Bon Air Presbyterian Church
The Presbyterian Church traces its ancestry back to the 16 th century Reformed theology movement of John Calvin when John Knox brought Calvin’s teaching to Scotland and England. As immigrants from Scotland and England arrived in the United States, the Presbyterians became an established church in the United States during the 18 th century. The history of the Presbyterian Church in the United States has been a record of divisions and mergers mainly over doctrinal issues such as slavery, science, and modern philosophy within the church . The Presbyterian Church of the United States of America “Book of Order” provides information concerning the PCUSA beliefs.
The Bon Air Presbyterian Church is a member of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which is the largest part of the overall Presbyterian denomination. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) was formed in 1983 when the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. (PCUS) and the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (UPCUSA) merged. Its national offices are located in Louisville, Kentucky. The Presbyterian Church (USA) currently has 2.4 million members, 11,100 congregations and 14,000 ordained and active ministers.
The Bon Air Presbyterian Church was formed in 1884 and began worshiping in the beautiful little Victorian Gothic building known as the “Union Chapel,” which is located on Buford Road on the Southside of Richmond. The old Union Chapel served the Bon Air Presbyterian congregation until 1963. As the congregation grew, a new church building located on Huguenot Road was erected to meet the demands of the larger congregation. On Palm Sunday in 1963, the Bon Air Presbyterian Church held its first service in their new church. By 1995, the church was expanded to include an extended sanctuary, fellowship hall, kitchen, classrooms, and a redesigned roof that brought together all of the church’s additions.
The Bon Air Presbyterian Church describes itself as theologically reformed. The Sunday services are determined by the local pastor and are kept within the guidelines of the PCUSA church’s governing body. Sunday service typically includes prayer, music, scripture reading, sermon, sacraments, time for personal response, and community concerns. In addition, Sunday school classes for all ages are held each Sunday and there are evening services held during the week at various locations throughout the community. The first Sunday of each month, the Bon Air Presbyterian Church offers an informal worship that includes upbeat and contemporary music and congregational participation. Communion is typically offered on the first Sunday of each month.
The congregation of approximately 600 members consists of mostly middle class families of all ages, and most members are of European descent, with a small percentage from other ethnical backgrounds. The church pastor and associate pastor are supported by a large staff that administers the following programs: music, youth ministries, children’s ministries, daycare, and outreach programs. The outreach ministries of the Bon Air Presbyterian Church include the Congregations Around Richmond Involved To Assure Shelter (CARITAS), Richmonders Involved to Strengthen our Communities (RISC), blood drives, and Fair Trade Products. The Bon Air Presbyterian Church also supports the ministries of the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Bon Air Presbyterian Church
9201 West Huguenot Road
Profile prepared by John Lack