St. Mark’s Episcopal Church  

Following the Civil War, the first St. Mark’s Church, a wooden building, was constructed in 1866 at Leigh and Foushee Streets for $1,600. Within three years the church had outgrown the building, and in 1869 the church moved to Fourth Street between Clay and Leigh Streets. Shortly thereafter the church moved again, this time to First and Clay Streets. St Marks was consecrated in 1881.

The church struggled during the latter part of the nineteenth and early part of the twentieth century as membership remained small. In 1920 the church made the hard decision of moving to what was then the far west end of Richmond. On September 21, 1921 the cornerstone was laid and construction began on the church’s present site on Boulevard. Services were held nearby at the Lee School until March 22, 1922 when the first service was held in the basement of the new church because the nave was not quite finished. During the 1920s St. Marks began to prosper as the surrounding area was growing and many people looking for a new church home. Despite having a congregation of 350, the church carried the largest debt in the Diocese of Virginia at the time. By 1946 the church was successful in eliminating all of its $150,000 debt. As the church flourished during the 1940s and 1950s, two new wings were added to the building.

In 1967, Osgood Memorial Church, an African American Episcopal church, was forced to close due to construction of the I-195 highway. Twenty members of that congregation church transferred to St. Mark’s creating the first integrated Episcopal church in Richmond.

St. Mark’s has been involved in a variety of outreach activities. In the 1980s St. Marks formed Richmond Aids Ministry, with several of the church members taking leading roles. In 2001 St. Mark’s participated in the Washington, D.C. Aids Ride to help raise funds for AIDS survivors in northern Virginia. St. Mark’s is currently involved with Camp Coast Care, located on the campus of Coast Episcopal School in Long Beach, Mississippi. Since the first days after Hurricane Katrina, Camp Coast Care has offered help to survivors in the form of a distribution center for food, cleaning supplies, personal hygiene products, clothing, and free medical services. The church members also support a food pantry.

On Sundays St. Marks. offers two worship services in the morning along with Sunday school and the Adult Forum.

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
520 North Boulevard
Richmond, VA 23220

Parish profile

Profile prepared by Laura K. Palin
April, 2007


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