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.
I. 2015 Summer Reenactment Series
Each year from Memorial Day to Labor Day, we offer Public Reenactments of the Second Virginia Convention and Henry’s “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!” speech. Each Sunday afternoon (and some Saturdays), we offer first-come, first served seating to the public to attend the reenactment.
For the dates and times of ALL summer reenactments, please visit our EVENTS page.
NEW THIS YEAR: We offer advanced ticket sales for large groups, for those who want to make sure to get a seat, or who just don’t want to wait in line. Please find the EVENT listing for your desired reenactment date, and follow the links therein to make your purchase.
NEW THIS YEAR: TWO Independence Day Reenactments, one at 11:00 AM and another at 1:15 PM.
For all Summer Reenactments:
(excluding the 11:00 AM Independence Day reenactment)
- 1:15 pm – Doors open. Seating is on a first-come, first served basis.
- 1:30 pm – Music program begins
- 1:45 pm – Reenactment begins
FAQ for Public Reenactments
- Historic St. John’s Church welcomes all visitors.
- We are fully wheelchair 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 close once the church reaches capacity or when the reenactment begins. No admittance after the reenactment begins.
- The reenactment is not recommended for children under the age of 6. We ask that parents escort restless children outside so that the audience is not disturbed. Your cooperation is appreciated.
- 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, strollers or backpacks are permitted in the church. Bags are subject to search.
- This event is FREE, with a suggested donation of $5.00.
- You may reserve seats (up to 100) by purchasing advance $5 tickets. Please see individual EVENT listing for your desired reenactment to find the appropriate purchase link.
- Reserved ticket holders should arrive between 12:45-1:15. Please skip the line and follow the signs to the West door of the church. You will there be admitted and seated.
II. Special Public Events
Throughout the year, the St. John’s Church Foundation schedules additional “Liberty or Death!” reenactments and special events. Please check our EVENTS page for more information about these additional dates.
Happy Birthday, George Washington!
We celebrate Geo. Washington each year on President’s Day. After General Washington addresses his fellow Americans, we fete him with cake in the Visitors Center!
Patrick Henry’s famous speech to the Second Virginia Convention took place on March 23, 1775. Each year on a day closest to March 23 or March 23 itself, we honor Henry’s famous speech with the “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!” Anniversary Reenactment.
Patrick Henry’s Birthday Party
We celebrate Patrick Henry each year on May 29. Mr. Henry gives a speech in the church, and then joins all of his guests in the Visitor Center for birthday cake, huzzahs, and photos!
Veteran’s Day “Liberty or Death” Reenactment
Commemorates all who have served our country since the American Revolution.
Court End Christmas “Liberty or Death” Reenactment
Held on Court End Christmas, the city’s free annual holiday celebration (with free transportation to and from several historic sites), we offer a Christmas reenactment, refreshments in the Visitor Center, and a church Open House for our guests.
III. Private Reenactments
Groups may arrange for a Private Reenactment inside historic St. John’s Church.
- Performances are 45 minutes in length. We suggest allotting one hour to allow for seating, restroom visits, and photographs with the actors.
- Church capacity is 325.
Rate: $800 / School rate is $750
Hours for reenactments are 10:00 AM – to 3:30 PM. Reenactments booked outside these hours garner additional fees.
- Before 10:00 AM, add $100
- Between 4:00-4:30 PM, add $50
- After 5:00 PM, add $100
To make a reservation, please either:
Call our Visitor Center at (804) 648-5015;
Download our Reservation Request Form 2015 and fax to (804) 643-4412;
Or send us an email for more information.