History 1851-1900

Victorian redecoration


  • Coal furnace installed in basement requiring major structural changes

July 17, 1853

  • Robert E. Lee and two of his daughters confirmed at Christ Church


  • Old Parish Hall (Meade Room) constructed


  • The Rev. Cornelius Walker, Rector 

April 12, 1861

  • Civil War begins

April 21, 1861

  • Robert E. Lee, having resigned his commission from the U.S. Army, attends the Sunday morning service

May 24, 1861

  • Following Virginia’s vote of secession, federal troops cross the Potomac and occupy Alexandria


  • During the summer, Christ Church vestry leases the church to U.S. Army Gen. William Redding Montgomery, federal military governor of Alexandria, for religious services. Union chaplains and clergy move into the parsonage and conduct services throughout the war

January 1, 1863

  • Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln


  • Christ Church vestry requests the church's return from Brig. Gen. John P. Slough, second military governor of Alexandria, who refuses

April 9, 1865

  • Civil War ends

June 2, 1866

  • Christ Church, its interior intact, is restored to its parishioners


  • The Rt. Rev. John Johns, Bishop of Virginia, negotiates merger of the old and new congregations


  • The Rev. Alfred McGill Randolph, Rector
  • Victorian redecoration of Christ Church commenced
  • A short-lived parish school established that lasted until the mid 1870s


  • The Rev. Randolph Harrison McKim, Rector – period of great growth in size of Christ Church congregation


  • A “Mother’s Mission” to poor women organized, first recorded Mission organization


  • Mission which became Meade Memorial established

May 22, 1870

  • Meade Memorial Chapel consecrated from Mission


  • A Brotherhood established for ministry to poor men


  • Tablets placed in Christ Church in honor of George Washington and Robert E. Lee
  • Ladies Missionary Society established


  • The National Woman’s Auxiliary to the Board of Missions was established, and Missionary Societies were organized throughout Virginia by Sallie Stuart and others.  Building on this, the National Woman’s Auxiliary was formed. Sallie Stuart was born in 1835 and is buried at Wilkes St. when she died in 1916


  • Meade chapel "assigned to the colored people and white members of Meadeabsorbed by Christ Church

February 27, 1873

  • Christ Church celebrated its centennial


  • Proposal to enlarge the Christ Church sanctuary is voted down by the congregation


  • The Rev. William Meade Dame, Rector


  • The Rev. Henderson Suter, Rector

December 24, 1879

  • Bodies of 24 Confederate States Army soldiers in Alexandria National Cemetery re-interred in the Christ Church churchyard


  • Third organ installed


  • Christ Church women participate in establishment of the Virginia Diocesan Branch of the Woman’s Auxiliary, which later became Episcopal Church Women


  • Restoration of Christ Church in colonial style


  • The first known Christ Church parish newsletter, The Monthly Reminder, commenced at Christ Church


  • The Rev. Berryman Green, Rector


  • Fee for tourist visitation to Church commenced to protect it from vandalism and a turnstile was installed at the Columbus St. gate