Emmanuel Church, the first church in Eagle Rock, was built in 1877. From 1877 to 1901 Emmanuel shared a priest with St. Mark's, Fincastle, and Trinity, Buchanan. In the period 1902 until 1917 Emmanuel was reported to be flourishing, having its own minister and even a mission at "Lignite Mines". In the twenties a priest from Roanoke served Emmanuel as well as St. Mark's. During the next period a priest came from Clifton Forge for a service one Sunday afternoon a month. In 1957 a Botetourt County mission was formed with first lay readers and then a priest coming to Emmanuel every Sunday at 8:00 a.m., then going to St. Mark's and on to Buchanan for later services. In December 1967, when the membership had dwindled to ten members, the Bishop decided to close Emmanuel and the remaining members joined St. Mark's. This Bishop allowed the members to keep Emmanuel as long as they took care of the upkeep. For a while, services were held every fifth Sunday afternoon. Later, Evensong was held one Sunday a month.
Since 1980 the congregation of St. Mark's has held services in Emmanuel once or twice a year, going on to a shelter on Craig's Creek for a picnic and an afternoon of fun. Now, thanks to the creation of a new Community Center in town, we are able to have our congregational and community meal rain or shine. A generous loose offering at these services helps with Emmanuel's expenses. Our parish has made it one of our missions to restore Emmanuel Church and renew our historic service to the Eagle Rock community.
Appalachian Vespers is now held in Emmanuel Chapel every Third Sunday evening. This usually includes bluegrass gospel music and story telling of fond memories. There are no services during January and February due to the difficulty heating the chapel.
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