, including jurist and statesman George Wythe, who was the first Virginia signer of the Declaration of Independence. Also buried at the church is Revolutionary War officer Edward Carrington, who served as jury foreman during Aaron Burr’s trial for treason in 1807; Elizabeth Poe, the mother of author Edgar Allan Poe, and many other luminaries.
The church is open for guided tours, which begin at the Visitor Center, housed in an old brick schoolhouse located to the right and rear of the church. Street parking is available for automobiles, but the area streets are not suitable for a recreational vehicle. The next time you visit Richmond, make time to tour the historic old St. John’s Church and experience the history that still lingers in the air there. The church is located at 2401 E. Broad Street in Richmond. For tour information, call (804) 649-7938.
Today is your last chance to enter our latest Free Drawing for an autographed copy of Outlaw Road, the second book in my good friend Billy Kring’s excellent Hunter Kincaid mystery series about a female Border Patrol agent who isn’t afraid of taking on the tough and dangerous cases, or of stepping on toes, to see justice done. A former Border Patrol Agent himself, as well as a writer and actor, Billy has worked as a consultant on terrorism and international border issues in such places as Mexico, South America, Eastern Europe, the Caribbean, and the Pan Pacific. He’s also one of the nicest men you will ever meet and my favorite author. I read every book Billy brings out the minute it is available. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening.
Thought For The Day – Women are like cops. They can have all the evidence in the world, but they still want a confession.