Connect. Care. Communicate.
Having helped start a children's day camp in 1950, co-founder Bev Cosby saw the need for a church of young people who were devoted to serving both God and community. Modeled after The Church of the Saviour in DC (started by his brother Gordon), Church of the Covenant was one of the first intentionally, racially integrated churches established in Lynchburg, VA in 1954. The Congregational Christian (now UCC) denomination was one of the only denominations willing to support this uniquely integrated ministry in the South at the time.
Embracing a more inclusive, ecumenical approach to Christianity, Church of the Covenant has been an exciting place to live out one's faith from its start. Attracting the youth of its day who resonated with the social gospel, Church of the Covenant provided a natural place to live out mission: Love neighbor as well as God. Many helped lead and participate in the missions of the church, LCF, and the camp. Though three separate entities today, we have a uniquely shared history & kindred spirit.
In December of 1960 one young church member along with five others from local colleges staged a sit-in at Patterson Drug Store in downtown Lynchburg. The six youth were arrested & jailed, and one month later the Church of the Covenant opened the Lodge of the Fishermen coffeehouse as one of Lynchburg's first racially integrated safe spaces to meet and dialogue with others from diverse backgrounds, which continues today as Common Grounds Cafe.
In the summer of 1961, Lynchburg city pools were closed down because of a potential swim-in. Bev immediately invited city residents, black and white, to swim in the church/camp's new pool. This became the the site of the city's first racially integrated public swimming. These pools are still used by the camp and community today.
During Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic visit to Lynchburg in March of 1962, while unable to publicly meet with a mix of black and white leaders over lunch in Lynchburg due to segregation, he was brought to the Lodge of the Fishermen where Bev and others from the church and camp served lunch to Dr. King and other leaders before Rev. King's "American Dream" speech later that night at E.C. Glass High School.
Founded on principles of unity and covenanted devotion to one another as well as to God, Church of the Covenant today is still a small contemplative, diverse, Christian community that seeks to foster personal and communal spiritual growth as well as alleviate suffering in the world through our inward and outward journeys.
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4415 Boonsboro Road, Lynchburg, Virginia 24503, United States