Todd Talk (July 2016)

Todd Ballance, Executive Director.

Todd Ballance, Executive Director at Historic St. Luke’s Church

The smell of fresh-cut grass, pine tar, and turpentine surround visitors as they enter and exit the Welcome Center at Virginia’s Oldest Church.  During the mid to late-June period the staff and volunteers at HSLR worked hard in cleaning, oiling, painting and tarring the interior and exterior woodwork and iron railing, repaired cracked mortar and cement on the back porch of the Welcome Center and bathroom entrance, and repaired the south-facing chancel door on the church building.  It was filthy work but was well overdue for attention.  Volunteers Barbara Lindley, Rebecca Popp, and Erin Grady and staff members Rachel Popp, Joseph Tapia, John Ericson, and I worked feverishly over two Wednesdays to help maintain these beautiful buildings.  Stop-by and thank the team for their hard work and dedication.


Volunteer Erin Grady

There is still a lot more work to be done particularly in the ancient cemetery with iron railing maintenance, headstone preservation. and some landscaping.  If you are interested in helping-out with these and other projects please email

As I sit at my desk writing this I witness our landscape crew Randy and Jerry working so hard maintaining our grounds.  These days – the hottest so far of the year – are simply miserable if you work outside.  If in the area, please stop by and thank these gentlemen with a cold bottle of water or maybe even lunch.  They do so much to lovingly steward the final resting places of our loved ones and this 100-acre historic site.

Pokemon Go


A screenshot of of Historic St. Luke’s Church grounds in Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go has invaded HSLR!  As many of you may be aware Pokemon Go has erupted into an incredibly popular force.  National monuments, historic sites, museums, churches, and more are populated into this smart phone app game.  As a result and a surprise to our team, we learned that we have seven PokeStops and the Todd Celtic Cross in the cemetery is a Pokemon Gym!  Share with your loved ones who are playing the game they are welcome to visit our grounds, enjoy a guided tour, and purchase refreshments from our gift shop during normal visiting hours Monday through Sunday.

Education Program Events

Saturday, August 27th, 2016 at 1 p.m. God Save The Kingdom: Loyalism and Ministers in Revolutionary Virginia, 1765-1783 presented by Mrs. Stephanie Walters, Ph.D. student from George Mason University. Her program addresses the impact of the American War for Independence on Loyalist Clergy and the Anglican Church in America. Tickets are $15 per person. Seating is limited to the first 25 registrants. After exceeding 25 registrants, inquirers will be placed on a waiting list that will be informed if additional space is available. To register online click here and scroll-down the page under the Map to purchase your tickets or call the Welcome Center at 757-357-3367.



Ashley B. Worrell & Kyle G. Bentley

Help us in congratulating two couples who began lives together in June:

Ashley B. Worrell & Kyle G. Bentley

Lydia Hearn & Matthew O’Neal


As we wrap-up our 2016 Fiscal Year (ending June 30th, 2016) we would like to thank the donors who made May a great month in development.  Thank you for supporting our Annual Fund.

Mr. Andrew Cripps

Mr. William Motley, Jr.

Mr. Joseph A. Barlow

Mr. William Hodsden


We would also like to recognize our renewing member Ms. Sarah B. Wright.  Ms. Wright continues to support Historic St. Luke’s through philanthropy and service in helping us select annual a recipient of our educational scholarship program.

See you soon at our next educational program!