Christ Church History
Christ Episcopal Church stands in the town of Eastville, the county seat of Northampton County. It is the 4th oldest church on Virginia's Eastern Shore.
Christ Church was built in 1828 at a cost of $2,960 and consecrated by the Rt. Rev. Richard Channing Moore in 1832. The structure replaced the Magotha Bay Church, which had been the "Lower" Church of Hungars Parish in colonial days. The Magotha Bay Church was the fourth church built for the parish probably about 1692-1693. Abandoned soon after the Revolutionary War victory, it was still standing in 1819. Despite proposals to repair the church, nothing was done, and it went into ruin. The brick wall and materials were sold in 1826.
At first our Eastville church did not have a recessed chancel; the wall facing the west was straight across with two windows opposite the front ones. The original windows were all like the plain glass windows still in the front. The chancel was almost square and one step higher than the body of the church; the choir occupied the gallery. A major restoration was undertaken in 1906. In the subsequent years, structural changes have been made reflecting the changing wishes and needs of the congregation. In 1928 the Junior Guild contracted for a brick wall to be built in front of the church for $850 with construction beginning the following April, 1929.
In 1944 a hurricane destroyed the belfry which had been added earlier in the century. The present belfry contains a bell given by Robert Smith Trower, Sr., with the present steeple constructed around 1950.
The first marriage service held at Christ Church took place on April 11, 1844, when Dr. William A. Thom and Miss Ann Parker were joined in Holy Wedlock. Their home, named Stockley, is located one mile south of Eastville. Later Stockley Gardens in Norfolk was named for their home.
In 1986 a classic Baroque Revival pipe organ was added to the gallery through the Kendall Addison Jarvis Memorial Music Fund.
The stained glass windows were added between 1897 and 1937, and were all memorial gifts. Five windows were constructed by F. Mayer Company in Munich. Two have the Mayer signature. The St. Cecelia window, the last window installed, cost $400 and honors the patron saint of music. St. Cecelia looks toward the gallery where past choirs and our organ are located. Window restoration was begun in the spring on 1992 and completed in 1994.
The land on which Christ Church sits was given by Severn E. Parker of Kendall Grove. The deed was unrecorded during his lifetime but was made legal by his daughter, Catherine Parker Costin. Land on either side of the church was deeded for the church yard cemetery in 1890 by Catherine Parker Costin and her husband, Robert S. Costin, and in 1904 by Robert Nottingham. This was enlarged in 1995 with a Deed of Gift from the Estate of Alice Trower Rawls which was used to establish the Memorial Garden for the internment of ashes, located on the north rear side of the cemetery.
The Parish House, built in 1974, sits on land given by Robert S. Trower Jr., and his sister, Ellen B. Trower. It currently houses the Cure and Rector's offices. Parish House kitchen renovations were completed in early 2015. Overseen by Vestryman Preston E. Trower IV, the renovation would not have been possible without David Rice of Eastville.
As a Christian community we are a loving, kind and warm spiritual oasis, into which we call all those who seek God's will in their lives. Our community is a place of fellowship and spiritual refreshment. In addition, we encourage a forum for education; we hope to be an example of Christian leadership; we offer a ministry of service to the larger community in which we live.