In the fast urban lifestyle, it has become increasingly difficult to keep the religious part of self alive and active. People are attracted towards the suburbs and countryside just seek tranquility and peace. St. Paul’s Episcopal churches are doing the great job of providing this religious touch in the heart of the city. The saga of its inception, foundation and acceptance dates back to 200 years ago!
Started off as a Norwood’s project having only 67 people to invest, this project was destined to be something bigger and better, as the later years have witnessed. The success and popularity of St. Paul’s church was not a one day feat. After many ups and downs, and a leap of faith by its pioneers have brought it to this place. The first ever St. Paul church, built in 1812 is now officially considered as a historical heritage by the government. The building was designed by Robert Mills. But the with growing popularity of the church, it was soon going to need more and more of churches in many cities. Since, the church set foot in Virginia, people of Richmond who are also known as Richmonders have loved St. Paul’s Episcopal church from a very long time. With the growing popularity, the expansion of the churches was planned by Rev. William Norwood.
Kudos to the great work done by these churches at every location. No wonder, with every passing day more and more people are getting associated with them. The purity and serenity in them is just ineffable. Some churches give free education to kids on Sundays. This great tradition of providing selfless service goes back to the old days when St Paul’s church performed Baptism, marriages and funerals for the newly formed parish. This place witnessed the true unity preached by religion. At this historic place on January 13, 1990, L. Douglas Wilder – first African-American State governor – had the first pre-inaugural prayer service. He was not the only one, King Edward VII and Prince of Wales were also present to embrace the sanctity in the Sunday service.
Later on, many prominent and responsible people were also associated with the name of this church like Rev. Dr. Walter Russel Bowie (1911 – 1923), Rev. Dr. Beverley Dandridge Tucker (1924 – 1947), Rev. Robert Raymond Brown (1947 – 1955), Rev. Joseph Thomas Heistand (1955 – 1968) and Rev. Jon Shelby Spong(1969 – 1976). The contribution of volunteers can not be ignored. The churches came up with various programs for people of various lifestyles like preparing lunches, giving free education etc.. On regular days around 7000 lunches are prepared. This requires huge man power and dedication that the volunteers of the churches selflessly provide. Planning and management of these churches are optimal. They have their outreach programs that require funding. 20% of the revenue generated by these churches annually are invested in the outreach program. This shows how crucial these ideals are for the churches and their dedication towards keeping them.