Our History


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During the ministry of the Rev. John A. Baden, rector of Christ Church, Winchester and later Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese of Virginia, a new concept of parish ministry that called for the building of mission churches under the supervision of a founding church was established.  Christ Church, Winchester was the founding church for St. Paul’s on-the-Hill, and on June 26, 1966, the Rt. Rev. Samuel B. Chilton broke ground and construction began in Frederick County, Virginia adjacent to the City of Winchester. On February 19, 1967, St. Paul’s on the Hill was consecrated by the Rt. Rev. Robert B. Hall, Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of Virginia “to the glory of God for the use of His Holy Church.”

Duringthe 1970’s St. Paul’s depended on Christ Church for spiritual guidance and financial support.  Assistant Rectors of Christ Church also served as Vicar of St. Paul’s on the Hill.  In April 1982, Christ Church passed resolutions allowing St. Paul’s on the Hill to proceed towards parochial status, including calling and maintaining our own Vicar.  The Rev. Michael Mohn was called as the first full-time Vicar at St. Paul’s on the Hill.

St. Paul’s on-the-Hill became an independent church with the blessings of its sponsor, Christ Church, at the Diocesan Council, January 28, 1995 during the meeting of the 200th Diocesan Council of the Diocese of Virginia presided over by the Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee.  The transfer of title from Christ Church to the trustees of St. Paul’s on the Hill was approved at a congregational meeting of Christ Church on March 12, 1995, and the first Vicar of St. Paul’s became the church’s first Rector.

Following the ministry of the Rev. Michael Mohn, St. Paul’s on the Hill was served by the Rev. S. Neale Morgan 1998-1999,  the Rev. David Wayland, and the Rev. G. Edward Dunlap.  In 2003, the Rev. Dr. Hilary B. Smith was called first as Priest in Charge and then served as Rector from 2006-2012.  The Rev. Dr. Ellen Richardson served as Interim Priest in 2013. The Rev. Susan S. MacDonald was called as Priest-in-Charge in January 2014.