The church in Richmond (Download Report as PDF)
Richmond over the years has had many saints living and meeting together. In 2011, a concerted effort was made through GTCA to establish and strengthen the church in Richmond. It paved the way for more saints to migrate into the area with one couple in particular moving into a house right next to the VCU campus. The church has been meeting in this house since then. In 2019, the church in Richmond officially purchased the property and it is now not only the meeting place of the church but also a brother’s house and the base of operations for the campus work. On the Lord’s day there are roughly 47 saints meeting including 10 children and 7 young people. Currently most of the saints are clustered in the suburbs around the city, namely, Glen Allen and Chester.
In the Fall 2019 semester, 4 saints began serving full-time on the campus at VCU. On Tuesday afternoons there is an on-campus bible study in the student commons as well as a college meeting with dinner and fellowship on Thursday nights in the campus house. Prior to the arrival of the full time team there was a Christians on Campus club but with only 1-2 students consistently meeting. However, in the first semester alone the Lord has increased that number to about 24 students meeting consistently in either appointments or meetings.
Location, Climate, and Health
Richmond, the capital city of the Commonwealth of Virginia is located just off the central coast of Virginia. Driving times to neighboring localities are as follows: Charlottesville, VA––1:15; Dunn Loring, VA–– 1:45; Fairfax, VA––1:45; Washington DC––1:50; Virginia Beach, VA–– 1:45; Newport News, VA––1:10; Raleigh, NC––2:30; Durham, NC––2:15
Richmond’s temperate climate offers cool fall days with spectacular foliage. Spring is typically pleasant and winters are generally mild, although snow is common. Temperatures in the winter typically average in the 40’s. Summer is often hot and humid, with average temperatures in the 80’s. Richmond averages 44 inches of rain and 11 inches of snow per year.
The Richmond Region has more than 4,100 physicians and 19 acute care and specialty hospitals with nearly 4,000 staffed beds. The largest medical system includes Virginia Commonwealth University Health System with more than 650 beds and McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center with 399 beds. VCU Health is the most comprehensive teaching medical center in Virginia and is regularly ranked among the top hospitals in America. Its medical school is one of the nation’s largest and houses one of the nation’s oldest transplant programs.
The population of the Richmond Metro Area is over 1.3 million. The racial makeup of the area is 62% white, 30% black, 3.7% asian and 4.9% other. The city of Richmond itself has a population of 204,214 people with a racial makeup of 50.6% black, 40.8% white, 2.3% asian and 6.3% other.
Richmond’s economy is primarily driven by law, finance, and government, with federal, state, and local governmental agencies, as well as notable legal and banking firms in the downtown area. The city is home to both a U.S. Court of Appeals, one of 13 such courts, and a Federal Reserve Bank, one of 12 such banks.
The following are some of the top employers in Richmond:
Richmond International Airport (RIC) is the primary airport in central Virginia and the third busiest in the state. RIC hosts seven major air carriers, each offering non-stop flights to major domestic destinations and connecting service to points around the globe. The airlines: American Airlines, Delta, jetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, United, Allegiant.
The Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC) is a bus system that serves the city of Richmond and a very small portion of the adjacent counties of Henrico and Chesterfield. The GRTC pulse, a rapid transit line, operates along West Broad St of Richmond, the main connector for major parts of the city.
Driving by car is still the main mode of transportation for getting around the greater Richmond area. Two interstates intersect in Richmond, I-64 and I-95. State Routes 76 and 195, which are connected to I-95, provide more direct travel routes to the surrounding suburbs of Chesterfield and Henrico county from downtown Richmond.
History: American Civil War Museum, White House of the Confederacy, Richmond National
Arts: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA), Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond Symphony, Richmond Ballet
Outdoors: Virginia Capitol Trail, Belle Isle, Canal Walk, T. Tyler Potterfield Memorial Bridge, Maymont Park, Pocahontas State Park
Professional Sports: Richmond Flying Squirrels (minor league baseball), Richmond Kickers (USL League One)
Located downtown is Richmond’s main university is Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). VCU is a public research university. Currently, more than 31,000 students are enrolled, with 24,000 of those being undergraduate students.
University of Richmond (UR) is a small, private liberal arts university with just over 4,000 students located six miles west of downtown.
Virginia Union University (VUU) is a private historically black university with a student population of 1,700 students.
John Tyler Community College and J Sargeant Reynolds Community College are the two junior colleges each having multiple campuses around the Richmond area with about 14,000 and 9,000 students, respectively.
Richmond Public Schools is a school district located in the city of Richmond. There are about 24,000 students enrolled in 40 schools. 25 elementary schools, seven middle schools, five comprehensive high schools and three specialty schools.
Chesterfield County Public Schools (CCPS) is the public school system in Chesterfield County which is south of the city of Richmond. There are about 59,000 students enrolled in their 63 schools. There are 38 elementary schools, 12 middle schools, and 11 high schools. Additionally, high school students can enroll in 13 specialty centers, two technical centers, and two Governor’s Schools.
Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS) is the public school system in Henrico County which is north of the city of Richmond. There are about 50,000 students enrolled in their 72 schools. There are 46 elementary schools, 12 middle schools, nine high schools, two Technical Centers, and two Program Centers. Five of their schools are also a part of the International Baccalaureate program.
Most of the saints children are enrolled in either Chesterfield County or Henrico County public schools.
Richmond has a number of private schools in the area, a good number of which are Christian: St. Christopher’s School, St. Catherine’s School, Veritas School, Trinity Episcopal School, St. Gertrude High School, Elijah House Academy, Collegiate School.
In the state of Virginia, homeschooling is an option for 40,000 students and is growing every year. Most families who homeschool in Virginia choose the option outlined in the Virginia Home Instruction Statute. This statute mandates four main requirements of homeschool families:
- A notice of intent to instruct a child from home
- Evidence of at least one of the following: the parent holds a high school diploma or equivalent (or higher), the parent holds a teacher certification, the student will be enrolled in a correspondence course/distance learning program, or evidence that the parent is able to provide adequate education for a child.
- Submission of a list of subjects to be studied in the coming year
- Evidence of academic progress submitted by August 1 of each year
They also must file a notice of intent, submit evidence of academic achievement, and comply with immunization requirements. Over the years relaxed state laws, the growing options for print and digital curriculum and the increasing popularity of individualized education have contributed to the rise of homeschooling in Virginia.
The church currently meets in downtown Richmond, right next to the VCU campus. The city has a mix of historic homes and newer apartments. Those who choose to live in the city of Richmond itself are college students and young working professionals. The city of Richmond overall has a median home value of $209,200 with a median rent of $942. Neighborhoods within the city include (median home value/rent):
- Oregon Hill $222,700 / $1,619
- The Fan $421,676 / $1,074
- Manchester $159,482 / $937
- Forest Hill $272,921 / $1,071
- Shockoe Bottom $348,946 / $1,136
Most of the saints with families and older saints live in the suburbs right outside of the city, with a commute time around 20 minutes to the meeting hall and campus. The table below offers suggestions of some neighborhoods where saints now live with some basic data about those neighborhoods.