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Museum series focuses on church in colonial period

Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 11:35 am

The Reedville Fishermen’s Museum is proud to continue the Winter/Spring Lecture Series for 2013.  The series will be presented on first Mondays in February, March, April and May at Festival Halle, 177 Main Street, Reedville.

The lecture for February will feature Robert Teagle discussing “Church and State in Colonial and Revolutionary Virginia”


Established by law and supported by taxation, the Church of England was the official religion of colonial Virginia.  Church life revolved around the parish, a geographical area that supported a minister and functioned as a unit of local government.  All Virginians were members of one parish or another.  Governed by a select group of 12 men known as the vestry, the parish took on many important social roles, such as marking property lines, monitoring behavior, caring for the needy, and registering births, deaths and marriages.  With the county court, the parish church exerted considerable influence over daily life for most Virginians and served as a vital center of the community.

Over the eighteenth century, however, Presbyterians, Baptists and other dissenters challenged the Church of England’s authority and traditional role in Virginia society.  In the Revolutionary period, Virginians brought forth religious liberty with landmark legislation that shaped our new nation in profound ways.  This slideshow presentation will trace the story of how Virginia moved from a royal colony with few dissenters and a well-established Church of England to an independent commonwealth that declared religious freedom to be a natural right of mankind.

Robert Teagle is the Education Director & Curator at the Foundation for Historic Christ Church in Weems, where he has worked since 2000.  He earned his B.A. in History from the College of William and Mary and M.A. in American History from Virginia Tech.  He lives in Gloucester County with his wife Rebecca and children, Meg (11) and Andrew (8).  His daughter and son describe him as a “history nerd.”

The program will end with a question and answer period.

The Lecture Series is held on First Mondays corresponding with the monthly Monday night fried chicken dinners between 5:00 and 6:30 offered by the American Legion No. 117 next door to Festival Halle.  This gives patrons a unique opportunity in Reedville to enjoy an evening of food and entertainment.

The lecture will begin at 7:00 PM, February 4th and the museum politely requests a $5.00 donation.  Light refreshments will be served.  We welcome everyone across the Northern Neck and beyond to join us for another memorable evening.

For more information call 804-453-6529,