our story

James River Baptist Church has a legacy of serving God and ministering to Williamsburg and James City County and the world for 114 years!


The property and the original building were owned by the Methodist denomination, organized as the James River Methodist Church. In 1887 this church was dropped from the Methodist Conference, "due to the moving from that community of most of the members."


"It appears at the same time, a Baptist minister, Reverend Abrams, conducted a very successful revival, resulting in many conversions." These were baptized into the fellowship of the James City Church at Lightfoot.

"Dr. H.T. Loutham, pastor of the Williamsburg Church, was the last of the supplies that helped to hold these folks for Christ and for Baptists before the final organization was completed. He was a very distinguished minister, known throughout the territory of the Southern Baptist Convention. He was a descendent of the famous Drake family, which goes back to Sir Francis Drake, the great Admiral of England. 

"While he was pastor in Williamsburg, he completed material for his book, “The American Baptist Pulpit," also teaching Latin and Greek in the College of William and Mary. He did much to revitalize this struggling band of Baptists, eventually aiding them in organizing the James River Baptist Church on May 19, 1903."

Over the last 110 years, JRBC has seen many things change. Through the ministry of James River over the years, many have come to a saving faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and several have been called to full-time service in the ministry.

It is out of a rich heritage and strong conviction that James River seeks to live out the Gospel in the 21st Century. Our dream is that as we work for God's Kingdom, our community of faith will grow even more alive and vital for the next generation, as it has been in the past.