The Presbyterian Church of Radford, established 1893
The Presbyterian Church of Radford, established 1893

The original Church building was built and first occupied in 1894, and houses the Sanctuary, Library/Parlor, Choir room, and several classrooms. The newer Education Building was completed in 1963 and houses the Fellowship Hall and additional classrooms. Church offices are located in the house next door to the Church.

The Presbyterian Church of Radford had its beginning in the New River Church, organized at Lovely Mount Church on April 26, 1874. For seven years, the church was without a regular pastor, and the pulpit was occupied by supplies and licenciates. The main preaching point was Lovely Mount, better known as the Brick Church. Later a frame building near Ingles Ferry, called Ingles Chapel, served as the church. In 1881, the New River Church was able to have a full time pastor. It was during this time that Central City became incorporated as a town, and in 1887, officially changed its name to Radford. During this time, the population of Radford “boomed” and grew from 300 in 1880 to 3,000 by 1890.

During the period from 1890-1894, the name of the church was changed from the New River Church to Radford Presbyterian Church. By 1894, members occupied their new brick church building at Fourth and Randolph Streets, which was constructed at a cost of about $7,000 and was free of debt. The building was dedicated in 1899. From 1894 to 1919, Central and Radford churches shared equally the services and financial responsibility of the same pastor.

In 1919, the two churches separated from each other completely. In 1908, the manse was built across Fourth Street. The church library was begun in 1960 and the Christian Education Building wing was completed in 1963. Radford Presbyterian Church merged with Tyler Memorial Presbyterian Church in 1968 to form the Presbyterian Church of Radford. The remodeling of the front of the church was completed in 2019.

Stained Glass Windows

The Helping Hand Society was formed in 1889 for the purpose of furnishing the Presbyterian Church. In 1893, the name was changed to the Ladies Aid Society of the Westward Presbyterian Church. By 1894, the Society had raised sufficient funds to pay for the original pulpit and pews, and planning began on the stained glass windows.

In 1894, the President of the Society wrote to William Coulter & Son of Cincinnati, OH, to obtain estimates for the stained glass windows. For a history of William Coulter & Son, which exists today as Beauverre Riordan Stained Glass Studios, please see http://www.beauverre.net/history.html. Financial support of the windows proceeded in 1894-1895, with the total cost of the windows being $650.

The Ladies Aid Society of the Westward Presbyterian Church funded most of the cost of the windows and held “entertainments” to raise funds. “Entertainments” included oyster suppers, strawberry and ice cream festivals, lunches for various meetings, lawn parties, Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day festivals. Members of the Society spent many hours making quilts, rugs, aprons, dolls, cakes, bread, and candies. Candy was made in 20 to 30 bound batches and sold in downtown stores. Oysters were packed in ice and shipped by rail overnight from Norfolk for the oyster suppers.

The 1963 addition to the church included the installation of the windows in the Chapel area, which came from a firm in North Carolina. These are painted glass, not stained glass. In 1982, the windows were covered with lexan for protection. Insurance values cited the stain glass windows as irreplaceable.