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Guides' Ministry: Fertile Source of Information - Three African American Sextons Who Served as Guides to Bruton

Will Molineux, well known local journalist and author, will present the Guides’ Ministry program on Wednesday, October 18. He will be sharing information based on his years of research, observation and comments on the history of Williamsburg as an author, journalist and editor of the Daily Press. Will is an active member of Bruton Parish Church and served as Junior Warden and Senior Warden in the 1970s while on the vestry.
    His presentation, Fertile Source of Information: Three African American Sextons Who Served As Guides to Bruton Parish Church, will address the first efforts to interpret the church’s history for visitors. Molineux will be focusing on the contributions of William Galt, Alexander Pleasants and William H. Baker beginning in 1896 and continuing at least until 1939.
    Molineux observed in a February 22, 2015 article in the Daily Press, “Tourists in Williamsburg before the city’s restoration was well underway were left on their own to wander about unescorted, except at Bruton Parish Church. There, they would be greeted by the African-American sexton.”
    “For nearly four decades, three men served as guides to the churchyard and the cruciform structure that, along with the Powder Magazine and William and Mary’s colonial campus, were Williamsburg’s principal historic landmarks. But it was the church that was ‘the cynosure of all eyes’ as the Daily Press put it in 1928.”
    Molineux stated that during the early years of the twentieth century, “The succession of sextons - William Galt, Alexander Pleasants and William H. Baker - were on site and sought-out sources of information.”  
    These programs are presented by the Bruton Parish Guides Ministry in Lewis Hall in the Parish House. On Wednesday, October 18, the event will begin at 6:30 pm when coffee and dessert will be served followed by the program that at 7pm.
    Bruton Guide Bill Armbruster encourages attendance, “You will not want to miss this presentation. Will and I were classmates at William and Mary and he went on to enjoy a distinguished career. He is the author of the well-known Images of America book on Williamsburg, a compilation of historic photographs and recollections.”

Last Published: September 27, 2017 10:38 AM