• History 2

The Anglican faith came to Virginia at nearby Jamestown in 1607 with the first English settlers. By 1642, the Suffolk area, which was then part of Nansemond County, was divided into three parishes, and today's downtown region was then known as the Parish of the Upper Nansemond.

Five church buildings, in five distinct locations, have served St. Paul’s throughout its history, including our present home. The earliest church is believed to have been constructed c.1643 on the banks of the Nansemond River, just north of today’s downtown area, as transportation in this period would have been primarily by water. Around 1753, the parish moved downtown, not far from where our current building resides.

The present 1895 Gothic-style church building is filled with relics from many periods of the past and reminds us not only of the historical struggles of our nation, but of our long history of building faith in downtown Suffolk. Major additions and alterations were made to the building in 1914, 1922, and 1964. Many of the features of the current sanctuary date to renovations from the 1960s. The chapel, added in 1989, features several important pieces from the distant past, including wooden tablets displaying the Lord’s Prayer, Apostles’ Creed, and the Ten Commandments. Two Queen Anne style display cases hold important pieces from our past, including a bible dating back to 1754.

We celebrated our 375th Anniversary on June 4, 2017. In preparation for this event, dozens of parishioners worked to organize our historical documents in archival binders as well as to write narratives about important parts of our parish’s life. These binders, as well as dozens of framed historical documents, are now found in our 1642 Coffee Lounge off the Parish Hall. If you would like to explore St. Paul’s history in greater depth, take a look at the relics throughout the church, photographs and other materials in the Guild Room, see photographs of past bishops and rectors who have served St. Paul’s, or speak to a member of the church leadership for further guidance, please feel free to contact the Office.

Contact Info

Phone: (757) 539-2478
Email: office@saintpauls-suffolk.org
Facebook: facebook.com/stpauls.suffolk
Sermons: Sermons


St Paul's Episcopal Church
213 North Main St
Suffolk, VA 23434