From 1769 To Today
We trace our roots back to 1769, when Beckford Parish was formed by an act of the Governor, Council, and Burgesses of the Colony of Virginia. its present boundaries, the same as those of Shenandoah County, were established in 1772 when the county was separated from Frederick County. The parish was named after Sir William Beckford, Lord Mayor of London and later a Member of Parliament, because he had sympathized with the American colonies in their resistance to parliamentary rule from Great Britain.
Emmanuel’s congregation in Woodstock formed about 1770, and St. Andrew’s Chapel was consecrated in 1877 in Mt. Jackson. For as long as there have been two active congregations in Beckford Parish, we have shared a priest. “Yoked” as we are, the relationship has permitted both churches to separately maintain small but faithful and active congregations.
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Mt. Jackson
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church had its beginning when two communicants met to worship on the night of November 3, 1870, at the Union Church in Mt. Jackson. In 1874, the Diocesan Journal reported that a neat brick church was near completion in Mt. Jackson. St. Andrew’s Chapel was consecrated on July 29, 1877. Between 1884 and 1890, the St. Andrew’s Church building was enlarged. The original front was removed and the vestibule and church tower were added.
Due to a wartime shortage of priests and the deteriorating health of our rector, no church services were held at St. Andrew’s from 1944 through 1952. The church was reopened, refurbished and again began servicing its people on October 26, 1952. St. Andrew’s ended its mission status and became fully self-supporting in the mid-1960s.
St. Andrew’s Church, Mt. Jackson
5890 Main Street
Mt. Jackson, VA 22842
The parish secretary, Mary Gibson, is in the St. Andrew’s office on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8-1. CLICK HERE TO EMAIL HER.
Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Woodstock
The first Anglican congregation in Woodstock met in a little log church located in the center of Woodstock, approximately one hundred yards from where Emmanuel Church stands today. The congregation was probably formed about 1770, and the first (log) church was built about 1774. John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, ordained by both the Lutheran and Anglican churches, was the first priest. He began serving the congregation in 1772 and immediately became as involved in political matters as he was in the religious concerns of his parishioners. At the end of his last service in January, 1775, Muhlenberg is reported to have thrown off his clerical robes,—revealing his uniform as a colonel of militia—marched from the church, and recruited a local regiment which he commanded throughout the Revolutionary War. Emmanuel Church still owns Peter Muhlenberg’s Bible and Prayer Book.
Without a priest, both the Anglican congregation and its little church building in Woodstock deteriorated over the next 100 years. It was not until 1880 that the congregation again became active, holding services in the old Court House on Main Street. By 1882 the vestry had built a new—this time brick,—Emmanuel Episcopal Church. This building burned in 1890, leaving only the walls and the bell tower standing. A frame building was then constructed within these walls and it continues to be the place of worship for the community.
Emmanuel Church, Woodstock
122 East Court Street
Woodstock, VA 22664
The parish secretary, Mary Gibson, is in the Emmanuel office on Mondays and Wednesday from 8-1. CLICK HERE TO EMAIL HER.