Emmanuel Episcopal Church has a heritage of challenges, struggles and successes. The first few Anglicans settled in the Shenandoah Valley in the mid-1700s. They founded their first chapel in Rockingham County in 1747, but their members were always few among the larger population of Scotch-Irish Presbyterians and German Lutherans, Brethren, and Mennonites who migrated south from Pennsylvania.
Because no priests were available, Anglican worship ceased after the Revolutionary War and regular worship was not restarted until 1852. Our first church, built in 1868, served 42 communicants. A rectory was built in 1881 on the site of the present church.
From the turn of the century until the Great Depression, the membership of the parish remained stable at about 100 confirmed persons. Before 1920, there was a fairly rapid turnover of clergy, and financial support of the parish was very unpredictable. In 1919, the Vestry called the Reverend Walter Williams as rector, who served until 1937.
The present, much larger church was built in 1959-1960. In 1985, the parish remodeled the church office area and constructed an addition to the Sunday school area. A new organ was installed in 1988. Under the two rectors prior to that time, the parish experienced considerable growth and renewal. In 2002, a major addition was built to provide better space for education, fellowship and administration.
In 1989 a new rector was called, and he served until 2002. An interim rector served until 2004 when our next rector was called. She served until August of 2007, when she accepted a call to another parish. We called Fr. Daniel Robayo to be our rector in spring of 2009. We called Pastor Sara Ardrey-Graves to be our Assistant Rector in 2010, and she became Associate Rector in 2011.
Our Recent Rectors
• The Very Reverend James P. Lincoln, 1970-1981
• The Reverend Dr. Bill Mengebier, Interim, January 1981-April 1982
• The Reverend Randolph Bragg, May 1982-December 1987
• The Reverend Dr. Bill Mengebier, Interim, January 1988-August 1989
• The Reverend John F. Glover, September 1989-December 2002
• The Reverend Jack Suter, Interim, January 2003-April 2004
• The Reverend Joy Rose,
April 2004-August 2007
• The Reverend Philip Wiehe, Interim, January 2008-April 2009
• The Reverend Daniel D. Robayo, May 2009 - present
• The Reverend Sara Ardrey-Graves, August 2010 - present