Venue Tour: Historic Polegreen Church
This is no ordinary church. With it’s history dating back to the Great Awakening of the 1700’s, this church has a story to tell. Before the Polegreen Church was built, the only religion that was recognized was that of the Anglican Church. In the 1700s there was a religious movement known as the Great Awakening. George Whitefield, the itinerating British Methodist evangelist, and Sam Morris, a brick mason, were the visionaries behind this movement. Whitfield traveled, preaching his sermon. His sermons were later published and read throughout Virginia. Sam Morris would gather several members of the community in his home on Sunday afternoons. They read the Bible and several of Whitefields sermons. Eventually they built a reading house on Sam Morris’s land. The reading house was named after a land grant recipient George Polegreen. Those who practiced here requested that a Presbyterian pastor, Samuel Davies, lead the services at the reading house. He was the first non-Anglican pastor licensed to preach in Virginia.
In addition to making gains with the religious freedom movement, Davies also worked to educate black slaves. Davies believed that the attainment of religion required extensive knowledge that could only be obtained by both reading and hearing the word of God. Davies and those around him educated others that blacks had equal capabilities as whites to learn to read. If they were given enough resources and enough time, the black slaves could learn and be as literate as their white counterparts.
The original Polegreen Church was destroyed in a fire during the Civil War. The open air structure was built in it’s place in 2001. Due to the historic nature of the land, this church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. The open air concept is to reiterate the church’s foundation of religious freedom.
This church has been making it’s way up the wedding circuit very quickly after Jason Mraz and his wife said their I Do’s at The Polegreen in October 2015. With it’s history of religious freedom and African American literacy, this is also a popular location for Same-Sex and African American weddings.
In regards to weddings, this venue is so unique. Your guests are surrounded by gorgeous foliage and can look right up to the sky. The venue is historic for any of the history buffs, yet it has such a modern look with the white open structures. There is a conference room that can be used as the bridal suite, and a seperate area for the caterers to use as their prep station. There are also bathrooms on site. For the reception most couples rent a tent and set it up in the space opposite the church.
The church is open 24/7 and has a free audio tour. If you are interested in checking out the venue you may want to take the audio tour as well. For more information check out their site.