St. Martins Episcopal
St. Martins was initially a mission church started by the Vestry of St. James’s Church in Richmond. In celebration of their 50th anniversary, the members of St. James’s Church raised the funds needed for the establishment of a new mission church in the “growing West End of Richmond.” The campaign to raise the funds commenced in 1962 and was fully funded in less than 30 days. The idea of St. Martin’s became a reality when the Diocese of Virginia called The Reverend Eugene E. Grumbine, who was the assistant at St. James’s, to form the congregation of St. Martin’s.
The name was selected to honor the chimes in the tower of St. James’s Church, which were themselves inspired by the chimes of St. Martin’s-in-the-Field in London, England. St. Martin’s celebrated its first Eucharist on October 13, 1963 in the cafeteria of J. R. Tucker High School. That same month, Father Grumbine called upon the other area churches for help in spreading the news of the fledgling church. The men of St. Stephen’s, St. Bartholomew’s, St. Matthew’s, St. James’s, St. Mark’s, The Church of the Holy Comforter, and the Church of the Redeemer responded whole-heartedly in a door to door campaign to let people in the community know about the formation of the new congregation and to stimulate interest in this venture. Services were first held in the present facilities on August 2, 1964.
As one of the few Anglo-Catholic Episcopal churches in the Richmond area, St. Martins is a theologically conservative congregation. As a smaller sized congregation, it holds an annual fall fair for the purposes of fundraising. The church has a beautiful wooded memorial garden in the back, and the building is typical of the Episcopal churches that sprang up around the Virginia Diocese in the 1960s. The congregation consists of many young families and there is an active Sunday school and nursery on Sunday mornings. Like all Episcopal churches, St. Martins celebrates the liturgical calendar of the Protistant Episcopal Church of the U.S.A.
9000 Saint Martin Ln
Richmond, VA 23294
Rector Lee A. Hutchson
prepared by: Perry Threlfall (July 2005)