It is said that Church Hill gained its name from this gorgeous brick church that is perched upon the high ground. The church on the hill, or St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, is one of the oldest intact brick church in the state having been built in 1732 at a cost of 140,000 pounds of tobacco. That tobacco paid for bricks to be brought over from England to replace the wooden church that had been erected in 1728. The bricks were laid in a handsome Flemish bond pattern.
During the Civil War, Federal troops reportedly used the church as a barracks, and allegedly damaged the interior, although no record appears in Vestry minutes of expenditures to replace pews or windows. In fact, by the close of the war, pews were rented to families for $25 a year.
The church retains its historic 1735 gift from the Queen Anne’s Bounty Fund – two wooden tablets with gold letters containing the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostle’s Creed, and the Ten Commandments. According to church minutes, these tablets were old when they were originally given to the Church.
On the church grounds is a small brick building built in 1817 as the parish academy. The school was built to help supplement the rector’s salary, as he also served as teacher for the school.