The following month, December, 1910, the Reverend Beverley Tucker was appointed to succeed Mr. McIlhany as the priest in charge of St. Paul's. The son of the Bishop Coadjutor of Southern Virginia, Mr. Tucker was a graduate of the University of Virginia and the Virginia Theological Seminary, and was the first Virginia graduate to have been a Rhodes Scholar. At a meeting of Mr. Tucker and the trustees it was agreed that the two tasks of raising funds for the permanent church building and providing spiritual leadership for the St. Paul's congregation should not be the responsibility of one person. Mr. Tucker thus was freed to direct his energies toward the spiritual life of the young congregation.
In keeping with St. Paul's special mission to the University, Mr. Tucker immediately turned his attention toward establishing closer relationships with the students. On February 27, 1911, he met with about one hundred students for the first gathering of the St. Paul's Club. This was to be a strictly social organization, meeting once a month during the school year. Its purpose was to encourage and promote friendships among a broad spectrum of students who, under normal university conditions, might never get to know one another. There were no dues and no initiation ceremonies, although a voluntary contribution of twenty-five cents per meeting was accepted in order to meet expenses.
A second group, the Brotherhood of St. Andrew, was a much more serious student organization, whose double purpose of prayer and service was carried out in the University, the parish, and the nearby rural missions. The members called on all Episcopal first-year students, welcoming them to the University and to St. Paul's. They also called on all Episcopal students who were not confirmed and urged them to attend Mr. Tucker's confirmation classes.
The Brotherhood supplied men to conduct Sunday School classes and Sunday services at four nearby missions including The Church of Our Saviour on Rio Road, and even sent men farther afield to assist with the work going on in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Within Charlottesville, The Brotherhood played an important part in St. Paul's work in the Fifeville community. Each day two University students went to the Fifeville playground to supervise play and to ". . . hold up before the boys there the higher ideals of life." That activity had to be suspended in 1917 - 1918 as most of the members were involved in afternoon military drills. As its student president, Nobel Powell said in his report, "It seems that playground supervision must wait for the cessation of the war."
Within the congregation there was also much activity. An important step toward being a full parish was taken when the first vestry was elected at a congregational meeting on October 8, 1913, and by 1915 the congregation had grown sufficiently to make an addition to the temporary church building necessary. Transepts were added and the building was extended to include choir stalls. In a rather bold and somewhat controversial move, St. Paul's decided to have a vested choir which made its first appearance on Easter Sunday, 1915, singing the processional hymn "Welcome Happy Morning."
There were several parish organizations in addition to the already mentioned St. Paul's Guild. The Women's Auxiliary, which had a special interest in missionary work, provided the money to buy the Fifeville playground property and equip it, and supported women missionaries in other countries through the United Thank Offering. The Junior Guild cared for the altar, the altar linens, and the flowers; and provided money and clothing to help in the mountain missions. In 1917 they raised enough money to build a chapel at Forest Lodge, one of the closer rural missions. The Junior Auxiliary trained school-age girls in habits of prayer, study and the support of missions. The girls raised money by an annual doll sale and used it to help children in Charlottesville and in Japan.
All the parish organizations continued to grow, including the Sunday School, which by 1918 had eight teachers, sixty-three students, and an average Sunday attendance of forty-six. In the congregation as a whole there were by then 265 parishioners, ninety-five pledging units, and a budget of $4,017.95. The young congregation struggled to improve its financial situation and still was committed to the vision of a permanent building to replace the now aging "temporary" wooden church. To strengthen the parish finances, the tWo houses on the property were sold: the one facing Madison Lane to the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity in 1914 for $15,000, and the one facing Chancellor Street to Miss Annie Jordan and Mrs. John Hartman in 1920 for $26,000. These two sales made the difference between a deficit and a balanced budget and, as a result of this improved financial standing, Colonel Valentine of Richmond was given authority to raise money to revive the building campaign.
Between 1914 and 1918, while the nation was at war, all plans to build a permanent church had been suspended. During those years, St. Paul's contributed toward the war effort in several ways. Mr. Tucker took a one-year leave of absence to serve as chaplain of the University of Virginia Hospital Unit. In Charlottesville, the Junior Guild did Red Cross work and the Brotherhood of St. Andrew organized military drills.
Last Updated on Monday, 25 June 2012 13:23