THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
FROM the standpoint of St. George’s clerical leadership,
the present century began as the previous one had ended,
with the Reverend Mr. Smith as rector. In 1902 a vestry
committee was amazed to discover that St. George’s had been
without legal trustees since February 17, 1876. Apparently the
trustees that had been recommended by the vestry then had
never been appointed by either the Circuit or Corporation Court
of Fredericksburg. Six vestrymen, however, had acted as trustees,
only two of whom were living in 1902. Whereupon Robert T.
Knox, A. Wellington Wallace, J. B. Ficklin, Charles E. Tackett,
C. Wistar Wallace and Marshall C. Hall were chosen as trustees
by the vestry and appointed by the Corporation Court.’
In the summer of 1902 the vestry agreed to the removal of
the cross from the top of the church steeple because of the decayed
condition of its supports. A three-man committee headed by
Judge A. Wellington Wallace supervised the removal and favored
topping the steeple with a spire. Later that year Alvin T. Embrey
gave the Church a “handsome ewer” and in 1904 Mrs. Charles
Steele donated a “beautiful cloth” for the communion tahle.2
Marshall C. Hall, who was superintendent of the Sunday
school for thirty-eight years, died on March 17, 1903. The
following January, Mrs. Smith, the wife of the rector, died.’
According to the annual parochial report made in May,
1904, the Reverend Mr. Smith celebrated fifteen public and five
private communions. From the same source we learn that four
hundred and fifty of the eight hundred sittings were free, and
that the church building was valued at $25,000; the rectory at
$6,000; the parish house at $600 and other real estate at $13,000.’
Smith resigned as rector of St. George’s in the late spring of
1905. After leaving Fredericksburg he was the rector of Christ
Church, Winchester, July, 1905-0ctober 31, 1919; of St. Mark’s,
Richmond, November 1, 1919-0ctober 31, 1929; and of Christ
Church Parish, Middlesex County, November 1, 1929-1942.
During World War I he served overseas as a chaplain with the
rank of major. While he was at St. Mark’s his congregation
built a new church building. Retiring from active work in 1942,
Smith died in Winchester on February 6, 1945.’
1 Vestry Minutes, [III], 197 recto; [Fredericksburg] Law-Corporation Court,
1900-1905, [Book] E, pp. 203-204.
2 Vestry Minutes, [III], 195 verso, 197 verso, 203 recto.
3 Ibid:, [III], 198 recto, 201 recto.
4 Journal, 1904, p. 257 .
. . 5 Vestry Minut.e~, [III}, 209 verso; Journal, 1906, p. 9; 1920, pp. 95, 204;
tbtd., 1930, p. 321; Zbld., 1945, pp. 34, 86.
60 The History of St. George’s Episcopal Church
The vestry selected as Smith’s successor, the Reverend
Robert J. McBryde, D.D., who had, as we have previously
noted, been rector of St. George’s in the late 1870’s and early
1880’s. Incidentally, to date McBryde holds the distinction of
being the only man to be twice rector -of St. George’s. The
Reverend S. K. Bailey was the supply minister during the interregnum
between Smith’s departure and McBryde’s assumption
of his duties on November 1, 1905.’
Later that month John Waterhouse Herndon of Alexandria
presented St. George’s with a complete communion service for
the sick. In the autumn of 1906 Mr. Herndon announced his
desire to give a gilded copper cross for the church spire as a
memorial to his grandfather, the late John Waterhouse. This
cross, however, was not reported as being in place until June 25,
1909. McBryde announced ih November, 1906, that from $1,000
sent him by an anonymous friend of St. George’s, he had spent
$100 painting woodwork in the church and $300 in graining the
pews. On January 18, 1908, the vestry accepted Mrs. Victoria
Wallace’s offer to donate nine stained glass windows.7
At a meeting in January, 1906, Mr. A. R. Howard moved
that the vestry should employ Mr. Houston K. “Sweetzer”
[sic] to sing in the St. George’s Church choir for six dollars a
month.s This action is of special interest because Mr. Sweetser
is still a faithful member of the choir and was frequently chairman
of the music committee during his long period of service on the
In the spring of 1909 the rector’s guild petitioned the vestry
for permission to use regularly a brass cross and vases on the
Holy Table in the church. A prominent vestryman moved that
the request be granted upon the condition that flowers should
be placed in the vases only on the feast days of the Church. By
a vote of six to three, however, the guild’s petition was finally
granted without reservations.9
Apparently some friction existed in the choir in 1910 as the
vestry formally spread upon its minutes an order stating that
“no complaints shall be made by a member of the choir about a
fellow member except to the rector or to the organist,” and
“when members cannot agree as to the merits of each other they
should be locally separated while singing.” The vestry especially
commended to all “the members of the Choir the observance of
that Christian Charity to each other which alone can make the
Choir a blessing to the congregation.”1O
6 Letter from Robert J. McBryde to A. Wellington Wallace and A. B. Botts,
Sept. 9, 1905; Vestry Minutes, [III], 210 verso, 212 recto and verso.
7 Ib~d., [III], 212 verso; ibid., [IV], 31, 33, 41, 53.
s Ibtd., [III], 213 verso.
9 Ibid., [IV], 52.
10 Ibid., [IV], 58.
The Twentieth Century 61
Failing health caused McBryde to employ the Reverend
R. S. Litsinger as his assistant in March, 1912. In April the
vestry recognized Mr. Litsinger as assistant rector. Later
Litsinger was successively rector of Lunenburg and North Farnham
Parishes; of Christ Church Parish and St. Luke’s, Montague,
Urbanna; of St. Thomas’ Church, Orange; and of St. John’s
Church, Mt. Washington, Baltimore, Maryland. Despite this
pastoral help McBryde’s disabilities persisted; so he resigned on
October 1, 1912, because of “his inability to meet the needs of
the congregation for parochial visitation, teacher training in the
Sunday School, the adoption of pedagogical methods suitable
to the various grades of the Sunday School and the complexities
of OUf changing civilization.”ll
Reluctantly accepting McBryde’s resignation, the vestry
wrote him that the ability, culture and sincerity of his preaching
A benediction not only to your congregation, but
to the community, and your kind and sympathetic nature
at their firesides has rooted a reciprocal attachment in
the hearts of the members of St. George’s Church which
can never be eradicated.12
The vestry told Dr. McBryde that he was leaving behind
not only the record of spiritual good work, but also beautified
and otherwise improved church buildings.
After his retirement McBryde lived for awhile in Kentucky,
but he died on September 6, 1916, at Raphine, Rockbridge
County, Virginia, in the seventy-third year of his age. Funeral
services were held in Grace Episcopal Church, Richmond, and
he was buried in Hollywood Cemetery.13
Mc~ryde’s successor, the Reverend John Jabez Lanier, was
born in Edgefield County, South Carolina, on November 12,
1862. After studying at Currytown Baptist High School in his
native county, he did so well on a competitive examination that
he won a scholaship to the Peabody Normal College in Nashville,
Tennessee. Following two years at Peabody, he taught school
in South Carolina, Alabama and Texas for five years.
In 1888 Lanier left the Baptist Church to be confirmed in
the Episcopal Church at Augusta, Georgia. Shortly after that
he matriculated at the Berkeley Divinity School in Middletown,
Connecticut. He was ordained deacon by Bishop Williams of
Connecticut in 1891 and priest by Bishop Nelson of Georgia
11 Ibid., IV, 64, 67, 69-70; Journal, 1913, p. 10; Journal, 1917, p. 269; Journal,
1923, p. I!.
12 Vestry Minutes, [IV}, 71.
13 Journal, 1913, p. 10; Fredericksburg The Daily Star, September 7, 8, 1916.
62 The History of St. George’s Episcopal Church
His first charge was St. Paul’s Church, Savannah, and in
addition to Fredericksburg, he subsequently served as rector of
churches in Milledgeville and Washington, Georgia; Philadelphia
and Kulpmont, Pennsylvania; Norton, Kansas; and Greensboro,
Warrenton and New Bern, North Carolina.14
Lanier took charge of St. George’s on January 1, 1913.
That May the vestry recorded its opposition to any action of the
General Convention that would delete the word “Protestant”
from the name of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United
States or recognize officially sacerdotalism as practiced by the
ritualists within the Church. The vestry also recorded its conviction
that the diocese of Virginia has never forfeited its autonomy
or “right to control its name.”15
In August, 1913, the Misses Kate Doggett, Lucy B. Knox
and 1ifary C. Moncure, and other members of the choir, petitioned
the vestry for permission to wear choris!.er vestments.
This petition was granted on condition that it would necessitate
no change in the present galleries. On February 24, 1916,
Judge A. Wellington Wallace called the vestry’s attention to
the .~o.rg~d condition” of the C;~i~ re,§.1litingJrom
th~_L~.Q.t~~J~.~der. To remedy this situatlon~a committee
consisting of Magnus M. Lewis, Houston K. Sweetser and Captain
R. Conroy Vance was appointed to canvass the field of available
leaders and authorized to appoint one, even if this necessitated
exceeding the $240 appropriated for this purpose.16
Faced by the persistent need of welcoming newcomers, a
committee of vestrymen was appointed in February, 1921,
“to visit all strangers coming to the city to sojourn for either a
short or long period and to cordially invite them to attend St.
George’s and to become members of the congregation.”17
At a meeting on October 3, 1921, the vestry received from the
Reverend Samuel A. Wallis, D.D., and his brother, Dr. A. N.
Wallis, a “handsome” alms basin for the church, as a memorial
to their father, mother and sister. At the same meeting the
vestry voted to paint the exterior of the church, including roof
and steeple, and the interior excepting the pews that were in
“good condition.” The total cost of labor and materials was
not to exceed $1,500.18
Apparently for several years the vestry sponsored the giving
of “s~hristmas presents of cash” to the members of
14 The International Who’s Who .•• 1912 (New York, The International
Who’s Who Publishing Co., 1911), p. 683; Religious Leaders of America, 1941-42
(New York,]. C. Schwarz, 1941), II, 661; Vestry Minutes, [IV], 72; Fredericksburg
The Free-Lance Star, Sept. 17, 1942.
15 Vestry Minutes, [IV], 73, 76.
16 Ibid., [lVI, 77, 87.
17 Ibid., lIV], 105.
18 Ibid., [lVI, 111.
The Twentieth Century 63
the choir, inasmuch as the vestry on November 24, 1921, left
this “matter” in the hands of the music committee “with power
to act.” This practice was discontinued in 1923. Instead it
was proposed that a “nice supper” and program be given the
choir as a testimonial of appreciation of its work.19
Mr. Lanier was the most prolific author in the long list of
St. George’s rectors. From his pen came The Kinship of God
and Man, The Church Universal and eight other works on religion;
Washington, the Great American Mason; The Master Mason
and four other treatises on Masonry; and two books of a literary
nature.20 In 1910 -Lanier had been the Reinicker Lecturer at
the Virginia Theological Seminary. He taught Bible and philosophy
in Fredericksburg College, and earlier he had been a member
of the faculties of Georgia Military College and of the Georgia
Normal and Industrial Institute.
On February 27, 1922, the Reverend Mr. Lanier resigned,
and shortly thereafter the bishop of the diocese granted him a
leave of absence to become the first and only National Masonic
Lecturer of the United States.2l• In 1925 he resumed his ministerial
career. From 1931 until his death on September 16, 1942,
he lived with his son, Dr. Richard Nunn Lanier, who is a member
of the vestry of St. George’s Church.22
In commenting on the Reverend Mr. Lanier’s death Bishop
Frederick D. Goodwin stated that Lanier brought loyalty and
learning to the ministry and that “the Diocese is richer for
having claimed a share of his long years as priest and teacher.”2:’:1
A three-man vestry committee estimated in _March, 1922,
that it would cost $3,550 to put the rectory in “good condition”
and recommended that any interested party be given an option
on the rectory for $8,000. If the property w~s sold for $8,000,
the committee recommended the building of a modern rectory.
In 1942 the vestry sold the rectory to C. D. Binns for $7,750.24
The seating of “young lady students from the State Normal
School” at church services was one of the chief topics on the
agenda of the vestry meeting on October 2, 1922. In the discussion
the point was made that they preferred to be seated near
“Ibid., [IV], 113, [V,] 32, 36.
20 The Association of Research Libraries, op. cit., LXXXIV, 284-285. The
titles of other books written by Lanier are: Birth of Man, An Epic, Apologia pro
Religione (1938); The Christian Religion (1940); The Daughter of Hiram Abif
(1922); The Game of Life as We are Playing it in our Archaic Industrial System
(1934); Harmony of Some Revelations in Nature and in Grace (1908); The Larger
Church (1916); Masonry and Citizenship (1921); Masonry and Protestantism
(1923); The Message of the Poets (1927); Prayer (1914); Religion of the Thinking
Man (1915); The Song of Life (1919); and Why I am a Christian (1914).
21 Vestry Minutes, [IV], 113-115, ll8.
22 Journal, 1943, p. 85; The Free-Lance Star, Sept. 17, 1942.
23 Journal, 1943, p. 34.
24 Vestry Minutes, [IV], 120; ibid., VII, 48.
64 The History of St. George’s Episcopal Church
each other. The vestry finally decided to offer these students
three pews.25 At the vestry meeting two months later Judge
A. Wellington Wallace reported that as it had long been the
custom for the senior warden to be the custodian of the church
silver and “liquors” they had been kept at his home for many
years. Whereupon the vestry unanimously adopted a motion
continuing this practice.26
After being without a regular minister for eleven months
the vestry unanimously agreed on January 15, 1923, to offer
the Reverend Dudley Boogher the rectorship of St. George’s.
To induce Mr. Boogher to come the vestry subsequently advised
him that a scholarship at the Seminary would be arranged for
his SOll, that hard wood floors would be laid in the rectory and
that it would cooperate with him in furnishing the rectory.
Boogher finally accepted the vestry’s call. At the annual congregational
meeting on April 2, 1923, twenty-one of the approximately
one hundred and sixty members entitled to vote
unanimously re-elected the vestry.27
The clergyman who preached his first sermons as rector of
St. George’s on April 15, 1923, was the son of Davis R. Boogher,
a St. Louis business man, and Emma Timanus Boogher, who
had migrated from Maryland. After finishing grade school
Dudley worked as a clerk in the auditor’s office of the Missouri
Pacific Railroad. Later he was employed in a similar capacity
by the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad. It is believed that
he decided to enter the ministry partly because of his association
with the chief clerk of the Missouri Pacific, an ordained Episcopal
After attending the St. LOllis Manual Training School he
entered Roanoke College in 1893. During his preparatory and
college career Boogher achieved fame ‘as an athlete. An outstanding
dash man, he captained the Roanoke College track
team, made the football squad as a halfback and played baseball.
Graduating from Roanoke College in 1897 and from the Virginia
Theological Seminary in 1901, Boogher was ordained deacon
the year he received his divinity degree. In 1902 he was advanced
to the priesthood, and married to Miss Mary Wiley of Salem,
whom he had met as a Roanoke College student.28
Before coming to Fredericksburg he had been the assistant
minister of Elizabeth City Parish, 1901-1902, rector Roanoke
Parish, 1902-1906; rector Jackson River and Botetourt Parishes,
1906-1908; rector Wilmer Parish, Farmville, 1908-1914; rector
Church of the Good Shepherd, Parkersburg, West Virginia,
25 Ibid., [V, 7].
“Ibid., IV, 181·
27 Ibid., IV, 21, 231.
28 The Free-Lance Star, April 9, 1941.
The Twentieth Century 65
1914-1919; and rector Trinity Church, Martinsburg, West Virginia,
Shortly after Boogher’s arrival, Mr. Houston K. Sweetser
agreed to add choir membership to) ~is duties as a vestryman
provided he could surrender the supermtendency of the Sunday
School to the assistant superintendent, Miss Elsie Lewis. Before
becoming superintendent Mr. Sweetser had been the assistant
superintenden~ under ¥r. Alvin ~un~ley.30
Miss Lewis had clImbed steadily 1ll the Sunday School from
pupil to teacher to assistant superintendent and to superintendent,
a position she held from the mid-twenties to 1950. In that capacity
she master-minded the annual Christmas entertainment
for more than a quarter century. Miss Lewis’ infectious laugh,
almost inexhaustible good nature and unmistakable goodness
endeared her to the Sunday School pupils and teachers. Messrs.
Rowell and Hubbard, the present superintendents, use her in the
role of elder statesman.
Although her contribution to the Sunday School was admittedly
large, it was just one of several channels of church service
to Miss Elsie. For many, many years she has been an unusually
faithful member of the choir. Every rector seeks her advice
and from her vestrymen frequently receive the solution to some
of their problems. As a life-long member of St. George’s has
aptly said, “not a day passes that she does not perform some service
for her Church.”
The Lewises have been conspicuous in the life of St. George’s
for generations, and Miss Elsie is upholding the family tradition.
Her father, the late Magnus M. Lewis, Sr., was a vestryman
and for many years senior warden, and her brothers, Magnus M.
Lewis, Jr., and Charles H. Lewis, are both former vestrymen.
Charles H. Lewis gave unstintedly of his time in supervising the
recent comprehensive improvements on the church building.
To quote again the long-time treasurer, Miss Elsie is “the”
pillar of St. George’s.S1
It having been the yearly custom for St. George’s and Trinity
Churches to unite in a Thanksgiving service, the respective
vestries agreed to continue the arrangement in 1923.32 This
practice persisted until 1946 when St. George’s joined most of
the other Protestant churches of the city in a union Thanksgiving
29 Journal, 1941, p. 84.
80 Statement of Mr. Houston K. Sweetser, July 27, 1950.
B! Ibid.; Statement of :Miss Elsie W. Lewis, July 29, 1950; [George L. Hunter],
“St. George’s ‘Pillar,'” Tlu Yirginia Churchman, LXIII (May, 1949), p. 7;
Journal, 1927, p. 297; ibid., 1936, p. 218. During much of her superintendency
Miss Lewis insisted that the rector would have the title of superintendent and
she that of assistant superintendent. .
32 Vestry Minutes, [V, 30].
66 The History of St. George’s Episcopal Church
r A A five-man vestry committee was appointed on April 7,11924, to weigh the advantages of moving the organ and choir”? from-the upper rear gallery to the chancel, to estimate the cost
. of the change, and to suggest how it should be financed. In
July, 1924, this committee reported that the cost would probably
be between $3,500 and $5,000 and recommended that this work
be done after the completion of plans for both building and financing.
The vestry accepted this recommendation and instructed
the committee to have blueprints and specifications made by a
At a special meeting on January 7, 1925, the vestry accepted
the committee’s plans which included finishing the church pews,
refloaring, and some plumbing and wiring as well as moving the
organ and choir. The -committee was directed to proceed at
“the earliest possible moment” with the project which involved
the elimination of the vesting room, the enlargement of the chancel,
and the erection of choir stalls. As is usually true, the amount
spent on the improvements exceeded the estimates, $12,727.31
having been disbursed by November 2, 1925, and the total expenditure
In February, 1925, the music committee announced its
plan for a completely voluntary chorus choir. Two months
later the St. George’s Parish guild volunteered to pay for the
chancel floor covering, the cost not to exceed $540. Early in
May, 1925, the parish guild voted to pay for caps for the choir.
and the vestry agreed to purchase choir vestments out of the
current funds of the church. Later that month the diocesan
Council met in Fredericksburg and St. George’s borrowed an
, organ from Shiloh Church (Old Site).”
. Mrs. Daniel B. De Vore donated $650 for choir stalls in
June, 1926, and the following year, she gave St. George’s $1,000.
One-half of this amount or as “much as might be necessary”
was designated as a supplement to the appropriation for music.
In 1926 Miss Kate Newell Doggett gave a pew for the use of the
rector’s family and, as a memorial to her father, the late Dr. A..C.
Doggett, a credence table. In 1943 she presented St. George’s
with $600, $417.87 of which was spent for the purchase of a
St. George’s and Trinity Churches wrote a joint letter in
1926 inviting the Right Reverend Henry St. George Tucker, the
bishop co-adjutor, to establish his residence in Fredericksburg.36
Less than a year before his death Judge A. Wellington
Wallace contributed $500 to the church debt retirement fund
and the rriembers of the vestry gave an equal amount. In October,
33 Ibid., [V, 41, 46, 57, 74-75].
S4 Ibid., [V, 59, 63, 65, 69].
” Ibid., [V, 89-90, 106; VII, 70].
M Ibid., [V, 89].
The Twentieth Century 67
1931 the nieces and nephews of Judge and Mrs. Wallace gave
the Church a Holy Table as a memorial to their uncle and aunt.
As a memorial to her mother, Sue Young Lallande, her brother,
John James Lallande, her first husband, Lindley Murray Ferris
and herself, Mrs. Louise Lallande Hoyt, the granddaughter of
John J. Young, left a bequestfor a window in St. George’s Church,
the cost of which was not to exceed $5,000. The vestry gratefully
accepted this gift at its meeting on March 6, 1939.”
The Reverend Mr. Pembroke W. Reed of Richmond conducted
a mission at St. George’s during the first week in April, ~
1927. The following year Mrs. D. D. Wheeler raised the funds
–“”tO~·p·ay for moving the console to the opposite side of the chance1.38
To replace C. Archer Smith who resigned as treasurer of
the church because of the pressure of business, the vestry unanimously
elected George L. Hunter, Jr., and made his term retroactive
to January 1, 1929. Mr. Hunter faithfully and efficiently
discharged the duties of this important office for twenty years,
finally resigning, to the regret of the congregation, as of December
At the annual parish meeting on January 6, 1930, two
methods of rotating the membership of the vestry were proposed,
and that body was asked to make a report on the subject, if
it deemed it advisable, at the next annual meeting. In December
the vestry adopted the recommendation of Frank M. Chichester,
who had been appointed to study the problem, that rotation in
the vestry was “inadvisable at this time.” The number of
vestrymen was increased from twelve to fourteen in January,
1932, and to the present number of fifteen in January, 1943.
A vestry rotation plan was finally adopted in March, 194640
In September, 1930, the vestry selected from the persons
replying to its advertisement for an organist-choir master, Mr.
Ralph W. Russell of New Bedford, Massachusetts. Mr. Russell
resigned after serving in the dual capacity for nine months.
The vestry was advised on September 5, 1932, that Miss Mary
Heflin had tentatively agreed to become church organist. The
choir had no director during part of the 1930’s because of the
A proposed evangelical campaign was outlined by the
Reverend Mr. Boogher in November, 1931, but the vestry
voted that St. George’s Church would not participate.”
Early in 1932, a request that Mr. Reuben Thorn be buried
In the Churchyard prompted the vestry to ban all further in-
87 Ibid., [V, 100; VI, 51, 152].
38 Ibid., [V, 100].
“Ibid., [VI, 12, 15; VII, 153].
” Ibid., [VI, 26-27, 37, 40, 55; VII, 58, 104].
41 Ibid., lVI, 36, 47, 63, IDS].
42 Ibid., [VI, 52].
f I\ I v
68 The History of St. George’s Episcopal Church
terments in that burial ground. The vestry made an exception
to this rule in 1935 when it agreed to permit the remains of
“Colonel Spotswood” to be re-interred there.43• The Spotswood
referred to was probabJy John Spotswood but his remains were
not moved from the property of the Massaponax Sand and
The music committee reported in November, 1937, that
new locks had been placed on the church organ because outsiders
had been using the organ without the consent of the vestry.
At the same time the vestry granted permission to George L.
Hunter, Jr” to use the organ for practice and instructioJ!.44
After a full discussion, the annual parish meeting in January,
1939, passed a motion discontinuing Sunday night services and
replacing them until Lent with services on Sunday afternoon at
five o’clock. In September, the vestry left the holding of Church
services on either Sunday afternoon or night to the discretion
of the rector. 45
The administration of communion by intinction was another
question on which there was a diversity of opinion. In June,
1939, the vestry requested Mr. Boogher to ask various members
of the congregation for their views on the subject. The following
October the vestry authorized the acceptance of an intinction
communion set and the administration of communion by intinction
to the communicants who preferred the use of that method.46
The carrying of a cross in the children’s service in the church
on April 7, 1940, was discussed by the vestry and the necessary
permission was unanimously granted. Two and a half years
later the vestry, in explaining its failure to accept the gift of
a processional cross in memory of Dr. William]. Chewning,
announced its policy of refusing all memorials to persons not
members or communicants of the Episcopal Church. The processional
cross now in use was presented to the congregation by
Mary Heflin Mount (Mrs. R. 1. Mount) in honor of her mother,
Mrs. Mary Hill Heflin.”
In recognition of his work as sexton of St. George’s for more
than fifty-three years, the vestry designated Joseph Walker
sexton emeritus as of February 5, 1940, and pensioned him for
life. In retiring Joseph, the vestrymen agreed with the journalist
who described him in 1938 as “probably the foremost
member of the Negro race in Fredericksburg, respected and
admired by persons of all colors, creeds, and classes.” They
undoubtedly commented on his “unfailing politeness, the doffed
4S Ibid., [VI, 58, 106.]
” Ibid., [VI, 135J.
“Ibid., [VI, 128, 132, 132A, 132BJ.
“Ibid., [VII, 1-2].
” Ibid., [VII, 13, 53, 73-74J.
The Twentieth Century 69
hat and the low bow,” as well as the Reverend John Jabez
Lanier’s characterization of \’\Talker as one of the most courteous
gentlemen he had ever known. Alvin M. Coleman, who succeeded
Walker, is the present incumbent.48
At the vestry meeting on May 6, 1940, the rector read a
letter from the Reverend Robert B. Nelson of Christ Church,
Winchester, advocating the expansion of the Federal Social
Security system to include church workers. After considerable
discussion, a motion was duly made, seconded and passed that
the church reject the proposa1.49
Mr. George W. Shepherd, the senior warden, called a special
meeting of the vestry at eleven o’clock, Wednesday morning,
April 9, 1941, and announced that Mr. Boogher had died earlier
that day in the Mary Washington Hospital. Later that year
the committee appointed to secure a memorial to Mr. Boogher
selected a large Bible to be used in the church services.50
In April, 121l. Mr. George L. Hunter, Jr., advised the·
vestry that the Reverend J. J. Ambler, rector of Trinity Church, ~.
had conferred with him regarding the probability of re-uniting
the congregations of Trinity and St. George’s Churches. However,
a committee, consisting of Hunter, Shepherd, \Villiam K. Goolrick
and E. M. Young, decided after a conference with Ambler that
the re-union of the two churches “was not feasible at this time.”
In January, 1943, the oil shortage caused the St. George’s vestry
to discuss the possibility of holding morning services on alternate
Sundays in St. George’s and Trinity Churches. This proposal,
however, was never adopted:’il
The vestry voted in June, 1941, to use the Sunday School
Room in the Church as a recreation center for service men. Like
the churches in the other historic Virginia cities, St. George’s
has always had numerous visitors at its services, and during
World War II this number increased greatly. Mrs. A. B. Chandler,
Jr., and the late Miss Sally M. Braxton were especially zealous
in making the stranger feel at home. Mrs. Chandler continues
to do so, and she is also untiring in visiting the sick and newcomers
to the community. During the thirteen months that
elapsed between Mr. Boogher’s death and the arrival of his successor,
students from the Theological Seminary at Alexandria
supplied St. George’s pulpit.”
The Reverend J. Sullivan Bond assumed his duties as rector
of St. George’s Church in May, 1942. Mr. Bond was a native of
Savannah, Georgia; and a graduate of Woodberry Forest School,
48 Ibid., [VII, 11]; [Farmer], lac. cit.
49 Vestry Minutes, [VII, 14].
” Ibid., [VII, 28, 371.
“Ibid., [VII, 30-31 57J.
” Ibid., [VII, 33, 46J.
70 The History oj St. George’s Episcopal Church
Princeton University, and the Virginia Theological Seminary.
He was the rector at St. Simon Island, Georgia, at the time of
his call to St. George’s.53
The vestry abolished the system of rented pews on April 5,
1943, this action being retroactive to January 1, 1943. No
pew tax or rent has been charged or collected since that date.54
The previous May the vestry accepted the offer of Charles H.
Lewis to place in the chancel two seven-branch candelabra, as
a memorial to his father, Dr. Magnus M. Lewis, Sr. In July,
1942, Edgar M. Young, Sr., purchased church and service flags
for St. George’s in memory of his son, the late Captain Edgar M.
Young, Jr. After serving on the vestry for more than forty
years, the elder Mr. Young died in 1944. Bookracks and kneeling
benches were given to the church in his memory in 1947.05
The rectorship of the Episcopal Church at Port Royal Was
vacant in 1943; so the vestry granted Mr. Bond permission to
hold services two Sunday afternoons in each month in that
Mr. Bond resigned as rector of St. George’s Church as of
July 15, 1945, to accept a call from Christ Church, the oldest
Protestant congregation in Mobile, Alabama. His resignation
was accepted with regret, as his sermons were unusually able.57
While a rector was being selected the pulpit of St. George’s
Church was filled by supply ministers. From September 1 to
December 1, 1945, the vestry secured the services of Major
J. Kenneth Morris, a chaplain in the United States Army. Many
members of the congregation had a high opinion of Major Morris,
but he desired to return to his old charge, Trinity Church in
Columbia, South Carolina.
After a thorough canvass the vestry called the Reverend
Thomas G. Faulkner, J r., of Trinity Church, Manassas, Virginia,
and he took charge of St. George’s Church on February 1,
1946. Although the present rector was born in Greensboro,
North Carolina, he is the son of the Reverend Thomas G.
Faulkner, Sr., one-time rector of St. Luke’s Church, Blackstone,
and the former Elizabeth Walker Terrill, both of whom are native
Virginians. He was graduated from the University of Virginia,
where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, in 1930.
Mr. Faulkner taught German and mathematics at Woodberry
Forest School for three years before entering the Virginia Theoologieal
Seminary in the fall of 1933. In 1935 he did social work
58 Ibid., [VII, 43, 46]; The Free-Lance Star, June 16, 1945; Journal, 1942,
M Vestry Minutes, [VII, 64].
” Ibid., [VII, 46, 47, 49, 87, 134].
56 Ibid., [VII, 621.
57 Ibid., [VII, 98].
The Twentieth Century 71
in Pittsylvania County for the Federal Emergency Relief and
the Works Progress Administrations. He was ordained a deacon
in 1937 and assigned to Slaughter Parish, Culpeper County.
The next year he was ordained to the priesthood and appointed
rector of Slaughter and Ridley Parishes, where he served until he
was called to Manassas in 1947.”
Under Mr. Faulkner’s leadership much has been accomplished
during the past :live years. The entire exterior of the church
building has been repaired and repainted, the tin roof replaced
~slate_!~of anc!~the_ en~~_ ~t_~eEL:_ :_~!?~ilt..I.il the course of
rebUlTCrlng and re-rOoling worKmen touna CIVIl War cannon
embedded in some of the timbers. Other timbers were charred,
presumably by the fire in 1854. These improvements cost $40,-
949.69 approximately half of which had been raised by August 1,
1950 by special gifts and offerings and by church organizations. )
As a memorial to the men and women of the parish who
served in World War II, the Church bought and completely paid
for an organ valued at approximately $15,000.” The chimes for
the organ were given by Miss Ida Wooding as a memorial to 1
her brothers Lewis Augustus, Aubin Corbin, Charles Clifton aVd
Lewis Emmett Wooding. The organ and the chimes were dedi-
cated at the service on Sunday morning, November 5, 1950.
The Sunday School floor of the church building has been
completely renovated, modern equipment installed in the church
office and a parish secretary employed. In December, 1946, the
nephews and niece of the Misses Annie M. Braxton, Sally M.
Braxton and Mary A. Braxton gave $700 to the church as a
memorial to Miss Sally M. Braxton. Of this bequest $50 was
spent for a plaque in the Sunday School in honor of “Miss Sally.”
The remaining $650 was invested and the income used annually
to buy Bibles for the outstanding students of the Sunday School.
The Sunday School has been divided into four separate departments
with a director for each department, and in 1950 Mr. J. E.
Rowell was named superintendent and Mr. Dexter Hubbard
assistant superintendent. In June, 1947, a two-weeks vacation
Bible school was inaugurated, and in 1950 St. George’s joined
with the Presbyterians and the Methodists in conducting a
vacation Bible schoo1.60
In February, 1947, the vestry went on record as being
opposed to holding horse shows, dog shows and other public
amusements in or near Fredericksburg on the Sabbath and par-
5~ Ibid., [VII, 101H102]; The Free-Lance Star, Feb. 2, 1946; Journal, 1937,
p. 9; zbid., 1938, p. 9; ibid., 1940, p. 9; ibid., 1942, p. 213.
59 George L. Hunter, Jr., Improvement Fund, St. George’s Episcopal Church;
Vestry Minute” [VII, 112, 114-115].
60 Ibid., [VII, 119, 148]; Thomas G. Faulkner, Jr., Memorandum on Recent
Achievements of the Parish.
72 The History of St. George’s Episcopal Church
ticularly when these events interfered with Church attendance.
Copies of this resolution were sent to the Fredericksburg Kennel
Club and to the other Protestant churches.51
The will of the late Mrs. John Lee Pratt contained a bequest
of $1,000.00 for lights behind the chancel windows and for a spotlight
for illuminating the altar. J,,1r8. Lucy Knox Marie installed
hearing aids in pews in various parts of the church as a memorial
to her mother, Mrs. Louia Brockenbrough Knox, and a soundenlargement
system in memory of her father, Douglas Hamilton
In recent years St. George’s Church has received a new set of
white hangings for the altar as a memorial to Gunyon Harrison,
the gift of Mrs. Gunyon Harrison; an inner-liner for the communion
service in memory of Wistar W. Braxton, the gift of
Mrs. Wistar W. Braxton; and hymn boards as a memorial to the
Reverend and Mrs. John J abez Lanier, the gift of Dr. and Mrs.
Richard Nunn Lanier.
A five-day fall preaching mission was held in November,
1946, with the Reverend Doctor Vincent Franks of St. Paul’s
Episcopal Church, Richmond, as the preacher. The mission
was so successful that it has become an annual event, the Reverend
Doctor Albert T. Mollegen of the Seminary being the preacher
in 1947; the Reverend Doctor Clifford L. Stanley of the Seminary
in 1948; and the Reverend Doctor Robert Brown of St. Paul’s
Church, Richmond in 1949.”
The Church year at St. George’s has been enriched by the
Thursday Lenten noon-day services with speakers from outside
the community, by the union three-hour service on Good Friday,
by the “Feast of Lights” service on Epiphany, by the men’s corporate
communion on the third Sunday in each month, and by the
Christmas Eve communion service. The nursery which is conducted
during the Sunday morning service enables more mothers
with small children to attend Church.
A men’s club has been organized for all the men of the
Church. This group holds fellowship breakfasts after the men’s
corporate communion, and quarterly men’s fellowship dinners.
A system has been evolved whereby every man in the parish is
give~ an opportunity during the year to usher at Sunday morning
To provide for the teen-agers .”The Episcopal Young People
of Fredericksburg” was organized in 1947, with Mrs. Thomas G.
Faulkner, Jr., and Mrs. John Embrey as advisers. In 1948 Mrs.
Embrey was succeeded by Mrs. Richard Hull and Mrs. Robert
Moore. During 1949-1950 Mrs. Faulkner and Mrs. Hull were
61 Vestry Minutes, [VII, 126].
62 Ibid., [VII, 139; VIII, 19J.
” Ibid., [VII, 118, 133; VIII, 27J.
The Twentieth Century 73
the adult leaders of this “going” organization. The women’s
auxiliary sponsors a Girl Scout troop, of, whic~ Miss El~zabeth
Carmichael is the troop leader and MIss DIana Tanslll, the
In September, 1947, the diocese of Virginia established the
post of student worker fO,r the, EpiscoI?al.s~udents of M.ary Was,hington
College of the Umversrty of VIrgInIa, and appomted MIss
Theodosia Parke to this position. In September, 1949, Mrs.
Benjamin C. Early succeeded Miss Parke and ~he name of the
position was changed to that of counselor of EpIscopal students.
Mrs. Early has been untiring in her efforts to serve the Episcopal
students in Mary Washington and her advice is much sought
after by them.I On Sunday April 24, 1949, St. George’s Church celebrated
the centennial of the .consec.rat.ion of the presen.t b~ilding by
Bish9,P. Meade on Apnl 22, 1849. The church hlStonographer,
Dr. Carrol H. Qaellzd, ske1:che