On Friday, November 18, 2016 a service was held in the VTS cemetery to celebrate the dedication of the Minnigerode Memorial Arch plaque. The plaque was donated by Minnigerode descendants Sherry Hulfish Browne, Thomas A. Hulfish III, and the Rev. Eve Butler-Gee (’11). Service officiants were the Rev. J. Barney Hawkins IV, Ph.D. and the Rev. Eve Butler-Gee.
The plaque provides historical context for the cemetery’s wrought-iron “peacock” arch created in memory of The Rev. Charles Minnigerode. The text of the plaque is below:
This wrought-iron arch was dedicated on Easter Eve, April 11, 1925,as the centerpiece of a more elaborate gateway at the north entrance to the Virginia Theological Seminary on Quaker Lane. The arch was commissioned by Marietta Minnigerode Andrews, granddaughter of The Reverend Charles Minnigerode (1814-1894), Rector Emeritus of St. Paul’s Church, Richmond, Va., and a member of the VTS Examining Board. Her son, Eliphalet Andrews, Jr., designed and partially crafted the arch – originally one continuous piece of metal without a single rivet or bolt – in memory of his great grandfather. Minnigerode emigrated from Germany in 1839. He became Professor of Humanities at the College of William & Mary in 1842. In Williamsburg that year he introduced the first documented Christmas tree in Virginia. He was ordained to the Episcopal priesthood in 1847 and served two Virginia parishes before accepting a call in 1856 to St. Paul's, Richmond, where he remained for 33 years. During his tenure at St. Paul's, he witnessed the challenges of the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the rise of the New South. In 1889 he resigned due to failing health and moved to Alexandria where he died five years later. His grave is at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond.
If you have never visited the VTS Cemetery, I recommend that you do. It is a small, quiet cemetery, the final resting place for many faculty and family members of faculty who served this community. It is a lovely place to enjoy the peaceful fall and bear witness to some of the saints of VTS.
The Rev. Melody D. Knowles, Ph.D. is the Acting Dean and President and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Old Testament