Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

127-0321 Centenary Church

Centenary Church
Photo credit: Calder Loth, 2020

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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 10/16/1979

NRHP Listing Date 12/28/1979

NRHP Reference Number 79003077

Centenary’s congregation was established in 1810. An inspirational visit from Bishop Francis Asbury in February 1812 rallied the members to complete their first building, known as the Methodist Meeting House, on Richmond’s Shockoe Hill. The present church, erected 1841-43, was originally a simple Greek Revival work by the local builder/architects John and Samuel Freeman. Centenary Methodist-Episcopal Church was completely remodeled in the Gothic style in 1874-76 by Richmond architect Albert L. West, who graced the fa├žade with an imposing bell tower. Its twelve-bell carillon, known as the Talbott Chimes, first sounded on Easter Sunday, 1882. A landmark of downtown Richmond and the Grace Street Commercial Historic District, Centenary remains the city’s oldest Methodist church building and one of its chief expressions of the Gothic Revival. The interior is dominated by large Gothic arches defining the chancel and framing an elaborate organ case installed in 1965. The richly colored cathedral-glass windows date from 1908-09.

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated: September 21, 2021