History

dedication1drawings by Fulton Payne

Salem Church was founded in the 1820s, and part of its present structure was erected in 1830. Salem is the second oldest active church in Fluvanna County. The sanctuary is the oldest in continuous use in the county.

Salem shares a rich history dating back before the American Revolution when the Anglican reform movement called Methodism was just beginning. The site of the present church is a short distance from the site of the Broken Back Meeting House, a crucial location in American Methodism commemorated with a stone marker on Rt. 15. Salem was a continuation of that church body, as records indicate that the names of members were the same.

Before the sanctuary was built, worship services were held at a camp meeting ground called Enon, located near the old Broken Back Meeting House on land owned by the Flanagan family. The church now sits on five acres of land originally donated by the Timberlake family.

The sanctuary is typical of 19th century construction: weather-boarded and rectangular with two doors in the gabled front–one for men and one for women. In 1881, the building was enlarged by adding the present chancel area. Many of the original window panes remain.

Salem was a mission station until it became self-supporting under the Rev. John W. Howard in 1874.

In more recent years, Sunday School rooms have been added as well as central heat and air conditioning. In 1986, Wesley and Sally Haden constructed the entrance portico in memory of their daughter, Barbara Haden Vick.

In 2005, the Fellowship Hall was added, also thanks to the Hadens’ generosity. This has profoundly enlarged not only our church building but also our outreach into the Fluvanna County community.

Advertisements