Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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Our Histories

Farnham Church 1737

This Parish was formed in 1683 when Farnham Parish was divided into North and South Farnham, nine years before Rappahannock County was divided into Richmond and Essex counties.  This Farnham Church was erected in 1737.  In the decades following the Revolution, the interior fell into ruins.  In 1834, after a long period without a minister, the Rev'd George W. Nelson was called as rector.  After his untimely death six years later, the vestry declared that "by his Pastoral hand this Congregation was collected and anew."  The fire of 1887, however, left only the walls standing.  The final restoration was not completed until 1921.  The Right Rev'd F. D. Goodwin was elected bishop of Virginia while rector of Cople, Lunenburg and North Farnham parishes as was consecrated here in 1930.

 

 

Saint John's Church 1835

 

This church was built to replace the earlier Lunenburg Parish lower church erected in 1732 and abandoned after the Revolution.  The Anglican Church, established since Jamestowne, suffered from association with the Monarchy resulting in most churches falling into disuse.

St. John's exemplifies the resuscitation of the Episcopal Church in Virginia under the leadership of the Rt. Rev'd Richard Channing Moore, elected second bishop in 1814.  He inspired such young men as the Rev'd George Washington Nelson who actively served to rebuild North Farnham, Cople, and Lunenburg Parishes as their rector.  His remains lie buried outside this church.