Adult Enrichment Class Examines the Role of Religion in 17th Century Virginia

To conclude its Summer 2017 offerings, the Rappahannock Community College Educational Foundation’s Rappahannock Institute for Lifelong Learning (RILL) will present “The Church in Seventeenth-Century Virginia,” on Tuesday, August 22, Thursday, August 24, and Tuesday, August 29, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Warsaw Campus of Rappahannock Community College, Room 203. The instructor will be the Rev. Dr. Christopher M. Agnew.

This course will examine the role of religion in seventeenth-century Virginia, centering on the discussion of Edward L. Bond’s work, “Damned Souls in A Tobacco Colony.” Between 1607, when Robert Hunt, chaplain of the Jamestown colony, celebrated the first Eucharist, and 1689 when James Blair was appointed to head the church in Virginia as “commissary,” great changes occurred in the religious experience of both England and Virginia. To supplement Bond’s study, these changes on both sides of the Atlantic will be considered, as will some specific personalities, parishes, and incidents.

The Rev. Dr. Christopher M. Agnew completed a Ph.D. in history in 1979. He has taught history at both secondary and collegiate levels, most recently as adjunct faculty at the Virginia Theological Seminary. In addition to serving as manuscript librarian of the Historical Society of Delaware and as registrar and archivist of the Episcopal Diocese of Delaware, he is the immediate past president of National Episcopal Historians and Archivists and serves on the board of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church. He has served St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Nomini Grove, Westmoreland County, since Easter 2002.

Advance registration, with a tuition payment of $35, is required to take this course. For more information on “The Church in Seventeenth-Century Virginia” and other RILL courses, or to register, please call Sharon Drotleff at RCC’s Educational Foundation office (804-333-6707), or e-mail her at

The Educational Foundation expresses sincere appreciation to the Bank of Lancaster’s Golden Advantage program, and to Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury, for their generous support of RILL in 2017.