Brief History

Saint Mark's was established on April 25, 1915 as a mission of Saint Paul's Episcopal Church to serve the needs of the African-American community in the city of Suffolk. The Church was started with a nucleus of fifteen communicants and was named Saint Paul's Mission.

Dr. E. L. H. Rance and wife, Ivey, having grown up in the Anglican Church in Jamaica, influenced Mr. Robert Williams and his wife, Fannie, to provide a space in their home for worship. Mr. W. H. Crocker and John Booth were a part of the group, which made the nucleus of St. Mark's.

Mr. Robert Williams equipped a small building behind his residence on Tyne Street with an Altar, an altar rail, an organ and homemade pews. The building housed the congregation until 1931.

The Rev. J. J. Posey succeeded the Rev. Coleman in 1922 and served until 1927. The communicants grew in number as the years passed.

When the Rev. Posey accepted the responsibility of St. Augustine's in Newport News, the Rev. David Jonathan Lee, Rector of Grace Church in Norfolk came to Saint Mark's in 1928.

Saint Mark's moved into the present building in 1933. The church was renamed Saint Mark's Mission in 1933.

The present parish hall was constructed in 1972 and dedicated in 1973, during the tenure of The Rev. Father Arceleous Elliott, Jr. Father Elliott served until 1977.

After Father Elliott left to take a position of Vicar of Saint Agnes in the Diocese of Newark, New Jersey, Saint Mark's shared the services of the Rev. Charles Kettlewell with Emmanuel Church in Portsmouth.

The Rev. Father Kenneth Curry became Vicar of Saint Mark's in 1981 and served for one year.

Rev. Carl Cyrus Murray came to St. Mark's in 1983 to serve

Saint Mark's was served by Lay Readers until 1989. Wayne C. Hodge, Sr. was called to Saint Mark's in 1989. He had just graduated from Virginia Seminary and was a newly ordained Deacon. He served Saint Mark's as a Deacon for one year and was ordained a Priest at Saint Mark's in 1990 and became Vicar of Saint Mark's. It was under his administration that Saint Mark's attained Parish status for the first time in its history. Father Hodge continued to serve as rector until 1999 when he became incapacitated.

The Rev. Father J. Alfred Wade served as interim rector from 2001 to 2002.

The Rev. Father Howard Purvis became rector in 2002 and served for one year.

The Rev. Father Joseph N. Green, Jr. became interim rector in 2004 and served until December 31, 2007. While he was interim rector, the church was completely renovated and brought into compliance with current city codes and the American with Disabilities Act.

A Search Committee was instituted in January, 2008 resulting in the selection of The Rev. Frederick W. Walker who began serving our congregation on January 1, 2010.

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