Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia Records
Scope and Content
The records of the Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia consist of administrative records, including incoming (often from parishioners) and outgoing correspondence, with a scattering of newspaper clippings, photographs, building plans and surveys, pamphlets, financial records, and meeting minutes, from the central administrative office in Roanoke and the churches within the Diocese. Many of these materials belonged to the Bishop and his office, including Bishops R. C. Jett, H. D. Phillips, William H. Marmion, and A. Heath Light.
- 1866 - 2004
- Majority of material found within ( 1919-1969)
- Episcopal Church. Diocese of Southern Virginia (Organization)
- Episcopal Church. Diocese of Southwestern Virginia (Organization)
- Jett, Robert C. (Robert Carter), 1865-1950 (Person)
- Light, A. Heath (Arthur Heath), 1929- (Person)
- Marmion, William H. (William Henry), 1907-2002 (Person)
- Phillips, Henry D. (Henry Disbrow), 1882-1955 (Person)
Language of Materials
The materials in the collection are in English.
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research, except for Folder 1, which is restricted for 75 years from date of creation.
Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use
The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials.
Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: http://bit.ly/scuareproduction. Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: http://bit.ly/scuapublication. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives (email@example.com or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.
The Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia was originally formed from the Diocese of Virginia, which was organized in 1795 and included the area that is now the states of Virginia and West Virginia. West Virginia achieved its statehood in 1863, and split from the Diocese in 1877. In 1892 the Diocese of Southern Virginia was formed, and in 1919 the western part of the diocese split off to form the Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia.
Robert Carter Jett, D.D. (1865-1950), of the Virginia Episcopal School, was consecrated Bishop of the Diocese in March 1920. He selected Roanoke as the headquarters, and St. John's for his parish church. Bishop Jett established a diocesan newsletter, encouraged interdenominational cooperation among the Protestant sects, and oversaw a program of church construction and the growth of mission schools.
In 1938 Bishop Jett retired and Henry Disbrow Phillips (1882-1955) assumed the duties of Bishop of the Diocese. Under Phillips' leadership, the Diocese continued to expand in parishioners and influence, most notably in the growth in the Diocese's function in education.
William Henry Marmion, D.D. (1907-2002), became the third Bishop of Southwestern Virginia in May 1954, and led the Diocese through an era of social upheaval in the 1960s. Bishop Marmion was strongly against racial segregation, and was confronted with the problem of challenging the long-held beliefs of many of his parishioners while integrating Black people into the church at the same time. The 1960s and 1970s also saw women pushing for a higher status in society, and the Diocese saw women increasingly become part of the church leadership as lay readers, deacons, and priests. Bishop Marmion also guided his parish into accepting the revisions of the Book of Common Prayer.
Bishop Marmion retired in 1979, and A. Heath Light (b. 1929) assumed leadership that same year until 1996. Bishop F. Neff Powell served from 1996 to 2013, when Mark Bourlakas assumed the bishopric.
For more information on the early history of the Diocese, see Hills of the Lord: the Background of the Episcopal Church in Southwestern Virginia, 1738-1938 by Katherine L. Brown (Roanoke : Diocese of Southwestern Virginia, 1979; call number BX5917.V8 B67 1979).
148.3 Cubic Feet (109 boxes, 1 folder)
The Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia Records consist of the Diocese's administrative records, including incoming (often from parishioners) and outgoing correspondence, with a scattering of newspaper clippings, photographs, building plans and surveys, pamphlets, and meeting minutes, from the central administrative office in Roanoke and the churches within the Diocese.
The collection is arranged into the following series:
Series I. Chronological subject files, 1905-2004 (bulk 1919-1969), is organized chronologically with single dates followed by date ranges (e.g., 1937, 1937-1938, 1938, 1938-1939).
Within each date and date range, the files are typically arranged by assigned number codes, which are in parentheses at the end of folder titles. Folders without a number code are listed first, in rough alphabetical order, followed by numbered folders in ascending numerical order.
The number codes represent the system used in the Bishop's office. That numbering system is organized first with Episcopal parishes and churches listed alphabetically, followed by subjects. Not every year has materials from each parish or subject.
Series II. Alphabetical subject files, 1923-1968, (bulk 1950-1968), is arranged in rough alphabetical order, divided based on the original dividers used by the Diocese, which remain in the collection. The series includes files of Rev. James C. Walsh and others. A large portion of materials relate to the Department of Christian Education.
Series III. Records of individuals or organizations, 1913-1969, is divided by creator.
- Subseries A. Robert B. Claytor files, 1956, 1969, is arranged chronologically. Claytor was chair of the 1956 Episcopal Census Committee, whose records dominate this subseries.
- Subseries B. Women's Auxiliary Records, 1913-1955, is predominately in original order.
- Subseries C. Stuart Hall, 1929-1953, is arranged in chronological order, which one subgroup in original order.
- Subseries D. St. Peter's-in-the-Mountains and St. John's-in-the-Mountains, 1914-1966, are in original order, with some materials grouped together under original titles and divisions. These materials are mostly financial records.
- Subseries E. Standing and Steering Committees, 1919-1956, are in original order, with some materials grouped together under original titles and divisions.
Series IV. Record books, 1866-1973, are primarily bound volumes of financial accounts and recordings of church activities. The series is divided by format into five subseries
- Subseries A. Daily Cash Books, 1930-1963, is arranged chronologically.
- Subseries B. Rector's Monthly Reports, 1940-1948, is arranged chronologically.
- Subseries C. Special Accounts, 1942-1961, is arranged chronologically.
- Subseries D. Ledgers, 1919-1955, is arranged chronologically.
- Subseries E. Secretary's and Treasurer's Books, 1866-1900, 1913-1921, is arranged chronologically.
- Subseries F. Convocation Minutes, 1907-1915, -1942, is arranged chronologically.
- Subseries G. Parish and Church Registers, 1873-1973, is arranged chronologically.
Series V. Photographic materials, [ca. 1910s-1920s], is divided by format and arranged chronologically.
Please note: This collection is in off-site storage and requires 2-3 days notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives for more information.
Source of Acquisition
The records were permanently deposited to Special Collections and University Archives by the Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia in 1985. A small initial deposit was made in 1976, and additional materials were received from 1989 thru 1992. Some materials were accessioned in 2012 and 2017.
Duplicates and blank pages were weeded. Withholding tax records were shredded to protect personally identifiable information, including social security numbers, of employees. Salaries without names are available in budgets elsewhere in collection. IRS instructions were weeded, as information is available elsewhere and not specific to the Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia.
Existence and Location of Copies
Some of this collection has been digitized and is available online.
The following publications were separated to the Rare Book Collection:
Franklin County Virginia, compiled and edited by J. G. Claiborne, Lynchburg, Va., Supplement to the County News, Rocky Mount, Virginia, 1926.
Annual Report of the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia and Journal of the Proceeedings of the Annual Council, 1988 (69th Annual Council), 1991 (72nd Annual Council)-1998 (70th Annual Council). Call number BX5918.S922 A3.
Rights Statement for Archival Description
The guide to the Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia Records by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/).
The processing, arrangement, and description of the Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia Records was completed in November 1988. Small additions were integrated with additional description created in 1989-1992. Description was further updated in 2020-2021, including identified chronological subdivisions.
The processing, arrangement, and description for additions from 1990-2017 (Boxes 94-109) was completed in 2022-2023. Series and subseries were created at this time. Within these boxes, titles within brackets  were created by archivists.
- Folder title: 230-b - Withholding Tax - 1945 Date: 1945-1955 Size: 0.1 cf (1 folder)
- Teacher applications for Virginia Episcopal Seminary, 1982 from folder: VES--Trustees '82, 1981-1982 Size: 0.1 cf (2 documents)
- Episcopal Church. Diocese of Southern Virginia
- Episcopal Church. Diocese of Southwestern Virginia
- Episcopal Church. Diocese of Southwestern Virginia. Standing Committee
- Jett, Robert C. (Robert Carter), 1865-1950
- Light, A. Heath (Arthur Heath), 1929-
- Local/Regional History and Appalachian South
- Marmion, William H. (William Henry), 1907-2002
- Phillips, Henry D. (Henry Disbrow), 1882-1955
- Virginia, Southwest
- Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia Records, 1866-2004 (bulk 1919-1969)
- Elizabeth Paradine, Student Assistant; Laura Katz Smith, Manuscripts Curator; and LM Rozema, Archivist
- 2023 (CC0 1.0)
- Language of description
- Script of description
- The original 2001 web version of the finding aid was funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
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