Old Donation Church

Our Rich History

Dec 2018

Lynnhaven Parish / Old Donation Episcopal
(Second writing about the history of the church) 
 
Church History - Spanning Five Centuries (1637 – 2001)
 with services in Adam Thoroughgood's house and four churches.
 
 


 
Prologue - This book was compiled through the efforts of a number of people listed under “Acknowledgements.” Three church authors have written books about famous church members. Judge Benjamin Dey White was the first to write about Grace Sherwood, the Witch of Pungo (1) followed later by Benda Nash (2).  And Alice Granbery Walter, our famous historical preservationist, published eight books and historical records. Her most detailed book is about the Hoggard family (3).  In the early 1990’s Ann Parks (1917-2002) pushed for the writing of a complete and detailed book of the church’s history.  Barbara Olsen carried on that idea. Malcolm Higgins wrote several articles about the church and asked me if I would do some research and write something more detailed. Finally, as part the church’s 375th birthday celebration in June 2012, two books were written. The Reverend Beverley D. Tucker Jr. wrote his autobiography (4) followed by my “Old Donation Church History” (see the next article in this website). This is now my second writing of the church history with various corrections and enhancements. I have chosen to close at the end of the twentieth century. In 2004 The Reverend Robert J. Randall, Jr. (Father Bob) became our rector and has since expanded on the growth of the ministries of Win Lewis (1998 – 2002), John Emmert (1985 – 1996), Bev Tucker (1953-1984), and Web Horstman (1947-1953). Father Bob continues to energize the church with many new and exciting opportunities which will take up many pages, and I will hopefully in a few years be writing about them.  I invite you to follow along for a church history from our founder Adam Thoroughgood and into the early twenty-first century ending with the “Parks Memorial Fine Arts Series” honoring the highly esteemed Parks family who helped the growth of the church throughout the 20th century.  
Bob Perrine, Church Historian
This is the history of Lynnhaven Parish Anglican Church, today known as Old Donation Episcopal Church, a church that has survived the rising river, the threat of being torn apart between patriots and British loyalists, the Church of England ending its support, a population shift to Kempsville leaving an empty church for almost 70 years, and good and bad times during a twentieth century rebuilding process. The church has survived to become the oldest church in Virginia Beach with today’s vibrant and growing congregation.
The Reverend William Thorowgood baptized his son Adam
at St Botolphs, Grimston Parish, England.
1621. Adam Thoroughgood  (1604-1640), also spelled Thorowgood, was an English colonist and community leader who helped settle the area of Lynnhaven and founded Lynnhaven Parish Church. He was the youngest of seven sons of an influential family headed by the Reverend William Thorowgood (1579-1625), a minister  in the Church of England at  Grimston-King's Lynn. Adam arrived in Kecoughtan (today’s Hampton) in 1621 aboard the ship Charles, an 18-year-old indentured servant assigned to Captain Edward Waters, a wealthy plantation owner (5).  In return for his passage he was required to work for Waters a number of years to then be awarded 50 acres of land with a like amount awarded to Waters. This arrangement was known as a headright system established by the Virginia Company of London to insure the new land would be a British colony filled with British people.
1624. After Adam worked off his indenture he returned to London where he began carrying out an ambitious plan of sponsoring immigrants to Virginia in exchange for land under the same terms that he had accepted when he first came to Kecoughtan.  As the seventh son he was not entitled to any of his father’s money, and with very little of his own he sought someone who could finance his plans. On July 18, 1627 he married 19-year-old Sarah Offley, daughter of a financially successful mercantile family and possessor of a significant dowry (6).
1628.  Adam brought his new bride, along with her wealth, to Kecoughtan and quickly rose in stature in local affairs (7). With Sarah’s money Adam was able to pay for the passage of 105 indentured servants arriving between 1628 and 1635 in 17 different ships. For this the Governor of Virginia granted Adam a Grand Patent for 5,350 acres of undeveloped lands across the James River from Kecoughtan (8).
1635. There Adam had his indentures build his first house, a rude type of wooden home(9) on the shores of today’s Lake Joyce, part of a river he named “Lynnhaven” after his English hometown King’s Lynn. Before the 1660’s the Lynnhaven River emptied into the Chesapeake Bay further west at Little Creek.
 
Sketch of Adam Thoroughgood’s home at today’s Battery Road in Baylake Pines Picture from Amy Castle’s Virginia Beach, Then and Now, 2010
 
1637.  Adam continued his rise in importance in Lynnhaven Parish (10). An entry in the county records (Friday, May 15, 1637) shows that he ordered a church service be carried out in his residence, marking Sunday May 17, 1637 as the first service of the Lynnhaven Parish Church (11).  Assembling at this first service in his home, local residents were led by 25-year-old Reverend William Wilkinson from Yorkshire, England (12).  
 
1638. Adam set some of his indentured servants free with 50 acres of land. Needing replacements, Adam bought three African men. The early seventeenth century custom was to treat African Americas the same as Englishmen. Once their indenture expired, they were given land to build their own homes and live and work among British settlers equally.  Not until the introduction of the “1670 Slave Law” did people transported from Africa lose their freedom, the beginning of a cruel system of human bondage (13).
1639. Adam completed the first Lynnhaven Parish Church on his land at Church Point (14).  Besides this small church (Lynnhaven Parish No. 1) Adam had a glebe (rectory) built (15).
Construction of these two buildings was most likely brick as Virginia Governor Wyatt had ordered all plantation homes sitting on 500 acres or more to be constructed of brick.  In 1850 George Carrington Mason, a church historian, noted that remains of the Lynnhaven Parish Church were still visible in the river as a mound of brick (16).
1640. In February Adam and his servants set out to attend a Jamestown Burgess meeting. On the return the group became ill. Adam, a few of Adam’s indentured servants, and the attending doctor George Calvert died as a result of an unknown illness.  At the age of 36 Adam was buried in the churchyard at Church Point and later his wife Sarah and her second and third husbands.
1640-1657. Of particular interest is Adam Thoroughgood’s wife Sarah (1609 – 1657) the founding Mother of Lynnhaven Parish Church. Sarah’s father, Robert Offley Jr., was a merchant, and her mother Anne Osborne, came from a politically powerful family.  While in Kecoughtan she gave birth to three girls Ann (1630-1703), Sarah (1631-1658), and Elizabeth (1633-1670), and later in Lynnhaven, Adam II (1638 - 1685); and at the age of 33 one daughter, Mary (1642 - 1702), by her second husband Captain John Gookin.
Sarah’s family background bread in her the courage to rise above the custom of the day for women to be subservient to men. She went on to exercise her wealth and her position in the budding colony in Virginia in a very strong and forceful manner over both men and women.  She carried on in court, even after Adam’s death, over business for debts owed the Thoroughgood estate and personal issues bringing complaints against women for slandering her, her late husband, and her daughters. 
What did Sarah Thoroughgood look like? No one knows, but this
1650 Virginia young woman is shown in the typical dress of the time.
In the first incident a few months after Adams’ death in an argument with the wife of Lynnhaven Parish Church vestryman’s wife Goody Layton, Sarah brought her before the Lower Norfolk Court on August 3, 1640 charging her with insinuations against Adam.  During the argument Goody replied to Sarah, "Pish!"  to which Sarah replied, "You must not think to put off with a pish, for if you have wronged him [Adam] you must answer for it, for though he is dead I am here in his behalf to right him." For this one word “Pish” the court ordered Goody Layton to ask Mistress Sarah's forgiveness on her knees, both in court and the following Sunday in the Lynnhaven Parish Church. 
In 1642 Sarah Thoroughgood remarried less than a year after Adam’s death at the age of 32 in the tradition of that time. The widow's new husband, 28-year-old Captain John Gookin (1613 - 1643), assumed position in the community and soon became commander and presiding justice of Lower Norfolk County. Sarah was married to John Gookin less than two years when he died in 1643.
Bucking the tradition to quickly remarry, Sarah would remain a widow for four years. During this time Sarah was enterprising for a seventeenth century woman.  In about 1645 she opened an ordinary (tavern) along the Lynnhaven River, a place where men could stop and discuss the politics of the day. Women were not allowed inside, except Sarah, adding to her reputation as being on an equal or even superior footing with the elite male gentry.
Sarah married for the third time at the age of 38 to Colonel Francis Yeardley (1620-1655), who was 11 years younger, son of the Governor of Virginia.  Although Colonel Yeardley had extensive land holdings on the Eastern Shore, he came to reside with Sarah.
In the autumn of 1653 Sarah and Francis sponsored a boat expedition into the unsettled Currituck and Albemarle sounds of North Carolina, then known as, “the south part of Virginia.” Frances and Sarah did not go but instead sent their eighteen-year-old Adam Thoroughgood II.  The expedition met with the leader of several area tribes whose representatives  accompanied the expedition back to the Thoroughgood plantation. There they saw Sarah’s children reading together. One of the chiefs in the party proposed that Yeardley raise his only son and teach him to read.  The chief also requested Yeardley build for him an English house. Mr. Yeardley agreed in exchange for the right to purchase some Albemarle lands.
A few months later in December when Yeardley was on the Patuxent River in Maryland, the chief returned with his son. Being a Sunday, Sarah escorted the chief to Sunday worship services at the Lynnhaven Parish Church “in her hand by her side.” Francis Yeardley returned from Maryland in March 1654 and promptly dispatched six men to Albemarle Sound to build the chief’s English house, along with a note requesting the purchase of land. The chief returned in May 1654 with his wife, son, and other Indians. The congregation and the visiting Indians crowded into Church No.1 to witness the baptism of the Chief’s son at a baptismal font. After the service the chief’s child stayed with Sarah and Francis Yeardley to be brought up a Christian.  No record remains of the chief’s son as Francis died a year later, followed in two years by Sarah (17).
Sarah was buried at Church Point next to her three husbands.  She left orders that she be buried beside John Gookin, her favorite. Her tombstone was still visible at Church Point as late as 1819 when Commodore Stephen Decatur in a Richmond newspaper described wading in the river and standing on the tombstone of Adam Thoroughgood as he read the inscription on Sarah’s grave. “Here lieth ye body of Capt. John Gooking & also ye body of Mrs. Sarah Yardley [nee Sarah Offley] who was wife to Captain Adam Thoroughgood first. Captain John Gooking & Colonel Francis Yardley, who deceased August 1657" (18).

In the summer of 2018 Robert Reid, Historic Researcher and Biographer, became interested in locating the site of the first church. He talked about a 1997 underwater investigation by archaeologist John Broadwater who poked around in the silt but could not locate the church or graveyard (19).
 
The Mystery of the Church Font
The first written report appeared in Bishop Meade’s 1910 book, “Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia.” He describes a 1819 report from Commodore Decatur stating stones found along the shore from the remains of the first church were “taken away by the fishermen and broken up for killicks, or anchors for their small boats, and for other purposes (20).”  Decatur makes no mention of a font being among the stones as made in a later claim.
The first mention of the font appeared in Reverend Alfriend's “History of Lynnhaven Parish,” written in 1918. He states, “The Baptismal font, Communal service, and one pewter collection plate are the same ones used in the original church at Church Point,” which were donated in the early 18th century, and since the first church was abandoned in the late 17th century, Reverend Alfriend must have also been wrong about the font. (21).  His letter began the story of the font in today's church. Next came Judge White’s 1924 book “Gleanings in the History of Princess Anne County.” He describes the font from the first church as still in use in today’s church (22).
In James Rawlings’ 1963 book “Virginia’s Colonial Churches,” he states, “The parish also owns a red marble font and pewter alms bason, both of which are believed to have descended from the first parish church” (23).  
During the twentieth century several Virginian Pilot articles carried the font story. One in 1972 states, “The baptismal basin, according to legend was taken from the waters of the river at Church Point and is from the original building(24).  A 1975 article states, “All that was saved [from the first church] was the basin of the original baptismal font. This is now in the present church(25). In one of George Tucker’s weekly Pilot articles, he writes in 1986, “Among the church’s treasures is its stone baptismal font, originally used in one of the first two Lynnhaven Parish churches but later degraded from its original purpose by a fisherman who used it as an anchor until it was rescued by a devout parishioner(26). Finally, Dell Upton in his 1997 book “Holy Things and Profane” shows a picture of the font when it was in front of the church next to the Bishop’s Chair. He describes it in detail as being made of “marble with a circular bowl decorated with bands of molded baroque in the form of gadrooning.” Upton dates its creation in the second quarter of the eighteenth century with a nineteenth century red-painted sandstone base addition. He shows it with pictures of other eighteenth century church fonts (27).  Stories of an Indian boy being baptized in our current font back in 1654 and the use of it as an anchor remain legend. Dell Upton’s font date places it as being acquired for the present church when it was completed in 1736. There still remains the question of where the font was during the 74 years (1842-1916) the church was unoccupied and lay in ruins (28).
 
Church Point, Site of Lynnhaven Parish First Church
 
A monument was placed on Spring House Trail, a mile down river from Church Point. The photo is looking west up the West Branch of the Lynnhaven River toward Church Point at the end of Arrowhead Point Court. It reads….
Church Point-1639. Near this site Lynnhaven Parish was built in 1639. The church and its graveyard were the victims of erosion by the waters of the Lynnhaven River. Among gravestones found were those of Adam Thoroughgood and his wife Sarah, and her last two husbands, John Gookin and Francis Yardley. Presented by Suffolk Chapter Virginia Society, National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century 1995.”


The present Thoroughgood House has different theories of construction dates.  The Virginia Beach Department of Aquarium/Historic Houses has used the assessment of Nicholas Luccketti from the James River Institute for Archaeology Inc. to rename the “Adam Thoroughgood House” simply the “Thoroughgood House.”  Luccketti claims that Adam’s great-grandson Argall II (1687-1719) built it in 1719 (29).  The most credible supporter of a 1639 date was Paul Treanor (1926-2018), a tenth-generation descendant of Adam Thoroughgood.  Treanor spent twenty years researching wills, old maps, and court records.  In his 2011 book he takes issue with the city’s research, claiming that Adam started its construction in 1639 so that his family would be within walking distance (one-half mile) of Lynnhaven Parish Church at Church Point (30).  A third date was presented on a roadside marker (KW-16) standing in front of the Adam Thoroughgood House for many years.  It cited a 1680 construction date by a Thoroughgood relative. 

This marker was replaced by the city with another one shortly before the May 18th 2018 opening of the new Thoroughgood Education Center next to the Thoroughgood House, stating that the house was built about 1719 (31).

The Seventeenth Century

Captain Adam Thoroughgood and his wife, Sarah Thoroughgood-Gookin-Yeardley, Father and Mother of Lynnhaven Parish Church; along with a small band of English settlers, would leave an indelible imprint on the history of early Virginia Beach.
The church has its roots in the Lynnhaven River. Notable people, important to Lynnhaven Parish and to local government, lived along the shores of the river, and, along with other congregants, came to Lynnhaven Parish Church mostly in boats. Chapel-of-Ease Churches, crude wood church buildings, were built for the attendance of those who could not reach the Lynnhaven Parish Church conveniently. Of all the eleven colonial churches and chapels of Lynnhaven Parish, only two survive today: Old Donation Church and the Eastern Shore Chapel (32).
Being the first white men in the Lynnhaven Parish area, the English settlers used indentured servants to carve out tracts of land and build their houses. They forged a society modeled as closely as possible to the one they had left in England, setting up the same class distinctions and Anglican traditions. Tobacco culture dominated, but most landowners produced only a small quantity. The most successful Lynnhaven Parish planters invested their tobacco profits in additional lands and indentured servants rather than in pretentious life styles. The Reverend Webster Horstman, reported in the July 16,1950 Virginian Pilot, “Lynnhaven Parish to Observe 310th Year Sunday,” that the colonists were outnumbered by the Native American population by four to one. With high rates of infant death during childbirth, the colonists worked at rearing large families. No widow was a widow for long and by the end of the century just about everyone in Lynnhaven Parish was related (33).
The colonists had many hazards to overcome, including nor'easters, droughts, hurricanes, floods, pirate skirmishes, and intermittent attacks by the Pumunkey and Menticoke tribes. Wolves were in abundance, killing many farm animals. The court ordered a bounty of 50 lbs of tobacco for each wolf killed and, as the wolf population grew, was soon raised to 100 lbs.

The Early Lynnhaven Parish Church Colonists

There were many who left a mark on Lynnhaven Parish and the area. Over 25 communities, buildings and roads were named after church members.  Historical preservationist Alice Granbery Walter (1909 - 2003) collected close to 200 genealogical charts of colonial families which are now kept in the Sargeant Memorial Collection in Norfolk's Slover Library.  Here are a few of the more distinguished families.
 
1628. Lieutenant Thomas Keeling (1608 - 1664) was one of the first of 105 indentured servants that Adam Thoroughgood persuaded to come from England.  In 1628 at age of 20 Thomas arrived on the ship Hopewell.  After satisfying his indenture, he quickly rose in stature and wealth.  Following Adam Thoroughgood’s strategy, in 1635 he purchased the passage of indentured servants to work the lands granted to him for their passage.  In 1640 he served as one of the early Lynnhaven Parish vestrymen (34).
Thomas’ son Adam Keeling (1638 - 1683) organized a group of people to dig a small pilot channel from the Lynnhaven River through a huge sandbar about a half-mile long to the Chesapeake Bay so small boats would not have to make the long journey west to the mouth of the river (35).  A month thereafter, on September 6, 1667, the dreadful hurricane of 1667 struck, a storm considered one of the most severe hurricanes to ever strike Virginia.  The hurricane devastated the Lynnhaven area as no other storm system has ever done. Following the hurricane was a twelve-day nor'easter.  Most of the houses in the area were blown over.  Area crops (including corn and tobacco) were beaten into the ground, and many livestock drowned. The foundation of the fort at Point Comfort was swept into the river, and a graveyard of the first Lynnhaven Parish Church tumbled into the waters. This system was blamed for enlarging the small channel dug the month before to the size of an inlet and re-routing the river permanently. The new channel eventually eroded Church Point and undermined the church foundation (46).
 
1634. Thomas Allen was a lawyer and one of the first members of Lynnhaven Parish.  He witnessed wills including one for Henry Woodhouse (1607 - 1655) and bills of sale including one for Colonel Francis Yeardley (1620-1655), Sarah Thoroughgood’s third husband.  He built his house in 1634, the oldest Virginia Beach house continuously occupied still standing.  Called Broad Bay Manor or the John B. Dey House, it is located at 1710 Dey Cove Drive (37).

1630. Henry Woodhouse III (1607 - 1655) came to Virginia in 1630 and generations of Woodhouses helped shape Lynnhaven Parish Church.  Henry built his home on Linkhorn Bay in 1637 after receiving a grant of 500 acres from the King of England.  Henry was a direct descendant of David I, King of Scotland, and his father, Capt Henry Woodhouse, was governor of Bermuda from 1623 to 1626. Henry's wife, Anne Bacon was a direct descendant of Edward I, King of England, and her father was Sir Nicholas Bacon the keeper of the Great Seal under Queen Elizabeth.  Henry was one of the local residents to gather at this first Lynnhaven Parish service in Adam Thoroughgood’s house on Sunday, May 17, 1637, and was appointed to the first vestry.  From this first service and throughout the history of the church and the local community Woodhouses played an important role (38). During the Civil War (1861 – 1865) Henry Robert Woodhouse (1811 - 1890) was unable to serve because at the age of eleven he became stone deaf.  Nevertheless, he was loyal to the cause of the South and was for years a friend of General Robert E. Lee who visited him at his home on Linkhorn Bay (39).  Another Woodhouse, George H.H. (1840 - 1915), served as a soldier in the Confederate Army. He lost his arm in July 1862 at the Battle of Malvern Hill near Richmond. Recovering after a few months he returned to the war.  His memorial plaque is on the wall of the church for his efforts during the 1916 church renovation (40).

1638. Francis Land II (1604 - 1657) became one of the several notable families important to Lynnhaven Parish and to local government. He arrived in the area about 1638, and along with Thomas Walke, brought slaves to work the lucrative tobacco fields. By 1657 Francis had acquired 1,020 acres of land adjacent to Henry Woodhouse’s estate. He used flat bottom canoes to transport goods from Pine Tree Branch to the Chesapeake Bay. On 26 May 1647 Francis was nominated by the Court to serve as Churchwarden for Lynnhaven Parish Church. By the mid-18th century the plantation had around 20 slaves, typical for the tobacco plantations in the area (41).

1662.  Thomas Walke I (1642-1694), emigrated from British-ruled Barbados. He acquired a large estate and became prominent in government being commissioned a colonel by the Virginia Governor. He made his fortune by shipping goods to Barbados from Hampton Roads and slaves back to Hampton Roads from Barbados.  For the next 200 years the Walkes were dominant in the affairs of the church and in local government (42).

1649. William Moseley I (1601-1655) came to Virginia from Rotterdam, Holland with his wife Suzanna, two sons (William II and Arthur), and a large quantity of family jewels. As a Cavalier opposed to Oliver Cromwell, the jewels were all he was able to get out of England when he fled to Holland. Trading jewels, primarily to Adam Thoroughgood’s widow Sarah Thoroughgood-Gookin-Yeardley in exchange for livestock, William I slowly gained prominence (43).

 
This plaque is on a large rock just outside the doorway to the Day School (Parish Building) commemorating Church No 2 at the place where the church is believed to have once stood. 

1692. After tides and storms caused erosion of the land around the church, the cemetery collapsed into the river, followed by the undermining of the church foundation (44). Instead of rebuilding near the same location, the congregation decided to move from the mouth of the Lynnhaven River and the Chesapeake Bay further up the Lynnhaven River for a number of reasons: (1) movement of the population center further up the Lynnhaven River, (2) lack of protection from the British Navy against pirates, (3) Native American raids, and (4) severe storms.  The vestry approved the building of a new church (Lynnhaven Parish Church No. 2) which was completed in June 1692, to be known as the Brick Church or Mother Church  (45).


 Above is a sketch of the Lynnhaven River as Adam Thoroughgood knew it.  Numbers 1–12 show the location of estates and significant events and places.
(1) 1635 – 1st Adam Thoroughgood wood house (destroyed by fire in 1650).
(2) 1639 or 1719 - Thoroughgood House (controversy over builder and date)
(3) 1639 - Adam Thoroughgood built Lynnhaven Parish Church No. 1 at Church Point (consumed by the Lynnhaven River in the late seventeenth century). 
(6) 1640 - Henry Woodhouse was a member of the first vestry (1640) and the road around his estate carries his name, but the house has long since perished.
(7) 1638 - The Francis Land Estate. Francis II arrived in the area about 1638.
(8) 1667 - Adam Keeling dug a small pilot channel here as a quicker way to the Chesapeake Bay (today’s Lynnhaven Inlet and Lesner Bridge site). A month later on September 6, 1667 the worst hurricane ever to hit the area widened the pilot channel to create the new flow of the river.
(9) According to Benjamin Dey White, in his 1924 book “Gleanings in the History of Princess Anne County,” Lake Joyce formed the mouth of the Lynnhaven River.
(10) However, a map by Gen. Benedict Arnold’s engineers made in 1781 denotes the early flow of the Lynnhaven River to be two miles further west at Little Creek.
(11) 1692 to present - Lynnhaven Parish/Old Donation Church No 2 (1692-1736) and No. 3 (1736-present) near Cattail Creek (Cattayle Branch on old maps)
(12) 1764 - Pembroke Manor was built by Captain John Saunders I (1726 – 1765).


The Colonial Golden Age of the Eighteenth Century

The eighteenth century was referred to as the “Golden Age,” marking a high point in prosperity and economic growth. Lynnhaven Parish Church served as the “Mother Church” of a rich and aristocratic parish exclusively from English ancestry. Tobacco was king, and horseback riding and fox hunting were the predominant sports. The century for Lynnhaven Parish began on a dark note.

1706. Belief in witchcraft has been linked with churches as early as 744 when the Council of Leptinnes drew up a "List of Superstitions" (46) which persisted throughout most of the Early Middle Ages and into early America by associating folk healers, folk magic, and unexplained occurrences with witchcraft. People, mostly women, suspected of being witches were subjected to trial by water.  If the pure waters consumed the accused they would be judged pure and buried as honorable women, but if they survived the ordeal, this was proof they were witches and their fate resulted in a number of unpleasant punishments. America was mainly spared this unfortunate episode until the 1692 Salem, Massachusetts Witch Trials, the same year the waters of the Lynnhaven River overcame church one. Lynnhaven Parish Church survived the ordeal by finding another suitable location only to be caught up in a witch trial fourteen years later.

 
 Grace Sherwood (1660 - 1740) was known as the Witch of Pungo. She married James Sherwood at Lynnhaven Parish Church No. 1 in 1680 and had three sons. Grace’s problems started in March 1697 when neighbors accused Grace of casting spells and influencing the weather. In one claim a neighbor said she bewitched hogs and in another went through a keyhole in the shape of a black cat. The most legendary story has her sailing on an eggshell to England one night and back with a sprig of rosemary which became responsible for all of the rosemary growing in Virginia Beach (47).
 

Her husband brought slander claims to court which only fueled hatred by the local neighbors, and even threats of retaliation. Even though she cured church members with her vast knowledge of medicinal plants, that knowledge also helped to vilify her as a witch.  Grace’s husband James died in 1701 and left Grace to fend for herself, working her farm and raising her three sons. Bucking tradition Grace often wore men's clothing (a rarity for women) while tending to the daily activities on her farm.  She was strikingly attractive, strong-willed, and a non-conformist by nature.

All of these maverick traits, plus the bad blood over the petty lawsuits filed by her former husband, were more than enough to use the ruse of witchcraft to have her hauled into the church and asked to show remorse for her actions. Made to stand on a stool she said, “I be not a witch, I be a healer.”  Nevertheless, the jury composed of the church vestry ordered a ducking in the Lynnhaven River in order to determine her guilt or innocence. If Grace somehow escaped consecrated water she would be deemed guilty of witchcraft, but if she drowned, she would be judged innocent. Grace was bound cross body (thumb to toe) and cast into the river where she quickly resurfaced. The sheriff then tied a thirteen-pound Bible around her neck.  Sinking to the river depths once again she was able to untie herself and swim to the surface. Unknown to the local people, Grace was an excellent swimmer having gone for frequent morning swims in the ocean.  But by being rejected by the consecrated waters,  proved to all that she was indeed a witch.  She was ordered to a jail on the site where the current church would be built thirty years later. After seven years and nine months she was released. Grace gathered her three sons from a relative, sued Princess Anne County to get her property back, paid back taxes, and lived out her next 27 years quietly on her 145-acre farm in Pungo near present day Muddy Creek Road (48).
 
On July 10, 2006 the Governor of Virginia officially “restored the good name of Grace Sherwood” (49), and a year later a statue of Grace Sherwood was dedicated near Old Donation Church followed seven years later in 2014 by a Grace Sherwood stone installed on Old Donation Church property.  The Reverend Drew Foisie dedicated the stone with all assembled, sprinkling the stone with Holy Water using rosemary sprigs (50).
 




            In 2007, her statue was placed               and in 2014 her stone was placed

            at the corner of Independence Blvd                      in the church herb garden

             and Witchduck Rd

 
Witchcraft was a carry-over from the seventeenth century, and after Grace’s ordeal, witchcraft accusations subsided, but not the shame of it. The road in front of Old Donation carries the memory, Witchduck Road, and dramas observe the event.

Another shameful carry-over from the seventeenth century has been all but forgotten, one that dwarfs witchcraft, a cruel system of human bondage that stripped Africa of tens of thousands of its inhabitants. Blacks were forcibly captured in Africa and taken in many cases to a lifetime of hard labor at the lash of the whip.  Families were separated, never to be seen again. They had nothing to look forward to except an early death. In 1731 Virginia Governor Gooch told the Bishop of London that some cruel masters "use their Negroes no better than their Cattle” (51).

How eighteenth-century Lynnhaven Parish church members treated their slaves has been left unrecorded, and they did have slaves spanning from the 1630s to the 1850s. Typical for Princes Anne tobacco plantations, Francis Land had around 20 slaves (52). And typical of passing slaves on as property, Thomas Walke III (1720 - 1761) left slaves to his children (53).  Not only to children, but The Reverend Dickson (1716-1777) of Lynnhaven Parish Church left his slaves to the church to be used to support and continue the church’s free school for orphan boys (54).   

By the middle of the eighteenth-century leaders began to talk about ending slavery as slave ships brought more and more slaves into Virginia. Most prominent was the Reverend Anthony Walke (1755 - 1814). He was the largest slaveholding minister in Tidewater Virginia.  When he died he had over sixty-five slaves without a mention of their freedom in his will (55).

1733. On November 13 the vestry ordered that the Brick Church (No. 2) be abandoned and Church No. 3 built. The church had reached a “dilapidated state” for a congregation that had progressed in wealth and social status. The new church, 68X33 feet, was 1,254 sq ft larger than Church No. 2. It was received by the vestry from Peter Malbone, the builder, on Friday, June 25, 1736. The three years it took to build Church 3 was in part due to the fact that the bricks were sent from England (56).

 
Church 3, today’s present church, is a good example of colonial ecclesiastical architecture which combined elements of the first crude shelters in Jamestown with Early Georgian style. The horizontal lines, slate-covered hipped gable roof, Flemish bond brick detail, small panes of glass, and rounded window headers are evidence of the early Georgian architecture (57).

1736. The church began with the traditional colonial seating arrangement, like Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg.  In the back half of the church the sexes were segregated during “Divine Worship” with men seated on the north and the women on the south if this could be arranged. Occupying the front half of the church were boxed-off areas know as Great Pews with seats facing each other. A vestry order dated July 10, 1736, tells of six Great Pews and a seventh on the north side of the communion table. The Great Pews were reserved for congregants of wealth and importance.

The Church Arrangement in 1736

The Church Arrangement in 1736 just after Construction showing locations of Great Pews for the Magistrates (n0. 1 in the above picture), their wives (2), the Thoroughgood family (3), the elder women of good repute and Magistrates’ daughters (4), vestrymen and their wives (5), such women as the Wardens chose (6), and Walke family (7) (58).

Shortly after the church opened in 1736 a private hanging pew was purchased and hung next to the north wall (left side when facing the altar) by Captain William Robinson (no. 11 in the below picture) providing a better view and warmth in the winter. His hanging pew was accessible along a catwalk from the upper balcony and looked like a theater box seat suspended by iron tie-rods, decoratively twisted and tied into the roof beams.
 
The Church Arrangement in 1767

Also in 1767 a private Great Pew was added by Colonel Edward Hack Moseley (1717 - 1783), the father of Lt Col Edward Hack Moseley Jr (1743 - 1814) (8) where the pulpit stands today. The pulpit had to be moved to the north side of the communion table and the side door moved about eight feet from the end of the long south wall to its present location. About this time the central altar window was bricked-up to make room for a reredos, a solid wood piece on the back wall of the altar (not the one currently in place) (59).
 Between 1737 and 1767 four small windows near the ceiling, two on each side of the sanctuary, were cut into the side walls of the church to give light to the hanging pews for the wealthy and influential church members. Two windows (one on each side) are 2' by 2'-6" and the other two (one on each side) are 4' by 2'-2" with a fan glass treatment at the top.
An October 16, 1736 entry in the Vestry Book revealed the strictness of these seating assignments. It was written, “The Vestry do hereby publish and declare, that who or whatsoever person shall assume to themselves a power: to take the liberty to place themselves or others in any other seats or pews in said church: shall be esteem’d a Disorderly person and may Expect to be dealt with according to law” (60).
Between 1729 and 1776 the church prospered under the Reverend Henry Barlow (serving for 18 years) and then the Reverend Robert Dickson (serving for 27 years). During this colonial period Lynnhaven Parish Church was a social institution as well as a religious one, and Sundays provided the occasion to socialize and transact business. Services were long and held only every other week as some had quite a distance to travel, the fastest way being by water.
Being part of the Church of England, Lynnhaven Parish Church was supported by a tithing tax from the general population, and the church vestry set tax rates and collected the money, usually in the form of tobacco (61).      
When the court house and jail were torn down to make way for Church No. 3, Anthony Walke on March 2, 1736 put a motion before the Vestry “that the old church [Church 2] would be a convenient place to make a public school for instructing children in learning and for no other use or purpose whatsoever” (62). Lynnhaven Parish Church became one of the twenty-two parishes to take advantage of a 1755 Virginia General Assembly workhouse law providing funds for church wardens to train poor children to become self-supporting craftsmen with the added benefit of book learning (63).

      On Nov 21, 2012 this Rev Dickson plaque was placed on the church wall.
1748.  After The Reverend Dickson graduated from Cambridge Peterhouse College, he served Lynnhaven Parish Church from 1748 to 1776.  His first and most notable task was to assume management of the orphan boys’ public school.  For 28 years the Reverend Dickson invested his energies in seeing that the orphan children became prosperous respected citizens.
In 1774, three years prior to his death, The Reverend Dickson placed in his will a large tract of land called “Donation Farm” to be used by the church to convert the school to a private one. His land was between the Wishart Estate (site of the Lynnhaven House) and the Walke Estate (site of the Ferry Plantation House). Not abiding by the stipulation in his will, church wardens sold the land, probably illegally, and did not use the funds he left to convert the school into a private one. The public church school closed in about 1819, becoming celebrated as the first Princess Anne County public school (64).
The Reverend Dickson’s ministry marked the transition from the Colonial Golden Age to harder times for the church.
 
The Revolutionary War Years
1775 – 1783. When trouble with England began, Lynnhaven Parish was divided in siding with either the British or the growing rebellion against the Crown. Before the war most of the Virginian gentry supported the Crown, but as Virginia tobacco planters fell deeper and deeper into debt to British merchants, and as taxes imposed by the King slowly mounted, attitudes began to change. With the costs imposed on the colonists to pay for their defense, particularly the French and Indian War (1754–63), the cash-poor but potentially land-rich gentry began to support the rebel cause for independence.
Leading up to and during the Revolutionary War there was heated debate within Lynnhaven Parish Church between those siding with the British as loyalists and those staunch American patriots. Here are some of the stories of father/son and others who split in loyalty during the Revolutionary War years (1775 – 1783).  
Captain John Saunders II (1754 - 1834)
Photo from the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, Virginia
 
While Sanders joined the British Army, his neighbor Adam Thoroughgood    (1750 - 1788), the seventh-generation descendant of the first Adam Thoroughgood (1604 – 1640), became a Colonel in George Washington’s army. He was wounded in the siege of Yorktown shortly before the surrender of Cornwallis.  While Adam was off fighting, the British overran Lynnhaven and made the Thoroughgood house their headquarters. Adam’s wife was asked if she would write to Adam to take a parole of honor, “not to molest the British troops on condition that he might go at large unmolested by them.” Her firm reply was worthy of what the first Adam Thoroughgood’s wife Sarah would have said, as she did, “I would rather see him dead (66).
Edward Hack Moseley, SR. (1717-1782), like Saunders, was loyal to King George III and enjoyed the rich and social life of Virginia Governor Lord Dunmore right up until 1775.  When the unpopular Lord Dunmore was forced out of Virginia in skirmishes leading up to the Revolutionary War, Moseley remained loyal to the King throughout the Revolutionary War but was too old to take an active part in the conflict and eventually went to England. His son Col. Edward Hack Moseley Jr. (1743 - 1814) like his father was a member of the House of Burgess, Clerk of Princess Anne County, and a vestryman at Old Donation. But unlike his father, he was a loyal patriot who was on the side of independence during the Revolutionary War. Even though father and son stood on opposite sides, this did not affect their relationship. On Saturday, May 17th, 2014, a service and wreath-laying ceremony marked a new gravestone, next to the broken off one, for Edward Hack Moseley Jr, the oldest grave with remains in the Old Donation cemetery (67).

Another Lynnhaven Parish British loyalist was Colonel Anthony Walke I (1692- 1768). He was commander of troops in Princess Anne County under his majesty King George III and supported the British rule over the colonies. He was one of the wealthiest Virginians of his day, a great advocate of social dinking, extravagant social gatherings, gambling, and horse racing. Unlike his father, Colonel Anthony Walke II (1726 - 1779) took up the patriot’s cause along with Moseley Jr. resisting British oppression and calling for American independence. This was a break in a family that long supported the British, a support that was reestablished under Walke II’s son, young Anthony Walke III (1755-1814) who later became one of Lynnhaven Parish’s famous clergy.  Like his grandfather  Anthony supported continued British rule. The Revolutionary War (1775–1783) caught Anthony at a time when he was coming of age into a Virginia gentry threatened by the loss of political power, wealth, and social prestige made possible through the Church of England’s control over the Virginia Colony. He blamed the north and their foolish Boston Tea Party actions (68).
In the midst of the battle being fought in Hampton Roads, the Second Continental Congress approved the Articles of Confederation, a war-time document that would serve as the first U.S. Constitution and benefit the Virginian gentry's ability to preserve their independence and sovereignty should the British lose the war. Virginia was the first state to ratify it on December 16, 1777, but it took until March 1, 1981 with Maryland's assent and Congressional approval. Finally, the 1783 Treaty of Paris formally ended the American Revolutionary War.
Five years later the stage was set in Lynnhaven for replacement of the Article of Confederation by the present U.S. Constitution. Anthony Walke and his distant cousin Thomas Walke IV (1760 – 1797) were chosen to represent Princess Anne County at the 1788 Virginia Constitutional Convention because of their family status.  Coming into the convention they represented the Federalists from Tidewater, landowners whose financial policies aligned with a strong central bank which would solidify the thirteen colonies financially into one by removing any trade barriers.  In order for the Constitution to become law, two-thirds of the thirteen states had to ratify it. After New Hampshire became the ninth state, even though Virginia had yet to vote, they along with New York were locked in bitter debates. Their failure to ratify would reduce the new union by two highly populated wealthy states, geographically splintering the new nation. 

Meeting from June 2 through June 27, 1788 at the Richmond Theater, Patrick Henry (1736 - 1799) argued for hours against the Constitution, but then came James Madison (1751 - 1836), the principal architect of the Constitution, who reasoned that a stronger central federal government was needed to keep the new nation out of bankruptcy. His persuasive and subtle logic plus his support for inclusion of the bill of rights in future amendments persuaded delegates from the Northern Neck, the Shenandoah Valley and western counties to vote “yes” along with both Walkes, and on June 25, 1788, by a narrow margin, Virginia became the tenth state to approve the new Constitution.  With Virginia voting yes, New York caved and also by a narrow majority approved the Constitution. (69).  
 
The End of the Colonial Golden Age
and Church Services
1788. Shortly after the Virginia Constitutional Convention, Anthony Walke was ordained a priest of the new Episcopal Church in Philadelphia (70) and served the following year as an elector from the State of Virginia to the first presidential election held in Philadelphia.  As clergy, Anthony was responsible for keeping the church from closing its doors altogether after no longer being able to collect tithes (71). With a large inheritance from his father, he presided as rector over Lynnhaven Parish Church without a salary from 1788 to 1800 and again from 1812 to 1813.  Anthony divided his time between preaching and the hunt. Not only was he noted for delivering sermons with a captivating mild-mannered voice, but a more picturesque side of him was his love of fox and deer hunting.  He conducted sermons with his horse Silverheels tethered near the door of the church. When he heard those hunting horns, he would immediately turn the service over to his clerk, Dick Edwards, and hurry off on Silverheels, not to be seen again until late in the day (72) 

A strain in Anthony’s blood might have accounted for his horseback riding abilities and the love of the hunt which would have come from his mother Jane Bolling Randolph (1729-1756). She was a direct descendant of Powhatan, the most powerful chieftain in Tidewater Virginia at the time of the arrival of the Jamestown settlers in 1607.
Plaque on the tombstone of Reverend Anthony Walke in the Old Donation Cemetery. The date of death on the plaque Aug 14, 1815 is incorrect and is actually Aug 14, 1814.
Anthony’s gravestone, along with other Walke stones were moved from the Kempsville Fairfield graveyard in the 1930s. It was so weathered that the inscription could not be read, and the church cemetery record book just read “Walke.” Because of the size of the stone Walke Historian Elizabeth Vogt in Sep 2014 began piecing together facts that were conclusive in discovering that this stone was in fact that of the famous Reverend Anthony Walke (73). A plaque was made for the stone and the Reverend Fred Poteet dedicated it.
Anthony lived in the 1st Ferry Farm House (Walke Manor House) built for him by his half brother William Walke (1762-1795).  Also living with him were some of William's children including Elizabeth Mason Walke (1784-1855).  She fell in love with George F. McIntosh (1768-1863) who lived just on the other side of the river at Thalia’s Summerville, a large manor house requiring sixteen slaves. During their courtship, George and Elizabeth mingled at eloquent soirees and took excursions to Cape Henry Beach, having sent servants ahead with tents, furniture and refreshments (74).  In 1800 sixteen-year old Elizabeth married thirty-two-year old George at Lynnhaven Parish Church. Because of their difference in age and blood lines (George was a Scotsman), their wedding must have been the predominant conversation all over Lynnhaven Parish and in Thalia (75). 
1821. On November 28th at a meeting chaired by Thurmer Hoggard III (1819 - 1902) (the first entry in the vestry records since 1813), the Reverend Robert Prout was elected rector and plans were made to refurbish the church with long overdue repairs including cutting down the backs of the pews so the congregation could see each other. They also decided to dismantle the box pews and the hanging side pews and move the pulpit back to the south side as it now stands. Further, they voted to rename the church after the Reverend Robert Dickson’s gifted property, Donation Farm 
The name showed up for the first time in an 1822 vestry record which stated the “church called ‘old Donation Church’ be put in repair” (76), but vestry records continued to refer to Lynnhaven Parish for some time after. The official name change did not occur until the consecration of the rebuilt church in 1916.
1828-1863. There were a number of reasons that caused a decline in Lynnhaven population over the next 35 years. The decline of tobacco and a gradual shift to less profitable grains required fewer slaves. With the largest slave population of all the states, their keep became an economical burden.  With less to sustain their luxurious and extravagant way of living, a number of land owners found themselves in debt to London Banks.  Lynnhaven Parish depended on these plantations with a population centered around them with few towns. Further, the Elizabeth River became better for transportation than the silted up Lynnhaven River. With the gradual decline in Lynnhaven population church membership also declined (77) 
Services became irregular and soon died out altogether (78), with many moving to sites along the Elizabeth River, especially around Kemp’s Landing where the new Kempsville Emmanuel Episcopal Church, completed in July 1843, was located (79). But these were not the only reasons for Lynnhaven Parish’s demise.  The 6th child of the Reverend Walke, David Meade Walke (1800- 1854) was an example of the gentry’s moral decline.
After the Reverend Walke (1755- 1814) died, David used the Walke Manor House for gambling parties. At one of them, in 1828, a drunken guest tipped over an oil lamp and burned the plantation to the ground.


1855. Author Bishop William Meade (1789-1862) wrote about a conversation he had with David. “Formerly this was one of the most flourishing parishes in Virginia. The social class, the rich feast, the card-table, the dance, and the horse-race, were all freely indulged in through the county.  And what has been the result? The causes of bankruptcy and ruin [were] cards, the bottle, the horse-race, the continual feasts, - these were the destroyers” (80).
After the Revolutionary War the Commonwealth of Virginia passed a law that churches and chapels formerly owned by the Church of England and not used within a calendar year would revert to the ownership of the Commonwealth.  Of 107 Virginia parishes before the Revolutionary War, only 42 survived (81).  Lynnhaven Parish Church was one of those even though it had been completely abandoned.  
Thurmer Hoggard IV (1819-1902)
Thurmer Hoggard IV was one of the last to leave Old Donation for the new church in Kempsville, Emmanuel. His love for the old abandoned church was so great that he organized a group of Emmanuel parishioners who had worshipped at Old Donation to make annual pilgrimages by train to Old Donation to hold services.  For the next five decades Hoggard and his family kept the yearly journey alive in order to keep the county from confiscating the church and its land. Thurmer continued these yearly pilgrimages even after an 1882 woods fire burned most of the church. After Hoggard’s death, his son, Captain Thurmer Harding Hoggard V, a Confederate veteran, and two daughters, Mary and Fannie Hoggard, continued annual services at Old Donation (82).

Thurmer not only helped to save the church but also the 18th and 19th century vestry records. Even after the church was abandoned, the vestry carried on meetings at other locations, mainly Eastern Shore Chapel, keeping a record of their meetings.  In 1902 Hoggard handed the records over to Judge B. D. White who, in turn, with added vestry records up through 1911, gave them to the Richmond Library of Virginia.  In 2000 Belinda Nash located these records, and Lynda Erickson had them photocopied and bound in two beautiful hardcover books, the Lynnhaven Parish Vestry Book, Princess Anne County, Virginia, 1723-1893 (now on-line) and the Lynnhaven Parish Register, 1838-1911. Parts of them had previously been edited and published in 1949 by George Carrington Mason, The Colonial Vestry Book of Lynnhaven Parish, Princess Anne County, Virginia, 1723-1786 (83). 

Congregants pose for a picture after a memorial service in the ruins of Old Donation Church in 1901. Standing in the foreground are Licia Williamson and Dr. F.C. Steinmetz (Rector of Christ Church). From left to right in the background are Lulie Sharpe, the Reverend J. Alfriend, (unknown), Mary Wilson Hoggard, Benjamin Dey White, Fanny Hoggard, Dr. David W. Howard, and (unknown).



A view of the north front corner. Stables used by past parishioners remain and can be seen behind the church ruins (to the left).

Miss Frances C. Hoggard plays the organ in the ruins of
Old Donation Church on Sept 11, 1901.
The first record of an organ is given in the account of a memorial service held September 11, 1901 in the ruins of Old Donation in a bulletin of the Diocese of Southern Virginia by Laura Herbert McAlpine. “About thirty Churchmen from Norfolk including Mr. R.J. Alfriend, the beloved and efficient lay reader of Emmanuel church, [The] Reverend J.H. Dickerson and his former Huntsville choir, came by rail…At 5 o’clock quite a large congregation had assembled at ‘Old Donation’ and were seated on rude benches within the sacred ruins. A small organ had been placed there by Miss Frances C. Hoggard who is ever zealous in good works, and who planned this interesting event. As the organist struck the notes of ‘Onward Christian Soldiers,’ the choir in their vestments, marched around the consecrated walls and stood beside the organ(84).

 1912- 1916, Reconstruction and
 Rebirth of the Church
 

1900-1923. The Reverend Alfriend, a lay reader from Kempsville Episcopal Church, built on the Hoggard family’s success by continuing annual pilgrimages from Kempsville. He led the congregation in services on the church grounds and in the nearby Bayside School during inclement weather. In 1911 he helped start a building fund. Mrs. Jeb Stuart, widow of the famous Confederate general, made the first donation of one dollar.
The Reverend Alfriend was buried in the central aisle of the church followed by his wife Mary Emily Hume (Jun 10, 1869 – Oct 22, 1952) 29 years later. The tradition to have the clergy buried in the church is taken from European cathedral church customs. He may not have been the first. According to Kris McTague (1923-2017) she saw a church bulletin (never found) printed sometime around 1910 saying that Reverend Robert Dickson (1716-1777) was buried in the aisle in front of the pulpit. A metal plaque commemorating him was attached to the railing in front of the altar until 2012 when it was taken down and a stone plaque hung in the back of the church as a more appropriate tribute. The Reverend Dickson’s grave has never been found and there is no indication that he had a wife (86).
 

Note: The date on the grave stone inscription, “RECONSECRATED MAY 15, 1916” is most likely in error. This date was in the middle of construction and not likely a time for consecration. Because most of the church was burned by a woods fire in 1882, it was consecrated May 15, 1918 after notes to the bankers in New York were paid off.  An article in the Virginian Pilot (Old Donation Dedicated, May 16, 1918, under Church Maters) states, “In the presences of a large congregation, a number of the clergy in attendance, the new edifice of Old Donation Episcopal Church, Princes Anne County, was solemnly consecrated to the worship of God, yesterday, Bishop Beverly D. Tucker officiating.” Bishop Beverly D. Tucker (1846–1930) was the grandfather of Old Donation’s Beverly D. Tucker, Jr. (1918-2014) rector of Old Donation from 1953 to 1984 (86a).

Note 1: The "May 15 1916" re-consecration date was most likely taken from Reverend Alfriend's type written 1918 letter (see below) which stated that the church was paid for in full and consecrated May 15th 1916.

The History of Lynnhaven Parish (undated)
 
Note 2: The Reverend Alfriend and his wife Mary had 8 children: Emily Hume (1869 – 1952), Eliza Prentis (1889 - 1904), Margaret Bland (1891 - 1968), Richard Jeffrey (1894 - 1971), John Samuel (1897 - 1974), Virginia Blair (1901 - 1983), Mary Blair (1903 - 1995), and Theodoric (Thee) Bolling Sr (1906 - 1987).  Their fifth child, John Samuel, became president of the Commerce Norfolk Bank and by helping to found Old Dominion University in 1930, the university’s Alfriend Chemistry Building was named for him.




                     This portrait of Judge White (1868 – 1946) was unveiled

a year after his death in the 1822 Courthouse building.
 Benjamin Dey White, Senior Warden of Donation Church during its reconstruction in 1916, was celebrated as the “first citizen of Princess Anne County.” He presided over the Princess Anne County 28th Judicial Circuit Court for 38 years, serving as attorney and judge in the courthouse until his death in 1946. In 1924 he wrote Gleanings in the History of Princess Anne County. The book includes one of the most exhaustive studies of the trial of Grace Sherwood for allegedly practicing witchcraft and historic sketches that cover the history of Princess Anne County (now Virginia Beach) from 1606 to 1861. The book was re-published in 1991 on the 300th anniversary of the forming of Princess Anne County.  Judge White’s hand was felt, unobtrusively, behind nearly all phases of the county's progress (87).
     Charles Mitchell Barnett (1869-1940)
Charles Mitchell Barnett (1869 - 1940) was a wealthy businessman in the shipping and oyster business living at Ferry Farm near Old Donation Church. His company shipped the famous Lynnhaven Oysters all over, including to New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel and Grand Central Station. As a member of the Vestry and with his New York business connections, he and Church Warden White traveled to New York in 1915 to obtain a $7,000 loan for the reconstruction of the burned-out church (88).
Included in the rebuilding of the church was the addition of the narthex (10 by 12 foot vestibule entrance) and sacristy (16 by 14 foot area for altar vestments, linens and other essentials for communion). One can tell the 1736 bricks from the new bricks by the color on the outside of the church.
 
Cornerstone containing a time capsule at northeast corner of the re-built church
1916.  Still under construction, the church was re-consecrated May 15, 1916. Completed in less than a year, dedication ceremonies were held Oct 11, 1916 when a cornerstone containing a time capsule was laid. As a member of the Ancient Free & Accepted Masons, Judge White invited the Masons to conduct the service.  Also, The Reverend Alfriend was a Mason, member of Virginia Beach Mason Lodge No 274 and was one of their chaplains.  Complete with elements of wine (the Wine of Refreshment), oil (the oil of Joy and Gladness) and corn (the Corn of Nourishment), the participants followed elaborate and formal readings:  
Most Worshipful Master: It has ever been the custom of the craft on occasions like the present to deposit within the cavity within the foundation stone certain memorials of the period at which it was erected. Has such a deposit been prepared? It has been prepared and placed within a sealed box. You will read a list of the contents of the box. You will superintend and see that the box is deposited in the place prepared for its reception(89).
The list of contents in the time capsule was lost, with only one item referenced in The Reverend Alfriend’s Oct 11, 1916 notebook written in pencil. He mentioned “relics” from Senior Warden Thurmer Hoggard (1819 – 1902), most likely manuscripts. His notebook was found in a pile of forgotten documents.  It reads:
The cornerstone of Donation Church was laid by the Masons of Princess Anne Wednesday, October 11th 1916. In preparing the various records of interest – to be placed in the Stone the writer thought it only just to put in same a short sketch of one who was a faithful member of the parish of Lynnhaven, Lay Reader, and representative in the Diocesan Council for 60 years – Mr. Thurmer Hoggard late Senior Warden,  Born 1819 – died 1902. This contribution to the relics placed in the box of this same is offered in gratitude for the love [and] friendship shown the writer by this godly churchman. Mr. Hoggard from his earliest youth, besides his interest in State & County affairs (he was at one time County Treasurer) showed a deep and pious interest in the affairs of his church of Old Donation. At the early age of 23 he was appointed Lay Reader (owing to the failing health of the Rector, the Reverend Mr. Hull) by the late Bishop Meade. At this time he was elected by the Vestry as a delegate to the Diocesan Council of Virginia, and represented his Church in the Councils faithfully for 60 successive years.”
Also listed on two other pages of the Reverend Alfriend’s notebook were the 52 church members he had organized by 1916. They were: Milenor Absalom, Mrs. Milenor Absalom, Nettie Absalom, Dora Bailey, Charles M. Barnett, Mrs. Charles M. Barnett, Jeanie Barnett, Carlos Barnett, Joseph Barnett, Mrs. Ruth Bradshaw, Ross Bradshaw, Mrs. Ross Bradshaw, Mrs. George Butt, Mrs. Robert Campbell, Mrs. W. W. Everton, Mrs. Joshua Lo Fentress, Wilson S. Fentress, O.S. Fleming, Mrs. O.S. Fleming, Alice Fleming, Sidney L. Miller, Mrs. George F. Ohlinger, Stephen Slade, Mrs. Stephen Slade, Stephen Slade Jr., Julia Slade, Judge Benjamin Dey White, Mrs. B.D. White, Mrs. Webster Whitehurst, Mamie Whitehurst, Samuel Whitehurst,  Josiah Woodhouse, Mrs. (Mary) Josiah Woodhouse, James E. Woodhouse, Mattie Woodhouse, Mrs. George H.H. Woodhouse, George F. Woodhouse Sr., Mrs. George F. Woodhouse Jr., Minnie Woodhouse, F. Woodhouse, Mrs. Cynthia Woodhouse, Ode Woodhouse, Mary Woodhouse, George Olinger, and Mrs. Earle Webster.
One hundred years later the capsule was removed. A rusted-out box was found with supposedly Thurmer Hoggard’s manuscripts in ashes plus a Canadian penny.  On Tuesday Oct 11, 2016, the same 1916 Mason Lodge conducted the ceremony for replacing the stone. Church members provided keepsakes. One non-church member provided a Canadian coin, perhaps as was done by a non-church member a hundred years before.
1920 photo of the chancel area
The 1916 restoration included a large chancel around the altar for the choir, a Gothic characteristic popular in 1916. The choir would be relocated in the balcony 50 years later. Four stone plaques on the walls of the church and one at the entrance (narthex) honor those members who worked to restore the church between 1912 and 1916; i.e., May Etta Belle Fentress, George H.H. Woodhouse, Josiah Woodhouse, William Etheridge Biddle, Judge Benjamin Dey White, M. Absalom, W.S. Fentress, S.F. Slade, Charles M. Barnett. Included are the architect, J.W. Lee and builder Charles O. Sherwood.
The wavy glass distortions and ripples in the antique glass panes are part of the historic charm of old windows, a result of how glass was crafted in 1916 when the windows were installed as part of the reconstruction of the ruined church.
The Reverend Beverley D. Tucker, Rector of the Norfolk St. Paul’s Episcopal Church from 1882 to 1906 and Bishop of the Southern Diocese from 1907 to 1912 (grandfather of our Rector Beverley D. Tucker, Jr.) was instrumental in persuading local churches to help furnish the restored Old Donation Church.
The gifted items from St Paul’s Church, Christ Church, St. Luke’s Church, the first Lynnhaven Parish, and private benefactors were recorded by Reverend Richard J. Alfriend on an old Royal typewriter in 1918. The one-page history was unsigned. "The reredos, altar, chancel railing, choir stalls, pulpit, Priest’ chairs, and tiles in the aisle were the gifts of St. Paul’s Church, Norfolk-Va. The pews, U.S. flag, prayer desk, chair, and many other things were given by Christ Church, Norfolk, VA.  The solid silver alms basin was the gift of Mrs. M.P. Robertson of East Orange, N.J.  The brass altar cross, Candelabra and large brass candlesticks were given by Mrs. Marybelle Heyer, of Wilmington, N.C. The fine brass vases were the gift of Mrs. Fannie Hoggard of Elizabeth Park, Princess Anne County. The handsome oak Bishop’s chair, and chancel bible was the gift of St. Luke’s Ch., Norfolk- VA. Respectfully submitted, Rector, Old Donation & Emmanuel Churches, Lynnhaven Parish, Princess Anne Co. VA
Note: As noted in the discussion on the date of today's font, his letter (90) 
 

 
In 1916 a reredos, a solid wood altarpiece, was loaned to Old Donation from Norfolk St. Paul’s undergoing restoration and needing a temporary storage place. When St. Paul’s asked for its return Old Donation church members thought it was a gift and were hesitant to return it, but then St. Paul’s found another reredos more suitable to the restored architecture of their church. This was Old Donation’s second reredos. In the same place Lynnhaven Parish had one installed in 1767 which required the central window to be bricked-up. It remained in place until the 1882 fire destroyed it (91).

Other Important Church Relics. Maximilian Boush II (1660 – 1728) gave the church a silver paten (a small plate used to hold Eucharistic bread) which bears his coat of arms.  Maximilian was the prosecuting attorney against Grace Sherwood. He served on the Crown Council for Princess Anne, Norfolk, and Nansemond counties and was a Lieutenant of the Colonial Militia. Between 1712 and 1716 Queen Anne gave to the church the Queen Anne Communion Set, a chalice of gold and silver alloy and a large two-quart flagon. These gifts from the Queen were a common tradition at the time and other churches received similar sets (92)
 
Old Donation Emerges from
Early Twentieth Century Hard Times
The Reverend Alfriend died in 1923, leaving the church with lay ministers and at times no one at all. Coming to the rescue to keep the church from again folding were the Parks. Rufus and Diana Parks joined the church in 1920, putting new life into the church with a Christmas pageant drawing people from far and wide, an annual celebration that has been held every Christmas Eve since 1926. Visitors commented that this special little church is a fitting place for the recreation of a miracle that took place in the little town of Bethlehem two hundred centuries ago. (93).
The Parks’ daughter Ann dedicated herself to service at Old Donation for over 70 years.  Joining the Naval Reserve during World War II, she retired as a lieutenant commander and continued her service to the church, and in the 1960’s, along with Ethel Howren (1905 - 1983), was among the first women to serve on the vestry. She established the Altar Guild and served as its chairman until 1971.  
Ann Parks was active in rehabilitating the neglected historical Old Donation Cemetery by establishing a burial plot book and moving several historic tomb stones left neglected in other locations to the historic church cemetery. Along with the Princess Anne Garden Club, she had nine Walke burial stones (without remains) moved from the old Walke cemetery (today’s 5245 Locke Lane in the Fairfield neighborhood). The Walke Cemetery was next to the 1720 Manor House (no longer standing), a grand house with dozens of African American slaves, blacksmiths, wagon-makers, saddlers, and tradesmen imported from England. Fairfield belonged to five generations of Walkes until it was destroyed by fire in March 1865.  Ann found the Walke Cemetery in a hog pen where hogs were systematically destroying the markers (94).
Remembering Old Donation Church in the 1920’s, Ann wrote an article in the Oct 4, 1987 Virginian Pilot’s Beacon: Old Donation Church Still a Quiet Island of Beauty.” She wrote,There wasn’t any electricity or running water. But they had a Christmas pageant that drew people from far and wide the week before Christmas. Sexton John Wilson would go over there and spend Saturday night and fire up the stoves so they would be warm in the morning. There were only country roads and all down Independence Boulevard. There were only farms – six, I believe. We were lucky if we had 25 in the congregation. And if we didn’t go every Sunday we’d get a call to see if we were sick. The church was very poor and women would meet every month and pickle and preserve to raise money” (95).
During the 20’s through the 40’s there were only lay ministers and no ministers at all.  In 1947 the Reverend Webster Horstman picked up where the Parks left off. When the Reverend Horstman left in 1953 he counted a congregation of 150 persons with 160 in the Sunday School, a three-fold expansion from his arrival in 1947 (96). The next minister, the Reverend Beverly Tucker (1953-1976), estimated the congregation doubled during his ministry (97). Building on the Reverend Tucker’s success, the Reverend John Emmert’s enthusiasm became a turning point as the congregation swelled to three services and two Sunday Schools (98). Building on his enthusiasm, rectors Win Lewis (1998-2002) and Robert Randall (2004-present) have insured a bright future for Old Donation.
John H Emmert, Old Donation Rector 1985-1996
 
               Growth of Buildings beyond
the Historical Church



1923.  In 1923 the first structure built outside of the church, still standing, is the Church bell tower. There was a bell tower or lychgate at the entrance to the cemetery (no longer standing). Bodies were placed here before being taken into the church for funeral services.

 

1954. Construction of the Parish House took place in four phases.
* 1954 - Phase One. A Christian Education building was constructed and completed in 1954. The original building had a large meeting area with fewer walls which were put up later for church offices. This is a 98 by 33 foot (3,100 sq ft interior space) single story brick building with a gable roof. After completion, the old frame parish house located where Tucker Hall now stands was torn down and donated to another small church, which hauled its lumber away in a truck.
* 1961 - Phase Two. A Day School was attached to the south side of phase one, an 86 by 69 ft (4,735 sq ft) single story brick building, flat roof with double door opening to a 36 by 29 ft (1,044 sq ft) courtyard surrounded on three sides by rooms and open to the east.
* 1969 - Phase Three. Rooms were added to the south side of the Day School which exits onto playground, a 70 by 46 ft (3,000 sq ft interior space) single story brick building with flat roof.

* 1991 - Phase Four. A multipurpose room with a room divider and three large storage areas was named Tucker Hall for the Reverend Beverley Tucker (40 by 70 ft or 2,691 sq ft interior space). Also included in this last phase were the kitchen and two bathrooms (53 by 34 ft or 1,715 sq ft), as well as the library and hallway extension (29 by 23 ft or 615 sq ft interior space) connecting Tucker Hall and the Day School.
1955. Since its inception, the Day School has grown with the community that it serves. It began with one class of five little girls and now serves more than a hundred children ages 2 to kindergarten. Money was scarce, so Old Donation Rector Beverley Tucker’s father, the bishop of Ohio, donated $500 as seed money, enough to provide the essentials. So began the Day School. During this period the rector, Beverly Tucker’s wife, Julia, was instrumental in organizing mothers to take turns keeping pre-school children, devoting many hours of her service. The Day School has quietly become one of the most important and successful community outreach ministries.  In making a commitment that no child be denied admission to Old Donation Day School for lack of funds, the rector Bob Randall, with Vestry support, established the Julia Tucker Scholarship Fund in honor of Julia’s initial outreach to the Old Donation community.
 

1957. Alfriends House was built as a Rectory Residence and lived in by Reverend Bev Tucker, followed in 1998 by the Reverend Irwin Lewis.  Currently it is to be used for Sunday School and meetings.
1960. During an Easter service, while Ruth Ann Campbell was playing the organ (99), the walls of the historic church began to separate.  Luckily the church didn’t come down, but it was condemned by the county building inspectors until repairs could be made.  Inspection revealed that the five rods in the ceiling that were supposed to be holding the walls from separating were in fact not tied to the wall properly!  Long horizontal steel beams had to be installed in the two side walls and tied to the rods. This should have been done in 1916 as the construction of the roof was such that it was trying to push the two side walls outward. 

 
1966 - Although major repairs to the roof were made, the rest of the church was in a serious state of disrepair.  The wood in the floor and walls were full of termites, and the floor was built over the ground creating a six-foot slope from side to side. The Reverend Tucker reasoned that “the restoration in 1916 had been made on a shoe string in a jackleg fashion, and short cuts were taken to save money(100). After the floor was leveled and slate installed, the north wall windows were six inches higher from the floor than the south wall windows, but not many people have noticed the difference. Deficiencies were corrected including new lighting, heating, and an air-conditioning system. To bring the church back in line with its original Colonial “Prayer Book” architecture (the 1916 rebuilding reflected the then popular Gothic chancel design) and to add more space, the choir and organ were relocated from the chancel to the balcony, kneelers added, and the lectern and prayer desk were relocated adjacent to the pulpit (101).

As a prominent Norfolk banker, The Reverend Alfriend’s 5th child, John Samuel Alfriend (1897 - 1974), arranged for his bank, the National Bank of Commerce, to loan the church the funds for these repairs without a mortgage (deed of trust). John stated that he did not want a mortgage secured by a church in which his father was buried (102).  

1972. On August 18th the church was awarded property across the Witchduck Street for one dollar from the Terry Corporation of Virginia with the condition that for a period of ten years the property be used solely for park, recreation, playground, and/or landscaped areas with no building construction allowed. In 2015 the land was sold for $300,000 to Sentara Independence Hospital for a parking lot with the stipulation that a Labyrinth which had been built on the land in 2012 be re-built in the vacant field south of the Crape Myrtle tree line and that Sentara’s parking lot be used by the church on evenings and week-ends in perpetuity.

1975.  The Bishop’s Chair (above left) was a handsome carved oak chair with an extremely beautiful high back.  Sometime in the 1970’s, the chair was stolen. Insurance money replaced it (above right).

      Old Donation Becomes a Giving Outreach Church
 
March 14, 1976, baptism of Baby Marguerite Nguyen – (left to right) Barbara Blakemore, Joyce Pettet, Nga Nguyen (mother), Luc Nguyen (father), Mary Anne Gibboney, Donald Gibboney, and the Reverend Beverley Tucker.
 
1975. Soon after the fall of Saigon, a Vietnamese family who had worked for the Americans fled the country.  Arriving in America they needed a sponsor. Mary Anne Gibboney (1938 - 2010) and Joyce Pettet (1933 - 2016) immediately answered the call from the Lutheran Immigration Service.  With only days before their arrival, the small church group worked around the clock to prepare for the family, finding an apartment and a job for the father driving a delivery truck. Parishioners supported the projects with an outpouring of gifts, time, energy, and money. For many years the family flourished in the church and in the community. The lives of the Nguyen Family and those who knew them were richly rewarded, and for the church, the Nguyen’s left a profound understanding of Christ’s message, with the relocation of a family made possible by Mary and Joyce (103). 
The Story of a Gift not Forgotten. The first organ, a small portable pump organ, was brought in by train in 1901 to be played in the ruins of Old Donation by Miss Frances C. Hoggard. After the 1916 church renovation, the second organ, a reed organ (pump organ) was donated and installed in the front of the church. In about 1958 the third organ, an electronic one, was given to the church to replace the reed organ. During the 1966-1967 church renovation the electric organ was moved to the balcony. In 1980, the fourth organ, a Jesse Woodberry tracker pipe organ, was purchased from a Roman Catholic Church in Andover, MA. where it was used for twenty years. In 2003 with a growing choir requiring the space that the organ pipes were occupying in the balcony, and with the many needed Jesse Woodberry organ repairs, the decision was made to look for a new and more modern organ. The fifth and final organ was a digital Johannus organ from the Netherlands found for the bargain price of $98,000. It was dedicated Oct 3, 2004. The Jesse Woodberry organ was given to Hickory Neck Episcopal Church in Toano, Virginia, a greatly appreciated gift not to be forgotten (104).

Outreach Programs
1984. The Cursillo movement in the United States was organized in 1965 and began at Old Donation in 1984.  Retreats are held at Camp Chanco in Surry, Virginia between Thursday and Sunday evenings. A team of religious and lay personnel present inspirational talks which strengthen the faith of the candidates, followed by discussions.
1985. The Kairos Prison Ministry, which began in 1976, was started at Old Donation by Vaughn Wilson in 1985. The Kairos team visits prisons and asks Old Donation parishioners to donate home-baked cookies for distribution to inmates. Kairos is widely recognized as a highly effective program to positively change inmates’ attitudes. In 1994 the Angel Tree Christmas Gifts for Children of Prisoners was added.
1986. The Wednesday Morning Men’s Breakfast was started by Vaughn Wilson and is held at 7:00 A.M. each Wednesday. Most men from our church and some from other churches came. They got together with jokes and topics that were often religious, with each member having his time to talk and create discussion. Dave Arnold was the moderator until his death in 2008.
1993. The Mission of the Holy Spirit (MHS), is a collaborative effort of a group of individuals, businesses, churches and the Diocese of Southern Virginia. Old Donation has provided volunteers and funding assistance almost since the inception of the ministry in 1993.
1998.  Office Angels are volunteers who assist the church staff by answering the telephone and receiving guests with a cheerful and welcoming smile and greeting.
1999.  The Stephen Ministry, founded in 1975 in St. Louis, Missouri, uses trained lay people to provide quality, one-to-one Christian care to individuals experiencing a life crisis.
  Donations to the Church
 1983. James Carey Hudgins promised land to Old Donation Church - the current field south of the Crape Myrtle tree line. After his death, his daughter Ethel Virginia Hudgins Howren (1905 – 1983) bequeathed the land to the church with the provision it be used only by the church and could not be sold or used for any other purpose. If so the land would revert back to her heirs. This brought the total land area to 6.6 acres (105).
1991. Through her perseverance Emily Peabody put together a small contingent of Episcopal Church Women (ECW) to embroider kneelers, chair cushions, and table covers. What is most astounding is the wording on the backs of these items. The names of fifty-two deceased church members were delicately hand-sewn, along with the inscriptions by family members. After several years of work the ECW dedicated these precious needlepoint embroideries to the church Dec 18, 1988. By 1991 the ECW had raised enough funds to outfit the new parish hall kitchen to include an industrial gas stove, two ovens, industrial dishwasher, and large upright freezer and refrigerator.
 
Pictured here is one of the fifty-two embroidered altar kneelers. On the front side is the Celtic Cross over the Fleur de Lis and on the backside is needlepoint embroidery of the Reverend Beverly Dandridge Tucker, Jr, Rector of Old Donation Episcopal Church from 1953 to 1984, one of the fifty-two deceased names of church members.
2001. Hand Bells were dedicated May 13, 2001. Cast in the Schulmerick Handbell Foundry (1964). They are American copies of the world renowned English White Chapel hand bells. Ruth Ann Campbell graciously donated them to the church.
 
Keeping the Tradition Alive

Kris McTague (1923-2017), dressed in colonial attire, was the first docent. For many years, beginning in 1986, she showed hundreds of students and adults through the church and historical cemetery. She was the forerunner of the Historic Traditions Commission begun in 2009 under the leadership of Pete Owens (1942-2017).

      Kris McTague at the                                  Pete Owens during the dedication of
      entrance to the church (1986)                 the Grace Sherwood Stone (2014)      
 2001. The Parks Memorial Fine Arts Series is a cultural outreach, comprised of local and international artists, was begun by Paul G. Hudgins (Organist/ Choirmaster) in November 2001 in an effort to pay tribute to Old Donation’s venue (both acoustically and architecturally). In 2003 the series was christened as the “Parks Memorial Fine Arts Series” in honor of the highly esteemed Parks family who served the church throughout the 20th century.
 The twenty-first century has continued with more and more outreach programs. We have become a truly giving outreach church which I hope to write about in the coming years.
         
Timeline of Rectors and Other Clergy
1637 – 1638 - The Reverend William Wilkinson
1639 – 1640 - The Reverend John Wilson
1645 – 1645 - The Reverend Thomas Harrison
1645 – 1651 - The Reverend Robert Powis
1652 - 1657 - VACANT
1657 - 1657 - The Reverend Philip Mallory
1658 - 1662 - The Reverend George Alford
1663 - 1665 - VACANT
1666 - 1668 - The Reverend Edward Anthony
1678 - 1682 - The Reverend James Porter (non- Anglican)
1684 - 1691 - The Reverend Josias Mackie (non-Anglican)
1692 - 1694   VACANT
1695 - 1700 - The Reverend Jonathan Saunders
1700 - 1702   VACANT
1702 - 1702 - The Reverend Solomon Wheatley
1703 - 1713    VACANT
1714 - 1726 - The Reverend James Tenant
1726 - 1728 - The Reverend Nicholas Jones (non-Anglican)
1728 - 1728 - The Reverend Thomas Bailey (removed)
1729 – 1729 - The Rev Richard Marsden (non-Anglican)
1729 - 1747 - The Reverend Henry Barlow
1748 - 1776 - The Reverend Robert Dickson
1776 - 1785    VACANT
1785 - 1787 - The Reverend James Simpson
1788 - 1800 - The Reverend Anthony Walke
1800 - 1801 - The Reverend Cornelius Calwell lists Reverend
   Cornelius Calvert, Jr. and the Reverend John Wingfield of Portsmouth  who also gave services.
1803 - 1805   The Reverend George Holston 
1812 -1813 -  The Reverend Anthony Walke (same Reverend from 1788 – 1800)
1810 - 1821 - The Reverend John Meade
1821 - 1824 - The Reverend Robert Prout 
1824 - 1826 - The Reverend Mark Chevers
1826 - 1826 - The Reverend John Wingfield
1826 - 1829 VACANT
1829 - 1838 - The Reverend Isa Parker
1838 - 1841 - The Reverend David Falker and the Reverend Upton Beall from Christ Church also gave services
1842-1843 -  The Rev John G. Hull
1844 – 1846 - No services held
1846 - 1846 - The Reverend Henry C. Lay (served only a few months)
1848 – 1852 -The Rev Lewis Walke 
1855 - 1880 -The Reverend N. A. Okerson  
1882 - 1900 - The Rev Thurmer Hoggard IV made
             pilgrimages to Old Donation's ruins once a year.
1900 – 1913 - Mr. Richard J. Alfriend (lay reader)
             held annual services at church ruins.
1906 – 1911 - The Rev James Owens assisted in
             annual services at church ruins.
1913 – 1916 – Reverend Richard J. Alfriend after ordination as Rector
             held monthly services in the new parish house
1916 - 1923 - The Reverend Richard J. Alfriend
              resumed regular weekly services.
1924 - 1926 - The Reverend Robert Archer Goodwin
1926 - 1926 - The Reverend H. P. Sloane
1926 - 1929 - The Reverend Richard Henry Lee
1929 - 1931  -  VACANT
1931 - 1936 - The Reverend Marshall E. Travers
1937 - 1940   VACANT (Mr. Rufus Parks, Lay Reader)
1941 - 1942 - The Reverend N.H. Laws
1942 - 1945 - The Reverend Francis A. Gray
1945 - 1947  -  VACANT (Mr. Rufus Parks, Lay Reader)
1947 - 1953 - The Reverend Webster Horstman
1953 - 1984 - The Reverend Beverly D. Tucker, Jr.
1976 – 1981 -The Reverend Gary Sawtelle, Pastoral Associate
1981 – 1983 -The Reverend Jeffrey S. Jones, Pastoral Associate
1984 - 1985 - The Reverend William L. Russell (interim)
1985 - 1996 - The Reverend John H. Emmert
1987 - 1991 -  The Reverend Nancy C. Wood, Deacon
1992 - 1998 - The Reverend Donald W. Gross, Pastoral Associate
1994 - 1997 - The Reverend Joy E. Walton, Associate Rector
1997 - 1998 - The Reverend C. Thomas Holliday (interim)
1998 - 2002 - The Reverend Irwin M. Lewis, Jr.
2001 - 2002 - The Reverend Anne C. Brower, Deacon & Associate
2002 - 2003 - The Reverend John Williams, Deacon & Associate
2002 - 2004 - The Reverend Howard Hanchey (interim)
2002 - 2003 - The Reverend Al Wray, Pastoral Associate
2004 - Present - The Rev Robert J. Randall
2005 - 2006 - The Rev Fred Poteet
2005 - 2006 - The Rev Robyn Hoffman
2007 – 2010 - The Reverend Carlotta B. Cochran, Associate Rector
2007 - 2011 - The Rev Elizabeth Felicetti, Associate Rector
2010 – 2014 – The Reverend S. Drew Foisie, Curate
2011 – The Reverend Peggy Luhring, Deacon
2012 – 2014 - Christian Hansen, Youth Minister
2014 – 2018 – The Rev Fred Poteet, Associate Rector
2015 – 2017 - AJ Lambert, Youth Minister
2015 – Present – The Rev Ashley Urquidi, Associate Rector
2017 – Present - Marta Cohen, Youth Minister


                                                
References
1 White, Benjamin Dey, Gleanings in the History of Princess Anne County, 1924
2 Nash, Belinda, A Place in Time (Grace Sherwood), 2012
3 Walter, Alice Granbery, The Hoggards of Poplar Hall, 1988
4 Perrine, Robert M., Old Donation History, June 2012
5 Eighmey, Kathleen M., A History of Virginia Beach, Virginia, 1996, 16
6 Treanor, W. Paul, The Thoroughgood House, Virginia Beach, 2011, 1
7 Farrar, Emmie Ferguson, Old Virginia Houses, 1957, 189
8 Parramore, Thomas C., Norfolk: The First Four Centuries, 1994, 29 & 30
9 Farrrar, 191
10 Kyle, Louisa Venable Kyle, The History of Eastern Shore Chapel and
     Lynnhaven Parish, 1642 - 1969, 1969, 6
11 Eighmey, 45
12 Yarsinske, Amy Waters,  VA Beach: A History of Virginia's Golden Shore, 2002, 37
13 Hendrix, Edna Hawkins, Our Heritage : Black History : Princess Anne County,
      Virginia Beach, Virginia : a Pictorial History, 1998, 17
14 Mason, George Carrington. The Colonial Vestry Book of Lynnhaven Parish, Princess Anne County, Virginia, 1723-1786, xii
15 Kyle, 7
16 Mason, xii
17 Parramore, 35-40
18 Eighmey, 15
19 Reid, Robert, Historic Researcher and Biographer, phone conversation, July 27, 2018
20 Meade, Bishop, Old Churches, Ministers & Families of Virginia, Vol I, 1910, 247
21 Alfriend, Richard J., a one-page typewritten page describing gifted items to the church, about November 1916
22 White, 2
23 Rawlings, James Scott, Virginia’s Colonial Churches, 1963, 137
24 Hurlbut, Margie, 300 Years Old, Still Vital Force, The Virginian-Pilot and Ledger-Star
      Virginia Beach Beacon, Jan 9, 1972, pages 1 and 2.
25 Crist, Helen, The Mother Church of Lynnhaven Parish, The Virginian Pilot Beacon,
     July 27, 1975
26 Tucker, George, Old Donation: A Church Whose History Is Rich in Details, People, The Virginian Pilot, June 22, 1986, page c7,
27 Upton, Dell, Holy Things and Profane, Anglican Parish Churches in Colonial Virginia,
     1986, 147-148
28 Virginia Colonial Churches, “Church’s Right to the Dickson Donation Was Contested in 1797,” Mar 8, 1929
29 Luccketti, Nicholas M, Archaeological Assessment of the Adam Thoroughgood House Site,
      Virginia Beach, Virginia, May 2016, 8
30 Treanor, 82-90
31 Yarsinske, 44-46
32 Mason, xxv
      The Virginian Pilot, July 16,1950 
34 Farrar, Emmie Ferguson and Hines, Emilee, Old Virginia Houses Harbors, 1984,
     108-109
35 Jordan, James M IV. and Jordan, Frederick S, Virginia Beach, A Pictorial History,
      1975, 19
36 Parramore, 45
37  Eighmey, Kathleen M, The Beach, A History of Virginia Beach, Virginia, 1998, 126
38  Yarsinske, Amy Waters,  VA Beach: A History of Virginia's Golden Shore, 2002, 54-55
39 Castleburry, Amy Hayes, Virginia Beach, Then and Now, 2010, 28
40 Woodhouse, Bruce, descendant of Henry, George H.H. Woodhouse (1840 - 1915),
     conversation June 27, 2018
41  Tull, Fairly, 8th Generation Descendant of Francis Land II, Discussion with Bob Perrine
      (author), Oct 2011.
42  Find a Grave Memorial, COL Thomas Walke (1642-1694), Internet @ https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/192224732/thomas-walke
43  Yarsinske, Amy Waters, Norfolk, VA - The Sunrise City by the Sea, A History of Virginia's
      Golden Shore, 1994, 52
44 Meade, Bishop, Old Churches, Ministers & Families of VA, Vol I, 1910, 247
45 Kyle, 24
46 Guiley, Rosemary Ellen, Witchcraft & Wicca, The Encyclopedia of Witches, 2008, 336
47 Nash, 104
48 Ibid, 134-138
49 Ibid, 151
50 Cleavelin, Mary Beth, Witch of Pungo's Church Dedicates Marker to Her, the
      Virginian-Pilot, July 11, 2014
51 Parramore, 69
52 Wikipedia, Francis Land House
53 Turner, Florence Kimberly, Gateway to the New World, History of Princess Anne
      County, VA, 1607 – 1824, 1985, 135
54 Kyle, 28-29
55 Vogt, Roberta Elizabeth, Short Remarks on the Political and Social Writings of Reverend
      Anthony Walke, 2011, 84
56  Kyle, 27
57  Drachnik, Cay, Examples of Early American Architecture, 1969, 14 and 34
58  Nelson, John K., A Blessed Company , Parishes, Parsons, and Parishioners in Anglican
      Virginia, 1690 –1776,” 2001, 188
59 Kyle, 28
60  Clark, W.M. Colonial Churches in the Original Colony of Virginia, 275
61 Mason, vii
62 Mason, 23
63 Nelson,  81-83
64 White, 3
65 Mansfield, Stephen S, Princess Anne County & VA Beach, A Pictorial History, 1989, 36
66 Yarsinske, 78
67  Turner, 175
68 Vogt, 32
69 Philbrick, Nathaniel, Q&A after his discussion on Oct 20, 2018 about his new book, In the Hurricane’s Eye,  2018
70 Vogt, 58
71 Yarsinske, 94
72 Ibid, 76
73 Vogt, Roberta Elizabeth, interview Sep. 2014
74 Norred, Deni (writing a book about Thalia), conversation, 15 Aug, 2018
75 Yarsinske, 86
76 Kyle, 29
77 Jordan, James M IV. and Jordan, Frederick S, Virginia Beach, A Pictorial History, 1975, 27
78 Yarsinske, 95
79 Mansfield, 56
80  Goode, G. Brown, Virginia Cousins: A Study of the Ancestry and Posterity of John Goode,
      Feb 13, 2009, 54
81 Yarsinske, 96
82 Kyle, 31-32
83  Mason, v
84  McAlpine, Laura Herbert, Bulletin of the Diocese of Southern Virginia, September 11, 1901
85  Kyle, 32
86 McTague, Kris, interview 2012
87  Mansfield, 182
88 Brown, Catherine Barnett, Barnett History, November 2011, 6
89 Feliciano, Eloy, Secretary Virginia Beach Ancient Free & Accepted Mason Lodge No. 274,
       interview May 2016
90 Alfriend, Richard J.
91 Kyle, 29
92 Eighmey, 48
93 Kyle, Louisa Venable, Meditations in Old Country Church Sunday Evening Before
      Christmas, Norfolk Virginian Pilot, December 21, 1952, part 2-page 9 
94 Interview with Belinda Jacqueline Nash (Church Historian 1990 - 2009), June, 2009
95 Crist, Helen, Old Donation Church Still a Quiet Island of Beauty,
      the Virginian Pilot’s Beacon, Religion, October 4, 1987
96 Blackford, Frank, Lynnhaven Parish to Observe 310th Year Sunday,
       Norfolk Virginia Pilot, July 16, 1950
97 Tucker, Beverly, The Reverend as I rode him to Men’s Breakfast
        from 2012-2013.
 
98 Emmert, John, Rector, Old Donation a Gift and a Trust, the Episcopal Diocese
        of Southern VA - the Jamestown Churchman, Volume 49, Number 6, June 1986, page 7
99 Campbell, Ruth Ann  (organist and choirmaster from 1980 – 2001), interview
     Aug, 2009
100 Tucker, Beverley, The Reverend, My 31 Years at Old Donation Church, 2012, 29
101 Ibid, 31-36
102 Ibid, 21
103 Pettet, Joyce, Interview Feb 2016
104 Hudgins, Paul G. (organist & choirmaster), interview August 2009
105 Hudgins, James, interview June 2013
Works Cited
Books:
Castleburry, Amy Hayes. Virginia Beach, Then and Now. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2010, ref 39 page 28
Clark, W.M. “Colonial Churches: In the Original Colony of VA Richmond, VA,” Southern Churchman Co., 1907, ref 60 page 275
Drachnik, Cay, “Old Donation Church, An Example of Early American Architecture,” Jan 1969, ref 57 pages 14 and 34
Eighmey, Kathlen M. The Beach, “A History of Virginia Beach,” VA Beach Public Library, 1996, ref 5 page 16, ref 11 page 45, ref 18 pg 15, ref 28 pg 46, ref 37 pg 126, ref 92 pg 48
Farrar, Emmie Ferguson and Hines, Emilee, “Old Houses Along the James,” ref 7 page 189, ref 9 page 191 
Farrar, Emmie Ferguson and Hines, “Old Virginia Houses Harbors,” ref 34 pages 108-109
ref 34 pages 108-109
Goode, G. Brown. “VA Cousins: A Study of the Ancestry and Posterity of John Goode of Whitby,” 2008, ref 80 page 54
Jordan, James M IV. and Jordan, Frederick S, “Virginia Beach, A Pictorial History,” 1975, ref 35 page 19, ref 77 page 27
Kyle, Louisa Venable Kyle, “The History of Eastern Shore Chapel and Lynnhaven Parish, 1642 – 1969,” rf 10 pg 6, rf 15 pg 7, rf 45 pg 24, rf 54 pgs 28-29, rf 56 pg 27, rf 59 pg 28, rf 76 pg 29, rf 82 pgs 31-rf 85 pg 32, rf 91 pg 29.
Luccketti, Nicholas, “Architectural Assess of the Adam Thoroughgood House,” James River Institute for Arch, May 06, ref 29 page 8
Mansfield, Stephen S. “Princess Anne County and Virginia Beach, A Pictorial History. Norfolk, VA,” The Donning Company, 2006, ref 65 page 36, ref 79 page 56, ref page 182.
Mason, George C, “The Colonial Vestry Book of Lynnhaven Parish, Princess Anne Co 1723-1786,” 1949,       ref 14 page xii, ref 16 page xii, ref 32 page xxv, ref 61 page vii, ref 62 page 23, ref 83 page v
Meade, Bishop, “Old Churches, Ministers & Families of VA, Vol I,” 1910, ref 20 page 247, ref 44 page 247
Nash, Belinda, “A Place in Time (Grace Sherwood). Virginia Beach VA,” W.S Dawson Co, 2012, ref 2, ref 47 page 104, ref 48 pages 134-138, ref 49 page 151
Nelson, John K., “A Blessed Company Parishes / Parsons in Anglican VA, 1690 –1776,” 2001, , ref 58 page 188, ref 63 pages 81-83
Norred, Deni, “Bayside History Trail: A View from the Water,” 2003, ref 74
Parramore, Thomas C., Norfolk, “The First Four Centuries. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of VA, 1994, ref 8 pages 29 & 30, ref 17 pages 35-40, ref 36 page 45, ref 51 page 69
Parramore, Thomas C., “Norfolk: The First Four Centuries, 1994,” ref 8 pages 29 & 30
Perrine, Robert M., “Old Donation History,” June 2012, ref 4
Rawlings, James Scott, “Virginia’s Colonial Churches,” 1963, ref 23 page 137
Treanor, W. Paul, “The Thoroughgood House, VA Beach,” Gloucester, VA Institute of Human History, 2011, ref 6 page 1, ref 30 pages 82-90
Tucker, Beverley, The Reverend, “My 31 Years at Old Donation Church. Virginia Beach, VA, 2012,” ref 100 page 29, ref 101 pages 31-36, ref 102 page 21
Turner, Florence K, “Gateway to the New World, History of Princess Anne Co VA, 1607 – 1824,” 1985, ref 53 page 135, ref 67 page 175
Upton, Dell, “Holy Things and Profane, Anglican Parish Churches in Colonial Virginia,” 1986, ref 27 pages 147-148
Vogt, Roberta Elizabeth, “Short Remarks on the Political & Social Writings of Reverend Anthony Walke,” 2011, ref 55 page 84, ref 68 page 32, ref 70 page 58, ref 73
White, Benjamin Dey, “Gleanings in the History of Princess Anne County. VA Beach VA,” 1924,
ref 1 and 22 page 2, ref 64 page 3
Yarsinske, Amy Waters, “A History of VA's Golden Shore,” Arcadia Publishing, 2002, ref 12 page 37, ref 31 pages 44-46, ref 66 pg 78, ref 71 pg 94, ref 72 pg 76, ref 75 pg 86, ref 78 pg 95, ref 81 pg 96
Yarsinske, Amy Waters, “Norfolk, VA - The Sunrise City by the Sea, A History of VA's Golden Shore,” 1994, ref 38 pages 54-55, ref 43 page 52.
 
Alfriend, Richard J., a one-page typewritten page describing gifted items to the church, about Nov 1918, ref 21  & ref 90
Brown, Catherine Barnett, Barnett History, Ferry Tidings, Vol 16, Issue 4, Nov 2011
ref 88 page 6
Emmert, John, Rector, Jamestown Churchman, Vol 49, No 6, Jun 1986, ref 98 page 7
Guiley, Rosemary Ellen, “Witchcraft & Wicca,” The Encyclopedia of Witches, 2008, ref 46 page 336
Hendrix, Edna Hawkins, Our Heritage: Black History: Princess Anne Co, a Pictorial History, 1998, ref 13 page 17.
McAlpine, Laura Herbert, Bulletin of the Diocese of Southern Virginia, Sep 11, 1901, ref 84
Princess Anne County / VA Beach Historical Society, “Upper Wolfsnare: Spanning 250 Years,” June 21, 2009, ref 68a.
Vcudean, member for Find a Grave Id “Find a Grave, Thomas Walke (1642-1694),”
Walter, Alice Granbery, “The Hoggards of Poplar Hall.” The book is on file at the Meyera E Oberndorf Central Library, Virginia Beach, ref 3 page 1
Wikipedia, Francis Land House ref 52
Interviews:
Campbell, Ruth Ann  (organist and choirmaster from 1980 – 2001), Aug, 2009 ref 99
Feliciano, Eloy, Secretary VA Beach Mason Lodge No. 274, May 2016, ref 89
Hudgins, James, June 2013 ref 105
Hudgins, Paul G. (organist & choirmaster), August 2009 ref 104
Nash, Belinda Jacqueline (Church Historian 1990 - 2009), June, 2009 ref 94
McTague, Kris, Old Donation Church Docent, 2012, ref 86
Nash, Belinda (Church Historian 1990 - 2009), June, 2009, ref 94
Norred, Deni (writing a book about Thalia), 15 Aug, 2018, ref 74
Pettet, Joyce, Feb 2016, ref 103
Philbrick, Nathaniel, Q&A after his presentation about his new book, “In the Hurricane’s Eye,”  2018 ref 69
Reid, Robert, Historic Researcher and Biographer, phone conversation, July 27, 2018, ref 19
Tucker, Beverley, The Reverend. I rode him to Men’s Breakfast from 2012-2013 ref 97
Tull, Fairly, 8th Gen Descendant of Francis Land II, Oct 2011, ref 41.
Vogt, Roberta Elizabeth, Sept 2014, ref 73
Woodhouse, Bruce, 2018, ref 40

 
                                 Acknowledgements

For this update to the original 375th Anniversary Edition published in 2012, I want to again thank several. Over the years since I became the church historian in 2010 and started researching the church’s history, The Reverend Bob Randall has provided me with encouragement and made the final decision to make my first publication, a 375th Anniversary Edition. Also, the church staff has been most helpful in providing draft copies and other logistical support, especially Gretchen Hood, Parish Administrators; Bob Reneau and Bruce Woodhouse, Sextons; Pam Campbell, Parish Assistant Administrator; and Diane Miller, Parish Accountant.

I want to thank Elizabeth Vogt, eighth generation descendant of Reverend Anthony Walke, for providing information on the Walke family found in her thesis on Reverend Anthony Walke, presented to the Graduate School of Clemson University.
 
 











 


Information about current activities at the end of the twentieth century would not have been possible if not for church members Jim Pernini, Dick and Ellie Kreassig, Kris McTague, Joyce Pettet, Kelly Good, Vaughn Wilson, Ann Butler, Lowell Davis, Ray Foberg, Franklin Marzullo, Earl Morris, Elizabeth Simpson, Florence (Flossie) Chandler, Paul Hudgins, Pete Owens, Julia Tucker, Reverend Bev Tucker, and Pat and Vaughn Wilson.
More than any other person to give interest to my stories was Belinda Nash, the most distinguished authority on our church and Grace Sherwood, the Witch of Pungo.
My thanks to Reverend Blakemore who provided the basis for the story of the Nguyen Family, “Refugees from War Torn Vietnam.” Joyce Pettet and Mrs. Luc Nguyen assisted in filling in important dates and facts. Along the way the Historic Traditions Committee made significant suggestions. Special recognition goes to Pete Owens, Pat Wilson, Reverend Don Wilson, Judy Pravecek, Brenda New, and Jackie Murray.
A few of the pictures in this book are from the camera of Joyce Barry who was always around when a picture is needed. Her photos have helped bring this book to life.
The two sketches on the cover are from Amy Castleberry’s Then and Now.
Finally, to Barbette, my wife: I could not have written the original book or this update without her encouragement. Not only did she devote many hours to grammatical review, but her editing provided a document that is now more appealing to readers.