One of Church Hill’s churches hits the market

Saint Paul Baptist Church is selling off its former church property at 2600 E. Marshall St. for $1.5 million. (Photos courtesy of Weichert Realtors Baron & Snipes Co.)

A century-old church property with a storied past soon could enter a new chapter in one of the city’s most sought-after neighborhoods.

The former Saint Paul’s Baptist Church complex at 2600 E. Marshall St. in Church Hill is on the market for $1.5 million.

Keith Smith, an agent with Richmond-based Weichert Realtors Baron & Snipes Co. who also serves as a deacon with the church, listed the property Jan. 16 on behalf of Saint Paul’s, which moved from the site in 1991 and has kept it as surplus property.

The sale includes the two-story, 10,000-square-foot sanctuary building at 2600 E. Marshall St. that includes 38-foot ceilings on the main floor and a basement with 11-foot ceilings. The neighboring parish house at 2608 E. Marshall St., which has served as office space, also is part of the sale, along with three vacant lots across the street from the church at 2607, 2609 and 2611 E. Marshall St.

The sale also includes the neighboring Parrish house and three residential lots at 2607, 2609 and 2611 E. Marshall St.

The main church building, at the corner of East Marshall and North 26th streets, is zoned R-63, which allows for residential uses, including apartments and condos. The three lots across the street from the church are zoned R-8, which allows for single-family attached or detached dwellings.

“With additional approvals, those vacant lots could be reassembled into one lot, and could accommodate attached single-family dwellings that could easily go for $450,000 a unit,” Smith said

“It’s a very special property with a lot of history,” Smith said of the church complex. “Given the activity that is happening in Church Hill, our church has decided to part ways with the properties. We recognize based on the area’s growth, this would make for an excellent redevelopment opportunity for the right buyer.”

The properties most recently were assessed by the city for a combined $1.02 million, according to city property records.

Smith said the buildings and lots are being sold “as is.” The sanctuary building was recently updated with new heating and air conditioning systems, along with renovated restroom and conference room facilities.

Storied past

Nestled in the city’s oldest neighborhood, the church site dates to the mid-1820s with the construction of the residence at 2608 E. Marshall St.

The residence has been referred to as the “Snyder Homestead” and was the site of several events, including a reception for famed poet Edgar Allan Poe, according to records.

In 1900, Third Christian Church was constructed next door to the residence, with the church incorporating the house as a parish and Sunday School classrooms around the 1920s.

The church served a predominantly white congregation up until the late 1950s, when the neighborhood began attracting more black families, Smith said — making the site attractive to the late Saint Paul’s Rev. Journey Archer Mosby as a key location to expand its ministry.

“Several of the church’s members at that time had to mortgage their own homes to guarantee that Saint Paul could move into the church,” Smith said. “It was a serious undertaking, one that helped sow the seeds of our growth.”

St. Paul’s, which was founded in 1909, would undergo several expansions in the city, eventually moving from the site in 1991 to hold services at the former John F. Kennedy High School, as the church constructed a larger facility at 4247 Creighton Road in Henrico County that opened in 2001.

Today, Saint Paul’s operates additional campuses at 700 E. Belt Blvd. in South Richmond and at 29 Elm St. in Petersburg.

At its flagship Creighton Road location, which houses about 10,000 members, Saint Paul’s has assembled about 300 acres around that church for future development. .

Since hitting the market a few weeks ago, Smith said the Church Hill property has generated 12 showings and several calls from interested parties floating uses ranging from churches to condos and breweries.

“We’re encouraged by the interest,” Smith said.

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Michael Dodson

Good news but I would not call this a “church” but a former church. As you noted they moved the main church to Creighton Road in 1991 and as far as I have seen no services have been held at the the Marshall Campus in years. They have maintained it well and I hope it finds a great buyer.