What is today called Old Donation Episcopal Church is the third building of the Lynnhaven Parish, which was established in 1637.  The first services were held in the home of Adam & Sarah Thorowgood. 

The first church building, completed in 1639, was near the Lynnhaven River in what is now the Church Point neighborhood.  That structure's foundation became a victim of the waters of the river following the hurricane of 1667.   Reports, possibly rumors, circulated in earlier times regarding sightings of tombstones on the bottom of the riverbed.  But the 21st century Lynnhaven River hides any underlying relics from the current generation. 

The second church was completed in 1692, near the site of the current building.  The 3rd Church was completed in 1736 and continues to house the congregation,  It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Old Donation Episcopal Church continues to be an active, thriving Episcopalian congregation, carrying the legacy of the many individuals who shaped it's course into the 21st century.  A 375th Anniversary Celebration was held on the weekend of June 23 - 24, 2012 with the Presiding Bishop & Primate of The Episcopal Church and the Bishop of Southern Virginia participating.  The celebration culminated in a Festival Eucharist with the Presiding Bishop of the United States serving as the celebrant for 3 of the services.

Old Donation Episcopal Church is located east of Independence Boulevard at 4449 N Witchduck Rd, Virginia Beach, 23455.

The History of the People and the Three Churches of Lynnhaven Parish, today known as Old Donation Episcopal Church by Bob Perrine, Church Historian

375th Anniversary Celebration Pictures Coming Soon.

A walk through the burial plots surrounding the historic structure transports one from the frenetic pace of the 21st century.  The visitor, instead, is enveloped by the strength and fortitude of those who shaped our course.  Their hands reach out to lead us to the future.



The ringing of the bell, housed in the 1923 brick structure, is an ageless and elegant call to worship.  It is the perfect separation of the outside world from the worship that lies within.


Buried under the center aisle is a father of the modern church.  The Reverend Richard J. Alfriend was instrumental in the resurrection of Old Donation and served as the first rector after its 1916 restoration.  The baptismal font, rescued from the waters of the Lynnhaven River, stands as the sole survivor of the first Lynnhaven Parish Church.



06/24/2012 08:29:30 PM