The Petersburg Playhouse
Multi-Events Center




Project Updates



The Organ


Get Involved



Like Us On Facebook




July 20, 2019
History is to an institution what memory is to a person.  To never look back on what has gone before and draw from past experience and examples to use as a guide for the present and future makes a mockery of the dedication and efforts of those who have maintained the continuity. 

In 1984 the High Street United Methodist Church celebrated its 140th year, and rightly can be proud of its history.  Pride of achievement, inspiration, insight and challenge are only a few of the aspects that can be drawn from this hard won and priceless heritage.

The book entitled, “High Street United Methodist Church, (1844-1984), was published by Taylor Publishing Co., Dallas, TX in 1984, by Don J. Beeville, Publishing Consultant.  The book was dedicated to all those persons who have persevered to bring the church up to this point in time – to those who are guiding it now – and to those who will be carrying the torch in the future. 

The High Street United Methodist Church is owned by Robin Miller, of Miller & Associates, (607 High St, LLC).   The building, parcel ID 010-170017, zoning code R3, was purchased for $40,000.00 December 20, 2004, a 2/story building on 0.828 acres of land mainly classified as Urban Residential.   

Restoration of This Historic Building:

The vision for this building is to restore it to its original condition, for use as a Multi-Events and Art Center that will enhance the Petersburg Community, Petersburg Arts and Historical Petersburg Foundation and once again be a leader in the community

Phase One – Main Church Building Auditorium:

  • Level Two Restoration

  1. Restore the 3/double doors in front and the four stone steps that run 32/feet along the outside

  2. The entrance to level one will be through these doors on the right and the left leaving the lower level tower rooms for restrooms and enlarged kitchen.  The footprint below the auditorium would include a banquet/reception hall.

  3. The level two which is comprised of the main foyer will include restrooms to the left and to the right of the double doors that enter into the auditorium.

  4. Included with Level two is the auditorium which will be restored to its original steel ceiling and the walls wainscoted and repainted as they were in the 1897 restoration.

  5. The auditorium’s existing pew seating will be restored and remain as the auditorium seating for all event venues.
    Hardwood flooring will need minor repair and refinished

  6. The existing Pipe Organ will be relocated to the balcony (restoration will follow in a separate phase of the building restoration.  Moving the Organ to the balcony will provide additional on stage space for multiple events

  7. All Stain Glass windows will be cleaned and protective Plexiglas coverings installed to protect them from outside damage.

  8. All new electrical and data wiring to be installed

  9. HVAC system(s) for the main auditorium will be installed

  10. Appropriate stage lighting will need to be installed including the best of audio/visual equipment

  11. Parking Lot restoration and striping for 250 vehicles

    • Level Two Revenue: 

  • Weddings

  • Funerals

  • Music Venues

  • Theatre (joint ventures with Swift Creek and former Sycamore Rouge)

  • Organ Concerts

  • Level One Restoration – Below the Auditorium 

  1. Level one will include build out/upgrade to the existing kitchen

  2. Install all new electrical wiring

  3. Install HVAC (minis that provide individual control per room(s) 

  4. Install Network data jacks and wireless access points

  5. Upgrade existing restrooms

  6. Paint walls/ceiling and replace flooring in the banquet/reception hall with an east and west outside entrance/exit

  7. Level one will include a datacenter to house network equipment, and hardware for the audio/visual equipment.

  8. A room to house any and all historical memorabilia

    • Level One Revenue: 

  • Wedding Receptions

  • Community Potlucks

  • Community Meetings Business

  • Conventions Family Reunions

  • Art Exhibits/Shows

NOTE: Following completion of Phase One, the auditorium and banquet/reception would be made available immediately for multiple events

September 5, 2016:
We are very eager to get our project moving forward and focused on Phase-1 of this exciting project. We want to rally our Petersburg friends, acquaintances, and the Petersburg Community in supporting this local project. If you are interested in knowing more about this project we are available today to meet you and provide you information on Phase-1 and give you an opportunity to see what Phase-1 encompasses, through a private tour. 

If you are interested, please private message me or call my mobile phone, (615-403-8014), with a time today, (Sept 5. 2016), that you can be available.

June 19, 2016
Attention Petersburg Residents. We are looking for two more interested and dedicated individuals to join our "Board of Directors". You must have a interest in preserving the history of Old Towne, willingness to volunteer your time with focus on restoring this building for the use of multiple events that Petersburg Citizens can be proud of and have access for weddings, funerals, musical events, rental space for yoga classes, dance classes, fitness center, receptions, business meetings/luncheons, office space, etc. We need someone with knowledge and experience in finance and fund raising and someone with legal knowledge and experience. If you are interested, please contact the owner of this website

May 29, 2016
Thursday May 26, 2016 was a very exciting day for me. Joan Pollard/Librarian and member of the Petersburg Garden Club located the book I reference in the website. The book is called, High Street United Methodist Church 1844-1984. The book is copyright 1984 by Taylor Publishing Co., Dallas, TX Don J. Beville, Publishing Consultant. The Book Committee researched, compiled and written by Virginia Walker. Her assistants were Calvin and Ocile Beville, Mary E. Mann, B.P. "Pat" Walker and Special Assistant, Don J. Beville.

This book begins in 1773 when Petersburg and Blandford were separate entities....small and straggling towns on the bank of the Appomattox River extending west from lower Blandford more than a mile to the "narrow falls" now spanned by a more modern and structurally safer bridge (Campbell's) than was there at an earlier date. Petersburg had about 3,000 persons within its boundaries.

I have begun reading the book and find it very thorough in the history of the church family, the original building down on Old & Grove Street.  Thomas Branch and D'Arcy Paul moved fast after having been authorized to purchase a site because a lot on High Street was purchased less than a week after that January 22nd meeting.  An indenture dated January 27, 1844, and recorded in the Clerk's Office of the Hustings Court of the town of Petersburg, Deed Book 14, pages 247 and 248, shows that one David M. Bernard and Sally Ann, his wife, did convey for the price of $525.00 cash in hand paid, a lot on High Street for the purpose of erecting a place of worship for the use of the members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  The first Trustees of the church were named as follows:  Allen Archer; D'Arcy Paul; Thomas Branch; William Brownley; William Lea, jr.; Edward T. Floyd, Thomas H. Roper, Barnet Crostick and James B. Reid (Reade).  A note on the margin of this deed indicated that the original deed was delivered to William Lea on October 17, 1845.  However, its whereabouts at present is not known and probably over the passage of years has been lost.  It has long been thought that Thomas Branch donated the lot on which the church stands; however, the above does not bear out that fact.  It is possible he donated the means by which to purchase the lot but nothing has been found to prove that.   One of the many stained glass windows in the Sanctuary was dedicated to Thomas Branch, (Dec 23, 1802 - Nov 15, 1888) and his wife Sarah Pride Read-Branch, (Aug 8, 1808 - May 3, 1855).

I will be sharing many of the photos from this book on our website, and will also upload a few for those who are following this Facebook blog.

If you want to see this beautiful building restored, please reach out to the owner of this website to provide your support. We will soon be writing grants for assistance in raising the funds needed to restore the Sanctuary for use in Weddings, Funerals, Music Venues, Community Theatre, and Organ Recitals.

May 16, 2016
It was a pleasure meeting the family of Thomas Branch, who donated the funds for one of the stained glass windows as a memoriam to their relative.  So glad I could meet with the family and take them inside to see the stained glass window memoriam

May 1, 2016
We are eager to finalize the members of the board for this project. We are in search of interested parties with legal a background and experience as well as someone with financial experience to comprise and enhance the group that will work together

April 23, 2016
Our primary focus at this juncture, is to establish a well rounded group of educated, knowledgeable, experienced, and mutually interested members to join our Board of Directors.  Prior to the application for our 501c3, we must have our Board Members established and at least two official meetings with minutes.  We have two more positions to fill, and then we will be ready to schedule our first Board Meeting.  Please return often for current updates and a status on our restoration project. 

March 11, 2016
We have a true passion to see something positive happen with the High Street Methodist Church here in Petersburg.  This is an incredible building that needs restored.  We want to see this building be made available to the Petersburg Community and used for Community Events, Business Meetings, Weddings, Funerals, Community Theatre, Live Music Venues, Pipe Organ Concerts.  The multiple classrooms can be used for business meetings, business luncheons, Yoga Classes, Birthing Classes, Dance Classes, Voice Lessons, Art Venues, Fitness Classes, just to name a few.  This building includes a large parking area behind the building.  In its “hay” day, this building sometimes saw two weddings a day, because it was so sought after for weddings and receptions. 

We have met with the owner of the building multiple times and provided our vision for the building.  The owner is very excited about our vision and has presented us with a Letter of Intent, (LOI), which we will review with our attorney. 

We plan to setup a 501c3, which will require a board of directors, meeting regularly, who share the same community vision and desire to support the Arts here in Petersburg.  We will need assistance from the board to reach out to the community and support groups to raise the required funds.  The Building Project will be addressed in three phases. 

  • Phase-1:  Refurbish the Sanctuary so that we can open it to weddings, funerals, and music venue

  • Phase-2:  Refurbish the lower level classrooms, kitchen and bathrooms

  • Phase-3:  Refurbish the upper level behind the Sanctuary for changing rooms, offices, and classroom

  • Special Project:  Raise the required funds to refurbish the Pipe Organ for use in Weddings and Organ Concerts.

We are very eager to get this project moving forward. Our thanks to those who have already accepted this exciting yet important responsibility.

February 28, 2016
Good Morning Petersburg
We are working diligently identifying qualified residents to make our Board of Directors. Currently we are looking for a qualified financial counselor and interested Lawyer who has experience in business contracts. If you are interested in joining our Board of Directors, please reach out to us via private message.

We are very eager to get this project moving forward. My thanks to those who have already accepted this exciting yet important responsibility.

February 20, 2016
Today's focus is finishing up the 501c3 document. We have the vision and mission complete. Next is laying out the project plan, via a phased approach, on how we will reach out to the community for the needed funding in restoring this beautiful building. Feel free to share your own ideas and how you plan to commit to assisting with making this project a reality.

January 30, 2016
We have begun the initial documentation for what is required to qualify for our 501c3. To assist you in having a detailed understanding of what the project is all about, I thought I would share the preliminary narrative that I have started and I am eager for your feedback on the project here in Petersburg. Feel free to comment and/or private message us with your feedback.

The Petersburg Art Center and Theatre (PACT) was formed exclusively to give back to the Petersburg Community through Education, Arts, Music, Health Fairs, and support the Charitable Class, while preserving the history of Petersburg 

Share the Historical Church Building on High Street for the purpose of providing the Petersburg Community with a central location for the Art of Theatre, Musical Venues, Weddings, Fitness Center, Business Conventions and Family Reunions, that will support the Charitable Class through educational classes, health fairs, and fitness awareness.

We pledge to provide the Community of Petersburg and The Historical Society with a beautiful restored and preserved historical building that will serve the community for many years.  We will offer the City of Petersburg and surrounding communities a place they can be proud to call their own.  Our mission is to provide a warm and friendly building for Community Theatre, Social, Family, and Musical Events that will add to the economic growth of Petersburg, VA.  This building will be the pride of Petersburg, VA

Our Goals
Use initial funding to restore the Historical building on High Street through 3/restoration phases. 

·   Phase-1: Complete the restoration of the main auditorium for community weddings, funerals, local musical talent venues, and community theatre

·    Phase-2:  Complete the restoration of the upper level classrooms for music (piano and voice) lessons, birthing classes, yoga classes, dance classes, and theatre storage/changing rooms

·    Phase-3:  Complete restoration of the ground level conference rooms and kitchen for receptions, family reunions, business luncheons, business conferences, fitness center, free health fairs, and distribution of clothing and supplies for the Charitable Class.

·    Phase-4:  Restore the Pipe Organ for music lessons, practice, and recitals by renowned Organists through the support of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) 

January 23, 2016
I am really excited, after my meeting with my new friend and supporter, Toni! She is a wealth of information, and her experience that she brings to the project will guarantee us success. She has been helpful, and has agreed to guide us through the next important steps in this exciting project. Having Toni providing her knowledge, experience, and direction is very exciting for us. Thank you Toni, we look forward to our working relationship, and getting to know you and your husband even more!

Continue to check back on our Facebook page and our website for up to date project status reports

December 19, 2015
Good morning supporters. It has been a while since our last post. We are very excited about the latest development with this grand building. We will be providing a status of the Project early next week. Please return often for current updates.  Have a great weekend!

October 27, 2015
We have received the Letter of Intent (LOI) from the Owner's Attorney. It is currently under review by our attorney and marketing director. We are just a few steps away from setting up a Go Fund Me account so that we can begin taking donations toward Phase-1 refurbishment project.

Please respond if you are willing to donate towards this exciting community project.

October 3, 2015
Good morning friends:
We are excited to report that the Owner's Attorney has drawn up the papers for our review. Next step is for us to consult our Lawyer to assist with interpretation and hopefully reach a mutual agreement that will make it possible to proceed with our project of several refurbishment phases. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we move closer to kicking off this project.

September 26, 2015
Another week behind us and some additional development has occurred. The owner of this fine building is excited and in agreement for our desire to restore the interior of this building. The owner agrees that a Phased Approach is an excellent plan. The owner has agreed to request his attorney to review our request and Phased Project Plan, and will put together a legal binding agreement with us and the owner. The owner has agreed to provide his local construction crew at a reduced cost.

We have also received the support of a local Marketing Director who just happens to be friends with 5/Cameron Board Members, and will assist in drafting an introductory letter to the Cameron Board. This Introductory Letter will pave the way for us and spark their interest in our plans to provide a Multi-Events Community Center that will benefit the City of Petersburg.

We also plan to reach out to Mayor W. Howard Myers and ask for his support with communicating our Project Plans to The City of Petersburg.

Please return often for more updates on this exciting project.

September 20, 2015
We are ever so grateful to everyone who are taking an interest in this project.  My thanks to the couple who spoke with us on the street this morning.  We are pleased that so many in the community are accepting of our vision for this beautiful building.

I met with our Marketing Director on Friday.  We will be drafting an introductory letter to the Cameron Foundation.  Marketing feels that it is important that we introduce ourselves to the Five Board Members that are close acquaintances.  The Introductory Letter will introduce me to the Board Members and provide our Vision for the Church Building and the Pipe Organ.

We will be reaching out to the Petersburg Community for just the right mix for our Petersburg Playhouse Board of Directors

Please return often to our Facebook Page and our Website.  We will make every effort to provide weekly updates on the progress of our exciting project.

We welcome all comments, (Pro or Con), as we venture down this exciting path

September 12, 2015
I regret that is has been several weeks since my last status update.  My primary employment has absorbed all my time for the past 4/weeks, completing a large conversion project.

I am excited to share that the Owner of this beautiful building has agreed to work with us in refurbishing this building so that we can use it as a Multi-Events Center.

The following is my vision for this building broken into Phases:
**Complete the restoration of the Lobby and Sanctuary to include public restrooms, enlarging the stage area, and sprinkler system
**2nd Level Classrooms refurbished for the purpose of office, conference room, wardrobe changing areas, etc.
**Basement Level Classrooms refurbished for multiple events.

NOTE:  Events area would be rented out for Yoga Classes, Music Classes, Birthing Classes, Dance Classes, Wedding Receptions, Family Reunion/Potlucks, Business Meetings / Conventions, etc.

Special Project – Pipe Organ Restoration
**The Richmond Chapter of American Guild of Organists (AGO) has responded to my emails and would like to make a visit to the Church to inspect the Organ for the purpose of estimating the restoration cost.

This vision will require several million dollars to complete. 

As soon as the attorney draws up the paperwork between the Owner and I, we will begin reaching out to organizations to assist with financing this exciting project

Please be sure and share your comments about this this exciting project on our Facebook page:

July 25, 2015
We had a productive meeting with the owner on Tuesday afternoon. The owner is very excited about our interest in converting this building into a Community Events Center with focus on a Community Theatre. We will be working on a letter of intent and legal agreements on a lease and contractors to assist with the Phase-1 Restoration of the Sanctuary.
The building will be available to the community for Weddings, Receptions, Business Conventions, Live Theatre Productions, with Classrooms for Yoga Classes, Music (Voice, Piano, Organ) Classes and any other community needs.
Our next step is writing a grant and reaching out to several foundations for monetary support.
If you are as excited about this project as we are, please be sure and share this Facebook page with your friends and provide us with recommendations for foundations who support the Arts.
 More to come....

July 21, 2015
Good Morning Facebook Friends and Supporters
We are very excited about this project. The owner of the Church has agreed to meet with us today and review the scope of the project.
Keep us in your thoughts as we venture down this path of providing a Community Theatre & Multi-Events Center to the City of Petersburg VA

July 18, 2015
We look forward to a great weekend here in Old Town Historic Petersburg VA. We continue to grow more excited about the prospects of restoring this beautiful building. Robin Miller Associates replaced the roof two years ago. Our focus will be the cosmetic repairs inside the building. Once we have a legal document from the owner granting us access and approval of the Restoration Project, we will submit our Grant Request to multiple organizations. If you know of an organization that assists with building restoration and promoting the Arts of Music and Community Events, please email the owner of this website.

July 10, 2015
Good News this week!
The company that owns this Church, Miller Associates has made contact with me today.  Mr. Miller called when he heard that we are interested in the Church.  He had planned to turn it into Residential Housing.  After purchasing the building, and putting a new roof on and several other repairs, decided that wasn't the best use for the building.  When I told him that we wanted to make it a Community Theatre, he became very excited and has agreed to meet with me and his Architecture Team to determine the cost to make the cosmetic restorations inside.  He is not willing to spend anymore money, therefore I will be reaching out to the investors who are interest in supporting the Arts.  Also, I have a friend that is very experienced in writing/requesting Grants.
Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we explore this new opportunity.

July 6, 2015
To those attached to this page, I have some positive and exciting news to share. I received a call this morning from Michelle Peters/City of Petersburg. She needed to gather more information on my request to use this building as a Community Theatre, Offer it for other Music and Comedy type Venues as well as restore the Opus 401 Pipe Organ. She was not aware that the Organ was still in the building. Michelle stated that current zoning supports the use of a Community Theatre and other Community Events.  Michelle will verify the Owner of the Building and get back to me very soon.  For anyone interested in supporting a Community Theatre in Petersburg VA, please "LIKE" this page and "SHARE" it with all your friends. We will hope to reach out to those who support Community Theatre as well as a location for other Community Events.
Thank you and more to come soon!!

June 28, 2015:
 Help Us Locate The Owner Of This Building
With the help of the Community and Historic Petersburg Foundation, Inc. through Petersburg Renovation Grants. Please don't let this building deteriorate any further. This is a perfect building for a Community Theatre and Community Event


Project Updates




Home  | About | Mission | History | Restoration | The OrganEvents | Get Involved | Sponsorship


This website provided by GoldMil Productions, LLC, Hendersonville, TN
Copyright (c) 1998 GoldMil Productions, LLC.
Last modified January 01, 2018