Historical Timeline

1842: June 25.  Four trustees of the Protestant Episcopal Church of
Middleburg purchase a quarter-acre lot at the corner of

Washington and Liberty streets for $75 to erect a church.  Construction
begins immediately.

1843: July 21.  Virginia Assistant Bishop John Johns consecrates
Emmanuel Church.  The building measures 30 feet by 40 feet and
accommodates 40 people.  The rector is Reverend Philip Slaughter. 
The Church is in Meade Parish, which includes Upperville.


1853: The eastern half of Meade Parish is separated from Upperville
and re-named Johns Parish after Bishop Johns.  The parish includes Aldie. 
Reverend Ovid A. Kinsolving, the fourth rector, begins his seventeen-year
term which will span the prelude, waging, and aftermath of the Civil War.


1856: The Emmanuel congregation purchases two lots in Middleburg with
an existing brick building for $1,200 to serve as a parsonage. 


1856 – 1859: Senior Warden William Benton, an English immigrant brick
maker and master builder, renovates and enlarges the parsonage building.


1861: Senior Warden Asa Rogers, one of the four original trustees, becomes Brigadier General leading the Confederate States of America 2nd Division of regular troops. Emmanuel parishioner Lt. William Powell leads the Middleburg Company in Loudoun’s 132nd Regiment reporting to Rogers.  Parishioner Mary Noland Cochran, wife of another original trustee Dr. William Cochran, begins her eye-witness account of life in war-time Middleburg.


1863:  Rector Kinsolving is taken prisoner by Union troops and spends several months at Capital Prison in Washington, DC, suspected of preaching secessionist sermons.  In defiance of Virginia law, parishioner Margaret Harrison Benton, wife of former Senior Warden William Benton, continues to teach her 19 slaves to read and write – all of whom remain with them for the duration of the war.


1865 – 1870:  Dr. Benton and fellow parishioner Burr Noland, with other prominent local citizens, successfully fight the federal government’s Freedmen’s Bureau which tries to expropriate their allegedly abandoned lands.


1866: Vestry Registrar Virginius Dabney opens a private preparatory school at the northwest corner of Jay and Washington Streets and runs it until he moves out of the area in 1873.


1870 – 1900: Emmanuel parishioner families – Powells, Bentons, Nolands, Haxalls, and McVeighs – continue to participate in town and district councils in unsuccessful attempts to restore the local post-war economy.


1873: Vestry begins discussing enlarging the sanctuary, a debate that will continue for over fifty years.


1877:  April. Emmanuel Vestry inaugurates the practice of fulfilling annual pledges through monthly installments in the Sunday collection plate.


1878:  Reverend Arthur Johns, son of Bishop John Johns who consecrated the church, becomes the eighth rector.


1886: Rector Johns accepts invitations to become president of two newly formed local telephone companies, Loudoun and Fauquier Telephone Company and the Landmark and Middleburg Telephone Company. Parishioner Burr Noland makes a large donation to help open the area’s first public school for blacks, a one-room school at the northeast corner of Jay and Marshall Streets.  Virginius Dabney sells the lot of his discontinued school to Roman Catholic Bishop John J. Keane for $375 as a possible future site for a Catholic church.


1903: July.  Parishioner Susan Noland Haxall persuaded Virginia Governor Andrew Montague to pardon a local black man who was serving a life term for being present when his brother fatally stabbed Middleburg’s town sergeant.


1914:  September 25th.  Emmanuel parishioner Charlotte Haxall Noland (Miss Charlotte) opens Foxcroft School, a private school for girls, which she will head for forty years.  Many of her students over the years attend Emmanuel Church.


1918:  Late Spring: Rector Robert Goodwin departs for France to support the American Expeditionary Force as YMCA chaplain and returns in 1919 after the war’s end.  Emmanuel parishioner Major Bulling Heal Jr. dies of a war-related injury in France, shortly after the November Armistice.  Parishioner Samuel Preston Luck opens the Middleburg Garage, the first in the area, selling and servicing Ford cars, trucks, and tractors.


1918-1919: Rectory obtains running tap water and flush toilets, with the rest of Middleburg.


1921:  David Campbell Mayers becomes the 17trh rector and serves for twenty-four years, the longest tenure of all Emmanuel rectors.


1926:  Enlargement of the church finally begins to accommodate the gift of a pipe organ from Mr. Thomas Davis of New York whose daughter had attended Foxcroft and Emmanuel.  The church grows to 30 feet by 60 feet, its present size, and seats seventy people. Rector Mayers designs the new altar rail.


1927:  First Sunday in October.  First service is held in the enlarged church.


1928-1929: The Mitchells and other Emmanuel parishioners – Mrs. Thomas Atkinson, Mrs. William Holbert, and Mrs. Oliver Iselin found the private Hill School and send their children there.


1929 - 1940: Rector Mayers serves as president of the local public school Parent Teacher Association.  Mayers rallies influential newcomer parishioner such as General Billy Mitchell and his wife Elizabeth to help sustain the financially strapped local public schools during the Great Depression.


1935: October.  Charlotte Noland opens the Foxcroft Social Service Clinic to provide medical aid to poor white and black people.  Her work is continued by Paul Mellon in 1938 who buys the old Cochran house on Madison Street and opens and pays for the Middleburg Health Clinic.  Five of the original six directors of the clinic are Emmanuel parishioners.


1937:  Emmanuel celebrates the 200th birthdays of Middleburg found Leven Powell and his wife Sarah Harrison by
installing a large stone tablet on the east inside wall of the church.


1941, June 9:  Parishioner Lt Jack Tartierre becomes first local Middleburg casualty of World War Two, dying in Palestine with deGaulle’s Free French forces.  Emmanuel parishioners actively support the war effort throughout World War Two.


1943, May 23:  Church celebrates its centennial.  Many former rectors are present.  The octogenarian son of 19th
century Rector Kinsolving preaches the sermon. Church parishioners begin the annual Fabulous Rummage Sale to help the needy, an event which will continue for six decades.  


1948:  Parishioners heavily support the opening of Middleburg Community Center.  November: The annual Christmas Shop at Emmanuel begins, with proceeds also going to help the needy in the area.


1961,  April: Rector Ernest A. deBordenave (“Froggy”) racially integrates the Red Fox Inn over a pleasant, incident-free lunch that includes multiple Emmanuel parishioners and black leaders William McKinley Jackson and Dr. Maurice Brittian King Edmead MD.


1965: Rene Llewellyn, Rector Neale Morgan, and fellow parishioner Nancy Manierre, establish Middleburg FISH, “for instant and sympathetic help” to locals in need of assistance with rent, utilities, prescription medications, and transport to
medical appointments.  The organization continues uninterrupted to the present.


1976: The church acquires the deBordenave Memorial organ, a more compact organ.  The church is remodeled to accommodate the organ, and can seat 115 people, its current capacity.  December 4th:  Rector Neale Morgan officiates at the wedding of actress Elizabeth Taylor and US Senator John Warner.

1976: First annual “Free Church Homecoming Service.” Emmanuel and local Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian churches start joint annual ecumenical services at the site of the original “Old Free Church” (built in late 1700s) to celebrate their unity and past shared use of that building.


1983.  April. Parishioner Rene Llewellyn founds the Windy Hill Foundation to renovate a local slum. She is supported by fellow parishioner Gladys Tartierre, mother of the first World War II casualty from Middleburg, who gives $10,000.  Rector Neale Morgan persuades the vestry to match this gift.  The renovation is successful and the work of the Foundation continues to the present.


1987:  After 120 years, Johns Parish sells the parsonage, which is subsequently converted to become the Middleburg Country Inn.


1993: Church celebrates its 150th anniversary. Parishioner Chet Low commemorates the event with an interpretive essay
on the social, political, economic, and religious context in which the church has flourished over the years.

1997: The Rev. Marc Andrus becomes rector.  Multiple mission trips to Lakota Reservation.  “Quest for Meaning” and “Seekers” established to explore theology, philosophy, and major ideas--guest speakers Elaine Pagels, and Lawrence Jaffey.  “Blessing of Animals” started and multiple parish retreats to Shrine Mont.


2001: May.  The church re-dedicates a 400 pound bronze bell in memory of deceased infant parishioner Sarah Elizabeth Rhem.  Rector Mark Andrus leaves to become suffragan Bishop of Alabama.


2004 – 2007: The Parish House, home of the Christmas Shop and center of church activities, undergoes major renovation. 


2004: The Reverend Lupton Abshire becomes rector.  Renovation and expansion of Parish House completed.  Parishioners continue exploring new parish, outreach and music ministries.


2007: Emmanuel’s Piedmont Singers outreach ministry has summer residency at Wells Cathedral in England


2008: Emmanuel and Grace (The Plains) send parishioners to Mississippi for Katrina Hurricane recovery work.


2009: Emmanuel’s Piedmont Singers have summer residency at Canterbury Cathedral in England.  Partnership with Blue Ridge Hospice begins. Emmanuel and Grace again send parishioners to Mississippi for Katrina Hurricane recovery work.


2010: The Reverend Anne Hallmark becomes rector.  “Look Homeward Angels” parishioners from Emmanuel and Grace begin several summers of community maintenance and repair services.


2012: Emmanuel’s Piedmont Singers have summer residency at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Ireland.


2014: Emmanuel’s mortgage paid off and Church is now debt-free.  Church endowment fund created.


2015: Emmanuel’s Piedmont Singers have summer residency at York Minster Cathedral in England. Pastoral Care Committee created. Annual “Blessing of the Animals” starts being held at Middleburg         Community Center.  Lilly Sabbatical Grant awarded for 2016.


2016: Rev. Hallmark returns from research sabbatical with senior care ideas and best practices—several are incorporated into new “age-friendly” outreach initiatives.  Parish House gets new roof and HVAC system, Church gets new roof.


2017: New A/V system installed in Church and Parish House. Launch of the “Andy Bergner Center” (monthly respite care outreach) at Parish House.  Launch of the “@ the Parish House” Performance & Arts Series.


Emmanuel Episcopal Church

PO Box 306

105 East Washington Street

Middleburg, VA 20118

t: 540.687.6297

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