History (87 yrs)


According to Elnora Owens, J.B. Patterson was the first black agricultural extension supervisor in the state of Virginia. He came to Virginia State College from Hampton Institute in the early thirties. Mr. Patterson was a strong Episcopalian who quickly became a faithful parishioner at St. Stephen’s. He organized the men of the church to promote fellowship, foster spiritual growth, and to contribute to the financial well-being of the parish. At his death in the late thirties the men of the church named their organization in his honor.


Although all of the men of the church are eligible for membership, about half of them participate. The fishing trips and crab fest that they sponsor are popular annual events. From the proceeds of these activities and their dues the men have provided many items not accommodated by the budget of the church. They have given receptions, hosted prayer breakfasts, worked at the food bank, and have provided the muscle for some of the women’s activities. They purchased the new security system for the church and parish hall, contributed to building fund, and provided the funds and the labor for much of the restoration of the church. These recent contributions of the Men’s Club are examples of the kind of service the club has rendered to St. Stephen’s for about sixty years.

Filmore Martin is the current president, while Frank Taylor Sr. is the immediate past president. Richard West, Earl Brooks, and Frank Taylor coordinate the fishing trip, while Filmore Martin, Earl Brooks, Walter Deramus, Benjamin Ford, Frank Taylor, Carlyle Jones, Edward Smith coordinate the crab fest.

Compiled by the E.E. Miller Guild for the “Biographical Directory of the Membership of St. Stephens…”1992