Previous GTCA City 2014, 2015
Virginia Beach, a coastal city in southeastern Virginia, is the largest city in the state of Virginia, with a population of over 450,000. It is part of a region called Hampton Roads with a population of 1.7 million, the largest concentration of US military personnel worldwide, including 118,000 active-duty personnel. Saints have been meeting in a small way in the Hampton Roads area since 1966. From 2004 – 2015, the saints in Virginia Beach met with the saints in Newport News. Today, the church in Virginia Beach is near the churches in Newport News (30 min.), Richmond (1.5 hrs), and Charlottesville (2.5 hrs). Nearly 35 adults and 20 children live close to each other, practicing a day-to-day church life. With rich blending with all the churches in the Mid-Atlantic and a burden for the campuses, particularly Old Dominion University with 25,000 students in nearby Norfolk, the saints are eagerly anticipating the Lord’s continual leading.
Background of the Church
During the 1960s, some saints moved to the Hampton Roads area. Most subsequently moved to other cities to practice the church life. In Virginia Beach, several sisters came into contact with the ministry and practiced the church life in a small way in the homes. This continued until the early 2000s, when the saints in Virginia Beach began taking the Lord’s Table together with the church in Newport News in the city of Hampton. This continued until 2015. After the migration of some families into Virginia Beach, the church began meeting in the city itself.
Presently, 35 saints and 20 children, and young people are actively meeting in the church.
The church in Virginia Beach is 30 minutes from Newport News, an hour and a half from Richmond, and two and a half hours from Charlottesville. We enjoy a lot of healthy traffic and fellowship in the Body. We regularly blend together in Virginia as well as in the Mid-Atlantic as a whole. Each fall, we have a family camp. In the spring, there is a blending conference. We are laboring to bring up the next generation to love and seek the Lord through young people, college conferences, and outings.
The church life is sweet and practical in a weekly way. Saints in Virginia Beach primarily live in three areas of the city. Brothers gather together every morning to be revived. Sisters gather nearly on a daily basis for prayer. There are home meetings and gatherings for young people. We are corporately endeavoring to live a vital church life that matches the vision we possess. We seek a living and service that is up-to-date with the Lord’s leading and His recovery on the earth today.
History and the Military
The strategic location of Virginia Beach traces back to 1607 with the first settlement of the British in North America at Jamestown. First Landing State Park at the tip of the city is the most visited state park in the commonwealth and commemorates the landing of the first British settlers. It has over 20 miles of trails and nearly 3,000 acres of land.
Hampton Roads as a whole is replete with important historical attractions. The final stages of the Revolutionary War and the Civil War unfolded on its shores. Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown, about 30 minutes from Hampton Roads, form the historic triangle and draw visitors from all over the country. When the fledgling government of the United States began to consider how to develop itself, George Washington and Alexander Hamilton decided that the first federally funded project would be the Cape Henry lighthouse in Virginia Beach.
Today, Hampton Roads is still a vital and strategic part of America. With over 118,000 active-duty personnel, it hosts more US military than any other part of the world. In addition, there are over 200,000 veterans living in the region. Because of this, there are many services geared toward serving veterans.
There are 15 military installations and seven main bases spread throughout Hampton Roads. The region is filled with ones who have served or are actively serving in the military. There is much burden for those serving our country to know and enter into God’s economy. Throughout the years, there have been several servicemen who have come into the Lord’s recovery in the area. Today six saints are meeting here who actively serve in the armed forces.
Location, Transportation, Climate, and Health
Virginia Beach is located where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. It is only a 3.5-hour drive to Washington DC, the closest major metropolitan area. It is also 1.5 hours from Richmond and within 3 hours of the Raleigh area.
Virginia Beach gets 47 inches of rain on average per year. The climate is temperate, with temperatures typically varying from 34°F to 87°F. Temperatures rarely fall below 23°F or rise above 93°F over the course of one year.
The most pleasant months of the year for Virginia Beach are May, September, and June. Virginia Beach has four comfortable months with high temperatures of 70-85°. July is the hottest month for Virginia Beach, with an average high temperature of 87.8°, ranking it as warmer than most places in Virginia. February is the snowiest month in Virginia Beach, with 3.1 inches of snow, and three months of the year have significant snowfall. The most uncomfortably humid months are July, August, and June.
Virginia Beach, Virginia, gets 47 inches of rain, on average, per year. The US average is 38 inches of rain per year. The area averages 6 inches of snow per year. The US average is 28 inches of snow per year. On average, there are 213 sunny days per year in Virginia Beach. The US average is 205.
The latest annual National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report (QDR) released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) ranks Virginia ninth nationwide. Virginia Beach has five hospital systems as part of a strong network of healthcare facilities in the Virginia Beach – Norfolk – Newport News region.
K-12: Virginia Beach City Public Schools is a highly rated public school district. It has 68,706 students from PreK – 12, with a student-teacher ratio of 16 to 1. According to state test scores, 88% of students are at least proficient in math and 85% in reading. It is in the top 50 largest school districts in the United States.
VBPS offers students various programs and academies, including a STEM and Technology Academy, a Health Sciences Academy, a Legal Studies Academy, and a Visual and Performing Arts Academy.
Home Schooling is a popular option in Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads.
Universities: There are several colleges and universities in Hampton Roads, totaling over 100,000 students.
- Old Dominion University (25,000)
- Regent University (10,400)
- Norfolk State University (5,000)
- Virginia Wesleyan ((1,300)
- Christopher Newport University (5,000)
- Eastern Virginia Medical School (1,100)
- College of William and Mary (8,900)
- Hampton University (4,600)
- Tidewater Community College (34,000)
- Thomas Nelson Community College (11,000)
Economy and Major Employers
The average income of a Virginia Beach resident is $32,477 a year. The US average is $28,555. The Median household income of a Virginia Beach resident is $67,001 a year. The US average is $53,482. Virginia Beach has an unemployment rate of 4.8%, while the US average is 6.0%.
All branches of the armed forces represent the largest employers in Virginia Beach and the Hampton Roads area. Auxiliary contractors to the military and the shipbuilding industry are also major employers. The area is a hub for medical services, and the major hospitals (Sentara, Riverside, Bon Secours) are essential employment centers.
Airports: The main airport for the area is Norfolk International Airport. It is a modern facility offering over 130 daily nonstop flights to 16 major airports. Norfolk International presently ranks in the top 13 percent of the country’s airports in terms of passengers served annually, with over 3.9 million passengers and over 77,000 aircraft operations (2019 most recent data).
Commuting: The typical American commute has been getting longer each year since 2010. The average one-way commute in Virginia Beach takes 23.7 minutes. That’s shorter than the US average of 26.4 minutes. People in Virginia Beach get to work in the following ways: 82.1% drive their car alone, 8.4% carpool with others, 3.8% work from home, and 0.9% take mass transit.
There are public buses, a light rail system in Norfolk, and Amtrak servicing the area.