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 Colonial Presbyterian Church

Roanoke, VA

Symbols from History

In our church

On the pulpit is the symbol for Chi Rho. These are the first two letters of the name of "Christ".

Entering into our sanctuary, notice the wood of our doors. They have the following Greek letters:

             IC XC NIKA

I - first letter of Greek name for Jesus

C - Romanized "s" - the last letter in Jesus

X - first letter in the name of Christ

C - "s"

NIKA is a Greek word translated "conquer" and this form is the second person singular imperative, meaning as in a command "do thou conquer", or "conquer thou". So as we enter worship, our sanctuary doors are asking us to say:

"Jesus Christ, conquer thou me!"


A brief history of Colonial Presbyterian

The history of Colonial Presbyterian had its early beginnings in October, 1955, when the dream of some spiritually-minded and forward-looking people of Montgomery Presbyterian started a campaign through the Home Missions Committee of presbytery to raise $200,000 for the purchase of lots and the beginning of new churches within its bounds. Colonial was one of those, the others being Green Ridge and Covenant. Dr. Bernard Bain was commissioned by presbytery in 1956 to begin in these three churches. Our presbytery has always been of tremendous help in the life of our church, and in these early days of searching for sites, they provided approximately $40,000 for the site and initial building outlay. In addition, another $10,000 was donated from second Presbyterian Church in Roanoke.

Below shows groundbreaking ceremonies, November 2, 1958. Pictured left to right are the Reverend D.K.Hammond, Rev. Robert F. Field (pastor), Rev J.L.Cappock (West End church), Rev. A.Hayden Hollingworth, and W.A.Trolan Jr. (Elder, Second Church Roanoke).

Pastor Emeritus Harry Christie

First worship service, and later interim

The Church school first met in October of 1956 in what later became the manse at 3663 Colonial Avenue. In November, the Rev. Harry B. Christie, Jr. conducted the first worship service in the manse. He was later honored as Pastor Emeritus for our congregation, after returning to our pulpit to serve our congregation as an interim pastor, more than 40 years after his earlier ministry for us.

In January of 1957, the Revered Robert F. Field became the first pastor of Colonial, and the group began meeting in the Cave Spring High School (now the Junior High School). The church was officially organized by a commission from Montgomery Presbytery on May 5, 1957. There were thirty-five charter members.

In 1959, on Maundy Thursday, the first building was occupied and became a multipurpose building used for worship, classrooms, and fellowship activities. In 1963, Mr. Field accepted a call to the Bedford Presbyterian Church.

In January of 1964 the congregation called as pastor, H. Fleet Powell, Jr. who was an Associate Pastor at the First Baptist Church of Lenoir, North Carolina. He arrived on the job in March of 1964.

In 1965 and 66 an in-depth study of our needs was begun. Our church was growing and the fellowship hall was beginning to be too crowded. It was decided to build a sanctuary and pledges were received toward the retaining of an architect. The Sanctuary was occupied on Maundy Thursday of 1968.

Reverend Fleet Powell "retired" from our church at the end of January, 1991. He was later honored as Pastor Emeritus for our congregation (actually preceding Harry Christie in the honor). Fleed passed away on August 17, 1998.

In 1974 Colonial hired Mrs. Claire Neighbor to be our first Director of Christian Education (DCE). Mrs. Neighbor served our church well for fourteen years. In 1988 Mrs. Carol McFarland became the Christian Education Coordinator and carried on the hard-working precedent set by Mrs. Neighbor, until her retirement in the Fall of 2003. In January of 2004, we were blessed to have Mrs. Terri Luzynski join our staff as Christian Education Coordinator.

The Rev. Bill Cole came to us as an extremely hard-working interim pastor, serving from Feb. 1, 1991, until July 31, 1991. He also worked as church custodian during this time. Dr. George Bowers filled in during the months of August and September 1991. During this time, a Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) discovered and called Dr. Michael Nevling, who started with us on October 6, 1991. He came to us from Edgewood Presbyterian church in Sanford, North Carolina.

The Rev. Nevling accepted a call to Middleton Presbyterian Church in Media, Pennsylvania, in 1999. Our church began the search for a new pastor with a PNC who, in December 2000, brought to us the Rev. Dr. Parrish Jones. Dr. Jones served as our pastor until August 2002, at which time the Rev. Harry Christie once again stepped in and served as our interim pastor. A newly elected PNC began the search for a new pastor.

The Rev. Brent T. Williams became our new (and current) pastor in August 2003. Brent, who was an intern here in 1986-87, came back to us with his wife Melissa and son Liam, coming from Falling Spring Presbyterian Church in Hot Springs, Virginia.