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St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Richmond

4.5
#8 of 25 in Historic Sites in Richmond
Religious Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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St. Paul's Episcopal Church is an historic Episcopal church in Richmond, Virginia, United States. Located directly across the street from the Virginia State Capitol, it has long been a popular house of worship for political figures, including General Robert E. Lee and Confederate President Jefferson Davis (earning it the nickname "the Cathedral of the Confederacy"). Davis was a member.

Other notable people associated with the church are Rev. Dr. Charles Minnigerode, who led the church during the Civil War and Reconstruction eras. The Right. Rev. John Shelby Spong, now retired as bishop of the Diocese of Newark, began to attract national attention while rector of St. Paul's (1969–1976).

St. Paul's was built in 1845 as a branch of the Monumental Church, which had outgrown its building. The Greek Revival church was designed by Thomas Somerville Stewart and modeled largely on St. Luke's Church, now Church of St. Luke & the Epiphany, in Philadelphia. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969 as St. Paul's Church.
The corner stone was laid on 10-Oct-1843 according to the St. Paul's History book. Consecration was 11-Nov-1845.

The same book estimates the probable cost, before construction, as "not exceeding $53,500". That excludes the organ and lot. Later an approximation of $55,000 is given. Organ is estimated at $4,000 and lot was $6,000 and then an additional lot was added for $1,075. The book also reports that there were 804 sittings in the nave and 358 in the gallery for a total of 1162.
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St. Paul's Episcopal Church reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
93 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • We walked here to grab the Geocache out front. The stained glass windows are worth coming for. We walked right in and had the place to ourselves. Stunning 
    We walked here to grab the Geocache out front. The stained glass windows are worth coming for. We walked right in and had the place to ourselves. Stunning  more »
  • Must include St Paul's on your Cofederate Richmond tour. A fine old Episcopal church. Attend a service as well. 
    Must include St Paul's on your Cofederate Richmond tour. A fine old Episcopal church. Attend a service as well.  more »
Google
  • First and foremost it's smack-dab downtown across from Capitol square and they have a parking deck. Let's face it finding parking always puts you in a good mood. They've recently renovated the sanctuary and it's gorgeous. I used to attend the annual Lenten weekday services. They have been put on hold because of the pandemic. But it's a lovely Place To Worship. They have a lunchtime service every day which when my office was just a couple of blocks from there I used to call my daily dose of Grace. Check it out also if you have a historical bent Robert E. Lee worshiped there at one time.
  • Attended for a memorial service. Building itself is beautiful and well-kept! Gorgeous organ with a beautiful sound. Beautiful historic spot in downtown Richmond! The community was warm and inviting. Diverse group of people. They take social justice seriously and have a group specifically dedicated to examining and putting into context the racial history of the church. I am not a regular churchgoer. However, I felt welcome and at home here.

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