St. Mary's Episcopal Church History
St. Mary’s Episcopal Church began over 100 years ago.
The first entry in the Parish Register records a service held on October 27, 1907
with ten people attending. At that time there was a small group of Episcopalians
in lower Northumberland County (known then as lower St. Stephen’s Parish). Services
were generally held in abandoned schoolhouses in the Reedville area and were conducted
by seminarians from Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria. In 1907 the little
congregation was able to call its first rector, The Reverend Lewis Carter Harrison,
a recent graduate of the seminary.
Between 1907 and 1910 the Fleet’s Point Development Company gave a lot to the St.
Mary’s Protestant Episcopal Church. Reverend Harrison, who served as rector from
September 1907 to October 1910, is credited with the Gothic Design of the church.
By late 1910, Mr. Clyde Clark of Lively had been hired as builder and the foundation
Building was delayed after Rev. Harrison left in 1910. There was no rector and once
again services were not held regularly – in some cases only once per month. Then,
in its February 18, 1913 edition, a local newspaper reported that the church “has
been completed and furnished at a cost of $5,000 …” And on April 10, 1913 St. Mary’s
was consecrated by Bishop Robert A. Gibson.
Prior to the church’s completion, a second lot was conveyed to the church by Fleet’s
Point Development Company for the sum of five dollars by a deed dated June 4, 1912.
The first Parish Hall was built on this second lot.
The church bell was given by Isaac M. Bussells in memory of his parents. It rang
the first time at the 1913 Christmas service.
Shortly after the consecration, the congregation called another rector, The Reverend
William Taylor Wills, another energetic young seminary graduate who arrived in August
1913 and carried on the work begun by Reverend Harrison.
Over the years, St. Mary’s has owned two rectories. The first was located on what
is now Fleeton Point Circle and the second on Fleeton Road. Both were later sold
and are now privately owned.
Beginning in the 1970’s stained glass windows, donated by members of the church
replaced the original windows. They are memorial windows and depict scenes in the
life of Christ.
Our mission statement:
St. Mary's Fleeton Episcopal Church is a community of faith and fellowship; an open
and welcoming congregation that is nurturing and supporting of one another. We respect
and embrace the various backgrounds and spiritual paths of our congregants and neighbors.
We share our gifts and talents to minister to the needs of our surrounding community
as a reflection of God's grace and unconditional love.