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Christ Church, Glendower

Christ Church, Glendower

Name:  Christ Church, Glendower

Date:  2001

Image Number:  CG02cdCG01

Comments:  Christ Church, Glendower, is located just east of Keene, Virginia, and about 4 miles northwest of Scottsville.  Erection of this church began in 1831 and is the work of William B. Phillips, a Jeffersonian workman who designed and built a variety of homes and public buildings in his mentor's mode.  Bishop William Meade of Virginia consecrated Christ Church on July 28, 1832. 

In her parish history, entitled St. Anne's Parish, Albemarle County, Virginia, Jo McCleskey details the 1835 deed transfer of the Christ Church land from Henry Morris to the Vestry of Christ Church for $1.00: "A part of a tract on which the said Henry Morris now resides.  Beginning & running as follows so as to make in quantity, one half acre to wit: on the turnpike & running in a northeastern direction, on the dividing line of s[ai]d Morris & James Kingsolving fifty yards, thence along the land of said Morris; an east course fifty yards & thence along said Morris' land a Southern direction fifty yards to a corner to be made on the present turnpike & thence along s[ai]d Turnpike to the beginning.  For the special & express purpose, that the aforesaid named Vestry men are hereby authorized & empowered to build upon the aforesaid lot or parcel of land a meeting house or Church for the sole use & benefit of the Prot. Epic. Ch. or demomination of Christians called Epis., subject however to the full & entire controul (sic) & management of the aforesaid Vestry & successors in office in using the same as a house of religious worship for their own society or denomination, or offering the same when they may choose to do so to all other Christian denominations for divine service."  (Albemarle County Deed Book 32, pages 529-531, February 25, 1835).

In 1839, Samuel Dyer transferred 5 more acres to the Trustees of Christ Church, which lay between the Church and Dyer's old store called Plain Dealing.  The church added a frame vestry in 1848, and a frame rectory enveloped the Plain Dealing store nearby.

Christ Episcopal Church at Glendower Built in 1831;
Meredith Served Long as Rector

By Elizabeth Wimer
The Scottsville Sun, 1 November 1951

The history of the Episcopal churches in a community must of necessity include the history of the parish which comprises these churches, since they were originally part of the Church of England and divided into parishes by state officials.

St. Anne's parish, of which Christ Church at Glendower is a part, was formed when Albemarle became a separate county from Goochland in 1745, and the Rev. Robert Rose, one of our pioneer settlers, became its first rector.  Mr. Rose had a 4,000-acre grant of land in what is now Amherst and Nelson counties and ministered in St. Anne's Parish between the years 1746 and 1751.

Among the early vestryman of St. Anne's Parish were Thomas Jefferson and Joshua Frye.  The first two churches built in the south side of St. Anne's Parish, known as the Green Mountain section, were the Ballenger Church near Warren, and the old Forge Church, about two miles from Carter's Bridge.  The date of the building of these churches is unknown, but after the American Revolution, when the Church of England dropped in popularity for some years, it is evident that these two churches fell into disrepair, being at some distance from population centers, and they did not have a permanent minister for some time.

In the year 1820, a new church was planned for by members of the parish under Rev. Frederick Hatch and it was not until 1831 that a new church building was started, according to Bishop Meade's account in his book, "Old Churches and Families of Virginia."  This was Christ Church, built by a contractor named Phillips at a cost of $1800, exclusive of window shutters and a pulpit.  The pulpit was added later, and a great deal of the charm of this country church lies in the fine design of its construction. Semi-circular in form, approached by steps from either side, there is a graceful Communion Hall, and the whole is supported by four tall white columns.

Bishop Meade consecrated Christ Church on 28 June 1832. The Reverend Zachariah Meade was its first rector.

Rev. Charles Ambler came to the parish in 1848, and it was during his service as rector that the glebe was bought, the rectory built, and the vestry room begun.  Not long after the Rev. Elliot B. Meredith took charge of St. Anne's Parish, the size of the glebe and rector were deemed unpractical and they were sold.  Mr. Meredith, now retired and living in Scottsville, served this parish from 1910 until 1945, ministering to the congregations in St. John's Church, Scottsville, St. Stephen's at Esmont, and also holding services at Howardsville.

The Rev. Beverley Tucker is the present minister.

Under the efforts of interested members, including Mrs. John Tidd, the graveyard behind the Colonial style brick church was restored, and it is now kept in good repair.  In it are engraved the names of many loyal families of Christ Church.

Among the families who have contributed much to the survival of the little church, and who served it faithfully throughout their lives are the Coles, the Carters, the Randolphs, and the Forsyths.  Some of these families are still represented among members of the congregation.

Peyton S. Coles served on its vestry for more than 50 years.  Plaques and memorials in the pulpit attend to the devotion of the Coles family.  The chancel cross is in honor of Elizabeth Cock Coles, the communion table dedicated to Sally Logan Coles, the plaque on the left side of the pulpit in memory of Tucker Skipworth Coles, Jr., and on the right side is a plaque honoring Julia I. Coles, Peyton S. Coles, and John E. Coles.  On the side wall is another plaque in memory of Harry Douglas Forsyth and his wife, Sarah Rice Forsyth.

The pulpit prayer book was presented to the church by Mrs. Margaret Post Bradley and Mrs. Margaret Comb Post.

Allen Randolph is Senior Warden of the vestry, Douglas Forsyth is Treasurer, and Larned Randolph is Secretary. Other vestrymen include Edgar Bradley, Robert Coles, Harry Langhorne, Pierson Scott, Robert Carter, J. Albert Moose, Ellis Jones, Samuel Pendleton, and Alan Pinkerton.

The Women's Auxiliary contribute much to the missionary work of the church, and toward its upkeep.  Officers are Mrs. Stewart Morgan, president; Mrs. Allen Randolph, vice-president; Mrs. Douglas Forsythe, secretary; and Miss Charlotte Coles, treasurer.

While there are approximately 40 active communicants, Christ Church numbers many friends who take an active part in its activities, and it has had many distinguished visitors.

Sally Randolph Carter, who wrote a sketch of the church on the occasion of its centennial celebration in 1932, has aptly said, "The country churches in Virginia have been a strong and unique force in preserving both the social and spiritual characteristics of the state."  Surely Christ Church preserves all that was good in days of more tranquil and gracious living, and serves as an inspiration to all those who come within its doors.

Copyright © 2001 by Scottsville Museum

Image Located On:  Capturing Our Heritage, CDCG01
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