Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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Church of the Incarnation

MAILING ADDRESS: P.O. Box 307
PHYSICAL ADDRESS: 102 Louisa Ave
CITY, ST, ZIP: Mineral, VA 23117
PHONE: 540/894-0136
FAX: None
E-MAIL: Office

CLERGY: Marian K. Windel
TITLE: Vicar
E-MAIL: Marian K. Windel

WEB URL: Church of the Incarnation
ECW: Church of the Incarnation ECW

 

HISTORY

The Church of the Incarnation is the oldest church in Mineral. In the early 1880’s, large mining companies were extracting minerals on a large scale around the area of Mineral, then known as Tolersville. At that time almost one half of the national annual production of iron pyrite was mined, processed, and shipped from Mineral, which was then home to 4,000 people. The first services of what was to become the Church of the Incarnation were held in the late 1880’s and early 1890’s in the living room of the Superintendent of the Arminius Pyrite Mines.

The Reverend Josiah Richard Ellis came to St. George’s Church in Gordonsville as a deacon directly from the seminary in 1892. He was to preach three out of the four Sundays each month at St. George, and the fourth Sunday he was to preach at the Louisa County Poor House on Route #33. Every fifth Sunday he was to hold services at St. James in Louisa. It is not clear how Rev. Ellis became affiliated with the Episcopal following at the Arminius mining operation. The records do show, however, that the mines made monthly contributions to the Church of the Incarnation until the mines closed.

Rev. Ellis conducted the services at the Arminius Mines. In 1898, the group moved into Mineral City (Tolersville became Mineral City in 1890) and began holding Episcopal services in the hall of Lodge No. 21 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. This was pursuant to a lease agreement entered into between the parties on September 19, 1898, for a period of four years. The nearby mines continued monthly contributions until they closed in 1921.

Reverend Ellis and Lewis Keller, Sr., the depot agent, became concerned about the number of saloons located within Mineral City. On September 19, 1899, Kate C. Bibb donated $200 for the trustees, Rev. Ellis, Mr. Keller and Boyd M. Smith, to use for purchasing land for a church. The goal of saloon reduction was achieved since one lot that was acquired had a saloon on it.

Construction of the church was started in 1902 at the cost of $3,595.84. Masonic Lodge #58 A.F. and A.M. laid the original cornerstone at the church on May 16, 1903. J. Henry Brown did the work on the cornerstone for $15.00. George B. Glass installed a thirty-six inch steel alloy bell manufactured by the C.S. Bell Company of Ohio in the sanctuary steeple for $2.00. Bishop Robert A. Gibson, the 6th Bishop of the Diocese of Virginia, consecrated the building on June 11, 1905.

The original cornerstone was replaced on August 27, 1988, and the old one was opened the next day. Among the recovered artifacts, which unfortunately had been damaged by moisture, was the signature of the Rev. Morris Stockwell Eagle, a bible, a prayer book, a hymnal, a Mexican one centavo coin dated the year Tolersville became Mineral City, a Masonic apron, and a pair of Masonic gloves.

Since that time few changes have been made to the sanctuary beyond normal improvements. Fifteen stained glass windows have been added in memory of past members. A carved walnut pulpit, prayer desk and altar were gifts from another Church of the Incarnation located in New York City

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