Our Vision and Our Mission

Our Vision            

“For generations to come, Grace Church will be a beacon on the Peninsula of the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ, celebrating the wholeness within and redeeming what is broken”

Our Mission

The Mission of the Church is the Mission of Christ

  • To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
  • To teach, baptize and nurture new believers 
  • To respond to human need by loving service 
  • To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
  • To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth





Assistant Rector

Staff Asst. Priest

The Rev. Carleton B. Bakkum
The Rev. Carleton Bakkum has been rector of Grace Church a long time -- 25 years!   Originally from Dalton, Georgia, his B.A. is from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL, his M.Div. is from Princeton Theological Seminary and he has a Certificate in Anglican Studies from General Seminary in New York City.  Carleton believes the Episcopal Church is a "best kept secret" and works to encourage others in living abundant Christian lives -- connected to Grace Church.  He has a particular and lifelong interest in music and art and loves camping, hiking and kayaking.  He is married to Elsa Bakkum who is Assistant Director of Education for Ministry (EfM, out of the School of Theology at the University of the South in Sewanee, TN).  They have three grown sons, Brownlee, who works in San Francisco; Benj, who works in New York City; and Carter, who works in Washington, DC.

The Rev. Jacqueline Soltys
        My family and I moved here from the Chicago area just over a year ago.  My husband, Stuart Henderson, was recruited by Jefferson Lab in Newport News, where he currently serves as Director.  We have two children, Sophia and Grace, who will be seniors this year—one at Sewanee and one in high school.  When we moved, I was just finishing my first year as an ordained priest, and as Curate of St James Cathedral in Chicago.  Since the move I have been working as a supply priest up and down the peninsula.
        I was born in Boston, around the time of the Kennedy assassination, hence my first name. (My parents named me after Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, so I pronounce it the French way.)  After high school, I headed to the Northeast for both college and graduate school.  I began my professional life as an academic.  (I have a PhD in Russian Language and Literature.)  When our girls were older, I reentered the work world part-time.  Always active in church, I took a position as Christian Education Director at our parish in Knoxville, TN. Three years later, we moved to Illinois, and I began the slow process of pursuing ordination in the Diocese of Chicago.  I was ordained as a Deacon in 2015; as a priest in 2016.

Staff Directory

The Rev. Carleton B. Bakkum       757-898-3261 Ext. 13

Rector                                              cbakkum@gracechurchyorktown.org


The Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Soltys     757-898-3261, Ext. 14

Assistant Rector                                jsoltys@gracechurchyorktown.org

Courtney Kelley                                  757-898-3261, Ext. 12

Parish Administrator                             administrator@gracechurchyorktown.org


Suzanne Daniel                                  757-593-2358

Choir Director/                                   suziqdaniel@yahoo.com



Bob Frady                                          757-898-3261, Ext. 17

Financial Director                                      treasurer@gracechurchyorktown.org                                 


Kevin James                                       757-898-3261, Ext. 16 or 757/532-5958

Sexton                                              operations@gracechurchyorktown.org


Denise Wash                                      757-898-3261, Ext. 11

Secretary                                          secretary@gracechurchyorktown.org


Karen Wahlstrom                                       youth@gracechurchyorktown.org
Director of Children

    and Youth Ministries


Mrs. Diane Garrison                              757-898-3261

Nursery Supervisor


Mrs. Elsa Bakkum, M.Div.                      757-812-2389

Resident Spiritual Director            ebakkum@cox.net


Mrs. Nancy Sullivan                               757-898-3261

Parish Nurse


Mrs. Brenda Moore                                     757-291-7440

Archivist                                                           brendajoycemoore@me.com


Dr. David Miller                                          757-898-8189

Cemetery Director                                     catherine.miller82@yahoo.com


The Vestry
Administratively, Parish operations are directed by the Vestry, an elected board whose members serve staggered three-year terms.

The Commission System
The Commission System supports the Grace Church's Mission and offers a considerable opportunity for personal contributions by parishioners. The principle areas of parish activity are assigned to separate Commissions. Commissions are composed of committees, which are formed and led by parishioners according to their interest and talents. The purpose of the committees is to carry out the responsibilities of meeting the Commissions' goals.

The Finance, Audit and Endowment Committee
The Finance, Audit and Endowment Committee coordinates the Vestry's financial oversight responsibilities by recommending policy to the Vestry, interpreting it for the staff, and monitoring its implementation. The committee also provides Vestry oversight of the organization's financial audit and recommends appropriate investments for endowment funds.

For a copy of our 2017 Annual Report, please click here.

The Parish Book and Gift Shop

Since its founding in 1968, the Grace Church Parish Book and Gift Shop has been your source of unique items for study, self-improvement, seasonal gifts, and parish-related memorabilia.

Staffed and operated entirely by dedicated volunteers, the Book and Gift Shop is located in the north entry wing of the Parish House. It is open Monday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The Parish Book and Gift Shop has an ever-increasing variety of study materials and gift suggestions for every need.

For questions call us at (757) 898-3261 ext. 20


Grace Historical Church Preservation Foundation

Our original church building was built on the current site in 1697.  During the pre-Revolutionary period when Yorktown was the main port for the Virginia Colony, the church served York-Hampton Parish.  Our ancestral vestry included Thomas Nelson, signer of the Declaration of Independence, his family and other pre-Revolutionary Founding Fathers.  The original building survived the Revolutionary War, but burned in the Yorktown fire of 1814 leaving only the marl walls standing.  It was rebult in 1848, but again suffered severe damage during the Civil War.  Renovation in the 1920's created the building we use today.  The church is listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places.

The Grace Historical Church Preservation Foundation was created in order to receive charitable donations for the maintenance and restoration of the old church building.  This fund is growing due to memorial donations, and contributions from outside organizations that are interested in historical preservation, including the Martiau Descendant Association and the Pate Genealogical Convocation.  Current Board Members include David Miller, President; Cathy Miller, Treasurer; Lois Winter, Secretary; Allan Geddes; Ray Miller; Lou Stack; Brenda Moore; Sharon Stack; Jerry Twigg; and Rose Field.

Tax deductible contributions can be made to:
Grace Historical Church Preservation Foundation
P.O. Box 133
Yorktown, Virginia 23690

By preserving this historic church for future generations, we honor a symbol of the spirit that built America.  For more information, contact Lois Winter, (757) 898-0782. 

History of Grace Church

1697-Present written by Debra Boyce and Jean Kirkham







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