985 Huguenot Trail
After suffering 150 years of persecution for their religious beliefs in France, it was
important to the Huguenots to establish their own Protestant church as soon as
possible after arrival in Virginia. And so that very first year they established a church
in the new King William Parish.
Led by the Reverend Benjamin de Joux, a minister ordained by the Bishop of
London, they built a small octagonal building, probably located near the river
between Bernard's Creek and Norwood Creek. In 1710, a new and probably better
church was built. The last regular minister of Huguenot descent was Jean Cairon,
from 1711-1716. Neighboring ministers served the church, bringing it closer to the
Church of England, and English was used more frequently in the church.
Then by 1730 the colonists had moved out of their village at Manakintowne and were
settled on farms. They decided to build another church at a more central location at
the junction of River Road and the Ferry Road at the cost of 21,600 pounds of
tobacco. This building served the members well for 165 years, but in 1895 the
congregation decided to build again.