Roanoke church celebrating 125 years


ROANOKE, Va. – St. John's Episcopal Church is celebrating 125 years on the corner of Jefferson Street and Elm Avenue located in downtown Roanoke.

To commemorate the quasquicentennial anniversary, St. John's will host a program about the church's history at 9 a.m., with a family-style lunch to follow after the 10 a.m. service on Sunday. A second conversation on the future of the church will take place on Dec. 17 at 9 a.m.

St. John's is the home to Total Action for Progress's Head Start and the Community Youth Program, both of which care for low-income and at-risk young people. The church has also partnered with nonprofits, including Family Promise of Greater Roanoke and Kimoyo, a ministry in Ghana with Kingdom Life Ministries and a weekly aid program called TRUE, or Temporary Relief of Unexpected Emergencies.

"We're working to be a constant presence and a force for good," said Rev. Eric Long, who has been with St. John's since 2014. "There's a way of being faithful without getting in the food fights. I love the fact that we are a downtown church, in the heart of the city, that this place is a living and breathing incarnation of faith."