New Pastor For Virginia City

by Denise Crites from Comstock Chronicle used by permission

The First Presbyterian Church of Virginia City has been without a regular pastor for over a year. The congregation was ministered to by a number of different pastors until about six weeks ago.

The congregation of about 20 members now has the Reverend Susan B. Taylor to call their own. Rev. Taylor is now a permanent fixture to the historic church that was built in 1866 for a total cost of $4,700.00.

The church building is the oldest in Virginia City because of the Great Fire of 1875, which it survived. After the Great Fire, the church building was used as a makeshift hospital, a soup kitchen and the sanctuary served as the District Court Room by Storey County until the completion of the new courthouse in 1876.

The church building under went a major remodel in 1873 to add a second story, which served as the pastor’s study, which is still the case today.

History abounds within the walls of this church, including many furniture pieces that date back to 1866. An original pew is up in the east balcony, but not in use. The pipe organ is original and is still used for services on Sunday morning at 9:30 AM.

Rev. Taylor is excited to be a part of the Virginia City history and has stepped up to learn the history of the church and the building so she can share the history with visitors.

Taylor, a retired schoolteacher from Sparks, was ordained in 1981 at Fuller Seminary in southern California and has a degree in Religious Education. Her and family moved to northern Nevada and she obtained her teaching credentials in 2004.

She began coming up to Virginia City once a month, on a rotating basis, to serve as the congregation’s pastor on Sunday mornings. The church was looking for a new pastor and Taylor said, “I began talking with church leadership, praying, talking to people, and it all began to make sense to me. They liked me, I liked them, I decided to retire from teaching and take on the 19-hour

Taylor added, “The congregation is warm and gracious. I have a good feeling about this strong core of people. I plan to make myself more visible in the community. I am looking forward to Christmas on the Comstock and the church will be all decorated for that event.”

Taylor wanted to extend an open door to anyone looking to attend church services at 9:30 on Sunday mornings. She said she is also available on Thursdays, as that is her “office” day.

Taylor can be reached at the church phone, 775-847-0298 or her personal phone, 775-762-1912, or by email at