Grace Presbyterian Church of Martinsville, Virginia had its beginnings as a mission in the home of Mrs. Peggy Redd on Fayette Street in 1888. Services were conducted by Rev. Henry Holmes who was then the pastor of Chestnut Knob Presbyterian Church. He was assisted by three missionaries, Sallie Harris Dillard, Emma Galloway Dickerson, and Betty Meaners Hereford. When the congregation outgrew the meeting space, a committee petitioned R.B. Semple for space in the basement of Semple Tobacco Factory, located on the corner of Fayette and Dunlap Street, until an edifice was erected where the present church now stands.
Rev. W.W. Cobert was the first installed pastor followed by Rev. George P. Watkins until he retired in 1942. He was followed by Rev. Robert E. Foster, II who served from 1944 to 1961. Rev. William C. Harris served from 1962 until he resigned in 1967. Rev. Robert E. Foster returned to Grace in 1967 and faithfully served until his death in 1989. Following Rev. Foster's death, Rev. Jimmie Hawkins was called in 1991 until he resigned in 1996 to follow a call in Durham, North Carolina. The church called Rev. Simon in 1998 until his departure in 2005. Currently the church is under the spiritual leadership of Rev. Jane Johnson who began her ministry at Grace in 2010.
In over 125 years of ministry, Grace has implemented many outreach programs in the community. Programs included a Boy Scout Troop; Summer Day Camp; Boys' Choir; a preschool program in conjunction with the Martinsville City School System, a newsletter, library, and recent partnerships with the United Way and the Boys and Girls Clubs. Currently the church has launched Project Literacy, a reading enrichment program for students in grades K-5.
Grants Awarded to Grace Presbyterian Church/The Grace Center:
Oct 17, 2014
over 3 months to help fund the creation of Rising Stars, a Saturday reading enrichment program.