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Our History

The history of Emmanuel Episcopal Church begins in 1908

In 1908, G.P. Christian and J. H. Gibbony, two students at the Virginia Theological Seminary, organized a Sunday School for children in the Braddock Heights area of Alexandria. 

In 1910, a chapel was built as the Braddock Heights Episcopal Mission. During the 1911 Christmas holidays, the two seminarians serving at the mission decided to name the church "Emmanuel" after the Virginia Theological Seminary Chapel. In 1922, Emmanuel Epsicopal Church acquired independent status with the Rev. Samuel A. Wallis.

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In 1944, the then Rector of Emmanuel, Rev. Mr. Tate, founded the Episcopal School, St. Stephen’s School for Boys. Throughout its history, Emmanuel has maintained a close relationship with the Virginia Theological Seminary, as well as St. Stephen's (now known as St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes). 


In 1968, Emmanuel established the Emmanuel Episcopal Preschool. Emmanuel's Preschool is located within Emmanuel and serves children aged two through five years old.


In 2002, under the leadership of the Rev. Daniel W. Eckman, Jr., Emmanuel underwent an extensive $2 million building renovation of the entire complex including the sacristy, the memorial room, the parish hall and Emmanuel Preschool.


In 2013, Emmanuel called the Rev. Charles C. McCoart, Jr to be rector. Under his leadership the parish has grown in membership and our ministries have thrived and diversified; strengthening our commitment to love and serve our brothers and sisters in Christ in this community of faith and beyond.

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