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    The Early Loudoun Churches
    photoThe historic highway marker was erected in 1935 by the Conservation and Development Commission. The marker is in Leesburg, Virginia. It is located at the intersection of James Monroe Highway (U.S. 15) and Tutt Lane, on the right hand side when traveling south on James Monroe Highway. Photo is courtesy/ Craig Swain.
    1 Peter 2:5 "you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."


    1 Peter 2:9 "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."


    Revelation 1:6 "He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen."


    The purpose of this article is to assist our communities to enlist the active presence of God and find strategic direction and empowerment for accomplishing the goals of gospel ministry together in and through our Loudoun Churches. I do not believe that Jesus desires us to all join the same church or that we will all agree on every point of doctrine. However we can indeed pray for a movement of God for the visible unity of His whole church. Jesus desires us to come to “complete unity.”

    The Truro Parish was established by the General Assembly of Virginia on November 1, 1732 when Hamilton Parish was divided along the Occoquan River and Bull Run. It included what is, at present, Arlington, Fairfax, and Loudoun counties, and the independent cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, and Falls Church. The parish was named after Truro Parish in Cornwall, England. Truro Parish initially covered all of the land north of the Occoquan and Bull Run, up to the Potomac and westward all the way to the Blue Ridge Mountains at Ashby's Gap.

    On June 11, 1749, the parish was divided in two, with the newly-formed Cameron Parish constituting the portion north and west of Difficult Run and Popes Head Run. George Mason, author of the Virginia Articles that presaged the Bill of Rights was elected to the parish vestry that year. In the mid 1700's the people of Cameron Parish, were served by visiting ministers: The Reverend Charles Green and The Reverend James Scott, from Pohick Church in Truro Parish.

    In 1769, the Western portion of Cameron Parish transitioned into a new Parish named Shelburne. Loudoun County was now comprised of two Anglican parishes, with Goose Creek, a turbulent stream that often flooded as the important dividing line. Cameron Parish east of the creek and Shelburne Parish to the west. The first rector was The Reverend Dr. David Griffith, a distinguished churchman, who served from 1771 to 1776. A physician before his ordination, Dr. Griffith left the parish to serve as surgeon and chaplain in the Continental Army. He was a close friend of George Washington, and after the Revolution he became the rector of Christ Church, Alexandria. A leader in the early church in Virginia, he was, in 1786, the first man elected bishop in America. Unfortunately he died before funds were found to send him to England for his consecration.

    The first church in Loudoun County, called the "Chapel of Ease for the comfort of the people above the Goose Creek," was built in 1733, a log structure near the Big Spring about two miles north of Leesburg. No trace remains today of this original church or its graveyard.

    The following Early Church Records in Loudoun County, Virginia are taken from Marty Hiatt, CGRS. I believe some churches in eastern Loudoun are not included i.e., Guilford Baptist (1857) and Oak Grove Baptist (1868). However this listing provides the reader with a good understanding of the early growth and diversity of the church in Loudoun. My estimate is that there are now 150 churches, to include house churches, in Loudoun County. See web site for early church history, http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~valoudou/church.htm.

    NAME: Fairfax MM
    DENOMINATION: Society of Friends
    TOWN: Waterford
    DATES: 1744-1929
    HISTORY: Janney, Asa Moore. Ye Meeting Hous Smal, A Short History of Friends in Loudoun Co. 1962
    RECORDS: Originals at Swarthmore, PA; microfilm at MSA, copies of mgs. at courthouse & Balch, pre-1800 in print.

    NAME: Ketoctin Baptist
    DENOMINATION: Baptist
    TOWN: bet. Round Hill & Purcellville
    DATES: 1751-1936
    HISTORY: James, Rev. F. H. Ketoctin Baptist Church. ; Ford, Vernon. Ketoctin Chronicle
    RECORDS: Original minutes 1776-1930 at BHS, typed abstracts at Balch, pre-1800 in print.

    NAME: Ebenezer
    DENOMINATION: Baptist (O S)
    TOWN: Bloomfield
    DATES: c. 1755
    HISTORY:
    RECORDS:

    NAME: New Jerusalem (Bethel & Zion)
    DENOMINATION: Lutheran
    TOWN: Lovettsville
    DATES: 1765
    HISTORY: ___. A People of God, 1765-1965.
    RECORDS: Original at Gettysburg, microfilm (1784-1836) at Lib. VA & LDS, early bapts. & mgs. in I.G.I., some copies at Balch, 1876-1927; Balch has burials 1784-1836.

    NAME: St. James
    DENOMINATION: Episcopal
    TOWN: Leesburg
    DATES: 1769
    HISTORY: Worsley, Lizzie, Old St. James Episcopal Church ... 1760-1897
    RECORDS: Originals at church, register from 1830

    NAME: Shelburne Parish
    DENOMINATION: Anglican
    TOWN: Above Goose Creek
    DATES: 1770
    HISTORY: Cocke, Charles F. Parish Lines, Diocese of Virginia, 1967
    RECORDS: Originals & microfilm of vestry minutes 1771-1805 at Lob. VA, microfilm at Balch, pre-1800 in print.

    NAME: New Valley
    DENOMINATION: Baptist (O S)
    TOWN: Lucketts
    DATES: 1770
    HISTORY:
    RECORDS:

    NAME: Catoctin
    DENOMINATION: Presbyterian
    TOWN: Waterford
    DATES: 1765 or 1774
    HISTORY: Catoctin Presbyterian Church, 225th Anniversary Celebration, 1765-1990
    RECORDS: Session minutes & register, 1883-1909, & Session minutes 1910-1948 at PHS

    NAME: Leesburg U. M.
    DENOMINATION: Methodist
    TOWN: Leesburg
    DATES: 1766
    HISTORY: Steadman, M. L. Leesburg’s Old Stone Church 1766.
    RECORDS: Originals at church 1830-1851, 1867 to present. Book "in the works."

    NAME: Little River Baptist
    DENOMINATION: Baptist
    TOWN: Aldie
    DATES: 1769
    HISTORY: Hutchison, Rev. Westwood, Little River Baptist Church
    RECORDS: Minutes 1871-1955 at BHS; list of early members at Balch

    NAME: Christ Church
    DENOMATION: Episcopal
    TOWN: Lucketts
    DATES: 1773 (1868)
    HISTORY:
    RECORDS: Records at St. James, Leesburg

    NAME: German Reformed (now St. James)
    DENOMINATION: United Church of Christ
    TOWN: Lovettsville
    DATES: 1773
    HISTORY:
    RECORDS: Baptism only 1786-1859, early in German, originals at UCC archives, Lancaster, PA; copies at church; microfilm through LDS, translation at Handley library & Lib. VA.

    NAME: Aldie
    DENOMINATION: Presbyterian
    TOWN: Arcola
    DATES: 1776
    HISTORY:
    RECORDS:

    NAME: Gum Spring
    DENOMINATION: Presbyterian
    TOWN: Arcola
    DATES: 1776
    HISTORY:
    RECORDS:

    NAME: Unison (Bethesda)
    DENOMINATION: Methodist
    TOWN: Unison
    DATES: 1780 (1832)
    HISTORY: History of the Unison Methodist Church
    RECORDS:

    NAME: Church of Our Redeemer
    DENOMATION: Episcopal
    TOWN: Oatlands
    DATES: 1780s (1870s)
    HISTORY:
    RECORDS: Until 1940, records are with Emmanuel, Middleburg

    NAME: North Fork Primitive
    DENOMINATION: Baptist
    TOWN: North Fork
    DATES: 1784
    HISTORY:
    RECORDS: Originals 1784-1970 at BHS; transcription 1784-1930 at Balch; pre-1800 in print.

    NAME: Middleburg U. M.
    DENOMINATION: Methodist
    TOWN: Middleburg
    DATES: 1784
    HISTORY: Emerick, C. T. L., Middleburg Methodist Churches...
    RECORDS: Records from 1800s are at church, also has some records from Upperville

    NAME: Goose Creek Meeting
    DENOMINATION: Society of Friends
    TOWN: Lincoln
    DATES: 1785
    HISTORY: Janney, Asa Moore. Ye Meeting Hous Smal, A Short History of Friends in Loudoun Co. 1962
    RECORDS: Originals & microfilm at MD State Archives; pre-1800 in print

    NAME: Emmanuel
    DENOMINATION: Episcopal
    TOWN: Middleburg
    DTES: 1796
    HISTORY: Low, Chet, Hist. of Emmanuel Episcopal Church 1842-1992
    RECORDS: Originals at church, copies at Balch, Register 1840-1926

    NAME: Grove (Woodburn)
    DENOMINATION: Methodist
    TOWN:
    DATES: early 1800-192?
    HISTORY:
    RECORDS: Balch has Sunday School records, 1898-1903, 1921, Conf. records 1903-1907 are with Harmony Church records

    NAME: Leesburg
    DENOMINATION: Presbyterian
    TOWN: Leesburg
    DATES: 1804
    HISTORY: Presbyterian Church, Leesburg, VA, 1804-1975
    RECORDS: Minutes & register 1804-1869, minutes 1867-1938, Register 1867-1919 at PHS; copy of register 1804-1875 at Balch; records from 1919 at church.

    NAME: Catoctin Free Meeting House
    DENOMINATION: Bapt., Eps., Meth. & Presb.
    TOWN: Clark’s Gap
    DATES: 1810
    HISTORY: Hutchison, L. S. & J. Divine. Catoctin Free Church
    RECORDS:

    NAME: Rehobeth
    DENOMINATION: Methodist
    TOWN: Lovettsville
    DATES: 1814
    HISTORY:
    RECORDS: Later records at Mt. Pleasant Church, Taylorstown, copies at Balch

    NAME: Middleburg
    DENOMINATION: Baptist
    TOWN: Middleburg
    DATES: 1828
    HISTORY:
    RECORDS: Original minutes 1847-1955 & women’s minutes 1920-1930s at BHS. Copies at the church.

    NAME: Arnold Grove/Hillsboro
    DENOMINATION: Methodist
    TOWN: Hillsboro
    DATE: 1830s
    HISTORY:
    RECORDS: Quarterly conference records, 1848 & 1870-1900 are at church

    NAME: Roszell Chapel
    DENOMINATION: Methodist
    TOWN: Philomont
    DATES: 1830
    HISTORY:
    RECORDS:

    NAME: Lovettsville
    DENOMINATION: Presbyterian
    TOWN: Lovettsville
    DATES: 1833-1892
    HISTORY:
    RECORDS: Session minutes 1869-1884 at PHS, 1869-1885 transcription at Balch

    NAME: Salem
    DENOMINATION: Methodist
    TOWN: Neersville
    DATES: 1833
    HISTORY:
    RECORDS:

    NAME: Harmony U. M.
    DENOMINATION: Methodist
    TOWN: Hamilton
    DATES: 1833
    HISTORY: Sesquicentennial 1833-1983.
    RECORDS: Originals at church, copies at Balch; 2 old membership books, beginning 1871, account book 1875-1889, registers 1897-1938

    NAME: Ebenezer U. M.
    DENOMINATION: Methodist
    TOWN: Neersville
    DATES: 1834
    HISTORY: History of Ebenezer Church, 1833-1959
    RECORDS:

    NAME: North Fork Regular
    DENOMINATION: Baptist (N S)
    TOWN: North Fork
    DATES: 1835
    HISTORY: North Fork Baptist Church 150th Anniversary, 1835-1985
    RECORDS: Original minutes 1839-1979 at BHS.

    NAME: St. Paul’s
    DENOMINATION: Lutheran
    TOWN: Neersville
    DATES: 1835-1981
    HISTORY:
    RECORDS: Register, 1836-1843 at VA Synod Archives, Salem, VA

    NAME: Mount Hope
    DENOMINATION: Baptist
    TOWN: Waxpool
    DATES: 1835
    HISTORY: Mt. Hope Baptist Church—150th Anniversary 1835-1885
    RECORDS:

    NAME: St. David’s (Belmont Chapel)
    DENOMINATION: Episcopal
    TOWN: Ashburn
    DATES: 1836
    HISTORY:
    RECORDS:

    NAME: Pleasant Valley U. M.
    DENOMINATION: Methodist
    TOWN: Chantilly
    DATES: 1845
    HISTORY: Jackson, Jane. History of Pleasant Valley Church.
    RECORDS: Originals at Sterling Methodist Church, begin 1894

    NAME: Ryan (Farmwell)
    DENOMINATION: Methodist
    TOWN: Ashburn
    DATES: 1849
    HISTORY:
    RECORDS:

    NAME: Church of Our Savior
    DENOMINATION: Episcopal
    TOWN: Aldie
    DATES: 1850
    HISTORY:
    RECORDS: Records at Emmanuel, Middleburg

    NAME: Mt. Zion
    DENOMINATION: Baptist (O S)
    TOWN: Aldie
    DATES: 1851-1979
    HISTORY:
    RECORDS:

    NAME: Mountville
    DENOMINATION: Methodist
    TOWN: Mountville
    DATES: 1852-1950
    HISTORY:
    RECORDS:

    NAME: Ebenezer
    DENOMINATION: Baptist (N S)
    TOWN: Bloomfield
    DATES: 1855
    HISTORY:
    RECORDS

    NAME: Bethel
    DENOMINATION: Methodist
    TOWN: Stumptown
    DATES: 1859
    HISTORY:
    RECORDS:

    NAME: Mt. Olivet U. M.
    DENOMINATION: Methodist
    TOWN: Lovettsville
    DATES: 1860
    HISTORY: Rinker, Gerta Origin of Mt. Olivet as I remember it.
    RECORDS: Original records at Mt. Pleasant Church, Taylorstown, copies at Balch

    NAME: St. Peter’s
    DENOMINATION: Episcopal
    Town: Purcellville
    DATES: 1870
    HISTORY:
    RECORDS: Original register from 1871 at church

    NAME: St. Paul’s
    DENOMINATION: Episcopal
    TOWN: Hamilton
    DATES: 1874
    HISTORY:
    RECORDS: Records at St. Peter’s, Purcellville

    NAME: Sterling U. M.
    DENOMINATION: Methodist
    TOWN: Sterling
    DATES: 1875
    HISTORY: U. M. Church History 1875-1993
    RECORDS: Original records at church

    NAME: Ashburn
    DENOMINATION: Presbyterian
    TOWN: Ashburn
    DATES: 1876
    HISTORY:
    RECORDS: Session minutes & register 1912-1958 at PHS; church has partial records from 1890, complete from 1930.

    NAME: St. John’s
    DENOMINATION: Catholic
    TOWN: Leesburg
    DATES: 1878
    HISTORY: Sheel, E. M. History of St. John the Apostle...1878-1978
    RECORDS: Original register at church.

    NAME: Mt. Pleasant U. M.
    DENOMINATION: Methodist
    TOWN: Taylorstown
    DATES: 1878
    HISTORY:
    RECORDS: Originals at church, date from 1890s, copies at Balch

    If anyone is interested in publishing a faith article on this web column, please contact Mark Gunderman at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
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