Our History

The Assistant Bishop of Virginia first organized St. Peter’s in 1892 in Lynch Station, Virginia.  However, in the early 1900’s, a church which had originally been planned as the site of the Methodist Church, was redesignated for the Episcopal Church, and members completed building the church, adding lovely stained glass windows.

Stained Glass Windows of St. Peter's

st-peters-altavista

Historical Timeline

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church was consecrated on September 11, 1892,  by The Rt. Rev. Alfred Magill Randolph, Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of Virginia. Its first trustees were Henry W. Adams, W.I. Canada and Judge R.H. Ward. The first vestry was comprised of Judge Ward, John C. Thompson and Thomas Payne.

On September 1, 1894, The Rev. James C. Plummer was called to be rector of “Moore Parish” which included Castle Craig and Lynch’s Station (as it was known then.) It was and remains today the only Episcopal Church in Campbell County.

After Rev. Plummer left, Captain Fleming Saunders of Evington, led lay services. Then, Rev. Frederick Lee Mosey served until his untimely death caused by a runaway horse.

From 1899 to 1916, The Rev. Charles C. Randolph, VMI cadet, became rector.

On August 10, 1911, H.W. Adams and John C. Thompson purchased the church on the present site, at 1010 Broad Street, Altavista, from the Methodist Church. This site is unique and continues to call God’s presence in that it was the site of the original “shack,” built by Billy Lane, which was used as the first spiritual site in the Town of Altavista. It was on this site that Sunday School classes were taught for many years.

The Rev. J. Frank Burke served during this time and, in 1919, The Rev. Thomas Craig Page was called to serve until 1925. The Rev. Mr. Page started the first Boy Scout troop, in Altavista.

The Rev. Rubin Meredith served in 1926, followed by The Rev. George P. Gunn, from 1927 to 1932, who was a student-in-charge and rector. The Rev. Gunn went on to become Bishop of the Diocese of Southern Virginia.

Other Rectors included:

Rev. W. Frances Burk – June, 1935 to July 1939

Rev. G. Ronald McClintock – 1939 to 1944

Rev. Paul Schultz – 1948-1950 

This small congregation remained a mission church until January 1, 1984. On that day, it became an independent parish church with its first rector, The Rev. Christopher Eades. He was a “worker” priest, dividing his time between St. Peter’s, and serving as Chaplain of Virginia Episcopal Schools. He was present in Altavista on Sundays to conduct services.

Mr. Eades was followed by Richard D. Tyree, who ministered to the congregation for about six months prior to his going to Kenya to teach in a seminary.

Since that time, The Revs. Louis Fischer, Kim Webster and Karen Joy Kelley have served the congregation. We currently welcome supply priests for Holy Eucharist Services, twice a month, and hold lay led Liturgy of the Word Services on Sundays without clergy present.

Today, St. Peter’s focuses on outreach. It called the community together to begin a Domestic Violence Shelter that serves the surrounding areas and provided a substantial financial contribution to help make this a reality.  We participate in other wonderful projects, with other community churches.

While it is still the only Episcopal Church in Campbell County, and continues to be what the Episcopal Church calls a “family-sized church,” members look forward to growth as it seeks to serve Christ in all persons.

God willing, we will.