OPC from 1908 to 1923
- During the pastorate of Rev. S. O. Coxe, OPC had its first substantial growth. Membership increased from twenty to seventy. From 1908-1915 the church had a Sunday School with six teachers and twenty students. J.E. Long served as Superintendent.
- A new church was built on the corner of Main and Caroline Street in Orange, VA. The cost of the project was $4,000.
- At a cost of $1,500, a pipe organ was installed. The instrument was dedicated in 1911, and is still in use today in the sanctuary.
- Mrs. Lewis Holladay lead a children's society called "Willing Hands." The group had 16 members.
- Rev. Coxe, after serving OPC for almost 10 years, accepted a call from Handley Memorial Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama. The session minutes from 1918-1921 do not mention the First World War or the Spanish Flu Pandemic. Rev. Coxe, at his new church does. October 10, 1918 he wrote an editorial in support of the city's ban of public gatherings.
"By the wise and necessary action of the City Commission and the Board of Health, on account of the scourge of disease now prevailing, all congregational activities are canceled for a minimum period of two weeks,” Coxe wrote.
“But, while this providence is a severe one, affecting as it does all our plans and programs in this the most opportune season of the entire church year, may we not yet turn this season to best account by accepting it as an opportunity for the exercise of a fuller devotion to God and to the things of His Kingdom? Necessarily we shall be kept in our homes many hours that would otherwise be spent in recreation and amusement.
Perhaps this circumstance will serve to remind us that in these sacred home-circles there is to be found the very finest of fellowship and the sweetest and most wholesome of all influences. And certainly if we should improve these hours by prayer and meditation, the seeming curse of this scourge would not be unmixed with blessing.”
- The OPC session minutes from 1918-1921 repeatedly mention that the church is without a minister.
- In 1921 OPC's first full time pastor, Rev. James A McQueen was hired.
- The house of Dr. Bledsoe, directly across Main Street from the church, was purchased as a manse.
- Mrs. R. H. Rawlings organized the "Sunshine Band" which continued for many years.
- A Christian Endeavor Society was formed and operated successfully for about ten years. This was an interdenominational Protestant youth organization started in 1885. According to its founder, Rev. Francis Clark, the goal of the society was "to make young people more useful in the service of God and more efficient in church work thereby establishing them in their faith and the practice of the gospel."
- Rev. Charles R. Stribling, DD came to OPC from the Tabb Street Presbyterian Church, in Petersburg, VA. He served until his death in 1939. During his tenure, the membership increased from 87 to 131.
Although Rev. Stribling had no problems answering the call from OPC, that wasn't the case at his previous church. Tabb Street Presbyterian called Rev. Stribling from his church in Waynesboro, Virginia in the Lexington Presbytery. The Presbytery refused to dissolve the pastoral relationship. Tabb Street issued a call three times before Rev. Stribling was finally released to go to Petersburg in 1910.
During Rev. Stribling's 50-year career he served as moderator of the Synod of Virginia and Charmain of the Home Mission Council for East Hanover Presbytery. He served communion at OPC on New Year's Day 1939. He died nine days later at his daughter's home in Petersburg. Rev. Stribling is buried in the Blandford Cemetery.