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A History of Grace Church

Throughout its 140-year history, Grace Episcopal Church has been an important part of Goochland County.  Because of its physical location, at 2955 River Road West in the heart of Goochland Courthouse, Grace Church has ministered to the community and to the county at large through its programs, use of facilities, and services.

Grace Church was founded in 1876 as a church in the Parish of St.James-Northam. Grace is the only church left from this historic parish, which at one time included St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, built in 1834; Trinity Episcopal Church, built in 1855; and St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church (also known as All Saint’s Episcopal Church of Sabot), built in 1884.

In 1876, one-half acre was deeded to the Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Virginia, and his successors in the office of Bishop by George W. and Vivian M. Fleming.  Grace Church was built in 1876-77 on this half acre and was consecrated in 1882.  The present church is the original building. 

 

IMPORTANT DATES

1890S/EARLY 1900S -  Fire damaged the area behind the pulpit. 

1904 - Miss Grace Arents deeded 32½ acres of land to the church to which Grace Church today still possesses approximately 19 ½ acres of land.  Grace formed its own cemetery which included the Payne family plot.

1936 -  The original Parish House was built.

1980s - The Episcopal Church Women along with other local churches formed the Children’s Clothes Closet to meet the needs of children in the county. 

1988 - The dossal curtain which had been hanging behind the altar since the early 1950s was removed to reveal the stained-glass window on the west wall of the church. 

1987 - ECW began work on the needlepoint kneelers for the altar rail which were dedicated in 1991. 

2005/2006  - The new Parish House to replace the older building was built.

 

We at Grace Church believe that what we have promised at our baptisms -- to proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ, to seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as ourselves, to strive for justice and peace among all people, and respecting the dignity of every human being -- should be integral to our lives in the community and in the world. 

We are currently involved in many progams such as Meals on Wheels, Brown Bag Meals for disadvantaged middle school children, Food Pantry, Christmas Mother and many more.

The Rev. Emily Dunevant, the present Rector of Grace Church, is the 26th Rector to serve this parish.