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Scottsville Presbyterian Church

Scottsville Presbyterian Church

Name:  Scottsville Presbyterian Church

Date:  August 17, 1969

Image Number:  B251cdB25

Comments:   The congregation of the Presbyterian Church was organized first at Warren with six members on October 18, 1927, as part of the West Hanover Presbytery.  The elders of the church were John B. Hart and Samuel Harris, and by 1830, this church had grown to sixteen members, thanks largely to the influence and support of Peyton Harrison, a landowner and lawyer in early Albemarle County.  The church became the Warren and Scottsville Presbyterian Church, and Peyton was appointed its ruling elder. 

It is said that the congregation first worshipped in a free church building which then stood in the edge of the village of Warren.  The Scottsville congregation first used the Concord House of Worship which was on the ground of the Presbyterian Cemetery (now Scottsville Cemetery).  It was written about Harrison, "...and Harrison rested not until a church was formed in Scottsville."  The Presbyterians built a two-story brick church, shown above, which was completed in 1832 on land owned by Peyton Harrison and with funds he helped secure.  The Presbyterian Church measures 32' x 42' and is located on Lot 148 on Bird Street; it is the oldest church building in Scottsville.  About this time, the name 'Warren' was dropped from the congregation's name and thereafter the church became known as the Scottsville Presbyterian Church.  Reverend Samuel Hurd was the first pastor of the Scottsville Presbyterian Church.

Presbyterian Prayer Meeting, ca 1920 In 1866 a manse for the Scottsville Presbyterian minister was presented to the church by Isaac H. Barksdale, one of the elders, and William Branch, a member of the congregation.  This manse was destroyed by fire ca. 1950's.  The church building itself underwent its first major alteration in 1956 when a new terrace with iron railing at its front was added to the church building's front.  This terrace permitted entry into the church through any of three doors which open off the terrace.

Shown at right is a 1930-vintage topic card for interdenominational prayer meetings, scheduled to be held at the Scottsville Presbyterian Church for this three-month period.  A fine feeling of brotherhood has always existed in Scottsville between churches of differing beliefs.  On this prayer meeting card, members of the Scottsville Presbyterian, Methodist, and Baptist churches were assigned to lead the listed topic discussions.

The following article about The Scottsville Presbyterian Church was printed in the Scottsville Sun, dated December 6, 1851:

Presbyterian First Church Established Here;
Organized in 1827 With Only 6 Members

According to historical records, the Presbyterian Church, a substantial brick building in the heart of Scottsville, was the first church established here.

Organized first at Warren in the year 1827, it was taken under the charge of the West Hanover Presbytery and in 1830 became the Warren and Scottsville Church, but a few years later Warren was dropped from its name.

At the time of organization, there were only 6 members.  The Elders were John B. Hart and Samuel Harris, and in 1830, Peyton Harrison was installed.

When first organized the congregation worshipped in a free church building which then stood in the edge of the village of Warren.  The Scottsville congregation first used Concord House of Worship, which was on ground now embraced in the Presbyterian Cemetery, about a mile from town, and which was the assembling place for large congregations of different dominations.

The present church, much the same as it was originally, was erected about 1832 on land presented to the church by Rev. Peyton Harrison.

Rev. Samuel Hurd, of whom little is known, was the first pastor of the Scottsville Church.

In 1866, the manse was presented to the church by Isaac R. Barksdale, one of the elders, and William Branch, a member of the congregation.  This was destroyed by fire in recent years.

The church has kept a steady course through over a century of service, and now carries on a full church program with weekly services, although a few years ago it was comparatively inactive.  It is now one of a group of eight churches which compose the Old Providence Rural Parish.  Dr. R. G. Hutcherson is the parish pastor, and he is assisted by a student minister, Randolph Harrison.

There is an active Sunday school in the Presbyterian Church, with Russell Brill serving as superintendent.  Five Sunday school rooms have been made in the gallery, and classes are taught for all age groups.

The Women of the Church, formerly called the Ladies Aid Society, have always cooperated with the work of the church, and have just concluded a successful annual Christmas Bazaar.  Mrs. Russell Brill is president of this organization.

An excellent organ has been installed in the church.  Miss Frances Morris is director of music for services and programs.

The Presbyterian Youth Fellowship program includes young people between the ages of 12 and 18 and meets every second, third, and fourth Sunday, meeting on the fourth Sunday with the whole Parish at Louisa.

Elders at the present time are Joseph Wilson, Thomas A. Allison, and John Morris.  Deacons include Barney L. Philpot, Russell Brill, Stephen Ward, and Kirkwood Spencer.

It is interesting to note that within the past 50 years there have been only two marriages in the church, and they were nearly 50 years apart.  The most recent marriage was this past June when Miss Billie Jane Burcher was married to Edward Grady, Jr.  Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Slaughter were the last to be married here before.

The interior of the church has the charm of antiquity, and one can imagine the rustle of long skirts and petticoats as they came down the two aisles, and the chorus that rose from the "amen corner."  In early days the pews were doubtless filled with worshippers who came from miles around over difficult dirt roads, and the gallery held their negro slaves, all summoned by the tolling bell in the steeple.  Now that many paved roads lead to the church, and away from it as well as the fact that other churches have grown up around it, the enrollment of members is reduced.  But those who remain are steadfast in their loyalty and work devotedly in its interests.

The top photo was taken by Ed Roseberry in 1969.  The undated photo of the prayer meeting card is part of the Jack Hamner collection.  Jack resides in Scottsville, Virginia, and is a lifelong citizen of our town.

Copyright © 2001 by Scottsville Museum

Church Image Located On:  Capturing Our Heritage, CDB25
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Prayer Card Image Located On:  Capturing Our Heritage, CDJH08
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© 2001 by Scottsville Museum