In Virginia we are lucky to have Historic St Luke’s Church. It is a beautiful red brick church that was originally built in 1685. St Luke’s is the oldest English built church in America; the church has a beautiful Gothic structure, and stained glass windows which are very similar to many of the old churches and cathedrals in England. The church is not only the oldest English built church in America, it also contains America’s oldest wooden organ, the organ is no longer played but you can hear a recording of its last performance.
During the civil war the insides of the church were ripped out so the soldiers could keep there horses locked up, this prevented the horses being stolen. If only the walls of this church could talk…I wonder what stories they would tell.
In the 50’s restoration started and the church was restored to its full former glory. The church now is full usable, although it’s only used for special services or events. It can be hired out for weddings.
When you visit Historic St Luke’s Church be sure to stop in at the gift shop first and speak to the attendants. They will offer you a tour and tell you about the church and the surrounding area.
When I first visited the church it was because I was looking for somewhere to get married, my husband and I took a tour around the church and grounds, we had found the perfect place to get married. Each time I have gone back to St Luke’s, the staff are amazingly friendly. They even gave our families a tour on the night of our wedding rehearsal. On my most recent visit to the church I took two friends who are very interested in history, we had a great guide to give us our tour, and he was so informative and had lots of little stories to tell.
Historic St Luke’s Church is in Smithfield, and is about a forty-five minute drive from Virginia Beach, it’s definitely worth the drive to see this beautiful place.