Incarnation's history

By the Summer of 2010 a group of people from the Harrisonburg area had begun to gather around a growing sense of a common mission: a church characterized by, among other things, relationships, simplicity, participation, mission, worship, service, prayer, and faith. Around this time, Dan Claire (Rector, Church of the Resurrection in Washington, D.C.) and his leadership team had begun to help plant us as an Anglican church. Over the summer, we worked to build community through service projects, parties, and worship services.

On October 2, 2010, Aubrey Spears and his family moved to Harrisonburg in order to join us with Aubrey serving as our pastor. At this time, we began to meet in the Spears' home every Sunday for worship and a meal as we continued to build existing relationships and to form new ones.

On February 20, 2011, having outgrown the Spears' house, we moved our worship services into the old Madison Mortgages building (on East Market Street—directly across from Burger King, next to Urban Exchange).

On June 14, 2012, having outgrown the old Madison Mortgages building, we purchased the old Auto Parts, Inc. building at 292 N. Liberty Street. On January 13, 2013, we began to worship our God and serve our community from this wonderful location. We planted Church of the Lamb in east Rockingham.

2015–2016: We began our children’s ministry, and finished our second building renovation. We assisted in planting Church of the Holy Cross in Crozet, and launched an Arabic-speaking congregation within our church.

2017–2018: We discerned that God was calling us to change an aspect of our mission. While we are still focused on being a healthy church deeply rooted in our city place, we will no longer work to remain small. To that end, we added a second worship service.

2019: Our growth into a medium-sized church drove significant changes to our building and staff. We purchased the Carter Bank Building. We received a $300,000 grant to expand our curacy program. We began exploring a partnership with our Arabic-speaking congregation, Bishop Andudu, and the Anglican Diocese of Kadugli in Sudan.

2020: We started Pax Dei for Nuba, an independent 501(c)3 institution in order to support the restoration of a thriving society in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan following decades of ethnically motivated persecution and genocide. We planted Restoration Anglican Church in Staunton. We raised $2,950,000 towards the purchase and renovation of our current building.

2021: We navigated life in the pandemic— sometimes worshipping outside, sometimes worshipping inside with social distancing, sometimes suspending all in-person gatherings. We launched Arts Incarnate to pursue “Beauty, Truth, and Justice through the Arts.” We also launched a deacons ministry to extend our efforts to care for those with needs in our church and in our community.

2022: On March 24, we moved into this amazing new church home.