Oldest Laboring Farm in America
Before Colonists settled at Jamestown in 1607, they visited a tract of land that would later be called Archer's Hope, named after Gabriel Archer, leader of another party who chose to settle on that land. The colonists didn't choose to settle at Archer's Hope because they were not able to get the ships as close to shore as they wanted. It would have made it easy for their enemy, the Spanish; to see the settlement there therefore Jamestown Island was chosen. Although Archer's Hope wasn't chosen as the first settlement, the land was very important to the colonists. George Percy commented on the soil being good and fruitful, excellent timber, squirrels, turkeys, and other types of birds. Although the colonists used the land soon after settling in Jamestown, Archer's Hope is believed to have been settled around 1619. The first African slaves that came to America labored on Archer's Hope.
The Glebe Land was set aside for the church and had close ties with the Jamestown church and its minister. The land was next to Rev. Richard Buck's 750-acre property that he owned at Archer's Hope.
Around 1765, Mr. Spratley, owner of the farm in Archer's Hope sold beef, mutton (sheep), and fish to the College of William & Mary.
In 1936, Elder Michaux and The Church of God purchased an approximately 500 acre farm land which is considered the Glebe Land. In 1942, another 500 acre farm was purchased, which is part of Archer's Hope. There is a road called Treasure Island Road that splits the two farms. It is believed that Captain John Smith buried his treasure at the end of this road. The Elder became interested in farming because he had a vision that there would be another depression in America that would be worse than the depression in the 1930s.
During the first depression, there was plenty of food, due to the number of farms but very little money. During the second depression, The Elder prophesied that there would be plenty of money, but very little food. The Elder believed if God's people from all over could make it to this farm, get a glass of milk and a piece of bread, they would be able to survive.
Elder would often say that we are the meat between two slices of bread. "If they going to bite, they got to bite us." Our land is between Jamestown & Colonial Williamsburg. Many things are said about the bread in Williamsburg, but not much news about the meat between those two slices of bread. Our land is valuable and worth millions but we have no intentions of selling it!
Marion O'Connell (M.O.) Smith, after joining The Church of God in Washington DC was brought down to the farm to work in 1943. Elder promised him that this land would be for him, his children, and his children's children. He told the Elder, 'Hold on Elder, I don't even have a girlfriend.' Elder assured him that this would come to pass. M.O. Smith married Rita Robinson in 1945 and that marriage produced 12 children (8 boys and 4 girls).
When M.O. Smith came to the farm, there were hundreds of farms in Williamsburg but now only one remains, our farm. We can see how Elder Michaux's prophecy is coming to pass. There are arguably more millionaires in American than there has ever been. Money is plentiful, but farms are disappearing regularly. America's next depression is coming where there will be plenty of money but very little food.
Elder Michaux was the spiritual advisor to three U.S. Presidents. FDR, Truman and Einsenhower. Search Google for Elder Michaux and you will see him listed in the Truman Library. This man could walk in and out of the White House any time he wanted to, which was almost unheard of during that time for someone of his color.
M.O. Smith was made overseer of the farm around 1955. Elder Michaux made M.O. Smith promise him that he would always keep the cows on the farm. After he had children, Elder Michaux also told him to keep his boys on the farm to help him, because one day he would find it hard to get help.
M.O. Smith could have never imagined himself working on a dairy farm because he did not like cows due to their big eyes. It may have taken him a little time, but after getting kicked from one end of the barn to the next, he took control of the herd and became a respected dairyman in the area.
When M.O. Smith came to the farm in 1946, there were hundreds of farms in Williamsburg/James City County. Today, our farm is the last dairy farm remaining in Williamsburg. M.O. Smith fought hard to maintain a herd of 60 cows on the farm but over the years, the number of cows in the herd has decreased. As of July 2017, there are less than 30 cows in the herd, since there is limited funding available to add more cows to the herd. Our desire is to keep the dairy operation going for many more years to come but we need support. The Church of God at Williamsburg makes regular donations to support the dairy operations and farm needs.
If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to the dairy operations on the farm, then please mail your check payable to the following:
The Church of God at Williamsburg, 209 Longhill Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185
Memo: M.O. Smith Farm Relief Fund
The Emancipation Monument (.PDF)
Take some time to watch Elder Lightfoot Solomon Michaux in action: