St. John’s Episcopal Church of Richmond – circa 1920

The oldest church in Richmond, this parish was formed from the consolidation of smaller parishes as the city replaced Williamsburg as the center of political life in Virginia.

The building was erected in 1741.

At the time St. John’s was founded, the Anglican Church was established in the crown colony of Virginia.

St. John’s was the meeting place for two conventions during the period of revolutionary fervor leading to the American Revolution.

During the second Virginia Convention, meeting in this church, Patrick Henry concluded his speech with the famous cry, “…give me liberty, or give me death.”

Although a National Historic Landmark and a popular tourist attraction, this church remains an active parish within the Episcopal Church.

I visited the church on a family vacation many years ago.

NOTE: This is not St. Paul’s Episcopal Church of Richmond, “the cathedral of the Confederacy”, where (after a years-long process of prayer and discernment) the congregation removed several plaques and monuments glorifying Confederate leaders. It was from St. Paul’s that Jefferson Davis fled on a Sunday morning to begin his short journey as a fugitive.


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