History of the Church of the Epiphany

Church of the Epiphany is located in the historic district of Lafayette-Winona in Norfolk, Virginia.  The neighborhood was one of the first suburbs of Norfolk and was built along the trolley line. 

The Church of the Epiphany was founded as a parochial mission of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, built in 1873 at the corner of Granby Street and Brambleton Avenue, now the site of the Federal Courthouse.

Epiphany’s sanctuary was built in 1920.  The Church architecture fits in well with the Arts and Crafts Bungalows, American Four Square and the occasional Victorian that contribute to the historic feel of the Lafayette Winona neighborhood.  The exterior features period style stucco and large brick pier columns which anchor the corners and midpoint of the Sanctuary.  The interior features unfinished brick walls with a massive beamed ceiling.  In 1921, St. Luke’s Church was struck by lightning and burned to the ground.  Some of the pews, the choir stalls, pulpit and altar were salvaged from the ruins of the fire and sent to Epiphany.  They are still in use, and fire damage can still be seen on most of the pews.

The style of the interior of the Sanctuary is very eclectic.  It has aged well! In the mid 1960’s, the stained glass windows were added.  Their vivid reds and blues contrast beautifully with the raw interior brick.  The Sanctuary is actually a square room.  It has a maximum seating capacity of 200 with added chairs.  The Chancel was a later modification, and one can see where the bricks were patched to create the chancel. 

The original Parish House was condemned and rebuilt in 1955.  In the late 1990’s there was a major renovation of the Parish House adding a Bell Tower, elevator, new entrances, new kitchen, and making the building fully accessible.       

In 1964, a 4 rank Wicks Pipe Organ was installed.  In 1996 an additional 4 ranks of pipes were added by Temple Organ, and the instrument was reconfigured into 2 divisions:  an exposed Great in an upper level and an enclosed Swell at the lower level.  In 2006, a Zimbelstern was added in memory of The Rev. Alfred G. Wray.  In 2007, four electronic stops were added to the Pedal division.  Numerous extensions and borrowings increase the usefulness of these few ranks, so that the traditional literature of English, French, German and American composers can be performed. 

The organ is maintained by Otto Pebworth of Harrisonburg, VA.

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