This year’s Nokesville Day Citizen of the Year is Mary Gough, a lifelong resident whose family has been here for generations. She’s known in Nokesville and Prince William County for her hard work on the farm and dedication to a variety of voluntary activities.

“Downtown” Nokesville has changed, of course, but she has fond memories of the old Nokesville Elementary School (which was once grades one through twelve, now Renaissance School), Trenis Store (Asset Management), Fitzwater Garage (Nokesville Tire) and the other businesses which occupied some of the still-existing buildings.

​Mary still has a huge garden, drives her tractor (including in the Nokesville parades), does canning and quilting. As a member of Nokesville Church of the Brethren, she sang in the choir, is Martha Early Circle president and has catered dinners. She has held all Homemakers Club offices and been an active member of the PWFC Farm Bureau, including being a Farm Woman of the Year nominee. She’s been involved in organizing and working the PW County Fair since 1967, such as being the superintendent and judging home arts.

Mary and Alden Gough have been married for 65 years, have four sons (Kevin, Dale, Dennis, Dean), 11 grandchildren and 10 greats.

​Said Mary, “Nokesville is a wonderful community to live in and I always look forward to Nokesville Day.”


We bought that bus!

Northern Virginia Brethren played a key role in making the bus for Queensland Girls’ School roll!  The Ken & Ted event put the project of acquiring the bus put the New Community Project’s She has a Dream campaign over the top. Now disabled children needing transport, teachers living at distance, and sporting teams looking for a match – they’ve all got a way to get there!


Death Row Support Project

How to become a pen pal to an inmate

A person on DR (Death Row) often spends up to 23 hours each day in a small cell for years and sometimes decades.  Letters can bring a ray of hope to the darkness of DR.  For those on the outside, learning to know just one prisoner can dispel some of the misconceptions and fears about prisons and the people locked away inside.

My pen pal is a black male, 48 years old who has been in prison for 27 years serving 2 life sentences.  He was raised by an abusive, bipolar, addicted mother.  When he was first arrested, his own son was one year old.  They have been trying to build a relationship by phone and he has never met his three grandchildren.  He is a spiritual man and says, “I am not a victim, and I stand in my own responsibility.”

Some positive changes went into effect at his prison in the past year.  As part of that, he has worked outside; he shovelled two city blocks of snow and was paid $ 1.26 for 3 hours work.  He earns 24 cents an hour for 5 days a week and $6 a month for school.  He says, “A good month, I earn $33.”

We have been writing back and forth since October 2019.  Since the pandemic reached peak, I have been seeing reports on the COVID-19 situations in prisons.  I am concerned for my penpal as I have not heard from him since February 10th.  I became interested in the Death Row Support Project since reading an article in the Brethren Messenger.  I then read the book Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson which convinced me to become part of the project.  The application is very simple and done on-line.  The commitment is one letter a month for a year.  I’m feeling a relationship developing already that I’m sure will last longer than one year – God willing.

For more information, contact Lyn Ficili at lficili@gmail.com.


Church Camp Weekend

We are planning the “All Church Camp Weekend” for September 29-October 1.  Stay all weekend or come for a day.  Brethren Woods, in Keezletown, VA offers a beautiful, serene campground that is perfect for fellowship.

This is a fun weekend of fellowship at Brethren Woods in the mountains of Virginia. We have currently reserved cabins for the weekend. If you are interested in coming but would prefer to stay in the A-Frame (building with bathroom in it), please reach out to Pam Breslin or Jackie Bear. We may still be able to book the A-frame. Please also let us know if you or your child are interested in participating in the Challenge/Ropes course. We will need at least 6 people to commit to participate to book the activity.