HistoryBlue Ridge Presbyterian Church was born in the back of restaurant in 2001. The group that met on Sundays at a local café dreamed of a church where God’s love was the primary focus. In the summer the congregation met in a tent, the adults on lawn chairs and the children on hay bales. (Maybe that's why the founders insisted on comfortable seating in the new sanctuary!)
In 2003 we broke ground on 13 wooded acres on Spring Hill Road in Ruckersville Virginia, land that was once part of the Gilbert family farm. We built the building, painted the walls, hoisted the steeple, and began to worship. The big cast iron bell that calls us to worship –gift of Mrs. Mary Jean (Gilbert) Dickens-- once called the Gilbert farmhands to dinner.
We are fed by the natural beauty of this place; by the Blue Ridge mountains in the distance and the shifting colors of the woods that fill the big sanctuary windows. Sometimes a groundhog ambles by, or a woodpecker gets so loud that the pastor has to pause. Inside, our simple, open sanctuary is enhanced with banners, fabric art, and seasonal decorations, mostly the work of the artists among us, which call us more fully into the experience of worship.
BRPC History at a glance:
• August 2001: Blue Ridge Presbyterian Church, a new church development of the Presbytery of the James in Virginia, Presbyterian Church U.S.A., was organized under the leadership of Pastor Bill Christian. Early services are held at Blue Ridge Café in Ruckersville, Virginia.
• Oct 19, 2003: ground breaking on BRPC’s current site
• June 2004: BRPC chartered at a service at First Presbyterian Church, Charlottesville
• November 2004: First service held in the present building, Rev. Hal Horan presiding
• June 2005: Rev. Jay Sanderford becomes first installed pastor at BRPC
• 2007: Second Sunday service is added at 8:28 (recalling Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him."
• 2009: Multi-purpose building added to the BRPC campus, providing space for education, meetings, a nursery, and storage.