Richmond Virginia Temple
In April 2018, President Russell M. Nelson announced that a temple would be built in Richmond, Virginia. The Richmond Virginia Temple will be the first temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the state of Virginia. The two-story edifice has a total floor space of 40,531 square feet and will be constructed on an 11-acre wooded site at 10915 Staples Mill Road in Henrico County near Glen Allen, Virginia, a suburban neighborhood just outside Richmond. The temple will sit on 11.17 acres of land and will have four ordinance rooms (stationary) and three sealing rooms. Latter-day Saints in Virginia, eastern West Virginia, and northeastern North Carolina will be served by the temple. An adjacent 16,000-square-foot meetinghouse will also be built and an existing two-story home at 4151 Mountain Road will remain as a residence for the temple president and matron.
During an open house attended by neighbors, Church members, and journalists held on Wednesday evening, 28 August 2019, in Richmond, Virginia, Church representatives unveiled eight interior and exterior renderings, showing what the new temple is expected to look like. The design plans and renderings draw heavily from historical American traditions. According to Bill Williams, director of temple design, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, the University of Virginia, Williamsburg and other sites throughout the state have influenced the design of the temple. Williams told Newsroom, "Temple patrons and visitors will notice simple yet beautiful ornamentation, hearkening back to the humble beginnings of the United States." He continued, "Interlocking diamond chains and accents of the flowering dogwood – Virginia’s state tree and flower – will be found on the inside and outside of the temple. The landscaping design is inspired by historic Williamsburg and will help contribute to a reverent, peaceful atmosphere for all who come here."
The site plan for the property where the temple will be built was also shared. The site plan shows the orientation of the temple, an adjoining meetinghouse, and a maintenance building. Just prior to the open house, Church representatives held a briefing for local leaders to showcase plans for the temple and answer questions.
Brent Roberts, managing director of the Church’s Special Projects Department, commented, "Many hours of work and planning have gone into the design for this beautiful temple. We are pleased to share these renderings with Church and community members so they can look forward to the completion of this sacred structure and anticipate the blessings it will bring to this area."
Mike Waters, the Church’s local director of public affairs in the Richmond area, said, "This temple will greatly bless both our members and the communities in which we live. It’s also historically significant to have this temple located only a few miles from where the Virginia General Assembly in 1786 enacted the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. The freedom to worship as we see fit started here and that freedom continues to manifest itself today through this inspiring edifice."
Missionaries for the Church first arrived in Virginia in the early 1840s. By 1841, approximately 80 people had joined the Church in Virginia. There are now nearly 100,000 members across the state, which had previously been the state with the most members without a temple. 89-year-old Ruby Barley and her family were among the first baptized in Spotsylvania County near Fredericksburg, Virginia. She said, "It is a dream come true." Jenni McCall, a Relief Society president in Stafford County was "ecstatic" about the announcement. She said, "This will make such a difference to all of us." Church members currently travel to the Washington D.C. Temple to participate in temple services, often enduring heavy stop-and-go traffic.
Design Plans and Renderings For Richmond Virginia Temple
On Wednesday, 28 August 2019, during an open house held in Richmond, Virginia, Church representatives unveiled eight interior and exterior renderings showing what the new temple is expected to look like. The pictures in the gallery were obtained from the Newsroom and are ©2019 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
Groundbreaking Ceremony Announced
The groundbreaking for the Richmond Virginia Temple will be held Saturday, 11 April 020. Attendance at the site will be by invitation only. The groundbreaking service will be broadcast to stake centers in the temple district. Elder Randall K. Bennett, North America Northeast Area president, will preside.