Fredericksburg, Virginia 1608-1908/14

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CHAPTER XIV.


The Churches of Fredericksburg.


If the morals and correct lives of the people of a town are to be judged by the number of churches within its borders, giving due consideration to the number of inhabitants, the people of Fredericksburg would be rated with the best. One of the first things that received the attention of the founders of the town, under the charter granted by the House of Burgesses in 1727, was the building of a house of worship and its dedication to the service of the Almighty, and since that time Fredericksburg has been blessed with regular divine services. And as the inhabitants of the town increased in numbers, and the little building became too small to accommodate all who would wish to attend upon the House of the Lord, the authorities were not too much engrossed with money-making and money-getting to enlarge the church and provide for the spiritual comfort and necessities of the increasing population. So the church building was enlarged time and again as the growth of the town demanded it.

Up to the first of the nineteenth century the only denomination holding regular services in town was the Episcopalians, as that was the only denomination that had a house of worship, but in the early part of that century other denominations organized churches in town, built houses of worship and have continued to occupy them to the present. Since then Fredericksburg has not been without a sufficient number of churches for the accommodation of her entire church-going population. There are at present eleven church buildings in town — seven for the whites and four for the colored people. The seating capacity of the white church buildings is about three thousand and that of the colored churches about one thousand five hundred, making the total seating capacity of the churches of Fredericksburg about four thousand five hundred, being ample accommodation for the church-going population, both white and colored.


ST. GEORGE'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH.


The history of the Episcopal church in Fredericksburg is of peculiar interest to the people of the town because of its antiquity and because of its intimate connection with the history and affairs of the town. In the year 1732, seven years after the town was laid out and named, the first church building was erected in Fredericksburg.* It was in St. George's parish, which embraced the whole of Spotsylvania county, which then contained all the territory west, as far as it was or might be settled by the whites. A church building had previously been erected in the county, on the Po river, for the accommodation of the people of the county. This . church is said to have been located on the Catharpin road, on the top of the hill west of Mine run, on the south side of the road, where the Yellow church was afterwards built by the Baptists and which was destroyed some years ago. This stream is not the Po, but one of its tributaries and may then have been called the Po.

The first pastor the Fredericksburg church had after the completion of its building was Rev. Patrick Henry, uncle of the great orator and statesman of that name. He served the church for two years, and in 1735 was succeeded by Rev. James Marye ** of Goochland county, who died as rector of the church in 1769, having served it faithfully for thirty-four years. Rev. James Marye was succeeded in the rectorship by his son. Rev. James Marye, Jr., who was rector for eleven years. From 1780, when the second James Maryre closed his labors, to 1813 the church had many rectors, but their stay was of short duration.

In the year 1787 the Common Council, through a committee of its members, repaired and enlarged the church building by adding another wing, (one having been previously constructed, mentioned elsewhere,) which made the building a cross in shape. The cost for this work amounted to four hundred and six pounds, a part of which was raised by the committee by an appeal to the private citizens for donations, because of the depleted condition of the city treasury. In the same year the Council prepared and adopted a
[ * Some authorities give 1735 as the date of the erection of this church.]
[ ** Great grandfather of Governor John L. Marye ]

petition to the Legislature of Virginia, praying for a division of St. George's parish and for vesting "the property of the old church and the new burying ground in Fredericksburg in the corporation of said town."

Mr. James Monroe,* who was a member of the Council and a vestryman of St. George's church, (who was afterwards a member of the Legislature, a Representative in Congress, a United States Senator, twice Governor of Virginia, twice Minister to France, twice Minister to England, Minister to Spain, Secretary of State, Secretary of War, two terms President of the United States, Presiding Justice of Loudoun county and Visitor of the University of Virginia,) was appointed chairman of the committee to present the petition and secure the desired action of the Legislature. If any report was ever made by Mr. Monroe, neither it nor any reference to it can be found. It is quite likely that the law separating church and State, which was passed that year, made it unnnecessary.

As has been stated, that after the death of the younger Marye, for more than thirty years the pastorates of the church were short and unsatisfactory. The cause for this state of things has not been recorded and conjecture is needless. In 1813 Edward C. McGuire, of Winchester, Virginia, came to the church as lay reader, being highly recommended by Rev. Wm. Meade (who afterwards became bishop of the diocese) as a young man of character and piety. Mr. McGuire was soon ordained and became rector of the church, serving it with great acceptance and success to the day of his death, in 1858, a period of forty-five years. **

Mr. McGuire was greatly beloved by all classes of persons, his ministerial labors were signally blessed, and the number of communicants was largely increased. From the death of Mr. McGuire

[ * It has been claimed, and it Is probably true, that James Monroe held more important public positions in his life than any other one man, either before or since his day.


[ ** A memorial tablet erected in St. George's church has this inscription : "Rev. Edward McGuire, D. D., born in Winchester, Va., July 20, 1783, died Oct. 8, 1858. During forty-five years the faithful, beloved and highly blessed pastor of St. George's church, Fredericksburg. Amiable in character, prudent in action, wise in counsel, evangelical in doctrine, experimental in preaching, he was a pastor of great influence and success, highly esteemed for his sound judgment and consistent conduct during a long and useful life." ]


to the present the church has had several rectors, who did good work and who greatly endeared themselves to the congregation and people of the town. These pastors served in the following order: Rev. A. M. Randolph, D. D., now bishop of the Southern Diocese of Virginia; Rev. Magruder Maury, Rev. Edward C. Murdaugh, Rev. Robert J. McBryde, Rev. J. K. Mason, Rev. Wm. M. Clarke, Rev. Wm. D. Smith and Rev. Dr. Robert J. McBryde, a second time, who is the present rector. During a portion of the time that Dr. Murdaugh was rector he had as his assistant Rev. Arthur S. Johns, a son of the late Bishop Johns. St. George's church has a flourishing Sunday school, of which Dr. M. C. Hall was superintendent for thirty-eight years, his duties closing at his death. This long service as an officer of St. George's church has been exceeded only by one rector, Rev. Edward C. McGuire, and one vestryman and senior warden, Reuben T. Thom, Esq.*

There have been three buildings erected on the ground where the present house of worship stands. The first one was built in 1732, and was an oblong, frame building. As the inhabitants of the town increased an addition was built on one side, and in 1787 another addition was constructed, rendered necessary by a further increase of the population and larger congregations. By the year 1814 the old building seems to have become so old and dilapidated that a new house was thought necessary, and therefore the old one, which had stood for over three-quarters of a century, was torn down and a new one was erected in its stead. An aged citizen, some forty years ago, describing this first building, said : "It was cruciform in shape, with steeple and bell, capable of holding large congrega- tions. In each projection of the cross there was a small gallery; one contained the organ, the others two pews each. It was a frame building, painted yellow. The pulpit was at one of the angles of the cross, highly elevated, with reading desk, and clerk's desk in front below. A clerk, in his desk, generally responded to the minister in the service, while the people were silent." **


[ * A memorial slab erected in St. George's church gives this remarkable record: "Reuben T. Thom, born 1782, died 1868. He was for 52 years a vestryman, and for 45 years senior warden of St. George's church.]


[ ** From a communication in an old copy of the Fredericksburg News, he was respected and beloved by three generations." Funished by Dr. Horace B. Hall.


The second house was made of brick, but, like the former one, was not large enough to hold the growing congregation. The work was commenced in 1814, the corner stone having been laid that year, with imposing ceremonies. It was completed in the following year, and was reported to the Council in 1816 by Bishop Moore, who stated to that body that he had consecrated a handsome, brick edifice in Fredericksburg and confirmed sixty persons.

In the short space of thirty-three years it was found that this new, brick house was too small, and so, in 1849, it was removed and the present brick building was erected, which is one of the handsomest church edifices in the State, outside of the large cities. While this house was in the course of erection the church worshipped in the old Methodist church, just back of the park, which was destroyed by fire about 1852. The new church was consecrated and occupied in the Fall of 1849. A few years after its completion it was very much damaged by fire, but it was at once repaired and restored to its former beauty.


TRINITY EPISCOPAL CHURCH.


Trinity Episcopal church, composed of members who withdrew from St. George's church, and organized with Rev. Dr. E. C. Murdaugh as rector, worshipped for some time in the courthouse, and afterwards in the Hanover-street Methodist church, which had not been used for religious services since the Civil war.* With commendable zeal this new congregation went to work, puchased a lot on the south corner of Prince Edward and Hanover streets and erected a handsome house of worship, which in due time was consecrated to the service of the Lord. The change for the purposes for which this ground was used was indeed radical; it was from theatrical to church purposes. It is said that after the Revolutionary war this lot had on it a large frame house, which was at


[ * In the occupancy of this building we have this coincidence : When the members of St. George's church were building their present house, in 1849. they occupied the Methodist church, back of the park, which had been vacated for the new house on Hanover street. More than thirty years afterwards, when Trinity Episcopal church was organized, they occupied the Methodist church on Hanover street, the Methodists having moved to their new house on George street. ]


first intended for an extensive stable, but was converted into a hall for theatrical purposes. Theatrical companies visiting town would sometimes remain for a week exhibiting every night to large audiences of the elite of the town.

The first rector of Trinity church was Dr. Edward C. Murdaugh, who was succeeded by Rev. J. Green Shackelford, Rev. John S. Gibson, Rev. J. S. Gray, Rev. Edwin Green, Rev. W. L. Reaney and Dr. H. H. Barber, who is now serving the church. Some few years ago the congregation erected a beautiful and commodious rectory near the church building, which adds much to the comfort and convenience of the pastor.


THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.


The Presbyterian church in Fredericksburg was constituted in the early part of the nineteenth century. In the year 1806 Rev. Samuel B. Wilson,* a young minister of that denomination, came to town. At that time there were but two Presbyterians in the place. As St. George's church, which had the only house of worship in town, was without a pastor, Mr. Wilson was invited to preach in that church. This invitation was gladly accepted, and for some time he preached in St. George's church, large congregations attending the services. In a few years Mr. Wilson succeeded in getting together a sufficient number of Presbyterians to organize a church, and a house of worship was erected in 1810 on the lot where the asylum (at present known as Smithsonia) now stands on Amelia street.

This house was occupied until the present brick building on George street was erected, which was in 1833, and was dedicated on the 26th of July of that year. The old church on Amelia street stood back several yards from the sidewalk and was approached through a gate, near which the bell was suspended on a cross-beam erected on two uprights. In the gallery of the church, where the choir was seated, a large brass ball was arranged on the


[ * In the Presbyterian church a marble tablet is erected with this inscription : "Samuel B. Wilson, first pastor; born March 17, 1783: died Aug. 1, 1869. They that be wise shall shine as the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever."


principle of a metronome, which marked the time for the singers. Some years after the house on George street was built a comfortable manse was erected on the same street, near the church, for the pastor.

In 1880 the "Memorial Chapel" was erected just in rear of the present church building, fronting on Princess Ann street and neatly fitted out by Mr. Seth B. French, a Fredericksburg man, then residing in New York city, as a memorial to his daughter Margaretta, who died just as she was entering into womanhood; upon the death of his wife, a few years afterwards, who was the daughter of Judge John M. Herndon, he placed a very beautiful and costly window in the east end of the building as a memorial of her. This house is built of granite, quarried on the old Landram farm, two miles west of Fredericksburg, and is of a superior quality. The Presbyterian house of worship, like other houses of worship in town, was dismantled during the Wilderness campaign in 1864 and used by the Federal authorities as a hospital. After the war the Presbyterians had no bell and their church had been sacked by Federal soldiers.

In connection with this condition of things an amusing incident occurred, which was related to us by the perpetrator of the joke, and which is too good to be lost. Just after the war, when the different church buildings had been repaired and fitted up for occupation by the respective congregations, Mr. James McGuire, a prominent member of the Presbyterian church, met Mr. Reuben T. Thorn, senior warden of St. George's church, on the corner of the street near the Presbyterian church, St. George's being on the diagonal corner. They engaged in conversation, during which Mr. McGuire appeared to be very much troubled because all the other churches had bells to call their congregations together while the Presbyterians had none. Mr. Thom, kind hearted as he was, sympathized with them very much and undertook to console Mr. McGuire. Seeing Mr. Thom was very much concerned, and casting his eyes up towards St. George's bell, just across the street, his countenance brightening up as if a new idea had struck him, queried : "Well, Mr. Thom, won't you let the Presbyterians come to church by St. George's bell?" Mr. Thorn, being anxious to accommodate the Presbyterians, but feeling that he was not authorized to decide the matter, replied : "I have no objection myself, Jimmie, but, but I will lay the matter before the vestry, and will inform you of its action."

Mr. "Wilson served the church as pastor until 1841, when he resigned to accept a professorship in the Union Theological Seminary, then at Hampden-Sidney, in Prince Edward county, Virginia. He was succeeded by Rev. George W. McPhail, D. D., and Rev. A. A. Hodge, D. D. , Rev. Beverly Tucker Lacy supplied the pulpit for some time prior to the Civil war, but was never the regular pastor of the church. The church has had the following pastors since the war : Rev. Thomas W. Gilmer,* Rev. James P. Smith, D. D., Rev. A. P. Saunders, D. D., Rev. Benjamin W. Mebane, D. D., Rev. John W. Posebro, D. D., and Rev. J. H. Henderlite, who is now serving the church. Governor John L. Marye was a ruling elder of this church for more than forty-seven years, giving faithful and efficient service.


THE BAPTIST CHURCH.


The Baptists came into notice as early as the year 1768, when John Waller, Lewis Craig and James Chiles, three zealous Baptist ministers, were seized by the sheriff of Spotsylvania county, carried before three magistrates in the yard of the church building, on the charge of "preaching the gospel contrary to law." They were ordered to jail in Fredericksburg, and, while in jail, preached through the iron gratings of the windows and door to large crowds, who assembled to see and hear them. It is said as they marched through the streets of the town to jail, in the custody of tlie officers of the law, followed by a large, noisy crowd jeering at them, they sang that old hymn by Watts, to the tune of "Wyndham :


"Broad is the road that leads to death.
And thousands walk together there;
But wisdom shows a narrow way,
With here and there a traveller."


[ * On a memorial tablet erected in the church Is this inscription : "Thomas Wallcer Gilmer, pastor, born July 25, 1834. died April 5, 1869. I know that my Redeemer liveth."
[ ** Historical sketch of Fredericksburg, 1883, by Robert B. Berrey.]

And as the sweet, solemn notes fell upon the ears of the curious crowd the jeering ceased, and before the hymn was concluded many persons were melted to tears.

The Baptist church of Fredericksburg was organized by Rev. Andrew Broaddus, Sr., the great orator of King and Queen county and later of Caroline county, in the year 1804, who for several years was its pastor. In 1810 Rev. Robert Baylor Semple, in preparing his "History of Virginia Baptists," says of the Fredericksburg church : "They have no resident pastor, but are supplied by Mr. A. Broaddus, who attends them monthly. If there is any objection to Mr. Broaddus's ministry in this city it is that he is too popular with the irreligious. It may be said of him as was said of Ezekiel : 'Lo! thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument; for they hear thy words, but they do them not.' This remark by no means applies to the church, for, although they hear with much pleasure, they practise with more. It is a young and rising church."

The first house of worship erected in town by the Baptists was a small, frame structure built on the ground now occupied by the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad Company as a depot, but before many years had passed the congregation had so increased in size the small building was found to be inadequate and a large, brick building was erected on Water street, where Shiloh, church, old site, now stands, and for thirty years or more the church worshipped in that building.

Under the preaching of able and faithful pastors the membership rapidly increased and the congregations became larger, and by the middle of the century the house on Water street was found to be too small to accommodate the increasing attendance. In the year 1854 the present large and commodious brick building was erected on Princess Ann street, mainly through the efforts of Rev. Wm. F. Broaddus,* the pastor, J. B. Benwiek, Jr., architect, notwithstanding on a tablet in front of the church that work is credited to another


[ * A memorial slab in the church is thus inscribed : "In memory of Rev. Wm. F. Broaddus, D. D., born April 30, 1801, died Sept. 8, 1876. The beloved and faithful pastor of this church 1853 to 1862, through whose labors and liberality this house was built. 'He was a good man and full of the Holy Ghost and faith, and much people was added to the Lord.' "


The new house, with a large addition to it about twelve years ago has proved ample for the church and congregation to the present. Rev. Andrew Broaddus, the first pastor, was succeeded by the following ministers: Rev. Robert B. Semple, Rev. Carter Braxton, Rev. Mr. James, Rev. John Teasdale, Rev. John M. Waddey, Rev. George P. Adams, Rev. S. C. Smith, Rev. Wm. F. Broaddus, D. D., Rev. Wm. H. Williams, Rev. Thomas S. Dunaway, D. D., Rev. Jacob S. Dill, D. D., and Rev. E. Aubrey Williams, who is now serving the church. Dr. Dunaway's pastorate covered a period of thirty-two years, during which ho greatly endeared himself to the church and people of the town, and was eminently successful in winning souls and building up the church. The Baptist church has a large and flourishing Sunday school connected with it that has had but four superintendents for sixty-three years. George W. Garnett* was superintendent for thirty and Prof. A. B. Bowering served nearly twenty-three years, S. J. Quinn ten, and B. P. Willis, having just been elected, has entered upon the work.


THE METHODIST CHURCH.


The Methodists, who, for a number of years, were designated as a society, held services in Fredericksburg as early as 1786. For a number of years they held meetings from house to house, and were very active workers. It is not known when the first church or society was formed, or by whom it was organized, but it is known that persons united with that denomination before the dawn of the nineteenth century, and that Father Kobler commenced his ministry here as a local preacher in the year 1789, and continued his labors as such for over half a century. Therefore it may be concluded that the first organization of that denomination in Fredericksburg held its meetings in private houses for more than thirty years.

In the basement of the church is a memorial tablet inscribed as follows : "In memory of Deacon George W. Garnett. the faithful, efficient and beloved Superintendent of the Fredericksburg Baptist Sunday School for thirty consecutive years, whe died July 9, 1876, aged 54 years. 'He was a faithful man, and feared God above many.' Erected by the school."

The first house of worship built by the Methodists in town, that we have any record or tradition of, was erected in 1822, on the lot in rear of Hurkamp park, fronting on George street, and occupied by Colonel E. D. Cole as a stable and lumber yard. It was then outside of the city limits and was known as Liberty Town. It was a small frame building and was occupied until 1841, when the old church on Hanover street was finished. The services were then held in the new house and the old frame church building was turned over to the colored Methodists, who occupied it for some time. It was destroyed by fire about 1852.

Some years after occupying the church building on Hanover street, the question of slavery, which had been so vigorously discussed by the denomination North and South, was the theme of discussion in the church at Fredericksburg. The feeling became strong between the parties and increased in intensity until it resulted in a split in the church. One division was known as the Northern Methodist, as its members opposed slavery, while the other division was known as the Southern Methodist, its members favoring slavery. When the difference became so marked and the feeling so bitter, that the parties could not longer worship together, the Southern Methodists withdrew, and held services in the second story of the town hall for some time. The Northern wing remained in the Hanover street house until the beginning of the Civil war.

In the year 1852 the southern division of the church erected a handsome brick building on the south corner of George and Charles streets, where Mr. P. Y. D. Conway's residence now stands, in which they worshipped until the war came on, when the sessions of the church were almost suspended. Since the Civil war the two churches united and occupied the George street church until about the year 1879, when the old building on Hanover street was torn down and a house of modern architecture erected in its place. Since that time the new church has been occupied and the George street building was sold. About fifteen years ago an addition was built in rear of the church for the accommodation of the Sunday school. The church also has a parsonage on the same street, which was donated to it by Rev. John Kobler.

In 1843 Rev. John Kobler, widely known as Father Kobler, a citizen of the town, a venerable local preacher of the Methodist church, distinguished for his piety and ability and greatly beloved by all who knew him, died and was buried beneath the pulpit of the Hanover street church. Prior to his death he wrote his "farewell to the world," which he requested should be read as a part of his funeral service, which was done. The farewell is almost as long as a sermon and is "the very perfume of piety and Christian assurance." 1st. He bids farewell to the ministry of the gospel and all the ordinances of the church of God. 2nd. He bids farewell to the church in her militant state. 3rd. He bids farewell to the communion of saints. 4th. He bids farewell to prayer. 5th. He bids a final and hearty adieu to temptation and to every species of the Christian warfare. 6th and lastly. He bids farewell to his Bible. This history of him is given on the first page of the pamphlet: "John Kobler was born 29th of August, 1768; joined the Methodist Episcopal church 6th of December, 1786; was converted 24th of December, 1787; commenced his itinerating ministry 3rd of October, 1789; and died with glory on his lips, July 26th, 1843."

Some ten or twelve years after the death of Father Kobler his devoted and saintly wife followed him to the glory land and she was interred by the side of her husband. When the old building was torn down and the new one erected the sacred dust of these two sleeping saints was left undisturbed, and so under the pulpit of the new church their mortal remains still repose. The present pastor of the church is Rev. W. L. Dolly, a faithful and zealous servant of the Lord.


THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH.

About the year 1832 the religious movement, in which Alexander Campbell was the leader, began in Fredericksburg. A number of citizens, adopting the views held by Mr. Campbell, were organized into a Christian or Disciples church. With commendable energy and zeal they went to work, purchased a lot and erected quite a comfortable church building on Main street, between Amelia and Lewis streets. The church prospered until the breaking out of the Civil war, when, like those of the other churches, its members were scattered and church services were suspended.

Several efforts have been made since the war to reorganize the church, but they were unsuccessful until 1897, when Rev. Mr. Rutledge preached here for some days, got the members together and the church was organized. The old building has been remodelled and modernized and is now occupied by the congregation. After the church was reorganized Rev. Cephas Shelburne was called as pastor, and by his energetic labors the membership was very much increased. Mr. Shelburne was succeeded by Rev. F. S. Forrer and he by Rev. I. L. Chestnutt. The church now has no pastor.


ST. MARY'S CATHOLIC CHURCH.


The Roman Catholics had no church organization in town until the year 1859. In 1856 Bishop McGill visited Fredericksburg and preached a sermon of great ability and spiritual power, and under his influence a nucleus was formed, out of which the church was organized three years afterwards. The newly organized church went earnestly to work at once to build a house of worship, and from amounts subscribed by the members and friends in town, and the assistance they received from abroad, a neat and comfortable brick building was erected on Princess Ann street, between Charlotte and Hanover. A frame parsonage was purchased some years afterwards just below the church building, which was destroyed by fire about the year 1875, after which the present brick parsonage was erected.

The church at different periods has been visited by Bishop Gibbons, now Cardinal, and Bishop Keene, by whom it was greatly strengthened. It has had for pastors since its organization Rev. Fathers Hagan, Donnelson, O'Farrell, Sears, Brady, Becker, Tier- nan, Donahoe, Wilson, Kennefick, Demunych and Coleman. Rev. Father Perrig is pastor at this time.


THE COLORED BAPTIST CHURCHES.


In 1854, when the wliite Baptists occupied their new house of worship on Princess Ann street, they turned over to the colored Baptists their old house on Water street. Prior to that the white and colored members worshipped together in the same building. Separated to themselves, but under the care of the white Baptist church, the colored people had Rev. George Eowe to preach for them, which he continued to do, with success, until the Civil war came on.

After the war closed the colored people, being free to act for themselves, formed separate churches and selected pastors of their own color. The colored Baptists of the town formed a church, under the name of Shiloh, and called Rev. George L. Dixon to the pastorate. His pastoral care of the church continued for several years, when he was succeeded by Rev. L. G. Walden and he by Rev. Willis M. Robinson.

In 1887 the church building collapsed and a division of sentiment arose among the members as to where they should rebuild, which resulted in a division of the church and congregation and the erection of another church building. A majority of the members of the church wanted to rebuild on the old site, but a large minority preferred to sell the old site and build on Princess Ann street, near the railroad depot. The contention was sharp, the feeling was intense, satisfactory terms of separation could not be agreed upon, and finally the controversy was carried into the circuit court.

Judge Wm. S. Barton, who was judge of the circuit court, advised a compromise, which was accepted by the parties, and a division of the church and property was the result. But then another perplexing question arose that promised to give trouble. Both parties strenuously contended for the old name, Shiloh, and no other name it appeared would satisfy either division. The wishes of both parties, however, were happily met when some one suggested that the Water-street party should be known as Shiloh Old Site and the Princess Ann party as Shiloh New Site. This proposition was agreed to, the separation took place peaceably and both parties proceeded to build substantial and commodious brick houses, which are a credit to the colored people of the town.

Rev. Willis Robinson, who was pastor of the old church Shiloh, went with Shiloh New Site and became its pastor. Shiloh Old Site extended a call to Rev. James E. Brown to become its pastor, which he accepted, and served the church for several years. For some time after the old church building became unsafe for occupancy the colored people worshipped in the courthouse.

In the year 1879 several members withdrew from old Shiloh church and organized under the name of the Second Baptist church. They erected a small, but neat, frame church building on Winchester street, near Amelia, and asked for the ordination of Albert Ray, whom they had selected as pastor. A few months later he was duly ordained, entered upon the pastorate of the church and continued as such until disabled by rheumatism in 1902.

Rev. Albert Ray's church was sold a few years ago and went into possession of a new religious sect. The pastor is Rev. Roland Burgess and the sect is known as "The Church of God and the Saints of the Lord Jesus Christ." The church has made but little progress up to this time.

In 1903 Shiloh New Site had a split on the question of pastor, when a large number of the membership withdrew and erected a frame building on "Wolfe street, called Rev. Willis M. Robinson as their pastor, which organization is known as Robinson's church.

At present Shiloh Old Site has for its pastor Rev. John A. Brown and Shiloh New Site has Rev. W. L. Ransom. Both churches are in a thriving condition, with large Sunday schools, and both pastors are educated and fully qualified to lead and instruct their race.