History of Saint James’: Rev. Edwin S Hinks, Part II

The Rev. Edwin S. Hinks – Rector 1908-1913

Part II

Readers will recall last week’s essay that drew on Mr. Hinks personal entries in the Parish Register, inscribed when he took up his ministry and later, when he departed.   Thanks to the late parishioner Jeanne Davies, we have another side of Mr. Hinks, recalled by a parishioner who remembered Mr. Hinks many years before, and whose recollections were recorded in 1982, published that year in the parish’s “Gifts of the Generations” and reprinted here –

”Mr. Hinks served at St. James’ from 1908 to 1913.  It was during this period that the church and parish house were destroyed by fire in October, 1910.  Mr. Hinks supervised the rebuilding of the church and conducted the first services in the new church in June, 1912.”

“Mr. Hinks was a devout man with a puckish sense of humor.  He toured the area in a horse and buggy with his pockets full of candy for the children.  He was an avid gardener, and became extremely annoyed when his garden was regularly raided by a neighbor’s flock of chickens.  Although he remonstrated, the neighbor consistently denied that his chickens were the culprits.  In desperation, Mr. Hinks pierced several individual kernels of corn with a needle and long thread.  On the end of the thread he attached a small piece of paper.  He then scattered the kernels throughout his garden.”

“The following day he again approached his neighbor who again denied responsibility.  Mr. Hinks pointed out the pieces of paper dangling from the beaks of several of the suspected chickens.  On examination the papers were found to bear the words, ‘I have been in Mr. Hinks’ garden.’”

“Another neighbor of Mr. Hinks at the rectory was a man known for his violent temper.  His wife, to escape his physical abuse, often sought sanctuary in the rectory.  On one such occasion, the abusive neighbor pounded on the rectory door and when Mr. Hinks opened it, shouted at him: ‘Mr. Hinks, you go to Hell!’  Mr. Hinks replied courteously, ‘After you, Sir.’”

Later, from 1927-1932,  Mr. Hinks served as rector of Grace Church, Casanova.  Betty Gookin, who grew up with her siblings at neighboring “Rockhill” remembers Mr. Hinks as a favorite, delightful visitor.  “He gave us candy and told us we really didn’t have to wear our galoshes.  Later, he told us that he had been sunbathing, stretched out in his garden, when he noticed buzzards circling overhead – and thought he’d best beat a retreat!”

History of Saint James’: Rev. Edwin S. Hinks

Hinks, EdwinAssuming the Rectorship – Statements recorded in the Parish Register by newly arriving rectors

The Rev. Edwin S. Hinks (1908-1913)

Early in the last century, 107 years ago, the Rev. Edwin S. Hinks began his ministry at Saint James’ Church and recorded his observations in the parish register.

“In October 1908 I assumed the charge of this parish, returning to its diocese of Virginia after an absence of 5 years, during which time I served as dean of St. Michaels Cathedral, Boise, Idaho.  I left a larger for a smaller work because the strenuous living and arduous work at this particular point had brought both myself and Mrs. Hicks to the verge of illness.

“I found here a most excellent church property – the church building and parish room (added during the rectorship of Mr. Laird) had made the structure quite complete & convenient.

“But on Saturday night of October 29th 1910 the building became a total wreck by fire conveyed to it along the line of the parish building, coming from a frame structure on fire immediately north of the church.

“During the rectorship of Rev. G. W. Nelson (1880-1903) several changes had been made in the church building – the organ brought from a gallery over the front door, and put near the chancel.  Mr. Laird (1904-08) was the promoter of many other changes which materially added to the beauty and convenience of the church.  It now remains to be seen what success shall be attained by my vestry & congregation in rebuilding God’s House in Warrenton.”

Nov. 5th  1910             Edwin S. Hinks

Three years later, after overseeing the rebuilding of the church, Mr. Hinks left Saint James’ and recorded the following in the parish register:

September 11, 1913

“I am leaving Hamilton Parish for St. Louis, Mo. this month.  The new church erected since the fire opened in June 1912 is complete as an architectural structure, and most convenient, beautiful & attractive as an edifice for worship.

“We could wish that a deeper spirituality characterizes the ones who attend the services.  Too much, too much social whirl, and artificial pleasure for much concentration of mind & heart upon things Divine.  May God move upon the people, and make them realize that this life is not ALL by any means.

(“It is not all of live to live / Nor all of death to die”)

Sincerely, Edwin S. Hinks

Stephen Ministry Information Cards


Just a reminder that the informational cards about Stephen Ministry are in our pews. Each card contains information about how Stephen Ministry can help in times of difficulty, transition or crisis and includes the contact information for our Stephen leaders. Please take a card for you, a loved one, or a friend in need.

Fr. Ben’s Sermon | August 23

“This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?…Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life” (Jn 6: 60, 68) Lectionary: 1 Kings 8: 22-30, 41-43; Ephesians 6: 10-20; John 6: 56-69

Sponsor a Student in Soroti Diocese, Uganda

AKAYO Harriet Grad Photo2 copy
Akayo Harriet, a recent graduate of a masters program at Uganda Christian University. Betty and Richard Gookin have sponsored her for about nine years.

Through our Soroti Ministry, parishioners at Saint James’ currently sponsor nine students – from middle school to graduate school – in Soroti Diocese, Uganda, and it is changing the lives of these students!

This year, we added three new students at the middle school level, and we are seeking sponsors at all levels to add more students or help with other expenses such as transportation, administration, summer programs and other educational needs in this region.

You can help! If you are interested in hearing more about this program, please contact Wayne or Caren Eastham.

Saint James’ Builds: Video and Testimony

Saint James’ Builds is a ministry that goes straight to the needs of people in our local community. Through this program, we are able to build quite literally a true community of Christ. Watch the video below to learn more, and contact Dorothy Smith if you have an interest in volunteering.

Saint James Builds thanks all the volunteers and parishioners who’ve donated money and countless hours of hard labor. You have already changed many lives and are reshaping the Fauquier County community.

“I just wanted to thank you for your hardworking team of volunteers. They helped repair my aging home and were so compassionate. I am a single mother of two great boys, and a life long resident of Fauquier County. The floors in my living room and bathroom were in a state of disrepair due to a bad water leak, my washing machine was leaking and created a hole in the floor, my air conditioning unit in the window leaked into the wall and rotted the studs. The volunteers all came together and helped my sons and I fix the enormous job. They also had fixed electrical, and plumbing problems previously. I am so very thankful for all of the time and effort to make our home safer. I can never thank you enough. I would also like to help and volunteer my time.” -Owner of the home in which we worked on August 15

History of Saint James’: Ministers and Rectors

Leading up to the 2016 bicentennial year of Saint James’ Church, the History Committee has submitted, thus far, 32 essays on the parish’s rich past.  From the start, the Committee offered to furnish an essay for each Sunday’s bulletin and weekly news – 52 in all.  The essays are meant to stimulate interest through vignettes of earlier times, not to encapsulate all of the parish’s long and remarkable history.  Several essays have touched on the ministries and personalities of former senior clergy.  These were Messrs. Keith, Lemmon, Barten, Lindsay, Nelson, and Laird.  From time to time, future essays will continue in that vein.  Fuller pictures of these clerics, distinguished on the whole, can be the subject of a future project.

At this juncture, it may be useful for readers to have a listing of names and dates of the 19 ministers and rectors of our parish and church, while they served in that capacity.

Ministers of Hamilton Parish (est. 1730)

  • The Rev. James Keith                                    1733-1751
  • The Rev. John Brunskill, Jr.                        1753-1757
  • The Rev. James Craig                                    1762-1800
  • The Rev. Charles O’Neil                                1800-1806

Rectors of Saint James’ Church (1816-present)

  • The Rev. George Lemmon                            1816-1846
  • The Rev. George Hatley Norton, D.D.        1846-1856
  • The Rev. Otto S. Barten                                 1859-1865
  • The Rev. James R. Hubbard, D.D.              1866-1871
  • The Rev. John S. Lindsay                              1871-1879
  • The Rev. George W. Nelson                          1880-1903
  • The Rev. William H. Laird                            1904-1908
  • The Rev. Edwin S. Hinks                               1908-1913
  • The Rev. William G. Pendleton                     1913-1920
  • The Rev. Paul D. Bowden                              1920-1963
  • The Rev. David J. Greer                                 1964-1980
  • The Rev. Prentice Kinser, III                          1981-1992
  • The Rev. P. Lawrence Murphy                      1997-2005
  • The Rev. C. Christian Pierce                          2007-2012
  • The Rev. Benjamin Wells Maas                    2013-present


Akayo Harriet Graduates Ugandan Christian University

AKAYO Harriet Grad Photo2 copy

Through our Soroti ministry here at Saint James’, Betty Gookin has sponsored Akayo Harriet, a Ugandan student, throughout her secondary and post-secondary studies. On July 3, she graduated from Ugandan Christian University with her masters’ degree, and has started a job as school headteacher.

She writes,

“Dear Mr and Mrs. Gookin, I am glad to say a word to you again. it is long when we last communicated. Sorry for taking that long.I was busy moving up and down for the teachers appointment letters and posting instructions from ministry of education and sports, thank God that we finally got them, so I am fully appointed and posted headteacher. We are now waiting to start earning salaries…”

Betty adds,

“I am so proud of Akayo Harriet’s achievement. It has been a long hard road for her over at least 10 or 12 years.  I have sponsored her from the beginning and actually “illegally” through this final masters degree which involved opening an account for her in Uganda, and not getting tax credit.

I hope it would encourage others to see what it means to sponsor a student. Harriet and I have become very close over the years … She is quite a remarkable girl and has helped [her] younger sisters along the way.”

Congratulations to Akayo Harriet on her many accomplishments! May God bless her on the road ahead.

Humans of Saint James’ | John Knouse

John at his home in Front Royal. The quilt behind him was given to him and his wife Amanda as a wedding present, and was signed by the guests at their wedding.

You may have heard of “Humans of New York,” a photoblog by photographer Brandon Stanton which has let us glimpse into the stories of ordinary New Yorkers.

At Saint James’, we believe that community is one of the most important functions of the church, and that by this we help promote and “respect the dignity of every human being” in the words of our baptismal covenant.

And thus follows this first post in our new series: Humans of Saint James’.

While it may not match the scope or sophistication of Stanton’s work, it is no less important – as we hear the stories of fellow parishioners, we are allowed to glimpse another piece of the story of Christ in the world, in Warrenton, in Saint James’, and in each of us.


Our first subject is John Knouse, the new director of Family Ministries at Saint James’. He comes to us from Trinity, Upperville, where he served for three years as families ministries director.

I sat down with John at his home in Front Royal, where he lives with his wife, Amanda, and their two children, Ruth and Caleb. (Amanda has served as rector of Emmanuel, Delaplane since 2012.)

John was born and raised in a Lutheran family in a small town in central Pennsylvania. His story in the Episcopal Church starts with the things he is still so passionate about today: family ministries, summer camp, ecumenicism, and, of course, his wife Amanda.

“I found the Episcopal Church my fourth summer on staff at a Lutheran summer church camp – I met this beautiful woman that was sent as part of an ecumenical program – the Lutheran camp was doing a partnership with the Episcopal Church. We had not-enough kids and a big camp and they had a lot of kids and no camp so we combined the two. I was the program director on the Lutheran side she was the program director on their side, and that’s when I became an Episcopalian.” (John was officially received into the Episcopal Church three years ago by Bishop Ted Gulick)

John is strongly grounded in the belief that the church’s ministry to families is the foundation of much of our mission. I asked him whether he missed the Lutheran Church of his youth, and his answer dealt less with any theological or historical differences between the two traditions than with how the church, no matter the denomination, needs to create a strong moral foundation for families and community.

“I love the similarities [between the Lutheran and Episcopal churches] … but maybe I just miss some of the people from my congregation growing up, the values and the different things … I think values have changed .. maybe i miss the old school values a l ittle bit – the very morally centered kind of religion we used to teach people at home – your morals affect other people and kind of centering your beliefs around that.”

“If we stopped labeling people and start loving people,” he said later, that would remove many of the obstacles in the church’s ministry.

And that’s the story he wants to continue to tell at Saint James.’ He sees his new role at Saint James’ as a continuation of his life’s work: “Just loving on kids, spreading the fact that each person – no matter if you’re eighty years old or eight years old – that you have a value to God … that nobody can tell you that you’re not anything. I hope that I never crush my child’s hopes at some point in [Ruth’s] life – and I’m sure I will, and I’m sure I will with Caleb – but I want to let them … know that you really can be anything that you want to be. And it does start at a young age, but really – if you believe in yourself , if you believe in God, and [so does] the community and especially the church that surrounds you – you really can be anything.”

John is confident in the Episcopal Church’s ability to fulfill this mission. “[The Episcopal Church is] start a great mix because we are a destination church – because we have gathered Roman Catholics, because we have gathered people from the Evangelical church and people from the Lutheran church. because it’s such a great destination church it’s kind of gotten some of the most interesting, well-educated, very emotional and exciting people … that’s a great gift we’ve been given in the Episcopal Church, and moving forward that is something that we can really utilize to grow and to reach out to a very diverse group.”

I asked him what he’s experienced in his short time at Saint James.’ “It’s been great!” he said, “…we have a really interesting, diverse group of people … We’ve have people who’ve had maybe really high-end corporate jobs and we have folks like … Chris Giglio … who’s a huge airline pilot who flies all over the world … and then you have people like … Norma Thatcher who has dedicated 25 years to teaching sunday school at Saint James’, who is absolutely in love with godly play … who tragically lost a child … they have so much to offer our church community through their stories. the fact that we have such an eclectic group of people plays into the whole diversity of the Episcopal Church.”

“I know the school’s hoping to expand and potentially build an addition and grow a little bit which will hopefully – along with expanding the school and growing the school, which will be incredible – will also give [the church] the space back to increase their Sunday school programs and utilize the space that was used by the church [in previous years] …If [in] the next five years, the school was able to expand, the church would be able to expand as well”

“[My time here has been] refreshing to me – I spent three years in a church and I loved my time there, but this has been – in a short period of time I’ve been here – very exciting. There’s a lot going on and I’m just really excited to be a part of it …. Now people are walking up to me and introducing themselves to me on Sunday morning saying ‘I’ve never volunteered’ or ‘I used to volunteer and i want todo it again’ … it’s been really good and I’ve been excited about it”

John can be reached at john@saintjameswarrenton.org.

Rev. Lyn’s Sermon – August 9, 2015

Rev. Lyn discussed the 6th chapter of John’s Gospel, the absolute sufficiency of Jesus’ as spiritual bread, and our responsibility as Christians as we await Christ’s second coming into the world.

Community Pool Party


Come one, come all!

The youth programs from our surrounding community will be hosting a night of food, fellowship, and swimming.

All youth 6th-12th grade are invited to join us on August 22nd from 8-11pm at Chestnut Forks swimming pool.

Questions? Email Dorothy Smith.

Join the choir this Sunday!


This Sunday, August 23, is the last installment of our “Join the Choir” program this summer.

Always thought it would be fun to sing in the choir? Now you can! Just show up on Sunday morning at 9:15, and Jesse will get you set up.

We’ll be singing “Be Thou My Vision” this Sunday. Click here to listen.

Questions? Email Jesse.

History of Saint James’: Hamilton Parish


Lord Hamilton
Lord George Hamilton, handsome fellow

On the outside front wall of the church is a sign that reads, “St. James’ Episcopal Church, Hamilton Parish, Established 1730.”

Our Parish of Hamilton was established by an Act of the Virginia Assembly 285 years ago.  It was named for Lord George Hamilton (1666-1751) who had distinguished himself in battle and was made Governor of Virginia by King William III.  Although appointed in 1698, apparently he never visited the colony.

At its beginning, Hamilton Parish covered a vast area, including the present counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, and Fauquier.  Over time, other parishes were formed from Hamilton and it was reduced in size.  Today, the Parish encompasses about 140 square miles in central Fauquier

Earliest Original Document – Hamilton Parish In the library of the Theological Seminary at Alexandria, there is a leaf bound in the front of the vestry book of Dettingen Parish which appears to have been taken from the Hamilton Parish Register of 1748-49.  Its two pages contain the signatures of vestrymen of Hamilton Parish who affirm, as follows:

“I do declare that I do believe there is not any Transubstantiation in the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper or in the Elements of bread and wine at or after the consecration thereof by any person whatsoever.  (signatures follow)….”

This fragment, believed to be the earliest Parish document extant, dates from the time of the first Minister of Hamilton Parish, the Rev. James Keith (1733-1751).

History of Saint James’: The Baptismal Scallop Shell

Baptismal shell

The rite of Holy Baptism is administered at Saint James’ Church using the symbol associated with Saint James himself – the scallop shell.  Parishioners have witnessed the celebrant use the shell in dipping water from the font, and baptizing the candidate therewith – the culmination of this ancient ceremony.

On these occasions at Saint James’ Church, the celebrant uses a beautiful shell made of silver and having a cross engraved on the small handle.  The shell was a gift in 1952 from Mrs. Samuel Spencer Hall, Jr. (known as Pearl) in memory of her son and only child, Samuel Spencer Hall III, tragically killed in action in Korea on September 27, 1952, at age 23.  He had been baptized, confirmed and was a communicant at Saint James’.  He was buried in Warrenton Cemetery on November 28, 1952. Young Sam had married Anne Benney the year before his death; he and his wife had a baby girl, Jeanne Hambleton Hall, born August 30, 1952.  Sam knew of his daughter’s birth – a month before he died.

The late Anne Brooke Smith, life-long faithful member of Saint James’ Church, and its historian, wrote in January 1999, “I was assistant to Mrs. Hall that year (1952) in her nursery-kindergarten class in Sunday School.  I can see Mrs. Hall holding the scallop shell up and explaining to the children what it was and how it would be used in baptism scooping the water up to be poured over the head.  I think it was used first when her granddaughter was baptized.” – on January 4, 1953

Softball Wrap-Up


Thanks to everyone that made it out to the field last night.  Glad that the rain held off as long as it did so that we could play at least one game – then the deluge!

For the history books, the scores were:

Game #1 – St James 17 – Fauquier Comm Child Care 0

Game #2 – Called due to lightning / rain (although St James was ahead at the time  :)

This means that for the first time in several years, St James Episcopal Church ended the season with a WINNING RECORD (3-2)CONGRATS – You are part of the history books!

We were so happy to see some additional new faces join us for last night’s games!  Hailey Place, Maddie Carter, and Joe Irvin all had big hits for us and kept our team moving on the bases.  How about those slides into second by Sam Borgstrom and Brittany Cooper (including taking the shortstop out of that play)?  That’s dedicated!  And a second home run of the season for Jason Cooper – imagine how many he might get with a full season of play?

Your defense made the job for our pitching staff of Mike Lillard and myself easy, keeping most batters to one base at most.  We even had back-to-back innings of 3 pitches / 3 outs before we had to call the games due to the weather.  Wonder how many more innings we could have kept that streak alive if the lightning and rain hadn’t showed up?

Plenty of hits and runs from all corners of our roster – glad to see those bats come alive for so many of our players, even if it was at the end of the season.

Alas, our brief season is coming to a close, as we could not get enough players committed to games on Sunday afternoon due to vacations, injuries, and other commitments.  We can see that the commitment is renewed from our group and others to work on a fledgling ‘league’ for next summer that would allow us a few more games.  More information to follow on that next spring.

Thank you to everyone who joined us on the field this season as well as those that watched us play – we had more than 30 players between our few double headers which was quite a feat!  I’m going to miss thanking a few of you since there were so many, but know that we valued the play, sportsmanship, and fellowship from each and every one of you for the few games we had!

Special thanks to the field crew (Brett Nungesser, Eric Cox, Dorothy Smith, Jeff Loving, Zach and Nate Borgstrom, and others missed) who helped prepare the field, set up bases, and pick them back up again each night!

Coy Ferrell – thanks for the pictures and getting only our ‘good sides’ for Facebook and Instagram!

Can’t forget faithful scorekeeper Sabrina Borgstrom, who has been keeping score for us for several years!

And to my lovely co-captain / co-coach / co-everything Debbi Borgstrom – thanks for keeping us on track and sane this season!

Players – rest up and enjoy the rest of your summer!

PS – Spring Training starts in 192 days!

History of Saint James’: Warrenton’s First Churches

Journalist M. Louise Evans and Warrenton’s First Churches (II)

In an earlier church bulletin (Sunday, March 8, 2015) excerpts from an article by long-time parishioner and journalist Louise Evans appeared.  The article, originally published in The Fauquier Democrat in 1950, dwelt on her close attachment to Saint James’ Church.  The following year, on June 21, 1951, she wrote an informative piece on Warrenton’s first churches, excerpted below:

…the first church edifices in Warrenton were exceedingly primitive and not one of them is now standing,  The old Methodist Church stood northwest of Ullman’s (department store), on the corner of Lee and Fourth Streets, and it was built of wood, unplastered and whitewashed, within and without.

The oldest Episcopal Church in this community was called the Turkey Run Church (built in 1755 about a mile south of Warrenton.  The early settlers were moving farther into the interior; the church was a large frame building erected to serve the growing crossroads settlement, soon to be known as Fauquier Court House, then Warrenton).  There is nothing there to mark the site…with the exception of a few old graves.  They say in 1814 Bishop Moore confirmed a class of over fifty candidates there.   The next Episcopal Church stood upon the site occupied (today by the First Baptist Church just below the court house)….  In those days the pastor, Mr. Lemmon, walked from the rectory to the church in his robes, according to a good old custom.

The original Presbyterian Church stood at the end of Main Street… and this structure was small and probably rather unsubstantial as it was carried away by a cyclone which swept that part of Warrenton in 1855.

…the Catholic Church was built in 1859 (still standing on Lee Street and now converted for commercial use) but was not entirely completed until after the Civil War.

The Baptists were the last to build and their first brick church stood on the site of the present large edifice.  During the Civil War all the churches, the Episcopal excepted  (by then on Culpeper Street), were used by the Union army for hospitals.  The Episcopal Church was left unharmed because of its Gothic architecture which made it unsuitable for a hospital, and it was used as a place of public worship by all denominations.  The Presbyterian Church was even used as a stable, the horses being kept in the basement and the hay thrown down through holes in the floor of the auditorium.  In 1908 the U.S. Court of Claims awarded these churches damages to the amount of about half the loss sustained.

African-American churches were established after the Civil War.  The First Baptist Church was the first in Warrenton.