You Can Make a Difference
Numerous individual donors have contributed to our annual campaign over the years. Our friends at the Lincoln Preservation Foundation received donations on our behalf while we worked to form our own nonprofit. Funds have been used to patch and protect the damaged roof, re-point the stonework, board up windows, install lockable doors, remove dead trees, stabilize the walls, repair and replace floor joists, install subflooring, and repair concrete and stone entrance steps. We are always looking for more donations! We prefer cash donations, but we are happy to accept sponsorship of building materials. Currently, we need new sponsors to cover the cost of a new metal roof, window installations, and stonework for our exterior wall and steps.
Our project began with fundraising. A sold-out showing of To Kill a Mockingbird with guest appearances from the actors, grants from Loudoun Preservation Society, material donations from Turner Construction, and original pew donations from the former trustees of the Grace Church have all contributed to the progress. In addition, volunteers, led by Bob Shuey, conducted an archaeological survey of the site.
Fixing up the flooring was our next step. In 2019, Allen Cochran and George Caison led a team of volunteers in replacing floor joists, using local lumber. Sub-flooring was then installed, and the concrete steps leading to the church's enterance were also repaired.
Raise the Roof!
Lincoln Preservation Foundation and the Friends of Grace Church are currently raising funds for a new roof. The work involves removing the rotting rafters and a temporary patchwork metal roof. A historically accurate replacement will be built. Current estimates for this work range from $68,000 - $75,000.
Our end goal is to restore the Grace Church to its former glory. Once structural repairs are finished, the building will be finished as it once was, including the original pews and historically accurate lighting. The lower level will feature a memorial to local African-American war veterans, many of whom are buried on site without any recognition for their service and sacrifice. We currently estimate that the entire restoration project will cost $300,000.
In 2004, Sarah Huntington took a series of photographs of the church's interior and exterior for reconstruction purposes. The gravel driveway was redone. The building's doors and windows were boarded up to prevent trespassers and critters from gaining access. Intensive research began regarding the building's history.
In 2005, an archaeological dig, led by Bob Shuey started. Numerous artifacts were uncovered and catalogued; mostly consisting of pottery shards, buttons, bottles, and parts of an old wood stove.
The church bell and bellfry were removed and placed in safe storage by David Logan of Vintage Renovation.
Flooring Solutions Inc of Sterling, Virginia donated flooring materials to the project. The donation valued $8700 will provide building materials for the restoration of the floors and ceiling of the historic Grace Methodist Episcopal Church in Lincoln, Virginia.
During 2013 and 2014, the Grace Church Trustees formed a private, non-profit organization, "The Friends of Grace," and began the long process of transferring the building title to the non-profit in order to seek preservation grants from a wide array of institutions. The title was legally transferred from the United Methodist Church to the Friends of Grace in 2015.
Work sped up in 2019, and volunteers, under the direction of Allen Cochran and George Caison, replaced floor joists and installed wide-plank sub flooring from locally sourced lumber, cut at a local sawmill. The concrete entrance steps were also repaired. The original church pews and the original set of fine upholstered chairs were returned to the sanctuary.
July, 2021- Present
The interior of the church today, with the rough sawn flooring and pews in place. Much is left to do, but it's starting to look like its old self, again.
The new, handcrafted front entrance doors are installed and ready for final finishing. These doors are exact replicas of the originals which were damaged beyond repair. The front retaining wall is also nearing completion after sitting in ruin for years. The stones are all from the original wall. Both projects rely on local craftsmen John Summers (stonework) and Calvin Page (carpenter, Calvin’s Enterprises), who have ancestral ties to the building.