We Are A Church That Is Protestant Yet Catholic -
Having our roots in the Church of England, the Episcopal Church is also an Anglican ("of the English") Church. Our
roots are in the early Church as it came to the British Isles in about
44 AD and our habits and attitudes originated from that long tradition.The 80+ million people who are part of worldwide Anglicanism stand squarely in the Reformed tradition, yet are just as directly descended from the Early Church as the Roman
Catholic or Eastern Orthodox churches. Episcopalians celebrate the
“Mass” in ways similar to the Roman Catholic tradition, yet do not
recognize a single governing authority, such as the Roman Church does with final authority resting in a Pope.
In 1921 the Folly Mills Mission began as a
non-denominational Sunday School in a one-room schoolhouse located on the
present church’s property. Today’s church is located near the earlier Boyden
Chapel; an Episcopal mission located just off of Route 654 – The White Hill Rd.
That brick chapel closed during the late 1800s and its building is no longer
there. Through the zeal of Mrs. Mildred Cochran, “the mother of the Church
of the Good Shepherd”, and Miss Violet Greene, and with the support of local
Episcopalians, the Folly Mills Mission soon outgrew the schoolhouse.
1923 a Thanksgiving Eve meeting of the mission’s families was held with the Rt.
Rev. Robert Carter Jett of the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia presiding. Bishop
Jett explained the history and practices of the Episcopal Church and the
assembly voted to become an Episcopal mission.
Mrs. Seymour Rawlinson donated a
one-acre lot and Mr. Christian Clausen donated his services to survey the property.
The T.J. Collins & Sons firm donated the building plan, including designs
for the chancel furniture. An English village church design was followed with
Celtic highlights as seen in the cross above the bell.
On March 30, 1924 the
cornerstone was laid on the building which is made from local stone gathered by
church families. The Rev. John J. Gravatt of Trinity Church, the Rev. J. Lewis
Gibbs of Emmanuel Church, and Mr. Theodore H. Evans, a student at the Virginia
Theological Seminary, took part in the Service.
Pledges were honored for the $2,000 in building costs. The first Service
in the church was held on July 6, 1924 and Bishop Jett confirmed thirteen
persons and baptized two others. In October 1942 Bishop Henry D. Phillips
visited the church and the retired mortgage was burned.