Hungars Church History
Hungars Parish is the ecclesiastical area known politically as Northampton County, Virginia. Since the assignment of the first minister in 1623, there have been three church buildings known as "Hungars Church". The first of these three was built around 1646 on land acquired through Richard Vaughan's bequest in 1645 of tobacco "toward the building of a house for God's service". This church known first as "Nuswattocks Church" stood about 150 yards north of Pear Plain on the west bank of Hungars Creek.
By 1679 the original church was apparently no longer usable, so the Hungars Church Wardens contracted with Symon Thomas to build a new church using materials from the old one. The cost was 10,000 pounds of tobacco and casks. The acre of land for this church was given by Major William Spencer, and it is the site of the present church. The exact date of the third building is unknown, but records indicate that it was built in about 1742, possibly by Southey Satchell and was the second largest in Virginia. Its dimensions were 90 feet by 40 feet with two-foot thick walls.
After the Revolutionary War, the church was unused for nearly 40 years, and stripped of its colonial furnishings. It was repaired in 1819 and used again until 1850 when it was declared unsafe for use. A contractor from Snow Hill, Maryland, Thomas Stevenson, salvaged the building by shortening it and closing the side doors, replacing them with two new doors in the west wall.
The present interior was completed in 1892 by adding a gallery and stove flues and enclosing the north vesting room. The oak floor was laid in 1922. In 1950 lighting and central heat were added, the south vesting room enclosed, and a brick floor laid in the vestibule. Recent improvements include air conditioning added in 1985, a brick walkway to the parish house, and a memorial pulpit completed in 1991. Repainting and wood restoration was done in 1992.
On August 29, 2021, the Northampton Historic Preservation Society presented a program on the early history of Hungars Episcopal Church. In Part I, Jenean Hall describes the early history of the Anglican Church on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and how the current Hungars Church came to be located in Bridgetown. Joan Wehner, in Part II, discusses the construction of the third (and present) Hungars Church building around 1750, and the different gifts of land that make up the present churchyard. In Part III, Ann Snyder discusses how the brick church came to be abandoned after the American Revolution, and its eventual restoration.
Please contact the Parish office for more information and polices on Baptisms.
Please contact the Parish office for more information and polices on Weddings.
Our Parish House is used for a variety of events, including Bible study, adult Sunday school, coffee hour following services, meet-the-artist receptions following Music Ministry events, and many others. The parish house contains a fully equipped kitchen, including glassware, dinnerware, silverware, and a dishwasher. Organizations outside the Church may also rent our buildings for meetings, such as meetings of Citizens for a Better Eastern Shore. Contact the parish office for reserving specific dates and charges.