Todd Talk (March 2017)

Todd Ballance, Executive Director

The month of February saw the beginning of our 2017 visitor season.  For the entire month of February 105 locals enjoyed our “757 Appreciation” program that provided them 2 for 1 admissions. This equaled twice the number of visitors from last February.  A great way to start 2017!

On March 4th, 2017 HSL twenty guests enjoyed the “Pox and the Covenant” Lecture by Tony Williams.  Mr. Williams returned for another one of his popular programs.  This time speaking on some of the causes of the American War for Independence.  Stay tuned for more Tony Williams programs!

For those of you looking for more information on weddings at Virginia’s Oldest Church join us on March 26th, 2017 between 1 and 4 p.m. for our Wedding Open House & Vendor Show.  Vendors from around the region will showcase their services and products to help you make your special day great!  This event is free to the visiting public.  Museum guided tour admissions are additional.  Inquire with the museum for more information.

April 30th, 2017  Fifth Sunday Service at 11 a.m. – This is the special tradition of the ancient relationship with the previously known “Newport Parish” now operating from Christ Episcopal Church in Smithfield.  Join the Christ Episcopal Church congregation as they celebrate Rite I according to the BCP at their old parish church.  The public is welcome to attend.

Education Program Events

Reenactors pictured at Historic St. Luke’s.

April 1-2, 2017 Civil War Living History Weekend – Families and history buffs of all ages are welcome to enjoy this weekend of encampments, demonstrations and lectures from Confederate and Union living historians.  The focus will be on local events that happened in the Benn’s Church area and Smithfield during the Civil War.  Shopping, food, and lectures will be available throughout the day to visitors.  The day’s events are included with regular museum admissions and accessible during normal museum hours, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

April 15th, 2017 at 1 p.m. Bacon’s Rebellion Lecture presented by Dr. James Rice – Dr. Rice is a visiting professor at Tufts University who has written and spoken on Bacon’s Rebellion.  This great undertold story of 1676-1677 Virginia has many scholars today revisiting the legacy and true implications of this “Baconite” versus “Berkeleyite” feud.  Isle of Wight County witnessed events associated with this rebellion.  Learn what happened and the rebellion’s lasting legacy during this special lecture.  Reserve your seats today!  

April 29th, 2017  Cemetery Preservation Workshop  11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Get outdoors and learn a valuable skill while helping preserve our cemetery headstones at Virginia’s Oldest Church!  New volunteers and others will join together to learn techniques and clean a section of the ancient cemetery.  Inquire within for more details.  Interested persons 15 years old or older are welcome.


Join me in thanking the following individuals, foundations, and organizations for supporting HSL with their generous gifts to our Annual Fund.

The Howard W. & Katherine L. Gwaltney Foundation
Smithfield VA Events
Mr. and Mrs. William A. Gwaltney
Mr. and Mrs. W. Franck Judkins
Ms. Brenda Watkins



Don’t miss Dr. James Rice’s lecture on Bacon’s Rebellion, April 15th.

The following folks have either renewed or joined for the first time their annual memberships.  With their memberships come benefits!  We look forward to you redeeming your complimentary admissions and gift shop sales discounts!

Mrs. Barbara Lindley

Mr. Thomas L. Ross

Ms. Carol King

Mr. Frederick K. Lautzenheiser

We look forward to seeing you soon at Virginia’s Oldest Church!