History of St. Martin's

By Easter Sunday, 1964, the new congregation was meeting in “the blue barn,” a simple structure of pre-fabricated steel on property donated by Bruton Parish. As the mission grew, another building, bell tower and memorial garden were added, and a new sanctuary was built in in 1972. St. Martin’s achieved parish status and installed the Rev. J. Pickett Miles as Rector, who would serve the congregation for the next twenty-nine years. During his tenure, St. Martin’s founded a healing ministry and partnered with St. Cyprian’s in Hampton for “Rowing Together to Overcome Racism.” By 2001, the parish had raised funds and built a new building, including a parish hall, kitchen, offices, library and choir room.

Over the years the parish’s commitment to outreach has made a difference in the community. A preschool for children with special needs became Child Development Resources; a residential treatment program for teen boys became Crossroads. We have opened our doors to
Alcoholics Anonymous and other recovery groups, the Boy Scouts, From His Hands, the Community of Faith Mission’s Winter Shelter, the Association of Retarded Citizens, the Williamsburg Choral Guild, and the Williamsburg Parent Cooperative Preschool, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2020. During the tenure of the Rev. Shirley Smith (2007-2015), St. Martin’s expanded adult formation opportunities and established the Order of St. Luke, the Brotherhood of St. Andrew, and Stephen Ministry. Since the arrival of the Rev. Catherine Tyndall Boyd as Rector in April 2017, and the Rev. Lisa Green as Associate Rector later that year, the parish has been improving our systems and structures, aligning with Episcopal Church initiatives like The Way of Love and Becoming Beloved Community, deepening our focus on spirituality and pilgrimage, and strengthening our partnerships in greater Williamsburg and beyond. Buoyed by our love of God and each other, we continue to strive to live into our founding vision of creativity, hospitality, and generosity.