This congregation was founded as Powder Springs Lutheran Church (Basye) in 1871. At that time it was part of a union church. Such were common in the Shenandoah Valley and consisted of several different denominations sharing the same facility. In 1952, the Lutheran congregation left the union church and moved to its current site closer to Orkney Springs, taking the name Prince of Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church in the process. Pastoral leadership was shared with other congregations until 1991.
In 1991, the church ended its mission status and amicably separated from nearby Morning Star Lutheran Church. The Rev. John Koehnlein, who had served both congregations, also resigned that year. Supply pastors (including the Rev. W.W. Pendleton, rector of the Episcopal Beckford Parish) served Prince of Peace until 1993. It was then that Prince of Peace called its first fulltime pastor, the Rev. G. William Nabers. During his seventeen-year tenure, the congregation’s relationship with the community at Bryce Resort was strengthened and the church campus was expanded considerably.
In 2002, the church building grew with the addition of Stidley Hall. An up-to-date kitchen, accessible bathrooms, and an office suite were part of the project, most of which was done by hand by members of the church. The hall was named in honor of local resident Della Stidley Jones, whose bequest made the addition possible
In 2008, the Canaday picnic pavilion was completed, again with most of the work done by the hands of PoP members. It is dedicated to the memory of members Mary and Hank Canaday.
In 2010, the ordination and installation of the Rev. David C. Drebes was held on October 10th. The Rev. James Mauney, Bishop of the VA Synod, presided and the Rev. Chip Gunsten, Assistant to the Bishop, preached.
In 2011, the sanctuary was enhanced with the remodeling of the chancel. After the altar was moved out from the wall and refurbished, the dossal curtain was removed and replaced by a stained glass window designed by local artist Charles Barone. In a service presided over by Bishop Mauney on September 19, the chancel was dedicated. Once again, the carpentry for this renovation was completed by (talented!) members of the church.
After having served Prince of Peace and the community from 2010 until 2018, Pastor Drebes accepted a call to serve as pastor of College Lutheran Church in Salem, Virginia, and the congregation began a search for a new pastor. We were grateful to have Pastor Robert Wise serve us for a short time during 2019-2020. Presently Pastor Tom Williamsen is serving as Interim Pastor.
As in the last 68 years, Prince of Peace continues to be a welcoming and supportive part of the Basye/Orkney Springs area, and has grown into a home for many from Basye, Orkney Springs, and the Bryce Resort, as well as a place for service. Blood drives, clothing drives, disaster support appeals, and partnerships with local service groups like the food bank and the SEARCH group home are just some of the ministries that have grown over the years.