Since 1976, St. John’s Church Foundation has presented historical reenactments at the original location of the Second Virginia Convention of March 1775. Professional actors in 1770s attire portray ten delegates, including Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington. The delegates engage in the debates and arguments of the Second Virginia Convention, which lead up to Patrick Henry’s immortal “Give me liberty or give me death!” speech.
FAQ for Public Reenactments
Accessibility: Historic St. John’s Church welcomes all visitors. We are fully wheel chair accessible. We offer handicapped parking on 24th street, directly in front of the elevator, which leads to the church grounds.
Street parking is available.
Seating is first come, first served. Seat saving will not be permitted. The entire party must be present before seating will take place.
Doors will close once the church reaches capacity or when the reenactment begins. No admittance after the reenactment begins.
This reenactment is not recommended for children under the age of 6. We ask that parents escort restless little delegates outside so that the audience is not disturbed. Your cooperation is appreciated.
This event is FREE, with a suggested donation of $5.00. Reservations are available for groups of ten or more for fee of $5 per person, up to 100 reserved seats. Please call 804/648-5015 for more information.
No still or video photography is permitted during the reenactment. Actors will be available on the grounds for photos after the reenactment.
No food, beverages, gum or backpacks are permitted in the church. Bags are subject to search.
“Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!” Anniversary Reenactment – March 17
Each year, the St. John’s Church Foundation honors Patrick Henry on the anniversary of his famous speech to the Second Virginia Convention, which took place on March 17, 1775. This event is FREE, with a suggested donation of $5.00. Reservations are available for groups of ten or more for fee of $5 per person, up to 100 reserved seats.
Summer Reenactment Series
Beginning in May, a reenactment of the Second Virginia Convention and Henry’s “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!” speech takes place every Sunday afternoon between 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, through the first Sunday of September. For dates and additional information for the upcoming summer season, please visit our Events Page.
1:15 pm — Doors open. Seating is on a first-come, first served basis.
1:30 pm — Music program
1:45 pm — Reenactment begins
This event is also FREE, with a suggested donation of $5.00. Reservations are available for groups of ten or more for fee of $5 per person, up to 100 reserved seats.
Special Reenactment Events
Throughout the year, the St. John’s Church foundation may schedule additional “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!” reenactments, such as our Veteran’s Day event to commemorate all who have served our country since the American Revolution. Please check the Events Page for more information about these additional reenactments.
Groups may arrange for a private reenactment inside historic St. John’s Church. Performances are 45 minutes in length. Seating capacity is 325. Call our Visitor Center at 804-648-5015 or send us an email for more information. Program Reservation Form 2014
New rates go into effect January 2014: $800.00; School rate: $750.00
Note: Private reenactments scheduled to be held outside of normal business hours will be charges an additional fee. For private reenactments held between 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. $50 will be added. For private reenactments held before 10:00 a.m. or after 5:30 p.m. an additional fee of $100 will be added.
No food, drinks, chewing gum or backpacks are allowed in the church. Thank you for your cooperation.