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Parish History Notes 8: The Reverand Zachariah Brooke

In October 1721 this well-educated and distinguished man became the first parish minister of St. Paul’s. He had recently arrived from England, where he was born in 1676.  His father and two brothers were Anglican priests.

By 1724 the parish included two churches and two chapels. The chapels were Allen’s Creek and our Chapel in the Forks. Rev. Brooke preached in the two churches on Sundays and, for an extra 8,000 pounds of tobacco per year, gave nine weekday sermons per year at each chapel. When St. Martin’s Parish was established in 1726, a new rector was assigned, and Rev. Brooke stayed with St. Paul’s Parish. Undoubtedly Rev. Zachariah Brooke was the first minister to conduct a service at the location of Fork Church.

Thanks to Rev. Charles Joy, whose “Biographical Sketches” written in 1976 provide a primary source of information for some of these History Notes.