Old Churches of Pittsylvania County
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Some Baptist Pastors of Pittsylvania County

Earley Baptist Churches of Pittsylvania County

History of Mt. Pleasant Methodist Church

A History of Liberty Baptist Church 1859-1984

Historical Facts About Mill Creek Baptist Church

History of Greenpond  Baptist Church

Mount Ararat Baptist Church

Oak Grove Baptist Church



Early Baptist Churches of Pittsylvania County

 County Line Baptist Church-Constituted 1771

Church of Samuel Harris when this area was part of Halifax County

Rev. Robert Washington Grizzard was a Baptist minister from Sussex County, Virginia.  He was a pastor at County Line Baptist Church.  I don’t know how long he resided in Pittsylvania County but he was living there from about 1922 until his death Oct 25, 1936.  He and his wife Amanda are buried at Highland Burial Park, Danville, Virginia.

  <>Here is some information I have about him that you might be able to use on the Pittsylvania County website.  <> 

The Danville Bee, Danville, VA, March 9, 1922

New Items From Spring Garden

Spring Garden, March 8-

Rev. R. W. Grizzard, who has recently accepted the pastorate of Chestnut Level, Shockoe, Riceville and County Line Baptist churches, is domiciled in the house formerly occupied by W. H. Abbott, and is actively engaged in his pastoral work.  He expects to make his home here while in charge of this field.

  <>In A History of Fountain Grove Baptist Church 1875 to 1975 (Greensville County, VA), on page 13 a sketch of R. W. Grizzard is found.  It states that he was born September 38, 1868 in Sussex County, Virginia.  He received his education at Richmond College and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary at Louisville, Kentucky.  He married Amanda Bates of King and Queen County.  They had two children, Richard Stuart and Rosalie Virginia.  Brother Grizzard's years were all spent in Virginia except for eight he served in West Virginia.  He retired in 1931 due to ill health.  Five years later on his way to Sunday School he suddenly fell to the ground and died.  His obituary says "How beautiful to be ready for the call and to hear it like that in an hour when in the line of duty."  This information from the records of the Virginia Baptist Historical Society.  <>
R. W. Grizzard was pastor at Fountain Grove Baptist Church, Greensville County, VA, from 1903 until 1906.
  <> 

The Charleston Daily Mail. Charleston West Virginia.  Published Thursday Evening October 29, 1936.  page Eleven

Martinsburg-Friends received word of the death in Danville, Virginia of Rev. R. W. Grizzard, former pastor of the second Baptist Church here.

  <>

The Halifax Gazette, Halifax, VA Page 3A; 1955-01-27

An article regarding the history of County Line Baptist Church.

In 1813 the Rev. John Weatherford moved within the vicinity of Old County Line.  He became a loyal and devoted member. 

R. W. Grizzard a former pastor of Old County Line wrote what was put on Rev John Weatherford’s grave

 Sandra Beaver- [sgmbeaver@charter.net]


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Kentuck Baptist Church Constituted in 1788

Its first name was Head of Birch Creek-Fire destroyed the log church in 1818 along with its records.

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Riceville Baptist Church Constitued 1798

Called Seven Corners,Rice’s Meeting House, Banister, Second Banister, Lower Banister, and then Riceville

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Shockoe Baptist Church Constituted In 1803

Was branch of Riceville Baptist. Presbytery consisted of Elders Reuben Pickett, John Atkinson and John Jenkins. Named for the creek nearby. Has had four sanctuaries.

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Mount Herman Baptist Church-Constituted 1811

Began as Mount Ararat Baptist Church, changed to Mount Herman in 1856. Presbytery consisted of Elders Reuben Pickett, Thomas Boaz, William Blair and Moses Barker

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Sandy Creek Baptist Church-Constituted in 1824

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First Baptist Church, Danville-Constituted 1834

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Laurel Grove Baptist-1848

Formed from members of old Mill Baptist Church by people who withdrew from church due to anti-missionary element in church, Led by Elders William H. Plunkett and Joel Hubbard

 ______________________________________

  


"History of Mr. Pleasant Methodist Church " by Dorothy B. Melone published in the Danville Register and Bee July 8, 1962

"Those of us who are Virginians or who serve in Virginia Methodism care be truly grateful of our heritage. It was on the soil of Virginia that most of the American and Methodist tradition was born."

"The colonists who landed at Jamestown in 1607 were people who sought spirtual liberty as well as economic and political freedom. Immediately after reaching Jamestown they erected a church even though it was only a board nailed between two trees with a canvas spread across the branches overhead.

"This was their church" wrote Captain John Smith "til we built a homey thing like a barn, yet we had daily prayers, morning and evening, every Sunday two sermons and every three months the Holy Communion until our minister died." "That was the way our first Virginians worshipped God; and as they pushed further inland from the coast and as new settlers from other parts of the world, this religious emphisis continued."

Five years after Pittsylvania became a county on July 1, 1767, Robert Williams preached the first Methodist sermon in Virginia. He preached this sermon on the steps of the court house in Norfolk attracting a crowd by singing a hymn, "Come Sinners to the Gospel Feast."

"At the first American Conference in 1773 of the ten preachers stationed, two were in Virginia. They preached through Virginia forming many "societies" as the congregations were first called. We are sure that some of these early preachers must have travelled up to Pittsylvania County at the time of the Fourth Annual Conference in Baltimore in 1776. Pittsylvania was one of the four new circuits added with 100 members." We know that a few early churches were built in the southwestern part of the county.

We are sure there was no Methodist church in our section of the county as late as 1799. Then we have this entry from Bishop Francis Ashbury's Journal dated September 26 "On Friday we rode to Carters (Thomas Carter of Green Rock) where a large crowd attended. My subject was "What Shall the End Be of Them that Obey Not the Gospel of God". The first Methodist sermon preached in that section of Pittsylvania was preached in the home of the grandfather of one of the first Trustees of Mt. Pleasant Church-Edward H. Carter. Edward Carter was the grandsom of Thomas Carter and his wife, Winnefred Hobson, from Cumberland County. "Mrs. Carter had become a convert to Methodism before their removal to Pittsylvania, and being acquainted with Bishop Ashbury wrote asking him to include her new home in his journeys north and south. At his coming the people of the neighborhood were notified, who gathered at "Green Rock" to hear the Bishop preach. Being a man of low stature, in order to address the crowd, Asburey asked for something upon which to stand. The most convenient thing at that time was one of the liquor cases belonging to Thomas Carter. They were stoutly built and covered with leather and lined with velvet, and upon his firat visit Bishop Ashbury preached from the top of one of these cases. Nettled at her husband's teasing, Mrs. Carter had a pulpit built which she kept in her parlor. Therafter upon the visit of the clergy, the pulpit was carried out on the lawn by the servants and from this elevation they addressed the assembled neighbors."

Later Thomas Carter gave land for the first "meeting house" in our section of Pittsylvania County-Bold Sproings, three miles west of Chatham, where we are sure, Edward Carter, our first Trustee attended Methodist meetings with his father, Jesse Carter and grandfather, Thomas Carter. From this beginning, meeting houses were built over our county including Mr. Pleasant. Our records show that a deed was written in 1859 from Jesse and Rebecca Townes Carter, his wife, and deeded to Edward H. Carter, Moses Arnold, Alfred M. Carter, Albert G. Pritchett, Pyrant Easley, George Hall and Jim Hall, Trustees for the sum of two dollars an acre of land beginning at the Lynchburg-Danville Road and running at an easterly direction along the old church line to a post in the old fence road and then to a new line north of the old church. So we know there was a meeting house there before 1859-a log meeting house. The deed is a legal deed, as it is necessary to record in the Clerk's office in the county. The deed to Mr. Pleasant was recorded twice in October 1862 and August 11, 1863. The reason for this was the War Betweeen the States. Rebecca Carter recorded the deed in 1862 being separated from her husband by the war. She signed a statement that she entered the deed of her own free will without fear or threat from her husband. Then on August 11, 1863 when Jesse Carter was home from the war, the same deed and certificate was recorded again.

The early years of the church were ones of struggle, but through time there have been many accomplishments.

Soon after 1862 the log cabin was replaced by a frame church. There is no record of the faithful preacher who rode horseback long distances to preach at this church and serve the people of this communtity the first years.

In 1877 the Rev N. J. Pruden was sent to the Chatham charge of which Mt. Pleasant was a part. Since that time 43 pastors have served the church. In 1913 under the leadership of the Rev. L. D. Staples, a new church was built on the same foundation as the old one. This was accomplished by hard work, love for the church and God. Members gave of their time and money, L.A. Bryant, R.T. Carter and George T. Carter helped to raise the money for the new church. Their wives helped too. Mrs. George Carter had Mr. Hill and his workmen board with the Carter family during the construction of the new church. Mrs. Florence Douglas gave the chairs for the choir and other furnishing for the new church. In 1919 Chatham became a station and Mt. Pleasant with four other churches became East Pittsylvania Charge. The Rev. T. Roy Jarrett was first pastor of this new charge. In 1948 under thge leadership of the Rev. N. J. Flyth four Sunday school rooms were added. The start of the fund to build the Sunday school rooms was a thousand dollar gift left to the church by L.A. Bryant. In 1951 the Rev. B. V. Dennis came from Russelville, Arkansas. During his four years stay, the church purchased an electric organ, a vested choir was organized and each Christmas a beautiful Cantata was presented.

In 1956 the charge was divided again having two churches which Rev. E. T. Wright served. At this time a parsonage was built and furnished by the members of Mt Pleasant.

In 1958 under the leadership of E. Halcott Turner and General Leslie D. Carter, grandsons of Jesse L. and Rebecca T. Carter, the descendants donated and installed the memorial windows.

In 1959 the Rev T. W. Evans came to Mt. Pleasant and has served our church and communtity faithfully. Mt. Pleasant again added to the church basement, kitchen, heat, anbd modern plumbing as well as additonal Sunday school rooms and a recreational room.

May our prayers be today that the year 2062 will again see our descendants, the members of Mt. Pleasant Church gather together in peace and love commemorating two hundred years of love and service to a small community of people who love God and their fellowman.

Information for this article was obtained from:

"History of Methodism" by William Warren Sweet

"History of Pittsylvania County: by Mrs. Maud C. Clement

"Descendants of Captain Thomas Carter" by Joseph Lyon Miller


"A History of Liberty Baptist Church 1859-1984" - Partial history written for Homecoming Day, September 23, 1964

Three years after the first train pulled into Danville, one year after the first auction warehouse was openned there, and two years before the Civil War, a little band of people organized Liberty Missionary Baptist Church at Callands in Pittsylvania County, Viurginia. It was in the year 1859, just 22 years after the Franklin-Turnpike was build from Danville to Rocky Mount, which ran by its door, and 85 years after the young Scotsman, Samuel Callands, had so left his imprint on the commhyntity that it was henceforth named after him.

Baptists are among the pioneers who openned up new countries for civilization, Pittsylvania included. The first Baptist Church in Virginia was at Burleigh, Isle of Wright, 1714. The first church in Pittsylvania was Dan River, constituted in 1760, only twenty years after the county was marked by settlers. Two pioneer Pittsylvania preachers were Dutton Lane, paster of Dan River and Samuel Harris, who settled on nearby Sandy River in 1748. It was he who preached at the early Bannister Church and introduced the Baptist faith to this community. Two descendants of his, Ed and Myrtle Harris, brother and sister, were in time members of Liberty Church.

Prior to the organiazation of Liberty Church, the Baptist believers of the community worshipped at Wet Sleeve Universal Church. Desiring a church of their own, the following persons withdrew from Wet Sleeve and organized a new church; George W. Aron, P. M. Goggin, William P. Haley, Mrs. Sallie Marlowe, John Nuckols, John W. Reynolds and Mary A. P. Scott. The site of that first church is the site of our present church. The land was deeded on October 22, 1859 by Lucinda and Perkins Parrish to the original Trustees; P. M. Goggin, John Nuckols, and John W. Reynolds. The church building was constructed by its members under Mr. Billy Gardner as foreman. It was a wooden, unpainted frame structure of simple lines.

Regrettably, certain of the church records have been destroyed by fire, and there are gaps in its official history which no living member can bridge. There is one old and yellow record book covering a period between 1859 and 1884, but it contains nothing dramatic, merely routine church business. It does contain the constitution of the church penned in 1878 by Captain Wilson Mitchell.

It was in 1900 that a new church building was begun, and coimpleted four years later. Mr. Raleigh Fuller gave the timber. Members cut and hauled it, and Mr. J. I  Arnn sawed it.

See cemetery of Liberty Baptist


"Historical Facts About Mill Creek Baptist Church 1883-1983" by Mary Frith as published in the Star Tribune 11/17/1983

Mill Creek Baptish Church was formed by interested parties by interested parties and a small group led by Rev. Henry Petty, then pastor of Chatham Baptish Church, and Marshall W. Read, longtime Associational Missionery and faithful Baptist leader.

Several of the original 15 members cames from Sheva Baptist Churach, now extinct. (Sheva was a member of the Roanoke Baptist Association 1893-1903) They met in homes and "in an old building in a field" near where the church stands today. A surveyor's chart dated August 6, 1883, and a recorded deed of August 11, 1883 are proof positive of earlier meetings before the December 3 formal organization which took place " in the newly constructed meeting house".

The land had been given by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas L. Shields, Mr. and Mrs. John Marilla, and Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Shelton. It straddled "The Old Lynchburg Road," later known as Chalk Level Road.

"A presbytery composed of Rev Petrty and Rev Read met with a group and organized with 15 charter members."

Rev. Petty was called as first pastor at this meeting. Thomas W. P. Moses was elected the first church clerk, Samuel R. Fitzgerald as treasurer, Luther R. Blair and Thomas Fitzgerald, Sr. as deacons and Luther R. Blair, Samuel R. Fitzgerald and T. W. P. Moses as Trustee. In 1884 ten more converts were added, and records show the church as being formally accepted into the Roanoke Baptist Association (changed in 1924 to Pittsylvania Baptist Association), and the church has continued uninterrupted membership in this affiliation to the present time.

Records show progress and growth, some great triumphs as well as troubled times. Many incidents in the first twenty or thirty years records show that members were "turned out" or fellowship withdrawn, because of "improper walking, drinking, making disparaging remarks, etc." Thankfully some were"reinstated, received forgiveness and restored."

The year 1901 shows the first "protracted" meeting was held when nine members were added to the rolls. In 1909 funds were collected to start a library. In 1914 the first record of a "revival" was held, with Rev. Nicholas, pastor leading 41 members were added.

See cemetery of Mill Creek Church


HISTORY OF GREENPOND BAPTIST CHURCH
In Celebration of it Centennial to be observed July, 1965

  History of Greenpond Baptist Church, located 10 miles west of Chatham, in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, on State Road No. 649 at intersection of State Road No. 750, covering one hundred years of service to God and mankind, in celebration of it Centennial on July 11, 1965.

A small group of citizens of this community assembled themselves together to study ways and means of constituting a Baptist Church. As a result, on July 1, 1865 the Presbytery of the Roanoke Association, consisting of brethren William S. Penick, C..C. Chaplin and Mordecai Hagood met a Greenpond and after the usual examination proceeded to the constitution of a church at this place. Brother Penick was appointed moderator and also delivered the charge, Brother Chaplin the ordaining prayer.

 At that time the church consisted of nine white male and eleven white female members, recorded as follows:

 William Reynolds                            William Hutcherson
John S. Reynolds                              Whittle A. Watson
George W. Reynolds                        A. Monroe Linthicum
John C. Linthicum                            Jacob Shelhorse
J.C. Mahan                                      Judith E. Ramsey
Elizabeth Reynolds                          Mary C. Cooper
Alice Reynolds                                 Elizabeth Blair
 Catherine E. Watson                      Sarah Giles
Jane Trammel                                 Laura Smith
Mary A. Blair

 The charter colored members were:

 Priscilla Anderson              Amanda Watson
Emely Watson                     Grace Watson
Priscilla Craft                      Lucy Watson

The first house was a log structure which stood on the same lot as the present building, but farther back from the road near the old cemetery gate. This house was used as a school-house also, James Anderson, one of the most active members of the church, teaching a week-day class of young men in this building for several periods. This of course did not interfere with the preaching services being held there.

A brush arbor was used in the summertime. Later, a large board arbor was built as a summertime place of worship. The land on which these buildings were located and on which the present building stands was owned by Watt Otey Anderson and donated to the church by him when a new building was erected in 1874.

The church was first called New Hope but was changed to Greenpond at the time the new house was built, which new name was from a small natural pond something less than an acre in size, situated a short distance southeast across the present highway, in a body of woods. Water was about three feet deep in winter, surrounded by mosses, brambles, huckleberry bushes and trees.

For the first eleven years, Rev. Mordecai Hagood served as pastor, until his death in March 1876. I. H. Watson was the first Clerk, he and William A.Y. Blair the first two deacons, William T. Jefferson was first Treasurer.

On May 2, 1868, George S. Anderson was recommended for the position of Colporteur. Later in the same year, he made a statement that he felt a call to the ministry, requesting recommendation of the church to enter Richmond College as a student for the ministry, which was granted.

In October 1870, a committee was appointed to look into the matter of building a house of worship. Action was taken in 1872 to erect such a building, the members to furnish lumber and a carpenter employed to do the building. Contract was made with Mr. R. H. Coleman to do the work for $350, which building was erected on about the same location as the present building.

 To assist Caleb Whittle in 1871, to organize a colored church, seven colored men and women were received into membership of Greenpond Church, baptized and granted letters of dismissal for the purpose of organizing an African Church. Name of the church is not recorded. The members were as follows:

 Wilson Odineal              Samuel Wright
Jackson Croft                  James Carter
Martin Odineal                Nancy Wright
Caleb Whittle

 At the January meeting of 1874 a committee was appointed to write a history of the church and send to the next Association. If written, regrettably the minutes do not contain a copy.



MOUNT ARARAT BAPTIST CHURCH-SHARON BAPTIST CHURCH

 Mount Ararat Baptist Church was organized in 1811 near the Mount Cross community. When the anti-mission movement spread to Southside Virginia offering opposition to missions and evangelism, to protracted meetings, to Sunday School, to educated ministry, to all forms of organizations and programs and to paying ministers a set salary a split developed among the Baptist churches. Two branches were formed. The Primitive Baptist, opposing foreign missions, organized into the Staunton River Primitive Baptist Association, and the Missionary Baptists, favoring foreign missions, remained in the Roanoke Baptist Association. It was in 1841 that a meeting was held at Whitehorn Meeting House and the membership of Mount Ararat was divided. The missionary-minded minority was reorganized in 1842, and the church went by the name of Mount Ararat Baptist Church until the name was changed to Mount Herman Baptist Church in 1865.

It was quite a distance for the people of the Sharon community to travel to attend the Missionary Baptist Church at Mount Hermon, and they organized a Sunday School for Bible study at Fulton’s Schoolhouse which stood near the present church site on the road from Whitmell to Stoney Mills.

Rev. Marshall W. Read, who had been appointed by the State Mission Board in 1871 as a full-time missionary, gave his first report in 1872. He reported bright prospects for a strong new work at Fulton’s School.

On March 15, 1873, after divine services the Mount Herman Baptist met in business conference and granted letters of dismission to 31 members for the purpose of organizing a Baptist church near Fulton’s Schoolhouse.

The Charter Members were:

James M. Billings                          Agnes H. Coleman
James Booker                                Eliza P. Coleman
James M. Coleman                       Chloe U. Fulton
Benjamin F. Dodson                     Julia J. Fulton
William T. Hodges                        Permelia J. Fulton
Sylvany Gardener                        Sallie Q. Fulton
Charles W. Pritchett                    Elizabeth Gardener
James H. Pritchett                       Eliza Harvey
Leroy S. Pritchett                         Martha Harvey
J. Frank Morris                           Mary Harvey
Joseph D. Reynolds                    Sallie Harvey
John P. Wells                               America Hodges
Lucy A. Billings                         Jettie A. Pritchett
Mary V. Blair                             Lydia A. Pritchett
Nannie J. Blair                           Nannie B. Pritchett
America M. Carter                    Lardonia Reynolds
Jennie P. Reynolds


Oak Grove Baptist Church, Keeling, VA

Pastors of Oak Grove Baptist Church, 2217 Oak Grove Road,Keeling, Va. 24566
mailing address is P.O. Box 35, Keeling, Va. 24566
 
Rev. E. B. Dillard         1879-1883
Rev. L.E. Spencer        1884-1889
Rev. W.D. Barr            1890-1895
Rev. E.F. Musick          1895-1896
Rev. J. B. Downey        1896-1898
Rev. William Hedley      1898-1900
Rev. W. D. Barr            1901-1909
Rev. W. B. James          1909-1910
Rev. H.T. Allison           1910-1911
Rev. E.Y. Poole             1910-1916
Rev. T. Ryland Sanford  1916-1921
Rev. T. E. Peters            1921-1925
Rev. William Hughes       1925-1929
Rev. S. C. Owen            1929-1934
Rev. N.R. Green             1935-1940
Rev. Irwin Booth             1940-1941
Rev. L.W. Kersey           1941-1942
Rev. H. W. Stough          1942-1950
Rev. Roy Rakes               1942-1956
 
Rev. Barr served two different times.  Rev. Erwin served the longest time.
 
Mt. Tabor Baptist Church , Keeling, Va. helped plan Oak Grove Baptist Church on Dec. 29, 1878.   A business meeting was held in Jan. 1879 to present a constitution and by-laws. Oak Grove became part of the Southern Baptist Convention at its conception. It was name for the large stand of oak trees that coverd an large area on Rt. 360 and Rt. 713. On Jan 26, 1879 Rev. E. B. Dillard preached the first sermon at Oak Grove which was a log cabin across from the present Keeling Fire Dept.  At times the pastors served other chuches. A new wooden church was built across the road from the original cabin.    The second church building burned and was reconstructed on the same site.  A new brick building was built in 1966 and the old wooden church building was torn down.  Today a Family Ministries Building built in 1998 stands in its place. Oak Grove is associated with The Southern Baptist  Conservatives of Virginia of the Southern Baptist Convention. We follow the Baptist Faith and Message adopted by SBC 2000.
 



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