The Newport Village Green is a “ministry of space,” offering a tranquil place for the public to prayerfully enjoy the beauty of God’s creation and to foster a greater sense of connection and community through special events and activities.
A committee of church members worked with students from Virginia Tech to visualize a park on a vacant piece of property willed to the church in 1996 by Mrs. Alberta Williams. The Williams family had long owned the land and had played an integral role in the church and community for many generations. Work began on the Village Green in 1997 with Perry Martin and Donna Martin providing a great deal of leadership in both advocating for and much of the hands-on work involved with planting, mulching, and weeding this space.
The stones that form the foundation of the gazebo were salvaged from a slave cabin (from the 1850’s) that was adjacent to the property. The cabin suffered a fire in 1993 but rock and brick from the cabin’s foundation, fireplace, and chimney were able to be salvaged. The gazebo’s front steps came from the fireplace of that cabin.
The peony that is located in the flowerbed next to the wooden footbridge is over 100 years old. This heritage flower was donated by members Laymon & Jean Williams that had been given to them by long-standing church member David Miller who noted that it came from his home place.
In 2016, the Village Green received a major face-lift including the installation of packed paths that provide greater accessibility for persons with mobility needs, the construction of raised flower beds, the addition of a new children’s play structure, and the painting of the bridge, gazebo, and front entryway. These improvements came from recommendations made by the Community Design Assistance Center, a part of the College of Architecture & Urban Studies at Virginia Tech.
Annually, the Village Green plays host to the Newport Community Easter Egg Hunt, the Ice Cream Supper, the Independence Day Celebration/Picnic, weddings, a picnic for the Giles County Senior Center, and various scouting and 4-H Club activities.
Additionally, a garden area was created behind the gazebo and dedicated to the memory of Jenny Grogan Farrier on what would have been her 41st birthday. The color palette of the garden is red, Jenny’s favorite color. Because of Jenny’s love for reading, this area includes a “Little Library” through which the community is able to borrow and share books with one another.