A Brief History of Grace Church
Grace Church was the third Episcopal parish to be founded in the city of Alexandria. “Episcopal” comes from the Greek word meaning “Bishop”. The Episcopal Church (ECUSA) is the name of our church in the United States. We are part of the world-wide Anglican Communion of those churches with roots in the Church of England.
From our earliest days, Grace has been an active parish in the Diocese of Virginia. Our history affirms the vision of our founders to be a church where “all may come without regard for temporal estate, freely and without fee, as brethren come one to another.”
1855 Founding by 30 members of Christ Church, Alexandria, and first services at the Lyceum
1860 First church on South Patrick Street completed and consecrated
1861 Church converted into a hospital for Union troops during the Civil War
1893 Weekly celebration of the Eucharist, and Choral Eucharist each Sunday, begins
1930 First Midnight Mass celebrated
1948 New church building on Russell Road dedicated by Bishop Goodwin
Father Edward Merrow serves as Rector
1959 Grace Episcopal School opens
1975 Father Robert Moody begins to serve as Rector
1986 First woman ordained to the Priesthood at Grace Church
1989 Father Robert Malm begins to serve as Rector
1994 Renovation and expansion of our physical plant
2005 Sesquicentennial celebration year
2019 Father Robert Malm retires
2019 – 2020 The Rev. Michael B. Guy, Sr., S.T.S. appointed Interim Rector by the Diocese of Virginia
2020 First recorded video services offered
2020 Grace Church Food Pantry rapidly and vastly expands to serve over 300 families per week
2021 First live streamed services offered via the Grace Church YouTube Channel.
2021 The Rev. Dr. Anne Turner is called to serve as Grace’s new Rector, the first woman in Grace’s history. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, she is formally installed as Rector in 2022, although she began her service in 2021.