A History of the Church Building
The building which now houses the Anglican Church of S. John the Baptist was built in 1849 as part of the Piedmont Parish of the Episcopal Church. The one-and-one fourth acre cost a little less than $200 in those days and prominent citizens in Marshall put up the $2,500 it took to erect the building. The builder was William Sutton.
The church’s location made its use as a Civil War hospital inevitable. And during World War II, American Red Cross volunteers rolled surgical bandages in the Vestry room.
Until the Spring of 1997, regular Sunday Services were still being conducted at Trinity Episcopal by Father Daniel Robayo of Piedmont Parish.
In 1997, the Church sanctuary was renovated. Upperville artist Jimmy Emmett covered the plain arch and pilasters with a faux marble treatment which gives the appearance of authentic stone, even upon close inspection. The expanse inside the arch is filled with a Tudor pattern in royal crimson and gold, copied from the court of Henry the VIIIth. The rest of the sanctuary was left unadorned in pearl grey and muted yellow. Its majestic transformation was wrought by Canon Neal and designed by interior architect and parishioner Diana Reuter-Twining.
The dominant centrepiece over the altar is a reproduction of the Cross of San Damiano, the original of which hangs in the church which bears its name in Assisi, Italy. It was in prayer before this cross that S. Francis of Assisi received the commission from Our Lord to "rebuild My Church." The cross was donated to S. John’s by Mr Eric Rodenhauser who rescued it from a Roman Catholic monastery in Maryland, which was closing down.
A wonderful new Rogers’ organ, donated in memory of Ned Twining, has also been installed. The newly-refurbished church was rededicated on October the 26th 1997.
A History of the Parish
The Anglican Parish of S. John the Baptist was formed in 1991 by the then Rev'd Canon, now the Rt Rev'd Paul Hewett, who also established churches in Winchester VA, (S. Michael the Archangel), Newport News VA, (S. Francis of Assisi), Georgetown, DC, (Christ the King), Phoenixville PA, (The Transfiguration), and Washington NJ, (S. Therese of Lisieux). Prior to leasing their present home, S. John’s parishioners had been meeting in parishioners’ homes since 1991 and in the chapel at Marshall Manor Nursing Home from 1993.
Bishop Hewett’s successors have been the Rev'd Canon Geoffrey Neal, a Canon of S. Alban’s Abbey, U.K., the Rev'd Canon David Wastie, a Canon of Bukavu Cathedral, the Congo, Africa, the Rev'd Larry Morrison of Alloway, NJ, the late Rev'd David A.S. Hoare of the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Gibraltar and presently, the Rev'd Canon Jonathan J.D. Ostman SSC, formerly of Newport, Rhode Island.
The Anglican Church of S. John the Baptist is in everyday use and represents what the Anglican church stands for: integrity of belief, worship and practice. Mattins (Morning Prayer) is said at 9.30am on weekday mornings (Monday - Saturday) and Evensong (Evening Prayer) is said at 5.30pm. On Sunday, Low Mass is celebrated at 8am, Mattins is said at 9.00am, followed by Christian Formation at 9.30am and a Sung Mass at 10.30am. There are also mid-week Celebrations on Saints’ days and Feast days. Enquiries, Baptisms, Catechism, Confession, Weddings and Funerals are by appointment with the Rector, who is available 7 days a week.