Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill was established in 1941 by the Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS). The Very Rev. Alexander C. Zabriskie, then Dean of VTS, served as the first rector. The Rev. Robert F. Gibson, Professor of Church History (and later Bishop of Virginia) served as Priest-in-Charge. Services were held in the historic Immanuel Chapel on the seminary campus.
In 1946, the Seminary gave a parcel of land to the parish for the purpose of building a rectory and a parish hall, which were completed in 1948. In 1958, a smaller chapel, named in honor of Dean Zabriskie, was dedicated at this site to accommodate a 9:00 a.m. Sunday service.
The Zabriskie chapel and parish hall were renovated in 1992, and a new Mander organ was installed in June, 1994.
From 1948 to 2010, Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill conducted services in both the Immanuel Chapel and the Zabriskie Chapel. Immanual Chapel was destroyed by fire on Oct. 22, 2010. Upon completion of the new Immanuel Chapel in 2015, services are once again being held both in Zabriskie Chapel and on the VTS campus.
The parish bylaws were approved by the Vestry on August 14, 2018.
Click here to read and/or download the parish bylaws.
The need to adopt parish by-laws arose when Immanuel attempted to get circuit court approval to replace the trustees for parish property. The court would not approve new trustees without a copy of the parish by-laws. The Vestry created a by-laws committee ably led by Sara Fein. The members included the Rev. Randy Alexander, Candy Levin, Ken McDonald, Doug Onley, and Jim Snow. The committee identified canonical and diocesan requirements for member parishes, reviewed by-laws of other parishes, drafted proposed by-laws, and edited the draft for consistency and clarity. The by-laws are designed to be useful governing guidance to the Parish, the Vestry and executive committee. They can be amended by a super-majority vote of the Vestry.
John O. Walker, Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill: Origin and Early Years -- 1936-48 (1966)
Duncan B. MacDonald, Immanuel: In Interesting Times (2d ed. 1995)