Seventeenth Street Mission, Richmond, VA


UnionPSem_Seventeenth St Mission c1920 rsz.jpg


Seventeenth Street Mission, Richmond, VA


Photograph of students, teachers and staff at the Seventeenth Street Mission. 

In 1911, students from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia (Later, Union Presbyterian Seminary) started an urban ministry outreach program in the most impoverished neighborhood of Richmond, VA. The Seventeenth Street Mission functioned as a settlement house, offering laundry facilities and showers, meals, a clothing closet, classes in sewing, carpentry and other skills.

The Sunday School program focused on the memorization of Bible verses, catechisms and the Lord's Prayer. In 1914, students from the General Assembly's Training School (later, the Presbyterian School of Christian Education) joined in as teachers and volunteers, and the effort became largely staffed by women.

In 1946, Elinor Curry of the Ginter Park Presbyterian Church became the director of the Mission. In 1952 the Eastminster Presbyterian Church was organized nearby, and in 1963 the Seventeenth Street mission building was demolished and its ministry operated through the Eastminster Church. 


Seventeenth Street Mission Collection, Special Collections, William Smith Morton Library, Union Presbyterian Seminary


c. 1920


Union Presbyterian Seminary Library


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“Seventeenth Street Mission, Richmond, VA,” Social Welfare History Image Portal, accessed June 16, 2024,