Colonial Churches of Virginia

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9781574271362: Colonial Churches of Virginia

Virginia hosts some of the oldest churches in the country. Colonial Churches of Virginia charts the histories of these early church buildings and their significance in the growth of the Commonwealth and the founding of this nation.

Although stately in appearance, these churches have endured the same struggles as the colonists who built them. Their walls have survived—sometimes just barely—the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, as well as a few Indian battles. Some were used as hospitals, schools, and memorials, their pulpits and pews turned into fuel to keep soldiers warm. One church found an English cannon ball buried in its brick side. In another churchyard, a statue of King George III was melted down to supply bullets for the patriots.

Included in the collection are some of the most neglected, as well as the most famous churches in the state. The book examines in detail colonial architecture, various legends and war stories, and famous parishioners such as John Smith, George Washing-ton, and Patrick Henry, along with those buried in the yards—and sometimes under the floors—of the churches. Each entry features photographs, directions to the church, and times of services. The book also includes a complete listing of the colonial clergy in Virginia.

Although the historic importance of these churches is evident, what remains most intriguing, and perhaps most elusive, is the essence behind the construction. Each church’s story reveals the common hope that inspired the parishioners. It was the expectation that this new world would be a place of free worship, a community for their descendants to prosper, and ultimately, a land they could call home. Colonial Churches of Virginia connects us to this period of adventure and allows us to experience the same pioneering spirit.

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About the Author:

The late Don W. Massey was born in Durham, North Carolina. He served in the United States Marine Corps and received his education at the University of Kentucky and the University of Virginia. He ministered in a number of churches and is the author of Episcopal Churches in the Diocese of Virginia (1990) and A Catechism for Children. Sue Massey assisted her husband with his micropublishing company, which reproduces on microform eighteenth-century English literature, Virginia history, and nineteenth-century theology. She aided in the completion of the research, writing, and editing of Colonial Churches of Virginia.

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Don W. Massey
Published by Howell Press Inc. (2004)
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