Thank you for taking time to explore River Road Presbyterian Church through our website. We hope this is where you will be led to grow your faith with a warm and caring congregation.
This is a congregation of the Presbytery of the James, Presbyterian Church U.S.A. Our Reformed worship services strive to celebrate God's love and bring spiritual renewal through meaningful sermons and uplifting music. The congregation seeks to nurture children and adults to experience the grace of God, learn the Gospel, and grow in faith. Our defining vision is Reach, Nurture, Send, and Serve.
Mission Statement - To introduce Jesus Christ to those who do not know him; to deepen the faith of those who know Jesus Christ; and to demonstrate his way of love in service to the world.
Vision Statement - River Road Presbyterian Church will be a vibrant, diverse, Christ-centered congregation known for hospitality, worship, Christian education, and mission.
A Little History
In December 1954, Mr. and Mrs. J. Lewis Reynolds gave several acres of land to Hanover Presbytery with the request that a chapel be built adjacent to the campus of the developing Collegiate School. Following a projected interest survey, the first Church School was held on November 4, 1956, with seventy-eight people attending. Services continued to be held in the Collegiate facilities with help from Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church and a Seminary senior, William Long. Less than four months later, committees chaired equally by men and women were formed to divide the responsibilities of organization.
On March 31, 1957, in an organizational meeting, the new organization chose a name and elected, ordained, and installed the first officers: three Elders and three Deacons. This was a congregation of thirty-one charter members in fourteen families. By November, their number had grown to sixty-five in thirty-seven families, and they voted to build a chapel.
In early 1958, a manse was purchased on Michaux Lane to accommodate the family of their first called minister, Dr. Edward J. Humphrey, who preached his first sermon for his new congregation on February 16, 1958. Two weeks later, they held a Cornerstone Laying Service for the chapel in which they would worship for the first time on Sunday, September 21, 1958. The Women of the Church, who had been organized since April of 1957, provided many of the needs for the furnishing of the building and hosted the reception for the Dedication on November 2, 1958. In early 1959, the growing congregation needed more space, and plans were begun for an educational building that would serve the needs of the children.
The congregation and staff continued to grow through the years; and on Palm Sunday in 1990, the congregation gathered outdoors for the second Sanctuary groundbreaking in its history. The service was reminiscent of the first one some thirty years earlier, and the participants included a charter member as well as the second minister in its history, Dr. Samuel W. Newell. The congregation participated by dedicating this place "for the proclamation of eternal truths," and the choir sang the benediction. Slightly less than two years later, in January, 1992, the Sanctuary was dedicated.
Over the years, we have welcomed other ministers, including our current Pastor, Dr. Raymond Roberts, and our Pastor Emeritus, Dr. Richard Sommers, as well as other staff members and many wonderful individuals and families. We remember the journey of the past, we recognize the blessings of the present, and we anticipate a future filled with excitement and joy.