Submitted by Rev. Francis Kyle
Halifax County native Ethel Virginia (Bryant) Britton celebrated her 100th birthday on November 5th. A party and family reunion were held in her honor at Steamers Restaurant in Chincoteague, Virginia, on November 7th. In addition to relatives from Halifax County, invited Bethlehem pastor Dr. Francis Kyle joined the celebration and gave the pre-meal prayer. Britton served as the pastor’s wife at Halifax County’s Bethlehem Baptist from 1953 to 1960 and, simultaneously, Darlington Baptist from 1953 to 1956.
With her pastor husband and sons Raymond Jr., Donald (“Butch”) and Gary, she moved to Chinoteague Island on Virginia’s Eastern Shore in 1960. She has remained in the small coastal town ever since. For 61 years and up to his death in 2003, Britton was married to the prominent pastor and revivalist, Raymond L. Britton, Sr. The now 17-year widow Britton was born to Rensy and Ethel Bryant towards the end of the 1918-20 flu pandemic.
Raymond and Ethel began their ministry in 1960 and by the time Rev. Britton left in 1985, Union Baptist had grown to become the largest church on the Eastern Shore with over 1000 members.