River Road Presbyterian Church celebrated its 50th anniversary in July of 2007.

The Parable of the Talents comes to mind when the history of our church is reviewed. Its life began with a gift, a gift with a vision. In December 1954, Mr. and Mrs. J. Lewis Reynolds (Glen) gave several acres of land to Hanover Presbytery with the request that a chapel be built adjacent to the campus of the developing Collegiate School.

Following a projected interest survey, the first Church School was held on November 4, 1956, with seventy-eight people attending. Services continued to be held in the Collegiate facilities with help from Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church and a Seminary senior, William Long. Less than four months later, committees chaired equally by men and women were formed to divide the responsibilities of organization.

On March 31, 1957, in an organizational meeting, they chose a name and elected, ordained, and installed their first officers: three Elders and three Deacons. They were a congregation of thirty-one charter members in fourteen families. By November, their number had grown to sixty-five in thirty-seven families, and they voted to build a chapel at a projected cost of $81,188.

In early 1958, a manse was purchased on Michaux Lane to accommodate the family of their first called minister, Dr. Edward J. Humphrey, who preached his first sermon for his new congregation on February 16, 1958. Two weeks later, they held a Cornerstone Laying Service for the chapel in which they would worship for the first time on Sunday, September 21, 1958. The Women of the Church, who had been organized since April of 1957, provided many of the needs for the furnishing of the building and hosted the reception for the Dedication on November 2, 1958.

In early 1959, this growing congregation felt a need for more space, and plans were begun for an Educational Building that would serve the needs of three to four hundred children at a cost of $110,000.  The evangelism teams continued their regularly scheduled visitations, and the congregation continued to grow, supported by a Minister and three paid staff members: a Secretary, a Director of Christian Education, and an Organist and Director of Music.  At the end of the first three years of RRPC's history, contained within the Decade of the 1950s, the stewardship of time, money, and talent was revealed in a rich harvest of increase.

On Palm Sunday in 1990, the congregation gathered outdoors for the second Sanctuary groundbreaking in its history. The service was reminiscent of the first one some thirty years earlier, and the participants included a charter member as well as the second minister in its history, Dr. Samuel W. Newell. The congregation participated by dedicating this place "for the proclamation of eternal truths," and the choir sang the benediction. Slightly less than two years later, in January, 1992, the Sanctuary was dedicated.

We remember the journey of the past, we recognize the blessings of the present, and we anticipate a future filled with excitement and joy. CELEBRATE!

8960 River Road
Richmond, VA 23229
office - 804-740-7083
childcare - 804-740-2003
fax - 804.741.7787

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